Exceptional Child Services

Our team of specialized professionals is dedicated to assuring a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. We serve over 400 students who range in age from age 3 through 21.

Each one of our schools serves students with exceptional needs. Students are able to attend their neighborhood schools and every effort is made to integrate students into a regular classroom setting as much as possible as we believe inclusion, acceptance, and a diverse class makeup are critical in the development of those with and without disabilities. For students with more moderate to severe disabilities, we have specialty programs in our schools across the District to best meet the needs of those that might require more specialized instruction and sensory related opportunities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Special Education?

Special education means any specially designed instruction and related services to meet the unique cognitive, academic, communicative, social and emotional, motor ability, vocational, sensory, physical, or behavioral and functional needs of a pupil as stated in the IEP.

What is the process for a Special Education Evaluation?

If your child is not in the special education program, and you suspect that there is a disability, please contact your child’s teacher to discuss your concerns. As a result of this discussion, your child may be referred to a school level intervention team or to a school psychologist for additional review. The intervention team is a group of people representing both general ed and special education staff who review student progress and suggest interventions and strategies to assist students within the general education program.

If the student does not show adequate progress after interventions have been implemented, the team may suggest a special education evaluation. You will be contacted to attend an evaluation planning meeting. Your signature is required before the evaluation can begin. The typical time between interventions formalling beginning and any evaluation planning meeting is a minimum of 6 weeks.  

Once an evaluation is completed, you will meet with the educational team to review the written evaluation report and determine whether your child qualifies for special education services.

Will my child be labeled?

The emphasis is to provide programs and services to meet the individual needs of each child rather than seeking a special label; however, a need still exists to identify eligibility by Kentucky Administrative Regulations for purposes of state and federal reports.

What is an IEP?

An IEP is an Individual Education Plan. It is specially designed to meet the special education needs for students ages three to twenty-one. It includes present level of education performances, annual goals and objectives, and indicates what services and or special programs are needed to achieve progress towards the goals.  An IEP is reviewed at least annually and can be changed or modified as needed by the student’s IEP team.

If our family moves what do I need to do?

You need to contact both schools and let them know of your move and that your child has an IEP. The records will be shared between the schools.

Do you support students in private schools?

Students with disabilities who attend elementary or secondary private schools in Bardstown may be evaluated for special education programs/services through Bardstown City Schools (BCS).

Students must meet the Kentucky criteria for special education. Additionally, this does not mean that BCS staff would work with your child at their private school. Should a student enrolled in a private school that lived within the district need services, it may require them to enroll in Bardstown City Schools. Historically, we have been able to offer speech language therapy onsite for students in grades K and up.  

Anytime throughout the school year, if you suspect your child has a disability, contact your child’s classroom teacher. Private schools have information regarding the Bardstown City Schools’ special education process.

Referral Process

  1. Parent or private school teacher identifies a concern with the student’s academic performance, communication, health/physical status, social/emotional or behavioral skills, motor skills, or functional skills.
  2. Parent and private school teachers discuss concerns.
  3. Private school teacher gathers information on student performance and contacts the building lead teacher for consultation and the format to document interventions with the student.
  4. Private school teachers conduct and document pre-referral interventions.
  5. If interventions are effective, the process may end here.
  6. If concerns persist and performance is discrepant from classmates/norms, the teacher submits pre-referral interventions and information to the special education lead teacher to initiate referral.
  7. The public school Special Education Team reviews pre-referral information and interventions and will contact parent, teacher and/or principal for additional information or consultation.
  8. The public school Special Education Team determines whether there is enough information to proceed with an evaluation. If not, the information is returned to the referring party for further interventions/information.
  9. The two school teams meet to determine if an evaluation is needed.
  10. If evaluation is needed, an evaluation determination meeting is held and an evaluation plan is developed. An evaluation will proceed once written parental consent is given
  11. If the team determines that no evaluation is needed, the process ends.


Director of Special Programs

Lance Boston

Special Education Coordinator

Kathy Fenwick

School Psychologist

Jennifer Ballard

School Psychologist

Megan Andrew

School Psychologist

Ashley Carey

Additional Resources

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