San Marino Unified School District

Special Education » Parent Handbook

Parent Handbook

 

 

 

 

 

 

A RESOURCE POCKET GUIDE FOR PARENTS AND GUARDIANS WITH FINGERTIP FACTS ABOUT THE INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP)

What is Special Education?

Special education is instruction specially designed to meet the unique needs of children that result from having a disability so they may learn the information and skills that other children are learning. http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/ideapubs/lg1txt.htm

Who is eligible for Special Education?
Certain children with disabilities are eligible for special education and related services. The IDEA provides a definition of a "child with a disability." This law lists 13 different disability categories under which a child may be found eligible for special education and related services. These categories are:

• Autism
• Deafness
• Deaf-blindness
• Hearing impairment
• Mental retardation
• Multiple disabilities
• Orthopedic impairment
• Other health impairment
• Serious emotional disturbance
• Specific learning disability
• Speech or language impairment
• Traumatic brain injury
• Visual impairment, including blindness.

 

According to the IDEA, the disability must affect the child's educational performance. The question of eligibility, then, comes down to a question of whether the child has a disability that fits in one of IDEA's 13 categories and whether that disability affects how the child does in school. That is, the disability must cause the child to need special education and related services. For more information go to http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/genresc/gr3.htm

What is IDEA?
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is federal legislation that requires eligible students with disabilities to have equal access to a free and appropriate education. www.fape.org

How is a referral processed?
A parent, teacher, administrator, doctor, community agency, or any other concerned individual may refer a child who is suspected of having a disability to the Student Success Team (SST) at the child’s school of residence. When evidence of the suspected disability indicates a need for more in-depth information, the child may be referred for assessment. Informed parent consent is required.

What is an assessment?
An assessment plan is a description of the assessments that will be used to explore the child’s strengths and needs in the area of suspected disability. After the parent receives their rights under IDEA and gives written consent to test the child, the appropriate specialists conduct the assessment with parent input. No single procedure can be used as the sole criterion for determining an appropriate educational program. The District must complete the assessment within 50 days of the initial referral, excluding breaks of 5 school days or more. For more information see:http://www.nichcy.org/pubs/basicpar/bp1txt.htm

What is an Individual Education Plan?
A team develops an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each youth that has a disability and is eligible for special education and related services. For more information seehttp://www.nichcy.org/pubs/ideapubs/lg2txt.htm

What are related services?
In general, the final regulations for IDEA '97 define the term related services as "transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education..." [Section 300.24(a)]. The following are included in the definition of related services:

• speech-language pathology and audiology services
• psychological services
• physical and occupational therapy
• recreation, including therapeutic recreation
• early identification and assessment of disabilities in children
• counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling
• orientation and mobility services
• medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes
• school health services
• social work services in schools
• parent counseling and training
• transportation. [Section 300.24(a)]

 

How often is an IEP reviewed?
Every IEP is reviewed and updated annually. However, a parent, teacher, or administrator may request a review at any time in writing. Requests may be submitted to the teacher who manages the implementation of your child’s IEP or the Special Education Office at Stoneman School. The IEP meeting, by law, must be held within 30 days of the time the written request is received.

Special Education has a language of its own!

APE - Adaptive Physical Education
CCS - California Children’s Services
DIS - Designated Instructional Services
IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Act
FAPE - Free and Appropriate Education
IEP - Individual Education Program
IFSP - Individual Family Service Plan
LRE - Least Restrictive Environment
NPS - Nonpublic School
OT - Occupational Therapy
PT - Physical Therapy
RSP - Resource Specialist Program
SDC - Special Day Class
SLD - Speech and Language Development
SST - Student Success Team 

 

How is a referral processed?
A parent, teacher, administrator, doctor, community agency, or any other concerned individual may refer a child who is suspected of having a disability to the Student Success Team (SST) at the child’s school of residence. When evidence of the suspected disability indicates a need for more in depth information, the child may be referred for assessment. Informed parent consent is required.

The Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
The law requires that a student be placed in the least restrictive environment possible to effectively address his/her needs. The intent clearly is to have the special needs student as much of a part of the regular school program at his/her home school as possible while giving consideration to the needs of exceptional and typically developing children participating in the program.

The Continuum of Services
Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment is set along this continuum.
• General Education Classroom
• Resource Specialist Program - The child receives special education services 50% or less of the school day.
• Special Day Class in the District - The child receives special education services 51% or more of the school day.
• Special Day Class out of the District
• SELPA Regional or LA County Class
State approved Nonpublic school (NPS)*
* All appropriate public school programs in the SELPA and/or County will be explored prior to consideration of a placement in an NPS.

What happens when there is a disagreement about FAPE?
If the IEP Team is unable to come to an agreement on components of the IEP there are procedural safeguards in place to resolve the issues at hand. These procedures are outlined in the Parental Rights.

Questions? 
As questions arise, it is best to start with the person who is providing the service to your child first. If you still have questions or concerns…
1. Contact the teacher or specialist who manages the implementation of the IEP
2. Contact the principal of your child’s school.
3. Contact the Director of Special Education