CONTACT:  Director of Special Services:

Dr. Felicia McCardle,, 601-788-5908


Parental Involvement Public Comments Requested for IDEA:

The Richton School District invites parents of children with disabilities an opportunity to provide input in the development of special services funding.

Participation in a discussion of the IDEA/Preschool budget for the upcoming school year, 2023-2024, will take place on Friday, June 9, at 9:00 in the Special Services Office in the Tech Prep Building.

If you would like to participate in the discussion and cannot attend, email for an agenda at

To view all special services funding, please go the following website:                                                                                MCAPS at

Once you reach the page, search for Richton School District.

Then, go to funding.  You will see funding for Special Services with detailed budgets for IDEA and Preschool.

We welcome your comments and questions concerning these budgets.


A Family Guide to Special Education Services


Child Find:

Child Find is a process required by IDEA to identify, locate, and evaluate children from age 3 to age 21 who may have disabilities.  Early identification of children in need of special education experiences is most important to each child.  Information gathered from contacts with parents and other agencies is used to determine present and future program needs as progress is made toward the goal of providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to all children with disabilities.

The child find coordinator is responsible for district-wide coordination of the planning and implementation of child identification, location, and evaluation efforts of children birth through 21 who have disabilities regardless of the severity of the disability and who are in need of special education and/or related services.  The child find coordinator works with the local Head Start, Department of Human Services, Department of Health, and Mental Health agencies as well as local education agencies, physicians, licensed day care providers, local juvenile correctional facilities, and other individuals to identify and locate children out of school and in school who may be in need of special education services.  Information which could identify an individual child is maintained by this agency and will be provided to other agencies only in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  Once the district has been informed of a child with a possible disability, the district will conduct a MET meeting with the family with 14 days to determine if sufficient evidence to suspect that the child has a disability.  Prior Written Notice, parental consent, and procedural safeguards are given within the 60 day timeline to conduct an evaluation.

If you have questions regarding child find procedures or would like to make a referral, you may contact:  Dr. Felicia McCardle, Director of Special Services at 601-788-5908 or Ms. Lynn Daniels, Case Manager at 601-788-6803.


IDEA Special Education Services:

The Richton School District Special Services Department participates with the Mississippi Department of Education to identify, locate, and evaluate children through ages 21 who have health impairments or physical, mental, communicative, and/or emotional disabilities.  

Services are provided to children ages 3-21 with identified disabilities through a continuum of services at each grade level and school.  The department has seven teachers, one speech language pathologist, three assistants, and one case manager serving approximately 100 students.  Services include:  inclusion, resource, self-contained, and transitions.  Meeting individual student needs is the goal for each and every student.


IDEA Special Education Funding:

IDEA Part B and Preschool funding for special education is allocated by the Mississippi Department of Education Office of Special Services.  Planned yearly budgets can be found at MCAPs at the Mississippi Department of Education website:

The school district is always open to public comment in the development of the IDEA budget application and ensures parents have an opportunity to participate in meetings with respect to the identification, evaluation, and educational placement as well as providing a free appropriate public education of children with disabilities.


Mississippi Special Needs Scholarship:

Education Scholarship Account application and reimbursement request now available online:
Parents and guardians may now apply for the Education Scholarship Account (ESA) program and request reimbursement through the new Mississippi Special Needs Scholarship portal.


The Mississippi Legislature created the ESA program through the Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Act in 2015. The program is designed to give parents of children with special needs the option of withdrawing their child from the public school system and receiving a designated amount of funds to help defray the cost of private school tuition or other specific allowable activities to educate their child. The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) administers the ESA program.

Visit for more information about the ESA program. Applicants and program participants who choose not to use the new online portal can still download paper forms from the ESA webpage.


Announcement: Parents of Children with Disabilities: Building Partnerships…Working Together Mississippi Parent Conference

August 25-26, 2023:

Building Partnerships…Working Together Mississippi Parent Conference

Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center 2350 Beach Blvd, Biloxi MS 39531

The MDE OSE in collaboration with the Mississippi Parent Training Center and Information (MSPTI) Center, is pleased to announce the Annual Parent Conference. The Public information symposium is dedicated to fostering positive family-school relationships. The conference will bring together parents, educators, advocates, organizers, and other stakeholders to build and support strong relationships that contribute to students being successful and reaching higher academic goals. Conference sessions are designed to help stakeholders understand the rights of parents and children with disabilities, the educational process, and provide resources to support home-school partnerships. Information about registration for this event will be provided later.


Parent Resources:

The MSU ACCESS program is an inclusive and comprehensive plan to promote the successful transition of students with intellectual disabilities into higher education. These students have a desire to continue academic, career and technical, and independent living instruction in order to prepare for gainful employment. The program includes an advising and curriculum structure; and requires students with intellectual disabilities to participate on not less than a halftime basis with nondisabled students in (1) regular enrollment in credit-bearing courses, (2) auditing or participating in courses for which the student does not receive regular academic credit, (3) enrollment in noncredit-bearing, non-degree courses, or (4) participation in internships or work-based training.

Parent Groups

Additional Parent Resources are available at the MDE Special Services Information for Families: 

Special Education Participation in State Testing Assessments:  The school district ensures that children with disabilities are included in general state and district-wide assessment programs, with accommodations and modifications in administration in accordance with the policies and procedures established by the Mississippi State Department of Education, the district, and the child’s IEP. Mississippi is required under the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) to provide high-quality alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities (SCD). These alternate assessments must be aligned to academic content standards that apply to all students in reading, writing, and mathematics in grades 3-8 and once in high school. They must also align to content standards for science in at least one grade in each of the 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade ranges. Section 612(a)(16)(A) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that all students with disabilities be included in all general State-wide and District-wide assessment programs, including assessments described under section 1111 of the ESEA, with appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments, where necessary, as indicated in their respective IEP.