Provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley (GCMS) CUSD #5 and Paxton-Buckley-Loda (PBL) CUSD #10 both provide and maintain appropriate and effective educational programs in order to afford every eligible child with a disability who is between the ages of 3 and 21 (inclusive), is enrolled in either GCMS or PBL, and requires special education and related services to address the adverse effect of the disability on his/her education, a free appropriate public education (FAPE).  As part of this effort, both GCMS and PBL shall make available to all eligible children who are residents of either district a comprehensive program of special education.  Please see the following link for the entire special education Procedures.

Special Education Procedures (Revised 2009)

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How Parents / Guardians Can Seek Help for Their Child

If parents/guardians believe their child needs special education services, they should first contact their child’s teacher. He or she may refer the child to the building level problem solving team. The team will suggest strategies for the teacher. In the event that the suggested and tried strategies are not enough for the student’s needs, the team may refer the student for a special education evaluation.
Typically, a referral for a special education evaluation is made after the data collected by the problem-solving team has determined, with input from the parents/guardians, that research-based strategies and interventions attempted over a period of time have not been successful.
On some occasions the parent or someone other than school district personnel initiates a written request for special education evaluation. This request may or may not be initiated with input from the building staff.
If a student does not qualify for an IEP under one of the 13 disability categories under IDEA, the student may still qualify for services under Section 504 if the student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity, has a record of a physical or mental impairment, or is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment.
Please contact the FCSEC office at 217-784-5470 with any questions.
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New Law HB 3586

On Friday, August 23rd, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 3586 which amends Article 14 of the Illinois School Code and provides additional requirements for public school districts across the state.  The three main changes to the law are:

  1. Three days prior to any IEP or eligibility determination meeting, the district will provide you, the parent/guardian with copies of all written material that will be discussed at the meeting, other than the components related to the educational and related service minutes proposed for the child and the child’s educational placement.  
  2. You may request to view the service logs of your child’s related service providers at your child’s IEP meeting.  
  3. School districts must utilize RtI as part of the evaluation process to determine eligibility for a special learning disability.  You, as parent/guardian, should be invited to problem solving meetings during the process.

Please contact the FCSEC office with any questions.

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School Psychologist Opening

FCSEC will have an opening for a full time School Psychologist for the 2019-20 school year.  The position will serve the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley CUSD 5 school district.  Please contact FCSEC Director Jesse McFarling at (217)-784-5470 or for information on how to apply.

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2018 Polar Plunge

On Saturday, February 24, 20018, employees from the Ford County Special Education Cooperative participated in the Polar Plunge at Lake of the Woods in Mahomet, Illinois.  The Polar Plunge is a fundraising event to support Special Olympics.  Each year, the Polar Plunge challenges thousands of warm-hearted individuals at numerous locations across the state.  It’s a great way for everyone – individuals, organizations and businesses – to support Special Olympics Illinois.  All funds raised go to provide programming and events for more than 22,000 traditional athletes and 20,000 young athletes participating in Illinois.  This year’s plunge in Mahomet was attended by over 260 participants and helped to raise over $29,000.00.  Thanks for those who donated and came out to support the FCSEC team!

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November Executive Committee Meeting

The November FCSEC Executive Committee Meeting will be held on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the GCMS Board Room located at 307 N. Sangamon Ave. in Gibson City, Illinois.  The agenda is attached 11.9.17 Agenda.docx

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August Executive Committee Meeting

The August Executive Committee meeting for the Ford County Special Education Cooperative will be held on August 10, 2017 at the Paxton-Buckley-Loda CUSD #10 Unit office at 5:30 p.m.  The proposed agenda is attached.  8.10.17 Agenda.docx

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Needs Assessments

Because the Ford County Special Education Cooperative receives federal grant money, it is required to conduct an Annual Needs Assessment.  The following documents are the results of the Parent and Staff Needs Assessment for 2017.  2017StaffNeedsAssessmentSummary    ParentNeedsAssessmentSummary

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