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Referral for Special Education

The Special Education Process

If your child is demonstrating a pattern of significant difficulty in school and frequently exhibits learning, speech, behavior or health problems, consideration of Special Education may be needed. This can occur in the following way:

Referral and Identification

A referral may come from a parent, teacher, physician, the student, school administrator or community agency. Contact your local school for information regarding a referral for assessment if you suspect your child has a disability.

Student Study Team - SST

You will be asked to attend a Student Study Team (SST). This is a general education process to review the student's strengths and areas of concern. At this meeting, the parent, with the school staff, determines if alternative instructional, behavioral or health strategies are needed. The SST may refer a child for Special Education assessment only after all resources of general education have been considered and implemented as appropriate.


An Assessment Plan is developed after the recommendation from the Student Study Team. Written parental consent is required for the assessment and the evaluation results will be shared with you at an Individual Education Program, (IEP) meeting.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Within 60 days of the parent signing an assessment plan, an IEP meeting will be held.  The IEP team consists of the parents or guardians, a school administrator, a special education teacher, the child's general education teacher, and other special education staff as determined by the team. If you and the school agree that your child is eligible under one of the fourteen eligibility categories, an IEP will be developed by the IEP team.  Present levels of performance, goals and objectives, appropriate placement and services will be determined. Parents must give approval prior to placement and the implementation of services.

IEP Review

Your child's Special Education program will be reviewed by the IEP team, along with the parent, at least once a year to determine progress in meeting established annual goals and to determine new goals, services and any placement consideration as appropriate.  Every three years a triennial evaluation will be conducted to determine if the eligibility continues to exist and if the need for continued special education services is warranted.