Special Education Services
Individual Education Program (IEP)
After the evaluation is completed and the student is determined eligible for Special Education services, the team will collaborate to develop an Individual Education Program (IEP). The IEP team consists of the parents/guardians, the student’s general education teacher, the special education teacher(s) who will be providing services, a site administrator, and a school psychologist as needed. The IEP Team has 30 days from the signing of the initial MEEGS to complete and sign the initial IEP. Each IEP is individually tailored to the specific needs of the student based on the evaluation results, classroom performance, and other relevant needs. Once signed, the IEP becomes a contract between the school and the parents as to what services will be provided over the next year, and includes specific goals related to the student's needs.
While any IEP team member has the right to request an IEP meeting to discuss an immediate problem or concern, the team is required to meet annually to evaluate the plan, review progress based on the goals, and establish new goals for the following year. Every three years the IEP Team has to decide if re-evaluation is needed.
Children Under Ten Years of Age
Students under the age of ten are served under the category of Developmental Delay. The only exceptions to this are the categories of Hearing Impairment and Visual Impairment. These two categories are used at any age if the student meets the eligibility criteria. A full re-evaluation must be completed before the child’s tenth birthday if additional data is necessary to determine eligibility for a more specific eligibility category. If the initial evaluation takes place within a year of the child’s tenth birthday, the team can decide to give a more specific placement category at that time.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
LRE is part of the IDEA. IDEA says that children who receive special education services should learn in the least restrictive environment. This means they should spend as much time as possible with peers who do not receive special education. IDEA says two things about LRE that are important to understand when working with the IEP team: Students with disabilities should be with kids in general education to the maximum extent that is appropriate; and special classes, separate schools or removal from the general education class should only happen when your the child’s learning or attention issue—the “disability” under IDEA—is so severe that supplementary aids and services can’t provide an appropriate education. A key word here is “appropriate.” It refers to what’s suitable or right for the student. Sometimes, putting a student in a general education classroom isn't suitable because a specific service or program can’t be provided there.
There is not one “right” environment for all kids and students who have similar needs may not both receive the same services. The intent of LRE is to make sure that students who receive special education are included in the general education classroom as much as possible with as much benefit as possible. The IEP team will determine together what the LRE is for each student. Some common service delivery models in Sand Springs Public Schools include:
- General education classroom with supports: students spend the entire day in a general education class and receives supports and services such as assistive technology, academic assistance from the general education teacher, related services, accommodations, and modifications to the curriculum.
- Resource classes: students spend part of the day in a general education class and receives individual or small-group instruction in a special education class, or is pulled out of class for services.
- Self contained special education classes: Students spend a majority of their school day in a special education class. This is a program with specialized instruction for kids with similar learning needs.