Student Advocacy & Support Services
The role of the Student Advocacy and Support Services (SASS) Department is to support Lawrence School students and families during public school processes related to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (state and federal special education law).
Our SASS Department assists families with the Ohio Department of Education’s non-public special needs scholarship programs (Jon Peterson and Autism Scholarship) and is Lawrence’s liaisons with public school systems.
- We partner with Lawrence families in maintaining Individualized Education Plans (IEPs), Multi-Factored Evaluations (MFEs), Evaluation Team Reports (ETRs) and IEP progress reports, and coordinate the state of Ohio’s mandated testing requirements for the school.
- We prepare documents to share with public school districts so that the needs of students in Lawrence’s unique learning environment can be communicated.
- We attend meetings with parents, advocate for student needs and translate the public school processes and system so that our families can benefit from non-public opportunities.
The MFE is the public school process of identifying students who have educational disabilities, according to the state and federal special education definitions. MFEs are conducted every three years. The SASS Department helps families navigate through both the initial and re-evaluation process with our school districts of service: Brecksville Broadview Heights City School District or Nordonia Hills City Schools. Our staff guides families through the referral, consent, data collection/assessment, and team meeting process that could result in the Evaluation Team Report (ETR). An ETR documents a child’s eligibility for public school special education and identifies the student’s educational strengths and weaknesses as well as the need for specially designed instruction.
The IEP is the one-year plan for educational services for students identified under the public school MFE process as having an educational disability. IEPs list the student’s strengths and weaknesses, set yearly educational goals and objectives, and describe a student’s unique learning environment. Our staff works with families and their resident school district to develop a plan that is meaningful and represents the child’s needs. We prepare information and suggest goals to share with resident districts. Furthermore, we attend IEP meetings with families so that a child’s unique situation is fully represented. For students on one of the state scholarship programs, we prepare a quarterly report on student progress towards meeting the goals and objectives proposed on the IEP.