Sunday, April 3, 2016

Special Education Overview #sped

Article 7 requires that each eligible student with a disability enrolled in a public school between the ages of 3 and 22 be provided with a Free Appropriate Public Education or a FAPE. A FAPE is defined as special education and related services that are provided at public expense, and in accordance with an IEP [at no cost to the parent(s)].

 A student with a disability is a student who has been evaluated in accordance with [Article 7] and determined eligible for special education and related services by a CCC. 

Special education is specially designed instruction provided to students who have been determined eligible through an educational evaluation. It must be provided at no cost to the parent(s) and in accordance with the student’s IEP. 

Related services are services such as occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), an educational interpreter, transportation, etc. that are necessary to allow the student to benefit from his/her special education. 

“At no cost” means that the parent(s) do not have to pay extra for special education and related services. The school may charge for the same things that it charges the parent(s) of a student without disabilities (such as text book rental, lab fees, etc.). 

It is the responsibility of the case conference committee (CCC) to determine what services are appropriate depending on the student’s individual educational needs. The CCC is a group of individuals, including parent(s) and school personnel, that determines if the student is eligible for special education and if so, determines the special education and related services to be provided to the student. The CCC must meet at least annually. 

Article 7 describes the process for parent(s) and school personnel to use in making educational decisions and developing the student’s individualized education program or IEP. An IEP is the written document, developed by parent(s) and school personnel, describing how the student will participate in the general education curriculum, and any special education or related services to be provided. 

Special education services must be provided in the least restrictive environment (LRE). This means that a student with a disability is educated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent possible for each individual student. 

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