SPECIAL EDUCATION RESOURCES & ADVOCACY

SPECIAL EDUCATION

EFMP Family Support Coordinators and School Liaisons work together to provided special education assistance to our EFMP families. Visit the School Liaison site for comprehensive education resources: You can also contact our School Liaison Program Manager, Ms. Venetia Waters (venetia.waters@us.af.mil or call 813-828-0146), regarding other school districts, home schooling, virtual school, and more!  CLICK HERE to visit her page.

EARLY INTERVENTION RESOURCES

Early intervention is important! Research shows that the first three years of life is a crucial time of development in a child’s life. This time offers a window of opportunity. Children whose special needs are identified and addressed early have a greater chance of reaching their fullest potential. IDEA ensures that children identified with any special educational are entitled to a free and appropriate education.

The earlier a child receives services, the more time there is to influence positive outcomes!! FREE screenings are available to assess vision, hearing, speech, language, behavior, overall development and provide educational support for ages 0-5.

DON’T DELAY!
Call 813-837-7723

MILITARY ONESOURCE - SPECIAL EDUCATION

FLORIDA DIAGNOSTIC & LEARNING RESOURCES SYSTEM

USF EARLY STEPS BAY PROGRAM

CHILD FIND RESOURCES

Early Steps is Florida's early intervention system that offers services to eligible infants and toddlers (birth to thirty-six months) with significant delays or a condition likely to result in a developmental delay. 813-974-0602 or 1-866-549-1740

Early Childhood Council (Community Developmental Screenings): 813-837-7723

Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS) partner with ECC to provide free monthly screening for developmental delays or behavioral difficulties to children aged 0-5.  To start your online screening process, schedule an appointment, or learn more about developmental screenings, visit ECC or call 813-837-7723.

EARLY SCREENING CALENDAR DATES 2021-2022 - ENGLISH

EARLY SCREENING CALENDAR DATES 2021-2022 - SPANISH

Interdisciplinary Center for Evaluation and Intervention (ICEI) partner with Florida Department of Education, to provide comprehensive evaluations and interventions at no-cost for school-aged students Pre-K through 12th grade who have complex behavior, developmental, and social/emotional challenges.

Phone: (813) 974-0968

ICEI BROCHURE

ESTABLISHING A NEW IEP OR 504 PLAN

If you believe your child needs an IEP (or 504 Plan), begin by making the request in writing to your child’s school and becoming educated on the process. YOU will always be your child’s primary advocate.

  1. Use this link to see the process start to finish, and Hillsborough County Public School (HCPS) contact information: hillsboroughschools.org/Page/5129.
  2. Start educating yourself:
  1. If you have children (0-5), not in school, and suspect developmental delays consider early evaluations!

TRANSFERRING WITH AN IEP OR 504 PLAN

YOU ARE ALWAYS ELIGIBLE TO ENROLL YOUR CHILD IN THEIR ZONED SCHOOL BASED ON WHERE YOU'LL BE RESIDING. THE RESOURCES BELOW DO NOT NEGATE THAT RIGHT, BUT RATHER OFFER ADDITIONAL RESOURCES FOR RELOCATING FAMILIES.

  1. If you are relocating into the HCPS district, you have the option of calling the HCPS CHOICE Line at (813) 272-4692. You will receive a call within 72 business hours.
    1. Identify as a military family and they will assist you by proving IEP/504 Plan guidance.
    2. They will create a ticket, provide you the ticket number, and gather the information.
    3. HCPS District ESE staff will refer case to appropriate specialist to work with you.
  2. Reach out to the School Liaison Program Manager (SLPM), Ms. Venetia Waters, regarding school districts, home schooling, virtual school, and more! macdillfss.com/school-liaison-officer/.
  3. Check out additional transition resources for families: hillsboroughschools.org/Process_IEP_and_504_brochure.pdf.

ADVOCACY & SPECIAL EDUCATION

When a military ESE student is enrolled in a HCPS school and parents have concerns regarding services, follow the process below. STOP the process below when your case is resolved or move to the next step if issues continue.

Step 1: Families should initially work with the school directly to resolve concerns. The recommended path is classroom teacher, ESE staff at the school, Assistant Principal, and then Principal.

Note: It is recommended for all communication to occur in writing or for verbal communication to be followed up with an email.

Step 2: If unable to resolve at the school level, families can contact either the School Liaison Program Manager or the EFMP Family Support staff and present the situation. Initially, we will provide resources for self-advocacy and other resources, along with a request that you follow in Step 3.

 Note: It may be that your case is one that we can refer directly to District partners if warranted (rather than go through Step 3). Send us a detailed email explaining dates, personnel you interacted with and sequence of events. SLPM and EFMP-FS staff will use discretion on whether step 3 is most appropriate or if case needs to be elevated sooner.

Note: Air Force SLPM and EFMP-FS staff cannot attend meetings. If you’re from a Sister Service, they may be able to attend meetings virtually. If that’s the case, we will provide you a warm handover.

Step 3: In this step, call the Hillsborough County Public School (HCPS) CHOICE Line at (813) 272-4692. You will receive a call within 72 business hours.

  1. Identify as a military family and explain you need ESE related assistance.
  2. They will create a ticket, provide you the ticket number, and gather the information.
  3. HCPS District ESE staff will refer case to appropriate specialist to work with you.
  4. Normally, the case is resolved at this stage.

Note: Please reach out to SLPM or EFMP-FS if you are not contacted by the ESE Team or if the process is stalled for an unreasonable (to you) amount of time. We will follow up with our partners to ensure outreach and assistance.

Step 4: Advise SLPM and/or EFMP-FS staff on the status of you case (whether resolved or not). If you’ve attempted Steps 1-3 and the case is not resolved, advise SLPM and/or EFMP-FS Staff. It may be that we need to provide a warm handover to the base’s EFMP Legal Team or your Service’s legal resources (if a Sister Service family).

 Note: Air Force EFMP Legal Team cannot attend IEP meetings. They can assist by reviewing IEPs, discussing your parent rights and steps you can take, assisting in drafting legal letters, etc. This can differ for Sister Services EFMP Legal.

SISTER SERVICES ESE & LEGAL SUPPORT RESOURCES

Call (813) 828-8797 (DSN 968)

Email: 6ARW.ja.generallaw@us.af.mil

Families in other school districts, please initiate the process through the School Liaison Program Manager.