Students Referred for Special Education – SPED

How Students Are Referred For SPED       SPED 421 Fall 2016       

     Recognition of a student with a need for an atypical learning situation.  All students began their career as a student with a need, and a student who shows more than a typical need will be referred for examination by the school psychologist, and the parent and observation through documentation of the student in a typical school day.

     Phase Two is a pre-referral “ Pre-referral intervention is to identify, develop, and implement alternative education strategies for students who have recognized problems in the classroom before the student is referred to special education.”  ( 12/8/2016.  Whether the school provides a pre-referral there is a response to intervention with working knowledge of the students need for intervention and observing  the student with the intervention in process.

     Phase Three “If, after interventions in the general education classroom, the student continues to experience difficulty, school personnel may refer the child for a special education evaluation. Referrals for determination of eligibility for special education services may be initiated by”: School personnel, the parents and this signals the official start of the IEP process for formal intervention with an IEP team.

     Phase Four:  “DEA requires that students referred for special education services receive a nondiscriminatory multi-factored evaluation. The school district is required to complete the evaluation within 60 days of the referral date. The evaluation is to be conducted by a multidisciplinary team that will consist of individuals who can bring different perspectives and expertise to the evaluation.”  

     Phase Five:  “Within 30 days of the completion of the evaluation, the individuals that took part in the process thus far will meet to determine eligibility. In simple terms, a student is considered eligible for special education services if (1) the child has a disability as defined by IDEA which negatively impacts his/her educational performance, and (2) the child needs special education services in order to benefit from education.”

     Phase Six:   The IEP includes many steps, and I have written about 100 of them, however according to the article “The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal contract between the parents and the school district that describes the special education services to be provided by the local education agency which is the local school district. While IEP documents vary, the basic parts of an IEP include:

  • A student profile that provides background information about the student. The profile will include strengths and weaknesses of the student, information regarding performance in the classroom and on formal assessments, and the reason he or she is receiving special education services.
  • IEP initiation and duration dates: the goals expressly stated in an IEP begin on the date, stated in the IEP meeting, and are in effect until the date stated in the IEP. These IEP goals are reviewed, monitored and updated based on student progress. For most students, IEP goals are in place for one academic year.
  • A statement of “special instructional factors” (such as the need for assistive technology, braille, or transition services). If the student requires any of the special instructional factors, they should be addressed in the IEP.
  • A statement of special transportation needs;
  • A statement of opportunities to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities with their non-disabled peers
  • A statement of the frequency and method of reports of goal attainment for parents or guardians.
    • Benchmark pages are included and focus on specific areas that need special education services (such as reading, math, PE, etc.). The benchmark pages include: Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLAAFP) statements,
    • Measurable Annual Goals,
    • Evaluations used to measure annual goals,
    • Benchmarks to be achieved to meet the annual goals,
    • Special education and related services needed to achieve the annual goal (includes frequency of services, amount of time, location, and responsible agencies).
  • A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) if the student’s behavior is a concern and a functional behavioral assessment has been done or needs to be conducted,
  • For students 16 years and older; the plans and activities for the student’s transition from high school will be addressed
  • The signature page which provides a statement of least restrictive environment (LRE) and has the signatures of all members present at the meeting.

The benchmark pages are the “meat” of most IEPs and can be developed by any member of the team. Typically, these pages are developed by the special education teachers in collaboration with the parents, general education teachers, related service providers, and behavioral specialists”  (  12/8/2016.  I included the entire section in case I will need to reference this in the future, as the IEP as a legal document continues to include add ons to the document and the fact of this being a legal document makes the teacher within this profession much more valuable to have had a legal background of any kind.  I have been a law librarian and did marry a guy who went to law school, so legalese became familiar to me.

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:Kat: K. M. M.Ed

Author, Artist, Philosopher.

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