Special Education

The district shall provide a free appropriate public education and necessary related services to all children with disabilities residing within the district, required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Arkansas Statutes. It is the intent of the district to ensure that students who are disabled within the definition of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 are identified, evaluated and provided with appropriate educational services. Students may be disabled within the meaning of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act even though they do not require services pursuant to the IDEA.

For students eligible for services under IDEA, the district shall follow procedures for identification, evaluation, placement, and delivery of services to children with disabilities provided in state and federal statutes which govern special education. Implementation of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in accordance with the IDEA satisfies the district's obligation to provide a free and appropriate education under Section 504.

The Board directs the superintendent to ensure procedures are in place for the implementation of special education services and that programs are developed to conform to the requirements of state and federal legislation. The superintendent is responsible for appointing a district coordinator for overseeing district fulfillment of its responsibilities regarding handicapped students.¹ Among the coordinator's responsibilities shall be ensuring district enforcement of the due process rights of handicapped students and their parents.

The LEA Special Education Supervisor is Mrs. Paige Gunnell. She may be reached at DeWitt Middle School at 1209 W. 16th Street, by phone at 870.946.2541, or by email: pgunnell@dewittdragons.net.


     August has been designated “Child Find Awareness Month” by the Arkansas Department of Education.  Locating children up to 21 years of age, with special education needs is the purpose of this awareness campaign.

     DeWitt Public Schools provides comprehensive special education services for all school age children.  If parents suspect their school age child has a disability, they should contact the principal of the school their child attends or call the Special Service office at (870) 946-2541.

     For information regarding preschool services for children 3 to 5, call Southeast Arkansas Education Service Cooperative Early Childhood Coordinator Michele Sadler at (870) 367-4822, or email michele.sadler@searkcoop.com.  The preschool provides educational evaluation, academic instruction, speech/language and physical/occupational therapies.

     For more information regarding services for children up to 3, call (800) 643-8258 and ask for the Early Intervention Department