WELCOME TO THE HAYS WEST CENTRAL KANSAS SPECIAL EDUCATION COOPERATIVE
WCKSEC provides special education services to all students who are eligible for special education and gifted services between the ages of 3-21, including private school students, in the districts of Hays, Ellis, LaCrosse, and Victoria. The cooperative has approximately 68 certified staff member which includes Special Education Teachers, School Psychologists, Speech/Language Pathologists, Certified Occupational Therapist, Certified Physical Therapist, Vision Consultant, and Assistive Technology Specialist. WCKSEC also employs approximately 90 paraeducators.
The purpose of the WCKSEC is to identify students who are eligible for and need special education services. Special programs and services are then provided to assist these students in reaching their potential. All provided services must meet the requirements and specifications stated in federal and state statutes and further clarified in the Kansas Special Education Process Handbook at http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/SES/PH/PH-complete.pdf
Additionally, the Hays West Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative must make assurances in the provision of these services. These assurances include confidentiality of student records, provision of students’ and parents’ due process rights, nondiscriminatory and multi-disciplinary evaluations and provision of services in the least restrictive environment or most normal setting to the maximum extent appropriate. The cooperative also:
- Sponsors Helping Hands, a student-run business
- Partners with High Plains Mental Health to provide special services for students placed at Westside School
- Provides work study student experiences for special education students
- Has an Autism Support Team
- Provides a Transition Program
- Collaborates with Early Childhood Connections/Head Start and other community-based preschools to provide necessary Early Childhood services to identified children age 3-5
- Provides a professional special education library for staff and parents
The re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) and the updating of the Kansas State Regulations in 2008, continues the commitment to ensure that all students have access to a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Special education categorical areas include: autism, deaf-blindness, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, orthopedic impairment, multiple disabilities, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment, developmentally delayed, and gifted. The foundation of IDEA is its requirement that schools develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each disabled student. The IEP requirement combines the evaluation of disabled students with the achievement of specific goals. These goals are typically set by the student’s parents, school administrators and regular and special education teachers working together. Visit the Kansas State Department of Education Student Support Services website at: http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=506 for more information, including Federal Guidelines, Parent Rights and other helpful information.