Special Education Programs and Services for Eligible Students
The eligibility process for special education emphasizes the examination of the whole child. This examination is a process of data collection that includes multiple methods of assessing student performance with input from parents, teachers, instructional specialists, school psychologists, school social workers, occupational therapists, and other related service providers. The purpose of the evaluation is to provide the student/family with the best and most comprehensive information possible to make valid and appropriate recommendations as to the student's eligibility for special education and, more importantly, provide educationally relevant recommendations for instructional strategies, supports and services.
Begin with considerations of Instructional Quality
Federal law also requires schools to ensure that students are provided with appropriate, evidence-based instruction that is delivered by a qualified teacher. This model begins with considerations about the provisions for quality instruction delivered by qualified teachers.
Level of Proficiency State Standards
Students progress in learning State standards is a fundamental consideration for instructional planning and for understanding student educational performance levels. The team considers the student's level of proficiency with State standards as measured by State assessments and/or district benchmark assessments.
Rate/Level of Progress
Data representing repeated measures of student performance provided to parents at regular intervals are required to determine the probability of a specific learning disability. Repeated measures of student rate/level of progress may include progress monitoring data, benchmark assessments, classroom assessments, or other measures that occur at reasonable intervals.
Before making determinations of special education eligibility regarding a student, a multidisciplinary team must consider all other factors that could explain the performance patterns and the lack of student response to instruction. The team must consider the student's progress in the context of his/her opportunity, past experiences, sensory, health, language, culture, and developmental challenges.