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Special Education

Student on slide

Special education is not a “place,” rather, it refers to a continuum of services that can be provided in different ways and in different settings. There’s no “one size fits all” approach to special education. It’s tailored to meet the needs of students with disabilities.

The district’s goal is to partner with families regarding the individual needs of their children. The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal legislation that helps guide school teams and families in the referral, evaluation and qualification of students requiring specially designed instruction and the development of Individualized Education Programs (IEP).

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How a Student Qualifies for Special Education Services

Students determined eligible for special education services must meet all three of the following criteria:

  • The student must have a disability or disabilities.
  • The student's disability/disabilities adversely affect educational performance.
  • The student’s unique needs cannot be addressed through education in general education classes alone – with or without individual accommodations and requires specially designed instruction (SDI).

Eligibility is based on a comprehensive initial evaluation. A comprehensive initial evaluation includes all of the existing data gathered about the student through the referral process and any additional assessments needed to determine whether a student is eligible for special education. The initial evaluation report is used to determine what special education and related services the student needs.