Exceptional Student Services

Exceptional Student Services in Natchitoches Parish

“The original purpose of education was to produce a thoughtful, creative, emotionally alive, unafraid man; a man willing to try to solve the problems he faces in his world. Although he may not solve all of them, he will solve some of them. Confident that he can build on his success, he may fail for a while, but he will know that some success is possible. When the time comes and success does not come easily, he will not give up.” – William Glassner

PK Screening Schedule (pdf)

Video Surveillance Procedures (pdf)

Extended School Year Services


The ESYP is a program designed to provide educational and related services in excess of the normal school year to students with disabilities based upon the student's needs and on the individually designed program (IEP) to meet those needs.


All students with disabilities enrolled in special education programs must be considered for the ESYP. The criteria by which students may qualify for ESYP are

  1. Regression-Recoupment, the loss of skills due to breaks in instruction
  2. Critical Point of Instruction
  3. Employment, the need for continued support to maintain paid employment (specific to students ages 16 -21)
  4. Transition to Part B (Preschool)
  5. Transitionto Post –School Outcomes, a need for support at the transition from school to adult living (specific to students exiting the local education agency this school year)
  6. Excessive Absences caused by health conditions
  7. Extenuating Circumstances the IEP team may consider.


The special education teacher(s), general education teacher(s), and related service(s) personnel conduct a preliminary screening of the student’s eligibility using student performance information/data, that may include grades, documentation of skill loss, reduction of behavior problems, etc. The data/information collected throughout the school year must be used to determine whether there is a need for the ESYP. Parents may be asked to assist in the data collection process, when appropriate. Parents are to be informed that this screening is only a preliminary determination of eligibility.


Parents are to be notified in writing of preliminary screening results by the school the child currently attends or by the local school board. Notification is to be made not later than five (5) business days after the preliminary screening date.If the screening indicates the data does not meet criteria for ESYP and the student appears to be ineligible to receive ESYP services and the parents disagree, they have the right to ask that the IEP team meet to discuss the data and review the decision. The final determination of eligibility is an IEP team decision. If after the IEP team meets, there is not agreement as to the student’s eligibility, the parents have the right to request an expedited Due Process Hearing.


Once the student is determined to be eligible, the ESY IEP team including the parent(s), teacher(s), an officially designated representative, student, and others, if applicable will determine the ESY program. The team will identify the goal(s) and objectives to be used for instruction during the ESYP. The goal(s) and objectives will be based on the student's needs as determined during the ESYP screening process. The program will be an extension of the regular school year program, not a remediation or acceleration program.


The number of days and hours per day each student will need to spend in the ESYP is determined by the ESY IEP team and is based upon the actual time needed for the student to progress toward acquisition or maintenance of the goal(s) and objectives selected for ESYP.


The ESY IEP team will determine the setting for the ESYP based on the goal(s) and objectives identified for instruction. The ESYP site where services are delivered will be determined by the LEA administration and may be offered in the school the child regularly attends, in a centrally located school, at home, or in the community.


In circumstances where transportation is necessary, the local education agency must offer transportation for all students eligible for ESYP. The offer must be reasonable. Types of transportation may include school bus, contracted carrier, or parental reimbursement

Upcoming EventsAutism Training Modules

In collaboration with the Louisiana Department of Education, the LSUHSC Human Development Center is developing professional development electronic modules as part of the Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities (LASARD) Project. There are nine modules offered. All modules are available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your convenience. You can access the modules (here).

The Louisiana State Personnel Development Grant (LaSPDG) is a Louisiana Department of Education Grant (LDOE) funded by the Office of Special Education (OSEP). The LDOE was awarded the grant in 2011 for five years. The grant addresses four focus areas: inclusive practices, culturally responsive practices, family engagement, and data-based decision making. We encourage everyone to check out the Webinars, Videos, and other Resources on LaSPDG’s website!

The Louisiana Department of Education has released many resources related to the spring 2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) assessment results. For families seeking more information, visit the Parents + Students page and Family Support Toolbox. Grades 3rd – 8th Assessments Students in grades 3 through 8 take assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy, mathematics, science, and social studies. These assessments are alighted to the Louisiana State Standards which were developed with significant input from Louisiana educators. End of Course Tests (EOC) High School students take End-of-Course tests in six subjects: Algebra I, Geometry, English II and III, Biology and U.S. History. Student scores are categorized into the following achievement levels on the EOC tests:

  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Fair
  • Needs Improvement

End-of Course tests comprise between 15% and 30% of the student’s final grade in the subject. School districts determine the percentage. To earn a standard high school diploma, students must earn a score of Fair or above on three EOC tests, including one in each category – Algebra I or Geometry, English II or English III, and Biology or U.S. History. Students who earn a score of Needs Improvement must receive 30 hours of remediation in the course and are eligible to retake the test at the next administration. Students with disabilities who have passed two EOC tests may be eligible for a waiver of the third exam required for graduation. Also, students entering a high school cohort prior to fall 2014 and eligible for LAA2 may choose to take the LAA2 tests to meet graduation requirements if they do not pass the EOC tests. EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT, WORKKEYS Students in grades 8 through 11 take a series of rigorous and nationally comparable assessments, including EXPLORE, PLAN, ACT, and WorkKeys to assist in academic planning and measure college and career readiness. Alternate Assessments Louisiana offers two alternate assessments for students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs and meet specific criteria. These alternate assessments include the:
Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) Alternate Assessment, Level 1 (LAA1)
Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) Alternate Assessment, Level 2 (LAA2)

We are proud to announce that Natchitoches Parish has been accepted to participate in the Louisiana Autism Spectrum and Related Disabilities Project! The LASARD Project is a collaborative effort between LSUHSC Human Development Center and the Louisiana Department of Education. The goals of the project are: to improve educational practices and outcomes for students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and related disabilities and to develop statewide capacity to provide high quality educational programs for these students. Each district/LEA contracts directly with HDC through the LASARD project for Training and Technical Assistance. LASARD facilitators provide regular technical support to each building level team to support their efforts to implement their action plans and become demonstration sites. An abundance of resources, information, and training modules for both teachers and parents can be found here. Webinars are offered live online via Adobe Connect. The one hour sessions are free and open to anyone interested, but registration is limited to 200 participants. CEUs are provided to those who are online for the entire hour and complete a short quiz. Please check the LASARD website for upcoming webinars!

Departmental Staff

Toni Bennett
Director of Special Education
Beverly Bayonne
Special Education Secretary
Danna LaCaze
Special Education Program Coordinator
Sarah McElwee
Pupil Appraisal Team Coordinator
Shelia McDonald
Transition Coordinator
Miranda Nolley
IEP Facilitator
Sean Page
Student Worker
Zion Smith
Student Worker
Ginger Kelso
Behavior Interventionist