The Special Services Department implements policies and procedures for Special Education and Gifted Education Programs in the district. This department is also responsible for the submission and compliance of both federal and state grants, and ensuring that the district remains compliant with regulations set forth in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Educational Services for All Children
The district’s goal is to serve every disabled, school-aged child who resides in our district. Any student who meets one or more of the following disabling conditions would qualify for services:
- Emotional Disturbance
- Hearing Impairment
- Mental Retardation
- Multiple Disability
- Multiple Disability with Severe Sensory Impairment
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impairment
- Preschool (Speech/Language Impairment, Moderate Delay, Severe Delay)
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech and Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injured
- Visual Impairment
Special education is a service, not a place. Special education is provided through a range of services which include instruction in the general education classroom with supplementary aids and services, services integrated into the general education classroom, specialized instruction in a resource or pull out setting, or instruction in a specialized classroom. The removal of students with disabilities from the general educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in general education classes or in a building with non-disabled students, with the use of special education services, does not benefit the student.
The District provides special education services for students from all categories of special education. Students with disabilities are educated in the most normal educational settings in which they can be successful. The most appropriate program and services for each student is determined by the student's IEP team.
Itinerant teachers typically provide students intermittent instruction, consultation, and special techniques and materials. They also visit classrooms to see that appropriate instruction, materials and adaptations are being used in accordance with each child’s IEP.
Students with mild to moderate disabilities receive resource instruction in a separate classroom for part of their school day. Resource teachers typically work with students on skill deficits or subjects, and provide daily individual and small group instruction. Many classrooms also have a classroom instructional aide who provides instructional services within the student's regular classroom.
Students with severe problems receive instruction in a separate classroom for the majority of the school day. Self-contained classrooms offer the environmental changes needed to meet the specific needs of a particular student. Most generally, one teacher is in charge for most of the school day and provides the majority of instruction often assisted by an instructional aide. This type of setting limits interaction with normal peers, may have negative behavioral models, and may make some students overly dependent.
Private day schools
Our district uses private special education day schools only for students whose problems are so severe that they cannot be educated in a district self-contained classroom. This is limited to only the most severe due to the fact that students there have almost no opportunity to participate with non disabled peers and may require lengthy transportation.
Homebound instruction is provided for special education students who because of medical problems are either:
unable to attend regular classes for a period of not less than three school months; or capable of learning at school but are unable to attend classes for intermittent periods of time totaling three school months during a school year.
Services include specialized transportation, speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy required for students with disabilities to benefit from special education.
Extended school year services
Extended school year (ESY) services are offered to eligible special education students during summer vacation. ESY is for students who lose important skills due to regular breaks in instruction and who require an excessive amount of time to regain those skills. Skills appropriate for ESY consideration include those related to self-sufficiency, behavior, socialization, communication, and academics. A student's need and eligibility for ESY instruction is determined by the IEP team.
Parents of children who are at least three years of age but who have not reached the required age for kindergarten may request screening for special education preschool services. The screening will assess the child’s vision and hearing, language fluency, communication skills, medical history, cognitive development, gross/fine motor skills, and social-emotional development.
Arizona Early Intervention Program - (Serving children birth to 3 years of age.)
What is Early Intervention?
Early Intervention is professionals working in partnership with parents and families of children with special needs, to support their children’s growth, development, and learning. Early Intervention happens in places where children and families live, learn, and play; the families natural environments.
What is the Arizona Early Intervention Program?
The Arizona Early Intervention Program, also known as AzEIP (pronounced Ay-zip), is a statewide system of supports and services for families of children, birth to three, with disabilities or developmental delays. The AzEIP system is a collaboration of activities by the following State Agencies:
- Department of Developmental Disabilities (DDD)
- Department of Economic Security (DES)
- Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)
- Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind (ASDB)
- Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)
Website: Arizona Early Intervention Program
Child Find is a process that determines if children, ages 3-5 years, need special services. Answer the following questions to determine if your child has special needs. Does my child:
- Have trouble seeing people and objects?
- Have trouble hearing voices and other sounds, or remain unusually quite for long periods of time?
- Have difficulty talking and pronouncing words properly?
- Move about with difficulty when crawling, walking, or running?
- Learn slowly and have difficulty understanding?
- Have trouble playing with other children or getting along with adults?
- Have other special health problems?
If you answered "yes" to one or more of these questions, you should contact the Special Education Office for additional information about Child Find.