US Department of Education website with an up to date blog of IDEA updates: https://sites.ed.gov/idea/
Special education is a broad term that describes the education of students who have intellectual, physical, behavioral or emotional disabilities. Special education involves specially designed instruction that is provided at no cost to parents to meet the unique needs of children with a disability.
All children can learn, but some learn differently. Some children need more help than others because they have a disability. We can help by accepting individual differences at home, work, and school. The Scott County School District, through Child Find Activities, is interested in finding all children with challenges and giving them a chance to learn. If you have, or know of, an infant, toddler, or youth who has a disability and is not getting needed special help, please call the Scott County School District at 502-863-3663.
Anyone can refer a student if they suspect the presence of an educational disability.
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 is an ARC?
ARC stands for Admissions and Release Committee. It is a committee of individuals that have the responsibility to make educational decisions for students with disabilities. The ARC members must always consist of the parent, a chairperson (acting as representative for the Local Education Agency), a regular education teacher, and a special education teacher. If the student has been evaluated or if they receive related services, school staff with an understanding of the evaluation measures or related service area will be in attendance (i.e., school psychologist, speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, vision/hearing imparied).
No decisions about or changes to a students IEP can be made outside of an ARC. Parents will always receive a notice prior to an ARC meeting. For further information, see KDE’s Parent ARC Brochure.
What do I need to know about procedures?
Comprehensive information regarding the special education procress can be found in the Parent’s Guide to Special Education. Information regarding your rights as a parent/guardian is included in the Procedural Safeguards document. Further information is available through the Scott County Schools Policies and Procedures or on the Kentucky Department of Education: Exceptional Children Services webpage.
What are the disability categories?
Kentucky Regulations list several educational disability categories, each with their specific eligibility requirements. They include:
- Developmental Delay
- Emotional/Behavioral Disability
- Functional Mental Disability
- Hearing Impaired
- Mild Mental Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Orthopedicallyl Impaired
- Other Health Impaired
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech/Lanugage Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visually Impaired
What is an Individualized Education Program?
Commonly referred to as an IEP, an individualized education program 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. Parents are an important part of the IEP process.
- See KDE’s Parent IEP Brochure for more information.
What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 Plan?
Both students with IEPs and students with 504 plans have a documented disability or impairment. For students with an IEP, their disability has a significant educational impact, and requires the provision of direct specialized instruction, in addition to supplementary aids and services. Students with 504 plans have a documented impairment which substantially limits their ability to perform a major life activity. The major life activity may or may not be directly related to learning (i.e., a physical impairment that impacts mobility, but not learning). Students with 504 plans require targeted accommodations so they are able to access their educational program in the same manner their non-disabled peers do. Both processes require an evaluation by a duly constituted problem solving team. (for more info, see IDEA vs 504.