Special Education refers to specially designed instructional services beyond the regular classroom program. It is for children who have hidden or seen disabilities in any of these areas: health, physical, developmental, sensory, intellectual, neurological, emotional, speech and communication or specific learning issues — children who are not making effective progress in school.
A child may be referred by a teacher, parent, counselor, or principal for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education. If it is determined that the child will be evaluated, then parental written permission will be obtained prior to commencing the evaluation process. Assessments regarding the suspected disability, educational status and progress in the general curriculum, as well as the results of school and state tests will be part of the evaluation.
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Team will collect and examine all relevant information to establish the presence of a disability, will make a judgment on whether the student is making effective progress in the general education program, whether the lack of progress is a result of the disability, and whether the student requires specially designed instruction in order to make progress and access the general education curriculum. The Team may find a student eligible for special education services or may make a finding of no eligibility. If a student is found eligible for special education services, an IEP will be developed to address the unique needs of each student.