Special Education

 The Special Education Department of Richmond Community Schools is committed to providing support services to all students and teachers, and to providing each student with disabilities a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

It is believed that these services can most effectively be provided through a school-based model which focuses on the use of building level resources. Such an approach places as much responsibility and accountability with school personnel as possible.

It is expected that this model will provide the following advantages:

  • foster feelings of responsibility for meeting the needs of each student among school personnel;
  • encourage principals, teachers and ancillary personnel not only to identify children who may have physical, intellectual or behavioral problems but to seek alternative strategies for meeting the educational needs of such students;
  • encourage the trial of general education alternatives within the school before an evaluation is requested;
  • develop a collaborative spirit among school personnel in seeking solutions for students who are encountering difficulties;
  • ensure that school personnel will receive information needed to be well informed about students with disabilities, special education programs, related services, district policies and procedures and other educational alternatives; and
  • foster parent participation in planning the student's program.


The role of the Special Education Office staff, in the school-based model, shall be to:

  • monitor to ensure that the policies and procedures established by the Special Education Department, in accordance with all federal, state and local mandates, are implemented;
  • design, implement and evaluate appropriate programs for students with disabilities and
  • provide technical assistance and staff development opportunities.


The role of the school staff shall be to:

  • deliver instruction and support services consistent with the policies and procedures established by the Special Education Department;
  • monitor the quality of on-going programs within the school;
  • seek technical assistance for program improvement; and
  • provide input to program design and policy development.


Services for students with disabilities will vary from school to school dependent upon the organizational structure and unique qualities of the school. In all cases, final determination of educational services for a student with disabilities will be dependent upon the identified needs of the student as determined by the case conference committee.

Services for students with disabilities shall ensure the following:

  • education of students in their home school unless the IEP requires some other arrangement,
  • education with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate,
  • removal of students from general education setting only when it is documented that education in general education classes using supplementary aids and services cannot be satisfactorily achieved,
  • access to the general curriculum, and
  • services based upon the student's IEP regardless of identified disability

In selecting the least restrictive environment, consideration is given to any potentially harmful effects of the suggested service on the student and the rights of the student to be educated with chronological peers.

School and Special Education Office staff should work collaboratively and be concerned with the consistency and quality of special education programs and related services within the school and across the district.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact:

Chief of Exceptional Student Education

Elizabeth Markward

300 Hub Etchison Parkway

Richmond, Indiana 47374

Office: 765-973-3398

Fax: 765-973-3471

[email protected]