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603.03 Special Education Services

The Board of Education recognizes some students have different educational needs than other students. In accordance with law and policy, all eligible children from birth until the appropriate education is completed, age twenty-one or to maximum age allowable, as defined by state and federal law will be provided a free and appropriate public education program and related services.

The District will work in conjunction with Heartland Area Education Agency (AEA) to provide services at the earliest appropriate time to children with disabilities from birth through age 3. This will be done to ensure a smooth transition for children entitled to early childhood special education services at age 3.

Students requiring special education will attend general education classes, participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities, and receive services in a general education setting to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of each individual student. The appropriate education for each student will be written in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Special education students shall be required to meet the requirements stated in Board policy or in their IEPs for graduation.

To the extent possible all appropriate instructional support services and related services will be provided to children with disabilities in the District.

It will be the responsibility of the Superintendent and the AEA Director of Special Education to provide or make provisions for appropriate special education programs and related services. While the Superintendent will be custodian of school records, the building principal will be responsible for maintaining the records of identified special education students. These records may be viewed by authorized District personnel in accordance with the requirements of Board policy.

Recognizing the District’s responsibility in identifying, evaluating, and providing appropriate services to eligible children, the Board of Education assigns each employee with a child advocacy function. Such an assignment places responsibility on all staff to continually assess the academic and behavioral functioning level of all children under his or her charge and to report to parents and the principal any child suspected of having any type of disability. Further, each employee will work actively to see that suspected eligible children are provided appropriate general education intervention according to District-wide procedures. When the general education interventions are exhausted, staff members may refer student for multidisciplinary evaluations and provided appropriate placement. When necessary, other appropriate educational agencies, such as the AEA, are contacted to assist in locating and properly serving eligible students in the District.

Before any child is identified as eligible for special education services, every effort will be made to resolve the presenting issue or behavior at the classroom level. The classroom teacher will take the primary role in providing the necessary support. It is the District’s desire to follow AEA procedures which will ensure early intervention activities, including early intervention conferences with appropriate District personnel.

Prior to any initial evaluations, re-evaluations and initial placement in special education, written parent consent will be obtained, as required by law. Prior to placement in a special education program, a comprehensive evaluation will be conducted, including assessments deemed appropriate by the educational diagnostic team.

Adopted:
January 6, 1986

Reviewed:
February 11, 2009
November 17, 2014
October 19, 2020

Revised:
March 23, 2009
November 17, 2014
October 19, 2020