Special Education Programs and Services

Providing Educational Services for a Better Tomorrow


  • VBISD Special Education Guiding Principle:

    Partnering to improve lifelong outcomes for every student with Respect, Integrity, Compassion and Excellence.


    • That all students have access to a comprehensive continuum so they can be educated in their least restrictive environment
    • In the importance of collaborating with stakeholders (LEAs, parents, community agencies, etc) to meet the needs of all students
    • That crucial decisions are made based on:
      • Meaningful data
      • Clear and coherent systems and procedures
      • Evidence based instructional practices
      • Transparency and collaboration
    • In the delivery of focused and intentional professional learning with an emphasis on:
      • Promoting positive student outcomes
      • Highly skilled and professional staff
      • Program/service evaluation

    The VBISD complies with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires schools to identify, locate and evaluate students with disabilities, birth through age 26. Either schools or parents/guardians may request a special education evaluation for a student who is suspected as having a disability. If the school requests the evaluation, the school must contact the parent/guardian and request written consent (permission) to evaluate the student. If you are a parent/guardian, and would like to request an evaluation, please contact your Principal or district Supervisor of Special Education.

    The VBISD Early On Program helps to locate and identify young children, birth to 3, who have an established condition, a developmental delay or are at risk of a developmental delay. The VBISD Build Up Michigan Program helps to locate and identify young children, ages 3 through 5, who may be in need of special education programming and/or services.

    All local school districts in Van Buren County assume the responsibility for students up to the age of 26 through local awareness activities and the special education referral process.

    Examples of awareness activities include, but are not limited to, the following:
    ∎ Ongoing communication and outreach
    ∎ Participation in area information fairs
    ∎ Distribution of printed materials
    ∎ Participation with local interagency councils
    ∎ Informational website
    ∎ Media coverage
    Activities also include cooperative liaisons with professional and community agencies, including, but not limited to, the following:
    ∎ Area hospitals, physicians, health clinics, and other health care providers
    ∎ Department of Health and Human Services
    ∎ Van Buren/Cass County Health Department
    ∎ Van Buren County Jail
    ∎ Community Mental Health and the Maternal Infant Health Program
    ∎ Local Interagency Coordinating Council and Great Start Collaborative
    ∎ Head Start, Great Start Readiness Programs, and local private preschools
    ∎ Parent organizations such as Great Start Parent Coalition and Parent Advisory Council


    Katy Holverstott  
    VBISD Director of Special Education  
    Phone: (269) 539-5114  
    Email: kholverstott@vbisd.org  


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