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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board Of Education
Chapter 81. Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia
6/24/2021

8VAC20-81-100. Free appropriate public education.

A. Age of eligibility.

1. A free appropriate public education shall be available to all children with disabilities who need special education and related services, aged two to 21, inclusive, who meet the definition of "age of eligibility" as outlined in 8VAC20-81-10 and who reside within the jurisdiction of each local educational agency. This includes children with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services even though they have not failed or been retained in a course or grade and are advancing from grade to grade, and students who have been suspended or expelled from school in accordance with the provisions of 8VAC20-81-160. The Virginia Department of Education has a goal of providing full educational opportunity to all children with disabilities aged birth through 21, inclusive, by 2015. (§ 22.1-213 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.101 and 34 CFR 300.109)

a. The services provided to the child under this chapter shall address all of the child's identified special education and related services needs.

b. The services and placement needed by each child with a disability to receive a free appropriate public education shall be based on the child's unique needs and not on the child's disability.

2. Exceptions. The obligation to make a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities does not apply to: (34 CFR 300.102(a))

a. Children with disabilities who have graduated from high school with a standard or advanced studies high school diploma. This exception does not apply to age-eligible students who have graduated but have not been awarded a standard or advanced studies high school diploma, or to those students who have passed a high school equivalency examination approved by the Board of Education.

b. Children with disabilities, aged 18 to 21, inclusive, who, if in their last educational placement prior to their incarceration in an adult correctional facility, were not identified as being a child with a disability and did not have an IEP. This exception does not apply to children with disabilities, aged 18 to 21, inclusive, who had been identified as children with disabilities and had received services in accordance with their IEPs, but who left school prior to their incarceration or did not have IEPs in their last educational setting but who had actually been identified as children with disabilities under this chapter.

c. Children with disabilities who are eligible under IDEA Part B, Subpart H, but who receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C.

B. A free appropriate public education shall be available to children with disabilities who reside within a school division but do not hold a valid U.S. citizenship or a student visa.

C. Program options. Each local school division shall take steps to ensure that its children with disabilities have available to them the variety of educational programs and services available to children without disabilities in the area served by the local educational agency, including art, music, industrial arts, consumer and homemaking education, and vocational education. (34 CFR 300.110)

D. Residential placement. If placement in a public or private residential program is necessary to provide special education and related services to a child with a disability, the program, including nonmedical care and room and board, shall be at no cost to the parents of the child. (34 CFR 300.104)

E. Assistive technology devices. (34 CFR 300.34(b) and 34 CFR 300.113)

1. Each local educational agency shall ensure that the following are functioning properly, including completing routine checks:

a. Hearing aids worn in school by children with hearing impairments, including deafness; and

b. The external components of surgically implanted devices.

2. A local educational agency is not responsible for the postsurgical maintenance, programming, or replacement of a medical device that has been surgically implanted (or of an external component of the surgically implanted medical device).

F. Availability of assistive technology. (34 CFR 300.105)

1. Each local educational agency shall ensure that assistive technology devices or assistive technology services, or both, as those terms are defined in 8VAC20-81-10, are made available to a child with a disability if required as part of the child's:

a. Special education;

b. Related services; or

c. Supplementary aids and services.

2. On a case-by-case basis, the use of school-purchased or leased assistive technology devices in a child's home or in other settings is required if the child's IEP team determines that the child needs access to those devices in order to receive a free appropriate public education.

3. Local educational agencies are not required to provide personal devices, including eyeglasses or hearing aids that the child requires, regardless of whether the child is attending school, unless the IEP team determines that the device is necessary for the child to receive FAPE.

G. Transportation. (§ 22.1-221 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.107)

1. Each child with a disability, aged two to 21, inclusive, placed in an education program, including private special education day or residential placements, by the local school division shall be entitled to transportation to and from such program at no cost if such transportation is necessary to enable such child to benefit from educational programs and opportunities. Children with disabilities and children without disabilities shall share the same transportation unless a child's IEP requires specialized transportation.

2. If the IEP team determines that a child with a disability requires accommodations or modifications to participate in transportation, the accommodations or modifications shall be provided in the least restrictive environment. Transportation personnel may be on the IEP team or be consulted before any modifications or accommodations are written into the student's IEP to ensure that the modifications and accommodations do not violate any state or federal standard or any nationally recognized safety practices.

