This page is intended to provide you with information about Special Education procedures and laws. For general questions about Special Education or specific questions about your child's educational program, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Special Education?
Special education is a service given to those students that have disabilities that affect academic progress. To determine whether or not a student needs Special Education services, he or she will be evaluated by the Special Education teacher and other service providers. With the results of the evaluation, the IEP team (described below) convenes to analyze the results. The student must meet the requirements of a disability category, as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). There are 13 disability categories, including Specific Learning Disability, Developmental Delay, Intellectual Disability, and Traumatic Brain Injury. The purpose of placing a child under a disability category is not to create labels and stigmas, but to allow educators to quickly understand the foundational educational needs of the student.
You can learn more about these disability categories and Special Education law on the Utah State Office of Education website.
What is an IEP?
Each student that receives Special Education services has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This is a document that is created by a team, that outlines the student's needs and goals. The IEP is reviewed and revised at least annually, but can be amended at any time. Information listed on the IEP includes:
- Student Demographic Information
- Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance
- Special Factors
- Hearing or vision impairment, Speech/Language Impairment, etc.
- Annual Goals
- Services and Related Services
- Participation in District and State-wide Assessments
- Participation in Regular Education
- Explanation of the student's Free and Appropriate Public Education
- Signatures of Team Members
For information about your students IEP, contact the Special Education Department at Edgemont.
Who comes to an IEP Meeting?
A standard IEP team consists of the parents, the regular education teacher, the LEA (Local Educational Agency), the Special Education teacher, and any related service providers. The LEA at Edgemont is typically Mr. Pratt, the principal. Related services providers vary based on the student's needs, but may include the Speech and Language Pathologist, the Occupational Therapist, the School Psychologist, and others. When the parent does not speak English, a translator will also be a member of the student's IEP team. Parents may decide to include the student, and may also invite any people that have an interest in the students educational performance.
What happens at an IEP Meeting?
At a typical IEP meeting the team discusses the previous year's IEP, the progress made by the student, and new goals and services for the coming year. When the team agrees on goals and services, they all sign the IEP.
What are my rights as a parent?
As a parent of a child with a disability, it is important to know your rights. These rights are known as the Procedural Safeguards, and will be described at each IEP meeting. You will also be offered a paper copy at the meeting. If at any time you would like a new copy of the Procedural Safeguards, you can access them on the Utah State Office of Education website or request a copy from the Special Education Department at Edgemont.
In brief, you have parental rights to:
- Confidentiality of Educational Records
- Give or revoke consent for Special Education services or testing
- Be informed and involved of any necessary disciplinary procedures for your child
- Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for your student
- Resolve Complaints
- This is primarily done at the school level, but if complaints cannot be settled they can be taken to the district Special Education personnel.
What do I do if I want my child evaluated?
If you have concerns about your child's academic or behavioral performance, contact your student's regular education teacher. He or she will then guide you through the process of making a referral, if necessary.