The Alpine School District is asking for help locating handicapped and disabled children who aren't enrolled in school programs but are living within district boundaries.

The district is required to seek out these children as part of a special education grant it receives.Officials say that for a variety of reasons some handicapped students aren't taking advantage of services offered by the district. Administrators would like anyone who knows of such a child (up to age 21) to contact the special education department at 756-8410.

Richard Mecham, director of Alpine's special education department, said it's essential to identify these children in order to provide a wide variety of services and programs at early stages in the student's development.

"Principals, regular classroom teachers and special education personnel are making a sustained effort to establish and guarantee the right of every handicapped child to an education equal in every way to that received by children without disability," he said.

"This effort has evolved into an education philosophy utilizing a continuum of services designed to offer a number of program options and placement alternatives to handicapped and disabled individuals. But before these services can be provided, these individuals must be located," Mecham said.

Information will be kept confidential. A district staff member will contact the individual or family to explain available programs.