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Special Education Services

The Bristol Virginia Public School Division provides a free and appropriate for all identified eligible children with disabilities, ages 2 through 21, residing Bristol, Virginia.

Child Find

Child Find is an effort to locate, evaluate, and identify children who may have disabilities and who may require special education services for educational progress.

Who Are Children with Disabilities?

This group is made up of children ages 2-21 who are unable to benefit from regular classroom instruction, and who, as a result of a formal evaluation process, have been found to have a disability, which negatively impacts educational or developmental progress.  Included in the definition of all disabling conditions is the requirement that the condition have a negative impact on the student's ability to make progress in school.

Who May Make A Referral?

Referral of children thought to have disabilities may be made by parents, guardians, physicians, professionals in private practice, public agencies, and others.  Referrals should be made to the principal of the child's school or to the Director of Special Education at (276) 821-5600.

What Happens After A Child Has Been Referred For Special Education Disability Determination?

After a child has been referred, eligibility for special education services is determined by a multi-disciplinary team.  The process is lengthy and may require as many as 65 days to complete.  Once the student has been declared eligible for services, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed.  The IEP determines the type and amount of special education services needed and established goals and objectives for the child.  Parents are strongly urged to become involved in the eligibility and IEP process.

What Is Special Education?

Special Education means instruction, specially designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, which is offered at no cost to the parent or guardian.  Bristol Virginia Public Schools offer a wide variety of services to students ages 2 through 21, who are determined to have a disabling condition.  Also, evaluation and referral to early educational intervention (help) for children with disabilities is very important and can improve the quality of life a child with disabilities.

Disability Determination Categories
  • Autism
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Hearing Impaired/Deaf
  • Intellectually Disabled
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Developmental Delays
  • Other Health Impairment
  • Visual Impairment
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Please remember, not every child who is experiencing difficulty in school has a disability.  Not every child who has a disability will need Special Education Services.  A child must have a disability which negatively affects his/her educational or developmental progress and he or she must be formally evaluated before eligibility for Special Education Services can be determined.