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Project Find

Rochester Community Schools
Project Find

What is Project Find?

Project Find is a mandated activities project, funded by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services. Project Find conducts continuous public awareness and referral activities designed to locate, identify and refer, as early as possible, all children, youth and young adults with disabilities who may be eligible for special education services through Michigan’s Administrative Rules for Special Education and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B.

 

These programs serve persons from birth to age 26 (or graduation from high school), who are affected by one or more learning impairments. The early years are important in a child’s development. Handicaps that are mild or severe interfere with the learning process of a child, therefore early intervention is critical.

 

If my child is Birth to Three years old and I’m concerned what should I do?

If a parent has concerns about a child between the ages of birth to three, they can begin by contacting the Early On/Oakland Schools referral line at (248) 209-2084.  Initial information will be gathered regarding the concerns about the child’s development.  Early On/Oakland Schools staff will then determine how to route a child’s referral.  If the child’s referral is sent to the local school district, then the parents will be contacted to schedule an educational evaluation.  These evaluations typically take place in the child’s natural environment and are conducted by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals.  The evaluation looks at all areas of a child’s development including health, hearing and vision.  The evaluation process helps to determine whether or not a child meets the eligibility for early intervention services through the school district.  Early intervention services may be provided in a child’s natural environment (home/community) and/or a classroom setting.  Ancillary services may include direct support or consultative services by a physical and/or occupational therapist, a speech and language provider, a school social worker and/or a school psychologist and a teacher consultant.

 

If my Child is Three to Five years old and I’m concerned what should I do?

If you have concerns about a child between the ages of three to five years old, you can call the number listed below and speak to Michele Kuczera/the Project Find Coordinator. An intake phone interview will be completed and then information and forms will be sent home for parents to complete and return. When appropriate, an appointment and/or observation will be scheduled with the parents and/or the child.  A determination is then made by the Project Find team whether or to screen the child or to complete an in-depth diagnostic assessment.

 

If the Project Find evaluation team finds that the child meets the eligibility criteria for special education, programs and/or services are designed to meet the child’s unique needs. At the end of the evaluation process an Individual Educational Planning Team (IEPT) meeting is held to review goals, objectives and recommendations for programs/or services for your child.  If your child does not meet eligibility criteria the evaluation team can make suggestions and referrals to help locate other community support services.

 

What programs and/or services are available for my Three to Five year old child?

 

  • Referrals to and consultation with community agencies, preschools, and day care centers.
  • Screening and diagnostic assessments in the areas of speech and language, self help, social-emotional, learning, and physical development.
  • Information to parents about child development, consultation, parent meetings, and information resources.
  • Information on eligibility requirements for Special Education services.

 

Preschool programs include Basic Special Education Classrooms for children whose impairments require more intense interventions which might include direct instruction, speech therapy, social skill and fine motor development and/or support for physical needs. Our classrooms are located in local elementary schools within Rochester. The classrooms are small; no more than 12 children per session. They typically meet Monday-Thursday for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Both morning and afternoon sessions are available. Ancillary services are provided in the classroom for children who need that level of support. This may include speech therapy, social work, occupational therapy or physical therapy depending on your child’s specific needs.

 

Ancillary speech services are also available to children who, based on a standardized assessment, demonstrate a speech and language impairment. Speech therapy is conducted in both small groups; 1-3 children, and large groups; 4-8 children.

 

On occasion some children receive ancillary support in their community preschool setting. This support may be consultative or direct service by a program consultant, social worker, occupational therapist or physical therapist.

 

Programs and services are tailored to meet the unique and individual needs of each child who is eligible for special education support.

 

Who may refer a child?

Any concerned parent, preschool teacher, childcare or daycare facility, public health nurse, an agency, or an individual may refer a child to Project Find by contacting their local school district and asking for the Special Education Department or the Project Find Coordinator.

 

 

If I live in Rochester and want to speak to someone directly, who should I call?

If your child is 0-3 years old, please call the Early On/Oakland Schools referral line at (248) 209-2084. 

 

Cornelia Samoila is the Early Intervention Specialist for the Rochester School District.  Early On/Oakland Schools will determine if the referral will be sent to Oakland Family Services (OFS) for a developmental assessment or if Rochester Schools will receive the referral for a full developmental evaluation. If the referral is sent to Rochester, Andrea and the birth to three team will assist you further. Cornelia Samoila can be reached at (248)726-3079 or csamoila@rochster.k12.mi.us.

 

If your child is 3-5 years old, please call Michele Kuczera, M.Ed., our Project Find Coordinator. She will complete an intake interview with you on the phone, answer your questions and walk you through the referral process.

Michele can be reached at: 248-726-3077 or mkuczera@rochester.k12.mi.us 

 

Our Project Find Department is devoted to helping individuals, parents, and people who work with families to connect with the special educational services that may be needed. If we can be of assistance, please call or email today.