Hampton City Schools Department of Special Education
The special education department works collaboratively with general education to ensure that each eligible student receives a free and appropriate public education. Programs at each level are designed for student success.
NEWS & EVENTS Hampton City Schools is the proud recipient of a grant from the Virginia Department of Education to improve services for students with autism. HCS is working with the Virginia Autism Center for Excellence (ACE) to increase faculty and staff understanding of autism, to identify and implement evidence-based instructional practices when teaching our students with autism, and to build expertise across all areas of our division. Please take a moment to visit the ACE website at http://www.vcuautismcenter.org/
"Autism" means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. Autism does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance. A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be diagnosed as having autism if the criteria are satisfied
Impairments of communication and emotional dysfunction
Difficulty relating to others in typical manner
Resistance to being picked up or held by parents
Significant speech deficits including mutism and echolalia
Early specific food preferences
Obsessive desire for repetition and sameness
Bizarre repetitive behavior, such as rocking/spinning
Lack of imagination
Impaired social interactions
Restricted repertoire and stereotypical patterns of behaviors, interests and activities
"Deaf-blindness" means simultaneous hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.
Reduced ability to gather information from environment.
Reduced ability to form relationships and respond to interactions with others in typical ways
"Developmental delay" means a disability affecting a child ages two by September 30 through six inclusive: 1. Who is experiencing developmental delays, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development
Delay in one or more of the following areas: cognitive development, physical development, social/emotional development, or adaptive development
Significant delays or atypical patterns of development
Physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay
"Emotional disability" means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:1. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; 2. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers; 3. Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; 4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or 5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. Emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to those socially maladjusted.
Lack of social skills
Perform at least one year below grade level academically
Behavior significantly different than average peer
"Deafness" means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects the child's educational performance. "Hearing impairment" means an impairment in hearing in one or both ears, with or without amplification, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness.
May speak too loudly or too softly or with high pitch,
Often feel lonely or isolated in school when interactions with other deaf children are limited
“Intellectual disability” means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
"Multiple disabilities" means simultaneous impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.
Based on the individual disabilities that make up the category
May include severe levels of multiple disabilities
Combination of impairments prevents the child from being served in a program solely for one of the impairments
"Orthopedic impairment" means a severe orthopedic impairment. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
Congenital or acquired impairment
Inability to perform tasks and require adaptive equipment
"Other health impairment" means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia and Tourette syndrome.
Any health impairment which does not fall under any other disability category, such as ADHD or ADD
Behavior or attention issues that impact classroom success
Physical conditions that aversely affect a child’s educational performance, the physical issue may be congenital or acquired.
"Specific learning disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of mental retardation; of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. 1. Dyslexia is distinguished from other learning disabilities due to its weakness occurring at the phonological level. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Difficulties with reading, math, written language
May have listening and attention issues
Poor peer interactions, frustration
A psychological processing disorder is noted
Learning problems that cannot be attributed to other disabilities (discrepancy in ability and achievement
Special educational services needed to succeed in school
"Speech or language impairment" means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, expressive or receptive language impairment, or voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Sound speech areas: distortions, omissions, substations, and additions
Abnormal vocal quality such as pitch, loudness or resonance
Language impairment in phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics
"Traumatic brain injury" means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both. Traumatic brain injury applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
Physical and sensory changes
Lack of coordination
Spasticity of muscles
Cognitive impairments such as short or long term memory
Child Find includes the processes and procedures for identifying, locating and evaluating children, between the ages of 2 and 22, inclusive, who reside within the City of Hampton and are in need of special education services. These procedures are consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA, 2004), and Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (2009). This process includes gathering and organizing information, determining if evaluations are necessary, and determining the eligibility status regarding the student suspected of having a disability.
If you wish to make a referral, contact the building administrator for the school your student attends.
If your student is enrolled in private school, contact the building administrator for the school for which your student is zoned.
If your student is preschool age, contact Jean Nipper in the Office of Special Education at 727-2405.
