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Special Education

Lakota’s Special Services Department is committed to meeting the unique needs of students with disabilities by offering a continuum of services as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA). Lakota offers a free and appropriate public education to children ages 3 through 21 that meet special education eligibility requirements in one of thirteen disability categories in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, rules, and regulations.

Child Find

Lakota is in an ongoing effort to identify, locate, and evaluate children with disabilities in the district who are in need of special education and/or related services in accordance with Rule 3301-51-03 of the Operating Standards for Ohio’s Schools Serving Children with Disabilities.

If you know of a child up to 21 years of age who you suspect may have a disability, please contact one of Lakota’s Directors of Special Education by calling the Special Services department at 513-644-1212.

Special Education Process

A child’s eligibility for special education services is based on whether or not a qualified team of professionals determines the presence of a disability, the need for specially designed instruction and/or related services, and an adverse affect on the child’s education as part of an Evaluation Team Report (i.e., ETR). 

For preschoolers and school-age children, a disability means having one or more conditions defined by federal regulations and state standards. These disabilities include autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, deafness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, speech/language impairment, traumatic brain injury, visual impairment (including blindness), and developmental delay. 

An Individualized Education Program (i.e., IEP) that outlines a child's special education services will be developed by a team of qualified professionals in the event that a child is identified with a disability. 

Related services may include special transportation, speech-language pathology or audiology services, interpreting services, physical or occupational therapy services, counseling services, orientation and mobility services, transition to work services, nursing or medical services, etc. 

Additional Resources

Lakota has one Special Services Executive Director, as well as Special Services Directors assigned to each grade band (i.e., K-2, 3-6, 7-12). 

Lakota’s parent mentor also provides information and support to families of children with disabilities. The mentor is a district employee and also the parent of a child with a disability. The parent mentor works to support the relationship between the school and the family of a child with a disability. All parent mentor services are free of charge to families; the Ohio Department of Education provides the funds for Ohio Parent Mentor projects.

Note: The Ohio Department of Education and Workforce has requested that all Ohio public school districts provide parents with a copy of the Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement in Doe v. State of Ohio; click here to view the notice. Please direct questions to the Office of Chief Legal Counsel at (614) 752-5807.

Frequently Asked Questions


Lakota Special Services

Classroom Learning & Management

Staff Training Questions

Contact Us

Andrea Longworth

Andrea Longworth

Executive Director - Pupil Personnel Services

Mark Clevidence

Director - Special Education 3-6

Sherri Copeland

Special Services Director 7-12 West

Jaclyn Cruse

Special Services Director 7-12 East

Brian Drake

Assistant Director - Special Education K-12

Sarah Tobergte

Special Services Director Prek-2

Special Education News & Resources

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