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Upon the request of a local school district or Part C provider (a preschool provider under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), MSDB will assist in determining the educational needs of preschool and school age children identified or suspected of having the qualifying disabilities of deafness, hearing or visual impairment and determining whether placement at MSDB is the most appropriate way to meet those needs.

Any recommendation for evaluation or placement will be preceded by a review of a student's file by the MSDB intake committee.

Procedure for Referral of Students for Placement Consideration at MSDB

1. Referral of Students for Placement Consideration

  • Great Falls area children, ages 18 months to 3 years old, may be referred by their Part C Provider to MSDB preschool.

  • Students aged 3 and above will be referred by the public school they attend or district in which they reside.

  • All referrals must be received in writing from the IFSP or IEP team.

  • The referral will include the student's IEP/CST, documentation of educationally significant hearing or vision impairment, reports on any significant medical issues, educational assessment results, functional behavior assessment if applicable, high school transcript and schedule if applicable, attendance reports, discipline reports, most recent report card, achievements scores, and immunization record. 

2. File review by the MSDB intake committee

The intake committee, composed of the school psychologist, a school administrator, a program supervisor, appropriate support specialists, classroom teachers, and, when appropriate, a residential counselor, will review the student's file to determine:

  • If the student has a qualifying disability of deafness, hearing or visual impairment.

  • If the impairment is significant enough to preclude the local district from being able to provide an appropriate educational program for the student.

  • If the student's academic, developmental, medical, social/emotional and behavioral needs can be met by the available services and programs at MSDB.

  • If the student is a danger to himself or others and/or presents systemic behavior which is disruptive to the educational process of the other students.

  • If the student presents medical or safety issues which are beyond the scope of care provided by the education or health services staff.

  • If the goals of the student's current IEP could be accommodated by MSDB for the duration of an evaluation period; if not, some modifications may be made and noted if an evaluation is recommended.

3. Observation period (typically 10 school days)

  • If, following the file review, an observation period at MSDB is recommended, an Evaluation Plan will be completed by the MSDB school psychologist and the parent. The components of the evaluation may include a classroom based assessment; developmental/cognitive assessment; academic assessment; audiological, speech/language and communication assessments; and observations by school and cottage staff, as appropriate. Evaluations of visually impaired students include functional vision assessments; media (Braille/reading) and technology assessments; and orientation and mobility assessments. 

  • Parents will be asked to complete the MSDB enrollment packet.

  • The IEP written by the referring district will remain in force
    (with any noted modifications made by the MSDB team)
    and the responsibility for FAPE (Free and Appropriate Public
    education) will remain with the referring district during the
    observation period. 

4. Report back to referring agency

  • Upon completion of the observation period, MSDB reconvenes the IEP team to report the results.

  • Information on eligibility for special services will be discussed.

  • Educational implications and recommendations will be discussed.

  • Recommendations for support services will be discussed.

  • Placement recommendations will be discussed.

5. Enrollment

  • Enrollment at MSDB is contingent on the outcome of the observation and a recommendation of the MSDB evaluation team that the school can provide the most appropriate educational services for the student and that this placement is the least restrictive setting for the implementation of those services.

  • In accordance with an interagency agreement between the Office of Public Instruction and MSDB, a student may not be placed at MSDB by an IEP team without the concurrence of the MSDB representative. 

6. Residential enrollment

  • Students requiring residential placement must not be a danger to self or others, must be able to live cooperatively with other students, accept and take direction from staff, demonstrate self-help skills (self-feeding, chewing and swallowing most foods, assist in dressing, bathing and toileting, and indicate an awareness of being soiled or wet at the preschool level) that are developmentally appropriate for his/her chronological age.
If you have any questions regarding the referral, review, observation, and enrollment procedures, please contact Chris Gutschenritter at 406-771-6006.