The Special Education Services group is dedicated to providing resources, support and learning opportunities to our parents as it relates to students who have different learning styles and abilities. Areas of focus include Special Education, Tiers of Support, 504 Plans, EIP, ESOL, and therapy services. If you are interested in learning more about available Special Education Services, please contact the appropriate person listed here:
Emily Haney – EIP (Early Intervention Program), RTI-Tiers of Support, 504 Plans, ESOL
Connie Reddan – Miller-Special Education, Therapy Services
Shelly Lewis – Special Education, Therapy Services
Megan Bell – Special Education, Therapy Services
Jill Burger – Speech Language Services
Who is eligible for special education services?
Children with disabilities are eligible for Special Education and related services when they meet IDEA’s definition of a “child with a disability” in combination with state and local policies. IDEA’s definition of a “child with a disability” lists 13 different disability categories under which a child may be found eligible for special education and related services. IDEA describes what each of these disability categories means. You’ll find those descriptions online at: http://www.nichcy.org/disability/categories/
What does it mean to receive special education services?
In general, Special Education services provide specially designed instruction that involves modifications to the curriculum itself and/or the way the curriculum is taught to meet the specific needs of the student. Other Special Education-related services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy may also be needed. These are just a few of the related services that could be provided.
What special services are being provided to our FES community?
FES provides Special Education services to approximately 25 students with disabilities. These exceptionalities can range from mild to quite involved. Our school provides support to children with such diagnoses as Developmental Delay, Specific Learning Disabilities, Other Health Impairments, Autism, Emotional Behavioral Disorder, Speech and Language delays, Occupational and Physical needs.
Special Education services are geared to minimize the impact of a student’s disability through a continuum of services. These services range from inclusion services provided within the general education classroom, or services provided outside of the classroom in a small group resource setting. Services are rendered based upon a student’s current educational and learning needs. Teaching methods used at Fairyland include Paraprofessional support within the classroom, Co-Teaching within the classroom by a Special Ed and Regular Ed teacher, and small group resource services outside of the classroom by a Special Education teacher.
In addition to Special Education, FES also provides many other students with a variety of additional educational options. These special services include Kaleidoscope, 504 Plans, EIP, ESOL, and Tiers of Support.
If a student qualifies for Special Education, there are many ways in which they can be supported through the School system, the most common being:
INDIVIDUAL EDUCATION PLANS (IEPs)
This is a written plan that is designed for any student who receives special education and related services. IEPs are required for every special education student under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. The IEP describes the goals that are set for the student over the course of the school year and spells out any special supports needed to help achieve those goals. An annual review meeting is required once a year in order to discuss a student’s present needs. When appropriate, new learning goals are determined and services are continued. Parents are an important part of the IEP process.
The “504” in “504 plan” refers to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which specifies that no one with a disability can be excluded from participating in federally funded programs or activities, including elementary, secondary or postsecondary schooling. “Disability” in this context refers to a “physical or mental impairment, which substantially limits one or more major life activities.” This can include physical impairments; illnesses or injuries; communicable diseases; chronic conditions like asthma, allergies and diabetes; and learning problems. A 504 plan spells out the modifications and accommodations that will be needed for these students to have an opportunity perform at the same level as their peers, and might include such things as wheelchair ramps, blood sugar monitoring, an extra set of textbooks, a peanut-free lunch environment, home instruction, extended time to perform on test, or a tape recorder or keyboard for taking notes.
What is the difference?
At a summary level, an IEP provides an eligible student with services, accommodations, and goals. A 504 Plan provides accommodations only, but it does not necessitate eligibility. Rather, a 504 Plan is used for students with a documented medical condition.
Not all students who have disabilities require specialized instruction. For students with disabilities who do require specialized instruction, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) controls the procedural requirements, and an IEP is developed. The IDEA process is more involved than that of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and requires documentation of measurable growth. For students with disabilities who do not require specialized instruction but need the assurance that they will receive equal access to public education and services, a document is created to outline their specific accessibility requirements. Students with 504 Plans do not require specialized instruction, but, like the IEP, a 504 Plan should be updated annually to ensure that the student is receiving the most effective accommodations for his/her specific circumstances.