Special Education provides a range of programs and services for students, birth to 21 years of age, who have been identified as disabled and in need of specialized programming.
The eligibility process includes referral, intervention, screening, and assessments which determine the type and amount of service needed. Recommendations are made and plans developed by a team of the student's parents and educators.
An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is written for each student, taking into account the unique needs of the student, type of service and personnel required, student learning style, and goals to be met, as well as motivational and environmental factors.
Special Education programming for school-aged students is provided through the school teams which consist of the principal, regular teaching staff, and specialists trained in a variety of areas. The majority of students are programmed into regular classrooms with support coming from special education staff members and other specialists as necessary.
Students with severe disabling conditions may be educated by Northeast Metro Intermediate School District 916 programs or other agency programming by neighboring districts through a contract with School District 16.
Federal and state laws, specifically the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act of 2004 passed by Congress, requires that school districts provide: 1) a free and appropriate education designed to meet each student's unique needs; 2) an education in the least restrictive environment; 3) a nondiscriminatory assessment; and 4) an Individualized Education Plan.