District seeks special needs kids

Published 7:00 am Friday, October 23, 2015

The Poplarville School District is participating in an ongoing statewide effort to maintain compliance with the Mississippi Department of Education to assist children with special needs.

Shannon Anderson, director of special services, said the school district is identifying, locating and evaluating children, whether they’re enrolled in school or not, to determine whether they’re eligible to receive aid through the district’s special needs programs.

The district services children from birth to 21 who may be physically, mentally or emotionally disabled, Anderson said.

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“It may be something as simple as a speech problem to something like a developmental disability,” Anderson said.

The school district submits the Individuals with Disabilities Education application to the Mississippi Department of Education every year in order to receive federal funds to support their special needs programs. MDE recently approved the district’s 2016 IDEA application, allocating $407,066 for special needs services, Anderson said.

The funds are instrumental in supporting the district’s education of special needs children and teacher pay. The money goes to numerous special education services, including educational equipment for disabled students and special education training and salaries for teachers and administrators, the Item reported in June.

IDEA is a federal law designed to protect the rights of students with disabilities. The act not only provides these students with equal rights but also offers additional educational resources, according to the National Resource Center on ADIHD’s website.

The special education services are offered in accordance with the Individualized Education Program, which is tailored to each special needs child attending public school, according to the website.

Anderson said it’s essential people contact her office if they have a child or know of one who may be eligible to receive the special needs services in order to make sure “no child is left behind.”

Enrollment will remain open.

For more information, contact Anderson at 601-795-6153. The school district’s central office is located at 302 S. Julia St.