Private Schools

Private and Homeschool Referrals and Proportionate Share

Child find applies to parentally placed private school and homeschool children with disabilities in private schools in the Rome City School District or home schools located within the Rome City School District. Representatives from the private school are invited to the IEP/ISP meeting. Parentally placed private school and homeschool children with disabilities are not entitled to the same services afforded to students enrolled in the Rome City School District, but the district will provide services based on a proportionate share of federal funds.

Child Find and Service Plan Services for Students that live in the Rome City School District, but attend a Private School Outside of the Rome City School District:

  • If a child lives in the city limits of Rome but attends a private school in another school district and needs an evaluation for special education and eligibility consideration, the district where the private school is located is responsible for child find, evaluation, eligibility and providing ISP plan services. Please contact the special education department of the district where the private school is located. 

Child Find Procedures for Students attending a Private or Homeschool in the Rome City School District:

  • If a child is suspected of having a disability that is parentally placed in a private school or homeschool located in the Rome City School District and needs an evaluation for special education and eligibility consideration, please contact Leslie Wilkinson, Community Diagnostician, at 770-546-8556 or for a referral packet.  Once a request for an evaluation is received, the referral packet is provided to the parent.

  • Once the completed referral packet is returned, the school district contacts the parent to discuss the evaluation process.  Permission to screen is obtained and the results are discussed with the parent.

  • If the screening results indicate delays, parental consent to evaluate is completed.  The parent is provided with evaluation instruments description and parent rights. An eligibility meeting will be held within 60 days from the receipt of the permission to evaluate (for initial referrals only). 

    • If the student is eligible for special education services, the IEP team will develop an IEP (if the student is a resident of Rome City) and offer these services. 

    • If the parent chooses to enroll the child and consents to placement, the IEP team will implement the IEP services once the student is enrolled.

    • If the parent chooses to continue the student’s placement in a private school, the IEP will be finalized but not implemented until the parent enrolls the student in Rome City Schools.

    • A individual service plan (ISP) will be offered in accordance with Rome City's proportionate share services. Refer below to decisions regarding proportionate share services. 

Procedures for students who attend private school in Rome City but are not Rome City residents: 

  • If the child does not live in Rome City but attends a private school in Rome City, the private and homeschool procedures above will be followed for the evaluation and eligibility.

  • If it is determined that a special education evaluation will be completed, Rome City will evaluate the child and the eligibility team will determine eligibility as indicated above.

  • It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the eligibility status to the district of residence after the eligibility meeting. The district of residence is responsible for offering IEP services, not Rome City Schools.

  • If the student attending a private school in Rome City is found eligible an IEP is developed by the district of residence.  If the parent refuses FAPE, then a Service Plan can be developed by Rome City.  Services will be dependent upon the proportionate share plan services and funds that have not been exhausted.  

 Determining Proportionate Share Procedures:

  • The district holds a meeting annually in the spring with private and homeschool representatives to explain the Child Find process and to discuss how services will be delivered for the upcoming school year.

  • A letter is sent to private and homeschool representatives each year to inform them of this meeting and to submit names of any students with disabilities for proportionate share numbers.

  • A notice is published on local media of the upcoming meeting and on our website.

  • At the meeting, proportionate share services are discussed.  Based on input from the proportionate share meeting, services are determined for the upcoming school year. 

  • Rome City also consults with private school representatives for child count purposes.

A district is not required to spend above the Proportionate Share amount on private school services. Once the Proportionate Share funds are spent, services may be discontinued for the remainder of the year if determined as necessary by the district.

There may be a waiting list for services through a Service Plan, so prior to offering a Service Plan, the eligibility team will contact the Special Education Office to determine if there is space available for services based on the school system’s proportionate share. If space is available, then a Service Plan will be written to provide allowable services. Special Education transportation will NOT be provided. The IEP will be reviewed and written annually. If the student does not enroll, a new Service Plan will be written after the annual review is developed as long as the student remains eligible.

Students referred to or placed in private schools by Rome City Schools in order for the student to receive special education and related services in conformance with an IEP will receive the services at no cost to the parents.  The education in the private school must meet the standard of education provided by the GaDOE and Rome City Schools.  The private school will receive a copy of the State standards required and opportunities to participate in the development of the standards that apply to them.  The student will retain all of the rights afforded to Rome City School students.  Rome City will monitor compliance of the children via written reports, on site visits and/or parent surveys.

Placement of children by parents when FAPE is at issue.

If Rome City made a free appropriate public education (FAPE) available to the child and the child's parents elect to place the child in a private school or facility, Rome City is not required to pay for the cost of the education, including special education and related services, for the child at the private school or facility. However, these students must be included in the child find and proportionate share activities.  When disagreements about FAPE, such as disagreements regarding the availability of a program appropriate for the child and the question of financial responsibility are subject to the procedural safeguards provided in 106-4-7-.09.  Rome City adheres to the rules found in 160-4-7-.13 concerning private schools.