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What is Special Education?

Special Education is...

  • Specially designed instruction is provided with a range of services to support students with disabilities
  • Provides access to general education instruction
  • Provides an education in a least restrictive environment
  • Meets the specific needs of the student with a disability
  • Provides related services (if deemed appropriate) are available
  • No cost to parents

What is the pre-assessment process?

  • The Student Success Team (SST) meets with parents and school staff to identify student needs and to design interventions
  • The SST team meets after implementation of interventions to consider next steps, which may be a request for a special education assessment, a 504 eligibility, or continuation of current supports
  • The SST may also recommend supports for specific needs for a student without the student being identified as being in Special Education


What is the assessment/evaluation process?

  • Purpose
    • Determine eligibility for Special Education services
    • Eligibility for Special Education services is based on Federal and State definitions and must impact access to instruction
    • A diagnosis does not necessarily qualify a student for special education services
    • Student strengths and needs are considered
  • Components of evaluation
    • Assessments in the areas of need related to a disability
    • Relevant medical reports
    • Observation of the student
    • Input from the student's classroom teacher
    • Input from the student's parent(s)
    • Other concerns/strengths
  • Other information
    • The assessment will be completed within 60 days from the date that the parent consents in writing to the Assessment Plan


Student eligibility

  • Eligibility is determined by Federal or CA Ed. Code
    • Does the student meet the eligibility criteria as an individual with a disability?
    • Does the severity of the disability have an adverse effect on the student's educational performance?
    • Does the student require special education and services to achieve a free appropriate public education?
    • Is the need not due to a lack of appropriate instruction or limited English proficiency?
  • Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting is held with the parents to discuss assessment results and recommendations
  • If the student is eligible for Special Education services, an IEP is written
  • The IEP establishes goals related to the disability which will support the student in accessing the curriculum
  • Thirteen areas of eligibility:
    • Autism (AUT)
    • Deaf Blindness (DB)
    • Deafness (D)
    • Hearing Impairment (HI)
    • Intellectual Disability (ID)
    • Multiple Disabilities (MD)
    • Orthopedic Impairment (OI)
    • Other Health Impairment (OHI)
    • Emotional Disturbance (ED)
    • Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
    • Speech or Language Impairment (SLI)
    • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
    • Visual Impairment (VI)


Printable references

What is Special Education?         
¿Qué es Educación Especial?


Assessment for Special Education Parent Brochure
Evaluacion para Educion Especial

Contact Us
Millbrae School District 555 Richmond Drive
Millbrae, CA 94030
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