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Special Education

Forest Hills knows students with disabilities can achieve at high levels when provided with instructional supports and accommodations, and when educated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent possible. Students in Ohio can be identified with one of 13 different disability conditions. A significant amount of diversity, however, exists both within and between each of these disability categories.  Forest Hills teachers work to plan instruction to meet the needs of a wide range of learners. For example, a teacher may customize the display of information for a student with a visual impairment or allow a student to demonstrate knowledge through the use of art or writing. Forest Hills works collaboratively with parents and students as part of the district's commitment to providing a free and appropriate public education to every child.

FHSD's Parent Resource Coordinator, Alycia Champion provides information on special education processes, laws, and resources to families and the district so both can work collaboratively to help each child be successful.  She can attend ETR and IEP meetings as extra parent support. She facilitates Village Connections, a district-wide special education information and support community that meets monthly.  She is the parent of a child with autism giving her a shared perspective that helps address questions and concerns with compassion while providing valuable informational assistance to families.

Ohio Operating Standards for Students for the Education of Children with Disabilities, a guide to state rules and regulations for students with disabilities in Ohio


When a student disability is suspected, either a parent, school district or other agency can request an evaluation, also known as making a referral. Within 30 days of receiving the referral/request, Forest Hills will contact the parent and educational team to schedule a meeting to review the student’s academic or behavioral performance. Upon conclusion of that meeting, Forest Hills School District will provide the parent with Prior Written Notice stating if the school will be initiating an evaluation or, if not, the reasoning for that decision.

The district must obtain written consent from the student’s parents before beginning an evaluation. An evaluation team comprised of parents, teachers and a district representative will then determine what testing may be helpful in determining if the student has a disability. The team may also include a school psychologist and appropriate service providers and evaluations may also include academic record review, parent interviews, psychological testing and data collected from interventions. Ohio law allows up to 60 days to complete the evaluation.

If it is determined that the student has a disability and requires specially designed instruction, the school has 30 days to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

By law, children are reevaluated at least every three years to determine eligibility.


Forest Hills participates in efforts to identify, locate and evaluate children ages birth through 21 with special needs. Special needs include autism, intellectual disability, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, and traumatic brain injury. Resident parents who have children with special needs are encouraged to call the Forest Hills Student Services Department at (513) 231-3600, ext. 2949 for more information.


Individual students with disabilities who are placed by their parents in a nonpublic school may receive services from Forest Hills School District.  More information


Successful transition begins when family, school and the community think about the future, plan ahead and work together. The transition from school to the adult world is gradual and begins at age 14 or earlier. Young people and families are faced with many choices and decisions about the future. The future planning meeting, which is just one component of transition planning, focuses on four major components, as needed - employment, post-secondary education and training, independent living, and recreation and leisure - to help answer the questions of how a child will learn, earn and live in the community after high school. Addressing these questions guides “backward planning” as schools and parents work together to prepare the student to meet his or her post high school goals.

Learn more:

Employment First - ensuring every individual of working age has an opportunity to seek employment

College Resources for Students with Disabilities Guidebook - a resource for exploring options for students with disabilities

National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative (NTACT:C) - information regarding effective transition education and services that improve post-school outcomes


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against qualified students with a disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. For questions regarding qualification under Section 504, contact the school principal of the child's school of attendance.

Learn more:

A Guide to Parent Rights in Special Education

Office of Civil Rights 504 FAQ


Jon Peterson Special Needs - a scholarship for students who are eligible to attend kindergarten through grade 12 and have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) from their district of residence

Autism Scholarship Program - provides parents of qualifying children with autism the choice to send the child to a special education program 


Special education funds and preschool funds are available for children identified as having special education needs. Individuals who would like to review the funding applications should contact the Student Services Department at 513-231-3600, ext. 2949.

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