CCSC Special Education Information
Some Basics About Special Education for Parents
Why Special Education?
Parents and teachers are the most important people in a child's education. When children are struggling in school or have identified disabilities, parents and teachers face challenges to ensure that each child receives the best possible education, services, and interventions to meet his/her individual needs. At Culver Community School Corporation, the special education department is committed to helping parents and teachers navigate the domain of special
education to best meet students' needs. This flyer includes some helpful information and answers some 'frequently asked questions' that parents and/or teachers may have about the special education process at CCSC.
WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE A CONCERN ABOUT MY CHILD'S PROGRESS?
- The first step should be to contact the child's teacher(s). The classroom teachers at CCSC are well-versed in basic interventions and supports that may be able to assist the student enough to overcome his/her challenges.
- A teacher conference may be requested as soon as the parent has a concern.
- A parent should not enter the parent-teacher conference empty-handed - it is helpful if the parent makes a list of concerns and/or questions to be addressed during the meeting.
- Close collaboration between home and school is essential for student success!
How Do I Ask for 'Special Help'?
Sometimes, a parent-teacher conference helps resolve a student's problems. Other times, the parent may feel that additional support for the child is warranted. At this point, the parent and teacher may feel that entering the Response to Intervention (Rtl) Process is appropriate.
What is Response to Intervention (Rtl)?
Rtl models vary from district to district; however, the common theme of Rtl is a "systematic sequence of support to struggling students, starting with very general interventions to help large groups of children, which become progressively more intensive as students require additional help." Student progress is measured along the way, and the Rtl personnel at each CCSC school should be able to provide regular check-ins with parents about student progress.
*Please note that multiple interventions may be attempted within the Rtl process for your child, which can take time for teachers and Rtl members to complete*
What if the interventions don't seem to work?
Many times, the RT model and specialized interventions will work for students. When the child's progress is less than expected, or he/she doesn't appear to be responding to the intervention(s), an evaluation for special education eligibility might be the next step. Referral for evaluation can be made through the STAT team at each school.
The Eligibility Process in Special Education
An evaluation for special education eligibility is conducted to determine if:
A.) The child has a disability, as defined by federal law
B.) The child's educational needs related to the disability
require specialized intervention that can only be provided
through special education services
Children ages 3-21 may be served through special education programs across the U.S.
Parents must agree to an evaluation. This can't take place without your consent.
CCSC values parent input throughout the entire special
education process, and we appreciate your attendance at all
meetings related to vour child!
What happens during the evaluation?
Your child must be evaluated in all areas of the suspected disability. There are 13 categories of disability that are defined by federal law, which can be found here:
At this point, the student will be assessed by a team of school-based, multidisciplinary professionals, with each individual concentrating on his/her area of expertise. This can include the special education team and/or case manager, school psychologist, social worker, occupational and/or physical therapist, speech and language pathologist and school nurse, among others.
What happens after the evaluation is completed?
After the evaluation is completed, a meeting is scheduled to review the results and determine eligibility for special education. No single person at CCSC determines if your child is eligible or not eligible for special education; this decision is a team decision, which is why it is so important for parents to attend these meetings! At this meeting, appropriate student services and goals will also be determined.
If the child is not found eligible for special education at CCSC, classroom interventions may continue to assist the student with his/her needs in the regular education classroom.
What happens after the child is determined to be a child with a disability?
If your child is found eligible for special education, a meeting will be scheduled to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). This plan is developed in a team setting with teachers, special education teachers, case managers, and parents. It describes the educational goals and objectives for the child related to his/her area of disability.
The IEP goals should be measurable, the person(s) responsible for implementation of strategies to reach the goal should be identified, and any other related services that the child may benefit from can be discussed in-detail at this time (e.g., speech, counseling, occupational therapy, etc.).
Once a child is eligible for special education and has an IEP at school, his/her eligibility status will be reviewed at the student's annual Case Review to determine if special education is still the correct placement for reaching the maximum learning potential for that student. Your child's Teacher of Record will contact you during this time, and an additional meeting will be scheduled. In addition, each student's IEP is reviewed yearly, and can be amended as needs arise.
Common Vocabulary in Special Education
• Behavior Intervention Plan or Behavior Improvement Plan (BIP) - This plan contains specific goals and positive strategies used to improve behavior of a student in the classroom.
• Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) - This is a concept from civil rights law, guaranteeing all children, including those with a disability, a free and appropriate public education.
• Individualized Education Program/Plan (IEP) - This document describes the goals/objectives/services for a student found eligible for special education.
• Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) - The maximum extent in which a student eligible for special education is with his/her general education peers. This is why the "push-in method" of special education (SPED teacher comes into the regular education classroom to assist student) is preferred to the "pull-out method" of special education (student is pulled out of classroom away from peers for extra academic instruction).
• Section 504 Plan - This is a federal legislation that protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination in public schools. If the child's disability does not require special education or related services, then he/she may be eligible for a Section 504 plan that specifically describes accommodations that are necessary for the child to access instruction in the classroom. Section 504 plans are often related to medical disabilities, such as requiring a Gatorade in class for low blood sugar and/or diabetes, or access to an elevator for a physical handicap.
Principal of Culver Elementary School