Special Education Process
Understanding the Process in the Tuscaloosa City Schools
If you are transferring your child into the Tuscaloosa City Schools, please let staff know when you register your student at their home school if he or she previously received services or were in the process of being evaluated for special education services and bring appropriate documentation with you (i.e., IEP, eligibility statement). You will be contacted by your child's school within 10 days to develop a transfer IEP, determine what components need to be evaluated to meet Alabama code, and obtain your permission for those components. Until Alabama eligibility can be determined, your student will receive appropriate services in accordance with their former IEP (the IEP must be current). When the necessary components have been completed, a meeting will be scheduled to review the assessments and determine if your student meets Alabama eligibility guidelines. If they continue to meet Alabama guidelines for special education services, their IEP will be updated.
Teachers, parents, physicians, therapists, etc. who have concerns with a student's developmental or academic progress, can request a "Referral" to the school system to determine if the student needs specialized instruction.
- If your child attends a private school within the Tuscaloosa City School district, please contact the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education, Special Education Department.
- If your child is homeschooled and you live within the Tuscaloosa City School district, please contact the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education, Special Education Department.
- If your child is a preschooler, please contact the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education, Special Education Department.
- If your child is school age and currently attends a Tuscaloosa City School, please speak with your child's teacher, a school/guidance counselor, a Special Education teacher, or administrative staff at your child's school.
A "Referral" meeting will be scheduled to review concerns and data (including grades, attendance, discipline, health, etc.). If the referral is accepted, parents/guardians are asked to sign permission for the evaluation. Within 60 days of when permission is received, a multi-disciplinary team will complete the evaluation.
(From the Alabama Administrative Code, Alabama State Board of Education, State Department of Education, Chapter 290-8-9-.01)
(From the Alabama Administrative Code, Alabama State Board of Education, State Department of Education, Chapter 290-8-9-.04)
Following the completion of an evaluation, a meeting will be scheduled to review the results of the assessment. This meeting is referred to as the "Eligibility" meeting. At the completion of the review, the team will determine if the student meets eligibility criteria for any of the 13 Alabama codes for special education services. If it is determined that the student meets eligibility criteria, you will be asked to give consent in writing for your student to receive special education services.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
(From the Alabama Administrative Code, Alabama State Board of Education, State Department of Education, Chapter 290-8-9-.05)
When a student is found eligible for special education services, an IEP is developed and specially designed to help the child progress in the educational curriculum. IEP goals may include academic goals; transition and career goals; and/or behavior goals. Related services (i.e., speech, occupational and physical therapies) may be included as determined by the IEP team based on individual needs. IEPs are developed annually but may be reviewed more frequently if requested by parents, teachers or students.