The term Inclusion originated in the severe disabilities literature where it referred to the placement of all students with disabilities in general education classrooms with necessary support provided within these classrooms (e.g. Stainback & Stainback, 1996). Similarly, the National Information Center for Children and Youth (NICHCY) refers to inclusion as the philosophy, process, and practice of educating students with disabilities in general education classrooms in neighborhood schools with the supports and accommodations needed by those students (NICHCY, 1997, p.2).
Hampton City Schools is currently working with the regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (T/TAC) at the College of William and Mary (http://education.wm.edu/centers/ttac/), to establish division-wide Effective Inclusive Practices.
In order to facilitate the process of moving towards more Effective Inclusive Practices, a division leadership team with multiple stakeholders has been set up to guide this process. Schools have been tasked with establishing building based Effective Inclusive Practice teams.
Hampton City Schools Parent Resource Center
1145 West Queen Street
Hampton, VA 23669
Hours of Operation 10am-2pm Monday-Friday Evening and Weekend hours are available by appointment.
Serves parents and families in the City of Hampton whose children are or will be enrolled in the Hampton City Public School System
Provides workshops and training sessions for parents and educators
Promotes a working relationship between parents, educators and the community
Maintains a lending library of current educational resources for parents and educators
Obtains information and consults with parents to provide direction related to educational issues and community services
Assists families in understanding the special education process, and navigating the educational system
STUDENTS PROTECTED UNDER SECTION 504
Section 504 covers qualified students with disabilities who attend schools receiving Federal financial assistance. To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to: (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or (2) have a record of such an impairment; or (3) be regarded as having such an impairment. Section 504 requires that school districts provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to qualified students in their jurisdictions who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
What is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity?
The determination of whether a student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity must be made on the basis of an individual inquiry. The Section 504 regulatory provision at 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j)(2)(i) defines a physical or mental impairment as any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genito-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The regulatory provision does not set forth an exhaustive list of specific diseases and conditions that may constitute physical or mental impairments because of the difficulty of ensuring the comprehensiveness of such a list.
Major life activities, as defined in the Section 504 regulations at 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j)(2)(ii), include functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working. This list is not exhaustive. Other functions can be major life activities for purposes of Section 504. In the Amendments Act (see FAQ 1), Congress provided additional examples of general activities that are major life activities, including eating, sleeping, standing, lifting, bending, reading, concentrating, thinking, and communicating. Congress also provided a non-exhaustive list of examples of “major bodily functions” that are major life activities, such as the functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions. The Section 504 regulatory provision, though not as comprehensive as the Amendments Act, is still valid – the Section 504 regulatory provision’s list of examples of major life activities is not exclusive, and an activity or function not specifically listed in the Section 504 regulatory provision can nonetheless be a major life activity.
Once a student is identified as eligible for services under Section 504, is that student always entitled to such services?
Yes, as long as the student remains eligible. The protections of Section 504 extend only to individuals who meet the regulatory definition of a person with a disability. If a recipient school district re-evaluates a student in accordance with the Section 504 regulatory provision at 34 C.F.R. 104.35 and determines that the student's mental or physical impairment no longer substantially limits his/her ability to learn or any other major life activity, the student is no longer eligible for services under Section 504.
What is the process for determining if my student is eligible for a 504 Plan?
Contact the 504 Administrator for the school your student is currently attending.
IDEA 2004 defines Secondary Transition as a coordinated set of activities for a student receiving special education services which is designed as an outcome oriented process, that promotes movement from school to post-school activities to being no later than age 16 which may include:
Activities needed to assist in reaching post-secondary goals
Course of study
Who Can Participate in Transition Planning?
Parent or Guardian
Adult agency services providers
Anyone who has a vested interest in the student’s post secondary activities
Transition Services Provided:
Informational Transition Assessments
Transition planning and attendance to IEP meetings
Vocational Course Referrals
Referral Source to local agencies
Transition Data Collection
*ARC of the VA Peninsula, New Horizons Education Center, Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center
Education Options after High School:
Independent Living Skills
Planning for Success! The key to a SUCCESSFUL transition is early and thoughtful planning.
