Topeka Public Schools USD 501

Special Education

All TPS special education services are designed to offer the utmost in educational opportunities for each qualifying student, as well as to provide assistance and support in the areas of physical, mental, emotional, and social growth. State and federal laws followed in providing each student with a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

Areas of special education include: early childhood disability, developmentally delayed, visual impairments including blindness, deafness, autism, traumatic brain injury, emotional disturbance, specific learning disabilities, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, speech or language impairments. Gifted students are also served through TPS Special Services.

Topeka Public Schools is seeking to identify every student needing special education services from age 3-21 that live within the TPS boundaries. If you have a child or know of a child who you think has developmental delays or special needs, contact:

  • Dr. Jennifer Barnhart
    General Director of Special Services
    785-295-3089
    jbarnhar@topeka.k12.ks.us

Parent Rights and Procedural Safeguards

Como padres de niños que son, o pueden ser, excepcional, tiene ciertos derechos o medidas de protección procesales bajo federal y las leyes del estado. Estos derechos son listados en la declaración de Derechos de Padre en la Educación Especial.

Both you and the school share in your child's education. If you or the school staff have issues or concerns about your child's education, you and your child's teacher should openly discuss the issues. We urge you to be actively involved in your child's education.

As parents of children who are, or may be, exceptional, you have certain rights or procedural safeguards under federal and state laws. These rights are listed in the statement of Parent Rights in Special Education. This list of your rights must be given to you in your native language or in a communication method you can understand.

If you would like a more detailed explanation of these rights, please contact the principal at your child's school, a school administrator, the special education director, or the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), 120 SE 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66612; phone (800) 203-9462. Copies of these rights in Braille, audiotape, and other languages are available from your school upon request.

For more information about your rights, you may ask for a copy of the Guide to Special Education from Families Together, Inc. 785-233-4777 or (800) 264-6343, or the Kansas State Department of Education (800) 203-9462.

Moving to Topeka?

If you are considering a move to Topeka Public Schools and have an exceptional child, we want to make their transition as smooth as possible.

  1. The first step is for you to contact Meg Braun:
    Meg Braun, Coordinator of School Psychologists
    1020 NE Forest Avenue,
    Topeka, KS 66616
    phone: 785-235-7602 or 235-7600
    email: mbraun@topeka.k12.ks.us
  2. She will gather information from you about your child's educational needs.
  3. Then, with a signed request, she can obtain IEP and comprehensive evaluation records from your child's previous school.
  4. After a record review, recommendations can be made regarding a special education placement in the Topeka Public Schools that will best duplicate their previous placement.

The special education administrator will select specific sites and each department will help set up the IEP update needed in order for services to start.