Special Education Resources
The Special School District of St. Louis County in partnership with the WGSD assures that a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) is provided to all eligible children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 within their jurisdiction. Disabilities include autism, deaf/blindness, emotional disorders, hearing impairment and deafness, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairments, specific learning disabilities, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment/blindness and young child with a developmental delay. Special education services can be implemented in a variety of placements. Parents or school district staff can request the student be tested if a disability is suspected. Though requests can be made verbally, it is recommended that requests be in writing and sent to the school guidance counselor, principal and SSD special education coordinator. Special School District student intake can be reached by calling SSD Central Office at 314-989-8100.
Concerns and relevant information and data are reviewed by the Building Level Team/Care team which consists of school counselor, principal, teacher etc. to determine if the student should be referred for evaluation. It must be determined if a disability is suspected within 30 days of receiving the request for referral.
Parents can request an independent educational evaluation at public expense if they disagree with the testing conducted by the district. The parent selects who will do the evaluation; however the evaluator must meet certain guidelines. The district will provide a copy of the IEE guidelines, which includes qualifications, cost, and location limitations. The district has the right to request a State hearing to show that the district evaluation is appropriate. If a parent chooses to have their child evaluated at their expense, the district must consider the results of the testing.
WGSD Parent Advisory Council
The Webster Groves School District Parent Advisory Council (PAC) was formed by families who expect that children with disabilities and/or unique learning needs are educated effectively, afforded the dignity of belonging, and valued throughout all Webster Groves School District learning opportunities and experiences. WGSD PAC representatives communicate regularly and directly with Special School District (SSD) and Webster Groves School District administrators about the needs and interests of students who have IEPs and 504 plans.
The WGSD PAC receives regular updates regarding Special School District Board of Education issues, upcoming events and other information. If parents or community members would like to discuss special education services or the evaluation process with other parents, participation in the Council can be a great resource for information. The Parent Advisory Council has a website that can be accessed for additional information and contact persons.
Dr. Shantay Wakefield is the Director of Special Education for the Webster Groves School District. She can be reached at 314-989-8487 and firstname.lastname@example.org.