Special Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) allows for research-/evidence-based programs and strategies to be used before identifying students in a category of special educaton. The goal of the Response to Intervention (RtI) model is to address deficits as soon as the interferences of learning are noticed instead of waiting for the students to fail. The Three-Tier Model incorporates flexible grouping practices to group and regroup students based on their progress, interests, and changing. Interventions are individualized plans designed to assist in meeting general education students’ academic and behavior needs. The term PST stands for Problem Solving Teams.

Facts related to PST plans:
  • Provide the ability to successfully teach all students in the regular education setting
  • Identify both strengths and needs of students Address discipline, academic and behavioral needs for students
  • Provide immediate support for teacher, parent and/or student concerns that need to be addressed in a timely manner
  • Are written to specific individual needs of students and teachers
  • Are interventions and strategies that can be evaluated by the level of success
  • Should take into consideration learning styles and reasonable accommodations
  • Are written for a minimum period of 40 days, but should be altered if unsuccessful
  • Enable teachers to work hand and hand with their building principal to ensure PST plans are implemented appropriately
  • Require follow-up meetings to assist in weekly and monthly monitoring the success of the plan
  • Ensure that appropriate referrals are made for special education services

Referral Process

A Special Education referral can be made from a parent of a child, state education agency, other state agency, or local education agency to determine if the child is a child with a disability. As a part of the referral process, information is gathered from the PST team plan, classroom environmental observation, a parent interview and the Environmental, Cultural and/or Economic Concerns checklist. The REM / IEP Team makes the decision to accept or reject the Special Education referral.

Facts related to a Special Education Referral are:
  • A Special Education referral can be made for a student during the school year as well as the summer
  • A formal invitation called the Notice of Proposed Meeting is provided to parents or guardians inviting them to attend this meeting. Two documented attempts have to be gathered before the REM / IEP Team can meet without a parent or guardian
  • Data from PST must be gathered and reviewed during the referral meeting
  • If the REM / IEP Team agrees to accept the Special Education referral, written consent for the initial evaluation must be gathered before any testing can take place
  • Once the Permission for Initial Evaluation is signed by the parent or guardian, the REM / IEP Team has a total of 60 calendar days to complete the assessment. The Team then has 30 days to meet a second time to discuss the testing results and determine if a student does or does not qualify for special education services.

Eligibility

An eligibility meeting will be held once the testing is completed as agreed upon from the referral meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to review and discuss the assessment results and any other pertinent information, and to determine whether or not the child has a disability and is eligible for special education services. If the REM / IEP team has determined the child eligible for Special Education services, another meeting is scheduled within 30 days to develop an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) to address needs for the child.

Some facts related to Eligibility are:
  • The REM / IEP Team must develop and IEP within 30 calendar days of determining that the child is a child with a disability and needs Special Education and related services
  • A formal invitation called the Notice of Proposed Meeting is provided to parents or guardians inviting them to attend this meeting. Two documented attempts have to be gathered before the REM / IEP Team can meet without a parent or guardian