SPED Accessing Services

Special education services are accessed through a process of Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility.

School Aged Children
The process of accessing services for school aged children begins with the child's school and teacher. If you believe your child may need special education services the first step is to contact the school to discuss your concerns with your child's teachers. Decisions involving special education are individual to the needs of each child. You can also contact the Special Education Department directly (423) 378.2163 any time to be connected with someone who can assist with questions specific to your student.
Preschool-Aged Children - Homeschooled Students - Private/Non-public Students
Parents of children ages 3 - 5 and/or parents of students enrolled in homeschool or private/non-public schools should contact Hunter Leedy, Coordinator of Child Find and Diagnostician, at [email protected]. Our Special Education assessment team will evaluate students to determine eligibility and the need for special education services. Educational needs are determined through parent interviews and student assessments. Areas of assessment/evaluation include, but are not limited to vision, hearing, speech and language, fine and gross motor, cognitive/pre-academic, social-emotional, and adaptive development.
View the KCS Early Childhood webpage here


A parent, teacher, school counselor or others involved in a student’s education, who believe that a student may require services can make a referral to the School Support Team (S-Team) or the MTSS Data Team.  Referral to the team will not necessarily result in referral to special education. The school district is required to seek ways to meet the unique educational needs of all children within the general education program prior to referring a child to special education. The team develops a plan of instructional interventions and accommodations to meet the student’s needs within the general program. The team may determine that a student will be formally referred to determine eligibility for special education service.


When a student is formally referred, the IEP Team is formed and develops the evaluation plan and determines eligibility. The required members of the IEP Team include: parent(s), general education teacher, special education teacher, an assessment specialist, often a school psychologist, and an LEA (local education authority), often a school administrator. Parental permission is required for all initial evaluations and placements. The school district has sixty (60) calendar days from the time permission is obtained to complete the evaluation and determine eligibility. 


Special Education Evaluation and Eligibility

KCS Explanation of Evaluation Procedures



The determination of eligibility for special education services is two-pronged. After the completion of the evaluation, the IEP team meets to determine whether the evaluation results indicate that the student has one or more disabilities and whether due to the disability the student requires special education services to make progress in the general education program. Disability categories and criteria are set by state and federal special education law. Students must be reevaluated for eligibility every three years.

Special Education Framework

Additional information regarding special education in the Kingsport City Schools can be obtained by calling (423) 378.2163.

Contact Us!
Kingsport City Schools Specialized Programming & Support Department
400 Clinchfield Street, Ste. 200
Kingsport, TN 37660
Ph: (423) 378.2163
Fax: (423) 378.2165