Welcome to the ISD 318 Special Services Department. We are a team of specialized professionals dedicated to serving all learners. Our staff is committed to helping students of all needs achieve excellence.
Our Special Services and Special Education staff provide a continuum of special education and other services. Our department oversees Special Education Services, Early Childhood, Nursing Services, and other educational services designed to meet student needs.
The Special Education Process
The special education process includes identifying, evaluating, and appropriately placing students who are eligible for services. This process is mandated by state and federal legislation and is guided by the philosophy that special education should be seen as the last resort to provide support for a student.
Once services are provided, progress reports and annual IEP planning meetings offer opportunities to review a student's progress, update the IEP, and further talk about placement.
Identifying a Need for Services
Teachers, parents, or other school staff may request that a special education evaluation be considered. Prior to referral to special education, schools will attempt to implement interventions to address the student’s needs. Two interventions must be attempted. Typically interventions are in place for five to eight weeks in an attempt to solve any educational barriers the student is presenting. See left for additional information about parent referrals.
Referral to Child Study Team
If the interventions are not successful in solving the student's barriers to education and the school believes the child might qualify for special education services, the child is referred to the building Child Study Team. This team determines what areas need to be evaluated and who will be involved in the evaluation process. This results in an evaluation determination plan that is reviewed with the parents. Parents have to give their permission for the district to proceed with an evaluation if the student has never received special education support previously.
Parent permission is needed for the initial evaluation and once given, an evaluation is completed within 30 school days. A meeting is then set up with parents or guardians to review the results of the evaluation and determine if the student qualifies for support services.
Planning for Services and Placement
When special education services are needed, the school team, including parents and the student, develops an Individual Education Program (IEP) plan.
The IEP includes:
- Program goals and objectives for the student.
- Types of specialized services that may be needed.
- The amount of time the student will spend in general education activities.
- The place where services will occur.
If there is a disagreement about the IEP or special education services, school staff, parents, and the student, when appropriate, will work to reach an agreement through mediation, conciliation, or a due process hearing.
At progress reporting times and during annual IEP review meetings, the student's progress is reviewed, the IEP is updated, and the student's placement is discussed. Parents are encouraged to review program goals and suggest changes. Parents or school personnel may request an IEP and placement review at any time.
For more information about the referral process, please use the contact information above to reach us
Parent Referrals to Special Education
Parents can request the school district conduct an evaluation of their child to see if they qualify for special education services. This request can be in writing or given verbally. It should be submitted to the building principal or the special education director. It is important to include specific information about the education concerns of the student, as this will help the district identify what components of the evaluation process to include. Parents do need to understand the district can deny a request to evaluate a student. To do this the district would have to provide the rationale, in writing, for not conducting the evaluation.
Examples of why a district would deny a parent request to evaluate could be:
- in reviewing school information, it is clear the student would not qualify for special education.
- the student was recently evaluated and didn't qualify.