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Exceptional Learners

Hamilton Southeastern Schools provides a full continuum of special education services for our students. Special education includes specially-designed instruction to meet a student’s unique educational needs and related services to support a student’s educational program. The services range from support for students placed in general education classroom settings to self-contained specialized programs for students whose educational needs require more intensive services and support. Visit our Facebook page...

Administration Team

Tom Bell Director of Exceptional Learners
Kristi Smith Assistant Director
Barb Walters Assistant Director
Kelli Servizzi Preschool Coordinator
Kelli Kornas FOCUS Coordinator

Legal Guidelines

Special education services are required and described by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which was reauthorized in 2004.

Learn more about the legal guidelines here...
Indiana DOE Notice of Procedural Safeguards (English)
Indiana DOE Notice of Procedural Safeguards (Spanish)

Continuum of Services

Hamilton Southeastern Schools makes special education and related services available to students from age 3 through 21 and offers a full continuum of placement options for students with special needs as deemed appropriate by the case conference committee.  For students with disabilities from age 3 until the student is age-eligible for kindergarten, HSE offers a continuum of Pre-School services. The student’s developmental, educational and behavioral needs are considered by the case conference committee when determining the appropriate placement in the least restrictive environment. 

For students who are age-eligible for kindergarten through age 21, HSE offers a continuum of placement options that includes, but is not limited to: 
  • special education services and supports being provided in the general education classroom (sometimes referred to as “inclusion”) 
  • general education classroom placement supported by services and assistance that are provided outside the general education classroom (often called “resource services”) 
  • separate classrooms that provide instruction in functional academics, life skills and basic skills, or address behavioral challenges (this placement may or may not be in addition to the student’s participation in one or more general education settings or classes) 
  • a separate public school facility, FOCUS (Foundation of Characteristics Unique to Success), provides instruction and behavioral support for students who require a more intensive level of service. 
Private or Home Schooled Students: Hamilton Southeastern Schools supports and makes special education and related services available to all students identified with special needs within the corporation’s geographic boundaries--including students who attend a private school or home school located within our boundaries. However, both federal and state special education law permit the school to offer a level of special education and related services that is less than what the student would receive if attending the local public school. 

Suspect a Disability?

HSE Schools Child Find procedure: 

If your child is age 2 ½ through 21, attends any school within the Hamilton Southeastern Schools boundaries or you live in our community and you suspect your child may have a disability, you should contact us for more information.
  • For children at least two and a half years of age, but not yet age-eligible for kindergarten, you should contact the Preschool Coordinator at Brooks School Elementary 317-915-4256. 
  • For students who are eligible for kindergarten through age 21, you should contact your child’s teacher, school counselor or building administrator to discuss your concerns and explore the steps to be taken. If your child is not enrolled in public school, you should contact the counselor or building administrator in the building your child would attend if enrolled. 
Response-to-Intervention (RtI) is a general education initiative designed to provide high quality instruction and interventions matched to student needs, and using learning rate over time and level of performance to make important educational decisions. The RtI model is based on a three-tiered model of service delivery with a focus on early intervention and prevention of academic and behavioral concerns. Data collected during this process provides valuable information regarding students’ educational progress and response to interventions. Students who do not demonstrate a response to well-implemented, scientifically-based interventions at the Tier 3 level would be referred for an educational evaluation to determine eligibility for special education.

Hamilton Southeastern Schools’ policies and procedures regarding the identification and evaluation of a student in need of educational services are derived from Article 7, Indiana Special Education Law.  A referral for evaluation can be initiated by either the parent or school, and requires parental consent.  The area of suspected disability is determined, which is based on the primary area(s) of concern at the time of the referral.  Article 7 outlines the required assessments to be included in in the evaluation report for each area of suspected disability requires specific assessments to be included in the evaluation report.  The evaluation is completed by a school psychologist and any other necessary licensed school personnel identified as part of the multidisciplinary team in order to meet the requirements of the evaluation.  

Upon completion of the educational evaluation, the case conference committee must be convened to determine if the student is eligible for special education services, and if eligible, the special education and related services necessary to meet the educational needs of the student.  When determining eligibility, the case conference committee is responsible for considering all the information contained within the educational evaluation report while not relying on any single measure or assessment as the sole criterion for determining eligibility.  Article 7 provides eligibility criteria for each area of suspected disability for the case conference committee to follow during the decision making process.  

Autism Support Team

The ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) Support Team is a multidisciplinary support team which consists of individuals who represent the various grade levels within Hamilton Southeastern School District.  Our goal is to serve as a resource to schools and parents, and to provide a support base to the child’s multi-disciplinary team (parents, teachers, administrators, therapists, and support staff).

Our purpose is to:
  • Help increase understanding of autism spectrum disorders and associated programming needs
  • Facilitate problem-solving by collaborating with the child’s multi-disciplinary team
  • Disseminate information to assist in providing effective programming for students
Our purpose is not to:
  • Diagnose autism spectrum disorders
  • Participate in case conferences
The ASD Support Team utilizes a multi-tiered approach when providing support, with an emphasis on preventative measures to meet the needs of our students. In addition to the ASD Support Team Members, HSE school has a building designee who serves as a resource for the school as well as a liaison to the ASD Support Team. 

If you are interested in receiving information regarding HSE’s ASD Support Team, please contact your child’s resource teacher, or Leslie Brown.


Hamilton Southeastern Schools

  • Central Office
  • 13485 Cumberland Road, Fishers, IN 46038
  • Office Hours: M - F 7:30am - 4:30pm 
  • (317) 594-4100  (800) 905-6665

  • HSE Schools wants to hear from you! To send a general inquiry to the District Administration Office, click here. 

Our Mission

Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as a forward-thinking school district, provides educational opportunities to ensure the success of each and every student, to become a responsible citizen and to positively influence an ever-changing world community.