What is Special Education?
Special Education is defined as specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. A child with a disability is defined as an individual with special needs in one of the following areas as identified by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA):
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Visual Impairment (including blindness)
- Emotional Disturbance
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Intellectual Disability
- Other Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
What are Special Education Services?
Most services are provided in the regular education classroom. The special education staff works within classrooms with the regular education teachers, team teaching, assisting with small groups, and providing individual instruction to meet the needs of students on an individual education plan (IEP). Some students need instruction or remediation outside of the regular education classroom. These students are pulled out for a portion of their day and receive instruction in a resource room setting. Besides instruction by special education teachers, related services are also available to students. Speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, and psychological services are provided to those students whose IEP requires such services.
For more information, or if you have specific questions about the range of services offered in SAU 83, please contact us directly: Melissa McKeon, Director of Student Services or Nan Perry, Special Services Secretary at 603-895-2511
What is the Special Education Process?
If a child demonstrates a pattern of serious difficulty in school, frequently exhibits learning problems, and is not responding to general education interventions, consideration of special education may be needed. Determination of eligibility for special education services is as follows.
A referral may come from a teacher, physician, parent, student, school administrator, or community agency. Within fifteen (15) days of receipt of a referral a Disposition of Referral meeting will be held. At this meeting, the parent, along with regular and special education staff from the school, determine if alternative instructional strategies or accommodations are needed or if a multidisciplinary special education assessment should be completed. If it is determined that an assessment is needed, parents need to sign a Permission to Test form before the evaluation process can be begin.
Once testing has been completed, the evaluation team, which includes parents, qualified examiners, special educators, and the classroom teacher, meet to discuss the evaluations and make a determination as to whether or not the student meets the criteria for eligibility for special education services.
Individualized Education Plan
If the student qualifies for special education services, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be developed. The plan will include appropriate services, modifications, and annual goals needed for the student to access the regular curriculum.
Individualized Education Plan Review
A student's program will be reviewed by the IEP team at least once a year to determine progress in meeting the established goals and to determine new goals as appropriate.