Admissions Process for the California School for the Blind
- If the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team feels that a referral to California School for the Blind (CSB) is appropriate, the first step is for the district to contact Carla Shah (510-936-5623) to request a referral packet, which includes an Local Educational Agency (LEA) application, parent application, other forms, and a list of required documents (e.g., IEPs, assessment reports, ophthalmological report, etc.). Note: Parents cannot request the packet themselves, as referrals are required to come through the district. A packet will then be mailed out to the district. Once the applications are completed and the required forms and documents have been gathered, the district submits the completed packet to CSB.
- Once CSB receives the referral packet, it is reviewed informally to confirm that ALL required documents have been included. If not all required documents were included in the packet, a letter is sent to the district and family outlining what is missing. Once the file is complete with ALL required documents, a thorough file review is completed. Based upon the file review, CSB determines whether or not an observation of the student in his or her educational setting is needed. Then, one of two things happens:
- If CSB determines that an observation is not needed, a determination is immediately made regarding whether or not the student is an appropriate candidate for an Assessment of Suitability for Placement for possible admission to CSB.
- If CSB determines that an observation is needed, one will be scheduled. We make our best efforts to conduct the observation within two weeks of the final file review. After the observation is complete, a determination is made regarding whether or not the student is an appropriate candidate for an Assessment of Suitability for Placement for possible admission to CSB.
- If, based upon the file review and/or observation, CSB determines that the student is an appropriate candidate for an Assessment of Suitability for Placement, a medical packet is sent to the family. The medical packet requires a physical, tuberculosis (TB) test, immunization record, and doctor's orders for certain medical conditions.
- Once the completed medical packet is received by CSB, and approved by our student health unit, an intake meeting is scheduled. The Assessment of Suitability for Placement will begin on the date of the intake meeting and will include a temporary placement at CSB lasting up to 60 calendar days. The student and parent/guardian are required to attend the intake meeting in order to sign an assessment plan, meet some of the teachers who will be working with the student, and participate in a brief CSB orientation.
- During the temporary placement at CSB, the student is assessed by his or her classroom teacher, school psychologist, and appropriate Related Service providers. Weekly reports are sent to the district and family to keep them apprised of the student's progress at CSB, as well as to indicate any areas of concern.
- At the end of the assessment period, a meeting is held with the district and parents/guardians*, and at that time CSB personnel will make the final determination regarding whether or not CSB has an appropriate program for the student. This determination is based upon the assessment results and the student's identified needs. If a placement at CSB is offered and accepted at that time, a new IEP is immediately written to reflect the new placement, services, and goals. If placement is not offered, the student's temporary placement at CSB ends and he or she returns home at the conclusion of the meeting.
*Please note that the parents/guardians are required to attend this meeting in person.
Note: California Education Code § 56367(b) states that referrals for further assessment to the Schools for the Deaf and Blind shall not constitute a placement in the State Special Schools