Special education is instruction, specially designed to the student, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Students with disabilities are general education students first. They receive special education support services in conjunction with the general education curriculum. Special education is a specialized instructional service, not a place.
Who can receive Special Education Services?
To qualify for special education services, a child must have a disability. A student may be referred by a teacher or by a parent. Prior to the referral, accommodations must be made and interventions attempted in the general education classroom. If the documentation from the interventions shows that the students is still not progressing academically, then a referral for special education evaluation may be recommended. If it appears that there is a need for an individual evaluation, the parent(s) will be invited to an evaluation planning meeting with school staff to determine the areas to be evaluated. A parent must approve the initial evaluation plan by signing the "Notice of an Education Evaluation/Re-Evaluation Plan."
A document titled "Parental Rights and Procedural Safeguards" will be given to the parents with the initial evaluation request. The evaluation must be completed within 30 school days from the date the written consent is received by the school district.
The child must meet state eligibility criteria in one of the categorical disabilities. You can find more information on categorical disabilities by clicking on the link below.