Sumter School District has several procedures to ensure that the school district will identify, locate, and evaluate all children residing in the district with disabilities who may be in need of special education and related services.  This includes all children ages 3 to 21 who attend public or private schools; those who are home schooled; those who are homeless or are wards of the state.  Child Find activities include screening and general education intervention.

Does My Child Need Services?

Services are available to assist children with special needs. Call to schedule a screening appointment if you are concerned that a child may have a delay in one or more of the following areas of development:

  • Cognitive Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Daily Living Skills
  • Motor Skills
  • Vision
  • Hearing

Parents, grandparents, teachers, and caregivers may make a referral; however, a parent or legal guardian must give written permission for screening to occur. There is no cost for screening, evaluation, or recommended services.

Who Do I Call?


If you are aware of a preschooler from 3 to 5 years of age who may need special services, please call 803-865-5353 to schedule an appointment and a possible screening

A screening is a series of short tests and professional observations in various developmental areas. A screening, which may lead to a more comprehensive evaluation, is provided through the Preschool Special Education Department for children ages 3 to 5. Parents can obtain additional information about this process by contacting 803-865-5353.

The student will rotate through the following screening stations according to need:

  • Vision, Hearing, Speech
  • Language, Developmental
  • Occupational Therapy (OT) / Physical Therapy (PT)

Children who are suspected of having a delay in one or more areas will be recommended for a further evaluation to determine if they qualify for special education services.


If you have a child already in a Sumter School District school who may need special services, please contact your school. A general education intervention process for children kindergarten through grade 12 is provided at each school site by the school’s Intervention Assistance Team (IAT) and the school’s 504 Team. The purpose of general education intervention is to intervene for any child who is presenting with academic, behavior, functional, or medical concerns that are significantly impacting the student’s access to the general curriculum or school activities.  This intervention leads to a better understanding of the supports students need in order to be successful in the general education setting.  The data collected during general education intervention assists the IAT or 504 Team in determining if the student may need to be referred for a comprehensive evaluation. Parents must be provided with notice of their child’s referral to either IAT or a 504 Team.


Please contact Phaedra Carolina at (803) 774-5500 x 119.

Parental Rights in the Child Find Process

The Child Find process is a collaborative one with school personnel working in conjunction with parents to locate, evaluate, and identify children who may need special education and related services.  Children in need of special education services or an accommodation for a disability should be identified in a timely manner.  If the child is referred for a comprehensive evaluation, informed parental consent must be obtained prior to beginning the evaluation.  The initial evaluation must be conducted within 60 calendar days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation.