The Special Education Process
If your child is demonstrating a pattern of serious difficulty in school and frequently exhibits learning problems, consideration of Special Education may be needed. This can occur in the following way:
Referral and Identification
A referral may come from a parent, teacher, physician, the student, school administrator or community agency. Contact your local school for information regarding a referral for assessment if you suspect your child has a disability.
Student Study Team - SST
You will be asked to attend a Student Study Team (SST). This is a general education process to review the student's strengths and areas of concern. At this meeting, the parent with the school staff determines if alternative instructional strategies are needed. The SST may refer a child for Special Education assessment only after all resources of regular education have been considered and implemented as appropriate.
An Assessment Plan is developed within 15 days of a written referral. Written parental consent is required for the assessment and the evaluation results will be shared with you at an IEP meeting.
Individualized Education Program (IEP)
Within 60 days of signing an assessment plan, if you and the school agree that your child is eligible under one of the twelve eligibility categories, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed by the IEP team with appropriate placement and services determined. The IEP team consists of the parents or guardians, a school administrator, a special education teacher, the child's regular education teacher, and other special education staff as determined by the team. During the IEP, annual goals are developed to help the student progress in the general curriculum. Parents must give approval prior to placement and services beginning.
Your child's program will be reviewed by the IEP team at least once a year to determine progress in meeting established goals and to determine new goals as appropriate.