School districts have a responsibility to identify, locate, and evaluate children from birth to 21 who have a disability and are in need of special education. Special education services are available to all public, non-public, home-school and pre-kindergarten children who meet the State of Minnesota’s criteria.

Child Find is the system for early identification of pre-kindergarten children with disabilities and is guided by the Interagency Council of Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative and the Special Education Director of NLSEC. The central intake persons for Child Find are located at the Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative. (218-655-5018; ask for “Child Find Coordinator”) With parent permission, anyone can refer a child to Child Find for a screening. Child Find is available, at no cost, to any pre-kindergartener, however, eligibility for intervention services is defined by state law.

Upon reaching school age, if your child is having academic, behavior, motor, speech or other health issues, you may refer your child special education services by contacting her/his classroom teacher, the closest public school or the Northern Lights Special Education Director at 218-655-5018. A team will meet with you to discuss planned and documented interventions if appropriate. If these interventions are not successful, a special education evaluation will be conducted to determine eligibility for services.