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United States Army
Fort Rucker, AL 36362
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, requires states and territories to provide early intervention or special education services to children and young adults. Early intervention is available for children from birth to 3 years old, and special education services are available to children from 3 to 21 years old. Each installation provides specific resources for these programs and services in local schools or health departments. Before moving, identify programs in your area, be prepared and understand while not all services offered are the same – they are required to be comparable.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, requires all states and territories to provide early intervention services to children from birth through 3 years of age who have, or are at risk for having, developmental delays.
Local school districts or health departments often provide these early intervention services. The program is called different names in different areas, but it is often referred to as Part C because it is the section of the law that pertains to early intervention. The national Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center provides a list of State Part C coordinators and funded programs on their website.
When moving, you should hand-carry copies of your child's individual family service plan, or IFSP, and the most current evaluation reports to your new home to ensure they are not lost.
The IDEA requires that all states and territories provide special education and related services to eligible children between the ages of 3 through 21. Each local school district has a special education director, and each school should have an individualized education program, or IEP, team or school-based committee that supports students with special education needs.
The IDEA requires that if a child transfers to a different district in the same state, the new school must provide a free, appropriate public education, including comparable services, until the previously held IEP is adopted or a new one is developed and implemented. If a child transfers to another state, the receiving district must provide comparable services until the receiving district completes an evaluation and creates a new IEP, if appropriate.
If you are moving and your child receives special education and related services, you should hand-carry all pertinent school and medical documents, including the IEP and current evaluation reports. Hand-carrying these documents ensures that they are not lost and allows the new school district to begin the process as soon as you move.
The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education, offers the Parent Center Hub – also known as the Center for Parent Information and Resources – which has collections of links to serve families and adults with special needs from birth through age 26. They assist families in getting appropriate education and services for their children, work to improve education services for all children, train and inform parents and professionals, resolve problems between families and schools or other agencies and connect those with disabilities to community resources. Find your local parenting center and more by visiting their website.
You can also try these resources from Military OneSource:
Director of Student ServicesGA/AL DDESS Schools7441 Custer Road, Bldg. 2670Fort Benning, GA 31905-5000
School Age Children
School age children are served by the Fort Rucker Schools special education program and are provided for children age 3 through sixth grade. Students in grades 7-12 are served in served in the adjoining counties. Students must meet the housing eligibility requirements for attending stateside DDESS schools and must meet the Department of Defense criteria for special education services. Special education services are provided within a variety of settings to include resource special education classrooms, speech therapy classrooms, and within the general education classrooms. Parents of preschoolers (ages 3 and 4 years) who are concerned about their child’s development may contact the Fort Rucker Primary School at 334-598-4473. Some special education services may have to be contracted out to a private educational program (Vivian B. Adams) due to the low number of students and the specialized services needed, e.g., severe disabilities. If you have a child that may require specialized services and/or equipment (for example, Braille, sign language interpreter, self-contained class), it is recommended you call the principal at Ft. Rucker Primary (grades PreK-2 at 334-598-4473) or Ft. Rucker Elementary (grades 2-6 at 334-598-4408) to facilitate a smooth transition to the Ft. Rucker Schools.
If you are moving to Ft. Rucker or the adjoining area, be sure to bring a copy of your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), evaluation and eligibility reports to provide to the new school.