Students must be actively involved in the planning process!
Assistive technology or AT is legally defined as “any piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified, or customized that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities” (20 U.S.C., Chapter 33 Section 1400(a)).
Assistive Technology Services
Assistive technology services means “ any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device: (20 U.S. C., Chapter 33 Section 1401(1)).
Assistive Technology Services offers the following:
An Assistive Technology (AT) referral process for students with disabilities
Training for students, teachers, administrators, parents and support services
Support to classrooms for integrating technology
Open labs so teachers, parents, and support staff can collaborate and make activities for school and home use.
The AT Lab is located on the grounds of Hampton High School. It is the white brick building situated on the front left of the high school.
1445 W. Queen St.
Hampton, Virginia 23669
The AT lab is where teachers, support staff, and parents can come and use various software applications to create learning activities, laminate materials, and make other materials.
Trainings are held throughout the year on different software, equipment, and communication devices.
The AT lab is an excellent place to collaborate and network with colleagues.
Open Lab Dates for Teachers Time: 3:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, Sept 6
Tuesday, Sept 18
Tuesday, Oct 9
Thursday, Oct 25
Tuesday, Nov 13
Thursday, Nov 29
Tuesday, Dec 11
Tuesday, Jan 8
Thursday, Jan 24
Tuesday, Feb 12
Thursday, Feb 28
Tuesday, March 12
Thursday, March 28
Tuesday, April 9
Thursday, April 25
Tuesday, May 14
Open Lab Dates for Parents Time: 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
*AT & Admin training will be on the following dates and times.
This worshop is designed to give administrators an opportunity to come and see what the
assistive technology lab has to offer and how AT supports accommodations in the IEP.
Wednesday, Sept 19 10:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Tuesday, Sept 25 9:00 to 10:00 a.m.
Thursday, Sept 27 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.
*Writing workshops will be from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. on the following dates.
Thursday, Sept 20 Software programs (Start Write/Pages/Inspiration/Spell Check)
Wednesday, Oct 24 Read Aloud/Bookshare
Tuesday, Nov 27 Software programs to assist with writing
Wednesday, Jan 23 AT accommodations for SOL testing
Tuesday, Feb 26 Using text to voice features in software
*Boardmaker training will be from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. on the following dates.
Wednesday, Oct 17
Tuesday, Nov 20
*Communication Devices training will be from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. on the following date.
Thursday, Oct 11
Tasks Galore training will be from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. on the following dates.
Wednesday, Sept 26 – Red Book
Wednesday, Nov 7 – Blue Book
Wednesday, Jan 16 – Yellow Book
Speech- Language Impairment (SLI) services may be available to students who:
1. Meet eligibility criteria under the disability category of speech-language impairment as decided by an eligibility committee. In order to be eligible under the category of SLI, the following must be documented:
a. the presence of a speech-language impairment
b. the speech-language impairment has an adverse educational impact
c. the student requires specialized instruction: (Virginia Department of Education, “Speech Language Pathology Services in Schools: Guidelines for Best Practice”, 2005, 96).
d. Require speech-language services in order to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education (VDOE, “Speech Language Pathology Services in Schools: Guidelines for Best Practice”, 2005,17). This process is referred to as a “related service consideration” and is completed through the IEP committee.
What is a Speech-Language Impairment?
The Virginia Department of Education describes a speech/language impairment as a communication disorder, such as dysfluency (stuttering), impaired articulation, expressive or receptive language impairment or a voice impairment that adversely affects a child’s educational performance (VDOE, Eligibility Worksheet for SLI).
Articulation: An articulation/phonological impairment is characterized by a failure to use speech
sounds that are appropriate for a person's age and linguistic dialect. Such errors in sound
productions may interfere with intelligibility, social communication, and/or academic and
vocational achievement (VDOE, “Speech Language Pathology Services in Schools: Guidelines
for Best Practice”, 2005, 98).
