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Special Education

About Us

Northwest Allen County Schools is committed to developing the talent and nurturing the creativity of each learner. As a result, our students receiving special education services and supports are provided with meaningful and engaging opportunities that foster each student as they grow and develop.

Through collaboration, we develop and provide our students with quality instruction using a variety of research-based methodologies. All of our students are held to high expectations, while valuing inclusion and the participation of all members of the child's team.


Continuum of Services

NACS offers a full continuum of special education services for our students from age 3 to 21. Special education includes specially designed instruction to meet a student’s unique educational needs, and related services to support a student’s access to their educational program. The services range from support for students placed in general education classroom settings, to self-contained & highly specialized programs for students whose educational needs require more intensive services and supports.



Please direct new student records & requests to Lindsay Meyer, Student Data Specialist.


Is your child new to NACS? Does your child have an IEP?
Please notify the building Principal where your child will attend.
Please also notify the Special Education Department at the NACS Central Office by calling 260-637-7168.

  • Diana Kochert

    Executive Director of Special Education

    Phone: 260-637-7168

    Olivia Shaffer

    Assistant Director of Special Education

    Phone: 260-637-7168

    Christine Parker

    Early Childhood Program Supervisor

    Phone: 260-637-7168

    Lindsay Meyer

    Student Data Specialist - Special Education

    Phone: 260-637-7168

    Fax: 260-637-8355

  • Special Education Family and Community Resources

    IDOE Annual Special Education Survey: The Indiana Department of Education asks families and parents to complete an annual survey after their child's Annual Case Review (ACR) to monitor how effectively schools support parent involvement in the special education process. Please find survey links and a letter describing the survey below.

    Please send completed paper surveys to:
    Office of Special Education - Parent Survey
    Indiana Government Center North, 9th floor
    100 N. Senate Ave.
    Indianapolis, IN 46204

    If you need assistance completing the survey, please contact the Indiana Office of Special Education at 317-232-0570. Select option 2 and follow the prompts to "general questions about special education" or "federal indicator monitoring".

    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

    The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation, and ensures special education and related services to those children that qualify through a school-based evaluation. The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.

    Indiana Code

    General information about special education laws may be found at IC 20-35. More detailed information can be found in Article 7 of title 511 of the Indiana Administrative Code (see information below).

    Article 7

    511 IAC 7-32 through 49, commonly referred to "Article 7," contains Indiana's special education rules. Article 7 is Indiana's execution of the federal IDEA. Article 7 includes the most recent updates as of May 2019.

    IDOE Parent Notice of Procedural Safeguards (English)

    Notice is available in additional languages here: IDOE Laws and Resources

    Navigating the Course: Finding Your Way through Indiana’s Special Education Rules (2019)

    One page Summary of Procedural Safeguards

  • NACS offers early childhood special education services for our students between the ages of 3-5 with disabilities.


    Walk-in Speech and Language Services

    A child, between the ages of 3-5 and living within the NACS district, may be referred for a speech and language evaluation by their parent or by First Steps. If deemed appropriate, an evaluation will be conducted to determine if speech and language therapy is needed for the child to access his or her education.

    This service provides articulation and/or language therapy, to qualifying children, on a scheduled basis by a NACS Speech Language Pathologist. This service is for children demonstrating articulation substitutions and errors that are impacting their ability to be understood or communicate effectively with those around them, and/or for children who are unable to understand or use language to successfully express their wants and needs.

    A parent may contact the NACS special education office at 260-637-7168 to inquire about this service.


    Developmental Preschool Classrooms

    A child, between the ages 3-5 and living within the NACS district, may be referred for an evaluation by their parent or by First Steps for possible placement in one of our developmental preschool classrooms. If deemed appropriate, an evaluation will be conducted to determine if the child demonstrates a moderate delay in two of the five areas assessed or a significant delay in one of the areas assessed. The five areas evaluated include speech and language, fine and gross motor, cognitive, social/emotional areas, and adaptive functions. If a child demonstrates qualifying delays and areas of concern that cannot be met in a community preschool, he or she could be recommended to attend the NACS developmental preschool. Children attending our developmental preschool must be eligible for special education services through an evaluation and subsequent IEP.

    The developmental preschool addresses areas of need in a highly structured environment, led by a licensed special education preschool teacher and paraprofessional(s.) The students are provided with a fun and nurturing preschool experience that addresses communication, self-help skills, social interaction skills with peers and adults, behaviors associated with school routines, as well as exposure to early pre-academic skills. If a student is found eligible and he or she demonstrates a need that may not be met within the classroom setting, speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy may also be provided while the student attends the developmental preschool.

    A parent may contact the NACS special education office at 260-637-7168 to inquire about this program.



    How is this preschool different from community preschool?

    This program is a developmental preschool that supports students who are eligible for special education services and supports. These children have needs that require specially designed instruction and related services in order to access their education successfully. A child must qualify through an evaluation process to receive these services.

    Is there a cost to attend the developmental preschool?

    Currently, there is no fee for attending the developmental preschool. Teachers may request some school supplies and community snacks to be provided when attending the program.

    Is transportation provided?

    Transportation is provided to and from the preschool program on a bus, from within the district lines. Only preschool students ride this bus, and special safety harnesses approved for bus transportation are used to support the safety of our young students during transit.

    What days/times is the developmental preschool in session?

    The developmental preschool offers a 3-hour AM or 3-hour PM session Monday through Thursday at Cedar Canyon Elementary and Hickory Center Elementary. The number of days, and the AM or PM session, is determined by the case conference committee based on the age and needs of the student.

    Can peer buddies attend the preschool program?

    Yes, we are always looking for appropriate peer buddies to join our preschool classrooms. Peer buddies should be at least 4 years old and have no developmental, speech/language, or social-behavioral concerns. Peer buddy placement is not guaranteed. Currently, transportation is not provided for peer buddies and is the responsibility of the parent.

  • Requesting an Educational Evaluation
    At any time, you have the right to request an educational evaluation to determine if your child is in need of special education services. Please contact your child’s teacher, principal or guidance counselor if you’d like to request such an evaluation. If you request an educational evaluation, the school will consider the appropriateness of your request in light of your child’s educational needs and academic progress. The school has ten school days to notify you in writing regarding their decision as to whether or not to conduct the evaluation. If you have any questions in regard to this process, please contact your child’s principal for more information.