We're Here for You
West Virginia Virtual Academy (WVVA) offers robust special education services to support students and meet their needs, empowering them to thrive in school and beyond. With high-quality, personalized learning and the help of teachers and support staff, students with special needs can achieve their academic goals, find their confidence, and pave a path to success.
Special Programs Administrator
Request for Parent/Guardian Interpreter Services or Disability Accommodations
Professional interpreter services may be requested at any time for parents/guardians of students with disabilities by contacting the Special Programs Department at the email above.
Additionally, if any parent/guardian has a disability or other limitation that would impact their ability to participate fully in their child's educational planning process, WVVA would be happy to discuss accommodations that may be available to maximize the parent/guardian's participation.
Individuals seeking to discuss accommodations for this reason may contact the Special Programs Department at the email above.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires all educational agencies provide parents of students with disabilities notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under the IDEA and U.S. Department of Education regulations.
Annual Public Notice of Special Services and Programs
In accordance with federal and state regulations, WVVA will provide an annual public notice to families informing them of WVVA's Child Find responsibilities, procedures involved in the identification of educational disabilities, and determination of students' service and support needs.
Families are encouraged to review the following information that describes these regulations. Information regarding WVVA's internal practices to comply with these will be available in the WVVA Special Programs Manuals and Handbooks.
WVVA strives to identify, locate, and evaluate all enrolled children who may have disabilities. Disability, as stated in IDEA, includes such conditions as hearing, visual, speech, or language impairment; specific learning disability; emotional disturbance; cognitive disability; other health or physical impairment; autism; and traumatic brain injury. The process of identifying, locating, and evaluating these children is referred to as Child Find.
As a public school, we will respond vigorously to federal and state mandates requiring the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education regardless of a child's disability or the severity of the disability. In order to comply with Child Find requirements, WVVA will implement procedures to help ensure that all WVVA students with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, who are in need of special education and related services—are identified, located, and evaluated—including students with disabilities who are homeless or students who are wards of the state.
Parent/Guardian permission and involvement is a vital piece in the process. Once a student has been identified as having a "suspected disability" or identified as having a disability, WVVA will ask the student or the student's parent/guardian for information about the child such as:
- How has the suspected disability or identified disability hindered the student's learning?
- What has been done, educationally, to intervene and correct the student's emerging learning deficits?
- What educational or medical information relative to the suspected disability or identified disability is available to be shared with the school?
This information may also be obtained from the student's present or former teachers, therapists, doctors, or from other agencies that have information about the student.
All information collected will be held in strict confidence and released to others only with parental permission or as allowed by law. In keeping with this confidence, WVVA will keep a record of all persons who review confidential information. In accordance with state regulations, parents have the right to review their child's records.
As part of the Child Find process, some services may include a complete evaluation, an individualized education program designed specifically for the child, and a referral to other agencies providing special services.
WVVA cannot proceed with an evaluation, or with the initial provision of special education and related services, without the written consent of a student's parents/legal guardians. For additional information related to consent, please refer to the Procedural Safeguards Notice [PDF], which can be found at the West Virginia Department of Education (DOE) website, or by accessing the provided link. Once written parental/guardian consent is obtained, WVVA will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation results, the parent can request an independent education evaluation at public expense.
Special Education (IEP) or Service Agreements (504 Plans)
Once the evaluation process is completed, a team of qualified school personnel, parents/guardians, and other relevant service providers hold an evaluation determination meeting to come to agreement on whether the student meets eligibility for one of the disability categories under IDEA. If the student is eligible and requires specially designed instruction, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be coordinated, during which the IEP team will review and finalize the proposed details of an appropriate educational program to meet the student's documented needs.
For students confirmed to present with special education needs, once the IEP team agrees on the IEP and the student's educational placement, a Prior Written Notice (PWN) will be sent to the parent/guardian for signature. This must be signed and returned to WVVA. WVVA can only proceed with implementing the student's IEP (or 504 Service Agreement) upon receipt of the signed PWN. Some students are found to present with one or more disability, but do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined under IDEA (special education); however, their disability may still require WVVA to develop a 504 Service Agreement (504 Plan) to outline the special provisions a student may require for adaptations and/or accommodations in school-based instruction, facilities, and/or activities.
Students may be eligible to receive certain accommodations or services if they have a mental or physical disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program and otherwise qualify under the applicable laws. WVVA will ensure that qualified students with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in the school program and activities to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student. In compliance with applicable state and federal laws, WVVA will provide students with disabilities the necessary educational services and supports they require to access and benefit from their educational program. This is to be done without discrimination or out-of-pocket cost to the student or family for the essential supplementary aids, services or accommodations determined to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student's abilities and to the extent required by the laws.
Parents/Guardians have the right to revoke consent for services after initial placement. Please note, a revoking consent removes the student from ALL special services and supports outlined on the IEP or 504 Plan.
Privacy and Confidentiality
To maintain privacy of students' special education records, both within its central office and across school systems and databases, WVVA follows protocols consistent with the federal regulations associated with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
Learn more about privacy and security guidelines for your child's educational records.
Notice of these rights is available, upon request, on audiotape, in Braille, and in languages other than English. Should you need further assistance or information regarding any of these accommodations, please contact the Special Programs Administrator at the email above.
Professional interpreter services may be requested at any time for parents/guardians of students with disabilities by contacting the special programs administrator at the email above.
Special Education Grievances or Disputes
To learn more about special education complaints, visit the West Virginia DOE website.
WVVA recognizes that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between the school-based team and WVVA families or students. Should this situation occur, the WVVA special education case manager will initiate an IEP team discussion where the specific details contributing to any educational concern are fully discussed and addressed as the entire team determines would consider most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting. WVVA's special education team seeks to establish and maintain their families' confidence by serving their students to maximize their educational success.