3. A local educational agency shall ensure that a child with a disability is provided a commute to and from an education program that is comparable in length to the commute provided to children without disabilities, unless the child's IEP team determines that a longer or shorter commute is necessary to ensure the child receives a free appropriate public education.

4. If a local educational agency enters an agreement with another local educational agency for the provision of special education or related services for a child with a disability, such child shall be transported to and from such program at no cost to the parent(s).

5. If a child with a disability is placed in the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton, the Virginia school shall be responsible for the provision of transportation services. When such children are educated as day students, the local school division shall be responsible for the provision of transportation services to and from school.

H. Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities. (34 CFR 300.107 and 34 CFR 300.117)

1. Each local educational agency shall take steps, including the provision of supplementary aids and services determined appropriate and necessary by the child's IEP team, to provide nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities in the manner necessary to afford children with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in those services and activities. (See also 8VAC20-81-130 A 2)

2. Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities may include but not be limited to counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the local educational agency, referrals to agencies that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities, and employment of students, including both employment by the local educational agency and assistance in making outside employment available.

I. Physical education. (34 CFR 300.108)

1. General. Physical education services, specially designed if necessary, shall be made available to every child with a disability receiving a free appropriate public education, unless the local educational agency enrolls children without disabilities and does not provide physical education to children without disabilities in the same grade.

2. Regular physical education. Each child with a disability shall be afforded the opportunity to participate in the regular physical education program available to children without disabilities, unless:

a. The child is enrolled full time in a separate facility; or

b. The child needs specially designed physical education, as prescribed in the child's IEP that cannot be provided in the regular physical education program.

3. Special physical education. If specially designed physical education is prescribed in a child's IEP, the local educational agency responsible for the education of that child shall provide the services directly or make arrangements for those services to be provided through other public or private programs.

4. Education in separate facilities. The local educational agency responsible for the education of a child with a disability who is enrolled in a separate facility shall ensure that the child receives appropriate physical education services in compliance with this subsection.

J. Extended school year services. (34 CFR 300.106)

1. Each local educational agency shall ensure that extended school year services, including transportation to and from such services, are available as necessary to provide a free appropriate public education consistent with subdivision 2 of this subsection.

2. Extended school year services shall be provided only if a child's IEP team determines on an individual basis in accordance with this chapter that the services are necessary for the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child, because the benefits a child with a disability gains during the regular school year will be significantly jeopardized if extended school year services are not provided.

3. In implementing the requirements of this section, a local educational agency may not:

a. Limit extended school year services to particular categories of disability;

b. Unilaterally limit the type, amount, or duration of those services; or

c. Limit the provision of extended school year services to only the summer.

K. Children with disabilities in public charter schools. (34 CFR 300.209)

1. Children with disabilities who attend charter schools shall be served by the local school division in the same manner as children with disabilities in its other schools, including the provision of supplementary and related services on site at the charter school to the same extent to which the local educational agency provides such services on the site to its other public schools.

2. The local school division shall ensure that all requirements of this chapter are met.

L. Length of school day. School-aged students with disabilities shall be provided a school day comparable in length to the day provided to school-aged students without disabilities unless their IEP specifies otherwise. For preschool-aged children with disabilities, the IEP team determines the length of the school day.

M. Methods and payments. (34 CFR 300.103)

1. The Virginia Department of Education may use whatever state, local, federal, and private sources of support that are available to meet the requirements of this part.

2. Nothing in this part relieves an insurer or similar third party from an otherwise valid obligation to provide or to pay for services provided to a child with a disability.

3. The Virginia Department of Education will ensure that there is no delay in implementing a child's IEP, including any case in which the payment source for providing or paying for special education and related services to the child is being determined.

N. Disability harassment. Each local educational agency shall have in effect policies that prohibit harassment to children with disabilities. (28 CFR 35.149 and 34 CFR 104.4)

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-214 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR Part 300.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 25, Issue 21, eff. July 7, 2009; amended, Virginia Register Volume 31, Issue 22, eff. July 29, 2015.

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