Special education Overview

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Special education refers to a range 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 individual needs of students with disabilities.



A student is recognized as having learning needs and the appropriate school and/or staff member has been contacted to initiate the evaluation process.



The referral notice initiates the district's 25 day timeline to review data/documentation to consider evaluation.  Within the 25 days parents must be notified of the district's decision to move forward with an evaluation or not and the reasons for the decision. If the district moves forward with an evaluation, parents are notified to sign consent for the evaluation and the district must complete the evaluation  within 35 school days of the signed consent. The evaluation process consists of assessments such as psychological, medical, sociocultural, educational, and other appropriate information about a child, which are used to determine if the student has a condition which may have an impact on him or her educationally.



The process in which a team of professional staff members and parents collaborate on the individual needs of the student and determine, based on the data collected if the student is eligible for special education and related services.  If the student is found eligible for special education services, parents and school personnel have 30 calendar days to develop and implement an individualized educational plan (IEP).


IEP Review:

An annual meeting in which parents and school staff members develop a written plan describing the special learning needs of the students. The IEP team consists of parents, student (when appropriate), student's general education teacher, special education teacher and other staff who may be needed to meet the learning needs of the students. IDEA governs the IEP and requires the following: 

  • A description of the student's present levels of performance
  • Concerns of the parents
  • Statement of annual goals
  • State of the special education services provided
  • Statement concerning the extent the student will participate in general education activities
  • The date special education services begin and end
  • Information about how and when the student's progress toward IEP goals will be evaluated
  • State testing and classroom accommodations and modifications
  • Statement addressing to what extent the student will participate in district wide and state assessments and the accommodations the student will need during those assessments
  • If the child is 16 or older the plan must include a transition plan
  • Parent signature is required for initial placement, but is not required for continued services
Annual Review:
Each year the IEP team will meet prior to the end date of the IEP to review and revise the IEP based on student progress, achievement and needs.

Every 3 years students receiving special education services are assessed to determine if additional and/or updated services are needed to support the student.