Factors to Consider:
Sound Errors: Is the child exhibiting errors or phonological processes that are
developmentally appropriate or should sound errors/ processes have been
mastered by their chronological age?
Intelligibility: How well is the student understood by the listener?
Stimulability: Is the child able to make target sounds (sounds that are no longer
developmentally appropriate) when given a model?
Dialectal Variations, Accent or Limited English Proficiency (LEP)?
Academic Impact: Is articulation negatively affecting the student's academic performance?
Standardized Assessments (Speech/language assessments and academic testing)
Educational Checklist and/or Evaluation
Teacher, Parent and/or Student Reports
Receptive and Expressive Language: A language impairment is defined as the inadequate or
inappropriate acquisition, comprehension or expression of language. Students who have Limited
English Proficiency (LEP) or those students who are not speakers of Standard American English
due to sociocultural dialects are not automatically considered to be students with a speech-
language impairment (VDOE, “Speech Language Pathology Services in Schools: Guidelines
for Best Practice”, 2005, 106).
Factors to Consider:
Standardized Assessments (Speech/language assessments and academic testing)
Non-Standardized Assessments (Functional Analysis)
Language Sampling to include descriptions of language in high and low comprehension
and verbal demand situations
Education Checklist and/or Evaluation
Teacher, Parent and/or Student Reports
Other factors that may be discussed include psychological testing and/or the presence of a
learning disability or processing impairment
Fluency: Primarily characterized by repetitions (sounds, syllables, part words, whole words,
phrases), pauses, and prolongations that differ in number and severity from those of normally
fluent individuals. The onset usually occurs during the time language skills are developing, and
onset is generally gradual in nature. Secondary characteristics are frequently evident, and these
very in type and severity from individual to individual. The dysfluencies may interfere with
intelligibility, social communication, and/or academic and vocational achievement (VDOE,
“Speech Language Pathology Services in Schools: Guidelines for Best Practice”, 2005, 110).
Factors to Consider:
Standardized Assessments (Speech/language and academic testing)
Frequency of Dysfluencies
Description of Dysfluencies
Associated Non-Vocal Behaviors (Tension, Secondary Behaviors)
Background Information and History
Educational Checklist and/or Evaluation
Teacher, Parent and/or Student reports
Voice: A voice impairment is defined as a pitch, loudness or quality condition that calls attention to
itself rather than to what the speaker is saying. Before a child may be found eligible for
services for a voice impairment, the child should receive a medical examination from an
otolaryngologist, clearing the child for intervention. This is important to ensure the source of
the voice impairment is not an organic problem for which therapy is contradicted (VDOE,
“Speech Language Pathology Services in Schools: Guidelines for Best Practice”, 2005, 114).
Factors to Consider:
Standardized Assessments (Speech/language and academic)
Medical Information from an ENT
Resonance (hyponasality or hypernasality)
Educational Checklist and/or Evaluation
Teacher, Parent and/or Student Reports
Federal and state laws govern the provision of school-based occupational and physical therapy services. OT and PT services are related services to special education, and are a supportive service provided to assist a student to benefit from their educational program. This differs from the therapy a student may receive from a medially based provider or clinic.
OT and PT evaluations are requested when school teams require additional information concerning the performance of a student in areas that may be supported by therapy intervention such as fine motor, self-help, sensory motor, and gross motor skills.
Written parental consent is required for the initiation of the evaluation. The type of evaluation conducted is determined by the nature of the referral, the student’s unique characteristics, and the presenting difficulties observed in school.
The evidence of a delay or medical condition does not necessarily mandate therapy services. The student’s needs, as identified by IEP goals, are the driving force for service determination. The IEP team must decide if the student requires OT and/or PT to benefit from his or her special education program.
As educational team members, therapists work closely with teachers, families, and the student to identify solutions and implement strategies that help students participate in their educational program. Services may include the design and construction of adaptive equipment, modification of the educational environment, consultation, and/or provision of direct services.
Occupational and Physical Therapists are certified by a national licensing board and are also licensed through the Virginia Department of Health Professions.
The Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) advises the Hampton City School Board about special education issues and ways in which they can make special education services as effective as possible. The committee is a collaborative effort among school division personnel, parents, community representatives and all stakeholders.
SEAC accomplishes its purpose by:
Assisting local school division personnel in developing long range plans for special education services
Advising school division personnel, the School Board, and the community about issues related to special education; and
Participating in the development of priorities and strategies to meet identified needs of students with disabilities.
Meetings are open to the public, and anyone in the community who has an interest in special education is welcome to attend. Information is shared during each meeting regarding the current status of special education programs in Hampton City Schools. In addition, SEAC meetings are a great opportunity to network with other parents, voice concerns and/or celebrations regarding your experiences with the HCS special education programs, and hear educational presentations.
How do I speak with a SEAC member?
SEAC members are parent volunteers, and not school employees. If you need to speak with a parent, please contact Greta Harrison, SEAC Chairperson at email@example.com. If you need assistance from the Special Education Department, please call 727-2400 and you will be directed to the appropriate Special Education Coordinator.
Here is a list of the upcoming school year's SEAC meetings:
September 25, 2012 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
November 27, 2012 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
February 19, 2013 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
April 23, 2013 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm (6:00 pm Annual Plan Review)
Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) meetings are open to the public, and anyone in the community who has an interest in special education is welcome to attend. Information is shared during each meeting regarding the current status of special education programs in Hampton City Schools. In addition, SEAC meetings are a great opportunity to network with other parents, voice concerns and/or celebrations regarding your experiences with the HCS special education programs, and hear educational presentations.
All meetings are held in the Veteran's Conference Room, 1st Floor, Ruppert Sargent Building,
1 Franklin Street, Hampton. VA 23669
*If schools are closed due to inclement weather, the meeting will be cancelled. Please call 727-2400 to confirm meeting datesw/times.
Citizens are welcome to contact members of SEAC, provide written comment to SEAC, or give public comment at the meetings during the time designated. Public comments are limited to three minutes, and the committee appreciates written copies of public comments that include contact information. Public comment forms will be located on the table near the door at the SEAC meeting.
There is a designated time for public comment during SEAC meetings. This is an opportunity to share successful educational experiences and express general concerns regarding educational issues for students with special needs. The SEAC requests that any concerns expressed be general comments dealing with global issues rather than a specific comment dealing with a personal matter or situation. The Committee suggests that you address concerns about personal situations directly to the Department of Special Education.
If you would like to be added to an e-mail list to receive meeting notices, legislative alerts, workshop information and other information of interest to families, attend a SEAC meeting and add your e-mail address to the sign-in sheet.
Anyone needing accommodations for a disability in order to attend or participate should call (757) 727-2400 seven days prior to the meeting so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Specialized Training of Military Parents/Professionals (STOMP) has 2 email listserv - Autism and all disabilities. Training is available in various locations http://www.stompproject.org/. This is for military families (active and retired) with school-aged children.
Collaboration Class for Parents
If interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: PEATC COLLABORATION TRAINING. Class likely to be held on Tuesdays at a local Hampton Library from 1200pm-200 pm.
The Virginia Department of Education's Training and Technical Assistance Center at Old
Dominion University (T-TAC ODU) is part of a statewide network of assistance centers
that are designed to improve educational opportunities and contribute to the success of
children and youth with disabilities (birth-22 years).
TTAC’s mission is to increase the capacity of school personnel, service providers, and
families to meet the needs of children and youth with disabilities; and to foster the state
improvement goals for personnel development. (From the TTAC website: http://ttac.odu.edu/ ).
TTAC offers professional development workshops and conferences, training events,
collaborative consultation services, publications, information services, and a lending
library. Parents are able to borrow library materials by making a request through
the TTAC website http://ttac.odu.edu/Biblionix/patron_id_request.htm . For more
information about all available services, please visit the services page: http://ttac.odu.edu/services.php.
T-TAC Old Dominion University
Old Dominion University
860 W. 44th St
Norfolk, VA 23529