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Staff Handbook

Welcome to the Harvey County Special Education Cooperative staff!

You are a part of a highly educated staff that works diligently to help students achieve significant progress.

As a member of our staff we want you to know:

  • Students are our number one priority
  • We make decisions as a team
  • We value the strengths that others bring to our team
  • It is our responsibility to create a good learning/working environment
  • We recognize time is a valuable commodity and work to be efficient as well as effective

Reagan Seidl
Director of Special Education


Harvey County Special Education Cooperative Organization and Supervision

The Harvey County Special Education Cooperative is a consortium of the Newton, Halstead and Hesston school districts.   The purpose is to provide special education and related services to children who are exceptional.  Our board of control is the Newton Board of Education.  The Advisory Board is comprised of the superintendent from each district and a representative from each Board of Education.



The original federal legislation for special education was passed in 1975.  Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), the federal law, contains many of the same founding principals.  That every child with a disability deserves a free appropriate public education in the school with his/her siblings and neighbors; that all decisions about services to children with disabilities should be made by a team of people, including the parents, and that the child and parents have a right to have information about their child and his/her disability remain confidential.


Due Process

The special education eligibility and placement process is intended to be a methodical process.  It can take up to 60 days to complete an evaluation.  A team of professionals and parents collect information about the student and analyze the information to determine if the child has a disability, and if so, what services are most appropriate for that child to meet his/her individual educational needs.  Individual Educational Plans (IEPs) are developed for each child and must be reviewed and revised at least annually.  Progress towards meeting the IEP goals and objectives must be reported to parents at least as often as general education reports progress to parents.


Services to Children

Last year we served over 1000 children ages birth through 21 years.  Many of those children are considered to have mild disabilities, such as a speech/language disorder or learning disability.  Over 70 students, age birth through five years receive services.  We also serve students who are in a residential program at Prairie View. Almost 200 gifted children receive services through HCSEC.


We are providing services to children in eighteen sites.  Most children are served in their neighborhood school with most service options available.  Only the more restrictive placements require a child be served in a school other than his/her neighborhood school. Twelve of the disability categories were represented in our federal child count last year.


Federal law requires we provide services to children who may have any one of thirteen categories of disability. They are:

  • Autism
  • Deaf/Blind
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Emotional  Disturbance
  • Hearing Impaired
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Mental Retardation
  • Other Health Impairments
  • Physically Impaired
  • Severely and Multiply Disabled
  • Speech Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visually Impaired


In addition, Kansas mandates two additional exceptionalities: Developmentally Delayed and Gifted.


We are also required by law to provide any or all of the related services that a child requires to receive an appropriate education.   Those related services include:


  • Adapted Physical Education
  • Adaptive Devices and Assistive Technology
  • Audiology  Services
  • Occupational  Therapy
  • Orientation and Mobility Services
  • Parent Education
  • Physical Therapy
  • School Psychologist Services
  • School Social Worker Services
  • Transition  Services
  • Transportation
  • Travel Training


In addition to the school–age services, the Cooperative has provided Early Childhood Special Education Services for children birth to 5 years for thirty plus years.  These services are provided to any child who lives in Harvey County and has an identified disability.  Services to children birth to age three are usually provided in the home with the parent or caregiver present.  Services to children ages three to five are provided in a preschool classroom at Cooper Early Education Center or in a community preschool.


Parents As Teachers

Not all services provided under the umbrella of the Cooperative are for children with exceptionalities.  The nationally recognized Parents As Teachers program is for any child age birth to age three.  Any family with a child between the ages of birth and three years can request services.  Parents As Teachers recognizes that parents are the first and most important teacher a child will ever have.  The parent educators work with parents in their homes to share information about child development, health, safety and parenting.  Parents from all family structures, income levels and educational levels participate in this program.  Currently PAT serves about 14 percent of the eligible families in Harvey County.



In June, 2012 HCSEC/USD 373 became the Harvey County grantee for Headstart.  Services are located at Cooper Early Education Center and Halstead in Halstead Middle School



The Harvey County Special Education Cooperative has over 90 professional staff and 120 classified staff.



The annual budget for the Cooperative for FY13 was $7.9 million.  The federal government contributes 16 percent of the total revenue for this budget.  The state of Kansas pays 54 percent of the budget.  The three school districts and miscellaneous sources pay the balance, or 30 percent.    Expenditures from this budget break out as follows:

90% Human Resources Costs (salaries/fixed charges) 2.8% Supplies and Equipment

0.8%  Transportation/Mileage

(reimbursed to staff for traveling to provide services) 1.3% Professional Development

3.0% Contracted Services (Prairie View contracts, Heartspring, etc.) 2.1% Operation of Plant


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Handbook Contents

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