Child Find Duty

What's Required

Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) 2004 that requires States and Local Education Agencies (school districts and charter schools) to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities residing in the State, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services (34 CFR§ 300.111). Child Find is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screening and evaluation designed to locate, identify, and evaluate children with disabilities who are in need of Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Programs (Part C) or Special Education and Related Services (Part B). In addition to children enrolled in the public schools, the child find duty extends to children who are homeless or wards of the State or are who are attending private schools. 34 CFR 300.111.(a)(1)(i) and 20 USC 1412(a)(3)(A)


For private schools, each district must locate, identify, and evaluate all children with disabilities who are currently enrolled by their parents in private, including religious, elementary schools and secondary schools located in the district 20 USC 1412(a)(3) (A). conduct timely and meaningfully consult with representatives of private schools; and maintain and provide to TEA the number of children evaluated, determined and served under this framework. 34 CFR 300.131(c), and 20 USC 1412(a)(10)(A)(i)(V)

What We Do


  • All children ages 0-21 are included in Spring ISD’s Child Find Procedures. 

  • All district staff and administrators receive annual training during the beginning of each school year which addresses Child Find and procedures for referral of students for special education evaluation. Parents are informed of Spring ISD Child Find procedures through public advertisement as well as being included on the Spring ISD Special Education Procedures Manual webpage. 

Flyers are dispersed yearly in the community at daycares, private schools, and all Spring ISD campuses in accordance with TEA. Public awareness activities and community outreach is conducted on a regular basis as well in efforts to locate children who are homeschooled, homeless, wards of the State, or incarcerated. Private schools within Spring ISD boundaries are identified and it is determined whether or not there are any parentally placed children with disabilities enrolled in those schools. 


Ages 3-5


Requests for evaluations for unenrolled children age 3-5 years start with the assigned General Education Designee at the child’s home campus based on Spring ISD attendance zones.

Requests for evaluations for unenrolled children ages 3-5 may occur with parental contact to our Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) department. 


Upon receipt of a request for a written referral for an evaluation, the district has 15 school days to schedule a referral meeting to offer consent for testing or Notice of Refusal. If a request is made verbally, we will comply with all federal prior written notice and procedural safeguard requirements and the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal request does not require Spring ISD to respond within the 15-school-day timeline. 


For children ages 3-5 (age 5 after September 1st) an appointment will be scheduled to conduct an intake screening for the student. The parents will be provided an ECSC Parent Interview form to complete during the intake screening for the student.   At the conclusion of the screening the team will communicate the findings from the screening to the parent and to determine if a request for parental consent is needed to conduct an evaluation. If a special education referral is recommended we will provide procedural safeguards in the parents mode of communication, prior written notice, a notice of proposal to evaluate and special education consents will be provided, in addition to a request for parental consent to obtain vision and hearing will also occur with a qualified district personnel. 


  • An appointment will be scheduled with the parent to conduct an evaluation in the area(s) of the suspected eligibility.  The assessments will be conducted by assessment staff with specialization and/or expertise in the areas of the suspected eligibility within an arena and play-based setting.

  • Upon the completion of the evaluation, the multidisciplinary team (Educational Diagnostician, Speech Language Pathologist, and/or Licensed Specialist in School Psychology) will interpret the findings and provide the parent with a copy of an integrated Full and Individualized Initial Evaluation (FIIE) addressing the disability findings and possible needs for special education supports/services.  

  • An informal meeting will be scheduled (e.g. phone call, remote and/or in-person) to review the results/findings with the parents prior to an initial ARD meeting.  

  • A formal special education Initial ARD meeting will be scheduled by the campus not later than 30 days from FIIE report date to review the FIIE and determine the child’s need for IEP supports/services (Goals; placement).

  • When an IEP or evaluation is not recommended, the parent is provided supportive recommendations, prior written notice and a Notice of Refusal to Evaluate.


Ages 5 and Up:

If a parent/guardian, school personnel member, or another person involved in the education or care of the child makes a request for a special education evaluation for the child, the campus General Education Designee (likely the campus student support specialist or administrator) will begin the referral process by collecting information from the parent/guardian, teachers and school nurse.  Within 15 school days from the receipt of the written request, a review of the educational documentation of the child will be held in order to determine whether Spring ISD will move forward with requesting consent and providing the procedural safeguards in the parents mode of communication, prior written notice to evaluate or issue a prior written notice and Notice of Refusal. 

*If a request is made verbally, we will comply with all federal prior written notice and procedural safeguard requirements and the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal request does not require Spring ISD to respond within the 15-school-day timeline. 


Circumstances that may indicate the need for an FIIE to be completed may include, but is not limited to:

  • Lack of expected gains during intervention progress monitoring

  • Gaps between expected and actual growth

  • Parental concerns regarding the child’s struggles

  • Outside evaluations/diagnosis provided by the parent


Spring ISD uses a variety of methods to monitor students for whether there is reason to suspect they may have a disability and be eligible for special education services. Referral systems are in place to conduct decision-point meetings to locate and target at-risk students who may be suspected of having a disability which requires special education services. If a child is recommended for a FIIE, parental consent is required.  In the event that a child’s primary language is other than English, an interpreter will be used in order to provide informed consent to the parent about the request to complete a Full & Individual Evaluation as well as when testing the child.  All evaluations used have been reviewed to ensure cultural and linguistic appropriateness.


Spring ISD monitors and implements strategies to address disproportionality in the identification, placement, or discipline for diverse student populations.  Procedural safeguards for disproportionality include determining student’s dominant language, training for campus Sped referral committees for General Education support of students with cultural/linguistic diversity, training for ARD Committee members to discern the least restrictive environment and instructional settings, and targeted training for staff and administrators on use of disciplinary alternatives to removal (e.g., use of restorative practices; consultation with district’s behavior specialist, equity team members).  District monitors and reviews student intervention and progress data quarterly to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions provided either before or during the Special education referral process to detect and address indications of significant disproportionality.


Children who Attend Private or Homeschool:

For student’s ages 5 and up that are in the private/homeschool setting, the parents are directed to contact the Coordinator of Educational Diagnosticians and Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) in order to initiate the process for requesting an evaluation. Upon receiving the request for a Full & Individual Initial Evaluation (FIIE), a referral committee meeting will be held by the Student Support Specialist (SSS) and/or a qualified designee in order to determine if a consent for evaluation or notice of refusal will be presented.  The same timelines for children who are enrolled in Spring ISD apply to those who are attending a private or homeschool within the Spring ISD jurisdiction.


The following district personnel can assist regarding referral requests for student evaluation for special education services:

  • Campus Level:  School Principal, Assistant Principal, Student Support Specialist, Counselor or Teacher

  • District Level: Special Education Coordinator of Diagnosticians and Licensed Specialist in School Psychology,  Coordinator of Speech & Language Pathology or Director of Special Education

                                                                 External Resources                                                                         

Spring ISD Child Find Flyer (English)

Spring ISD Child Find Flyer (Spanish)

Procedural Safeguard (English)

Procedural Safeguards ( Spanish

Guide to the ARD process (English)

Guide to the ARD process ( Spanish

TEA Technical Assistance Guide: Child Find and Evaluation

Partner’s Resource Network

Texas Project First

                                                                 Internal Resources                                                                          

Child find and Initial Referral Process

Collaborative Support Services & Special Education Identification