Special education (under construction)

What is special education?

Special education means specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability. Special education services are provided at no cost to parents and includes any related services a student needs to access his or her educational program. The law governing special education and related services is known as IDEA. 

Read the statutes and regulations for Parts B & C by clicking here.

The three main components of the IDEA

The three main components of the IDEA are:

A free appropriate public education means exactly that—a free education that meets a student’s unique needs that are provided at public expense and supervised by the local public school system.

Least restrictive environment is not a place—it is a philosophy that guides where a student will learn. Students with disabilities should be educated with students without disabilities as much as possible.

The individual education plan is a legal document that details the specialized instruction, supports, accommodations, modifications and services a student needs to make educational progress.

Quick info guides

The Individualized Educational Program

Identification

Schools are responsible for making sure students who need special education services receive them. Teachers, parents, doctors, service providers, advocates and more can bring concerns to the school's attention. 

Evaluation

During the evaluation period, a student receives a variety of assessments, both formal and informal. These evaluations assist in making a determination if the student is eligible for special education and related services.

After the special education administrator receives the referral for an evaluation, an evaluation must be conducted and eligibility must be determined within 65 BUSINESS days. 

Present levels of performance describes the skills the student already has and how his or her disability specifically impacts progress in the general education curriculum

Eligibility

A student must be found eligible under one of the categories listed in the IDEA. This disability must impact the student's education, and the student must need special education and related services.

The IEP must be developed within 30 CALENDAR days of the initial determination of eligibility.

Reevaluations

Accommodations change the WAY information is presented to a student. Modifications change the CONTENT of the information the student is learning. 

Students are reevaluated for special education and related services generally every three years. 

Anatomy of the Individualized Education Program

Present Levels of Performance (PLOPs)

Present levels of performance describes the skills the student already has and how his or her disability specifically impacts progress in the general education curriculum. 

Annual goals

The goals describe what the student will learn in ONE year. The goals should be specific and include a time frame in which the goal will be accomplished. 

Special education & related services

Special education and related services identifies how much and what type of services a student will need to reach his or her IEP goals. 

Placement

Placement refers to the start date, frequency, duration and location for specialized instructional services in the IEP. 

Accommodations & modifications

Accommodations change the WAY information is presented to a student. Modifications change the CONTENT of the information the student is learning. 

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© 2023 by The Arc of Northern Shenandoah Valley. 

Tel: 540-692-9650

Email: shenvalleyarc@gmail.com

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