card header iconFor educational purposes, who receives Special Education?

There are three parts to the answer:

  1. The student must be determined to have an eligible disability
  2. Because of the disability, the student needs special services to benefit from education
  3. The student is between ages 3 and 21

If a student does not meet all of the above criteria then the student is not eligible for special education.

card header iconWhat disabilities are eligible for Special Education?

The IDEA identifies the following categories of disability

  • Autism
  • Deaf
  • Blind
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Hard of Hearing
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Other Health Impairments
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment

card header iconWhat is Special Education?

Special Education is specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of the student. For a student with one or more of the above disabilities to be eligible for special education, the student must have a unique educational need that requires specially designed instruction.  A unique educational need is one that stems from the disability of the student and is significantly different from the educational needs of the student's typical peers.  Specifically, designed instruction is adapting the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the unique educational needs of the student so that access to the general curriculum meets state and district educational standards.

card header iconWhat are related services?

Related services means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as may be required to assist a student with a disability to benefit from Special Education.  To receive one or more related services, the student must have a disability, need Special Education, and the related service must be determined to be necessary to benefit from the Special Education.  California law uses the term Designated Instructional Services to mean related services.  Related services include but are not limited to:

  • Audiology Services
  • Counseling Services
  • Language and Speech Therapy
  • Medical Services (For diagnostic purposes only)
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Orientation and Mobility Services
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychological Services
  • Rehabilitation Counseling Services
  • Social Work Services
  • Transportation

card header iconWhere do students with disabilities receive their Special Education and related services?

Federal and State law require that school districts ensure a continuum of placements to meet the needs of students with disabilities. The continuum of placements within the district includes instruction in:

General Education 
Whenever appropriate, students with disabilities will be educated in the general education classes. In addition, whenever possible, they will attend the school they would ordinarily attend.

General Education Classes with Related Services
In addition to general education, related services may be provided to assist students with disabilities to benefit from their general education program.  Some examples of related services are language and speech services, adapted physical education, counseling, physical, and occupational therapy.   

Special Day Classes 
Special Day Classes serve students who, because of their disabilities, cannot participate in general education classes for a majority of the school day. These classes are provided on general education sites. As classes for a majority of the school day. These classes are provided on general education sites. As appropriate, students enrolled in Special Day Classes interact with their general education peers through academics, non-academic and extracurricular activities, academic and extracurricular activities.

card header iconHow can parents request special education and what happens next?

The following are the key steps in the process:

  1. Written request for an special education assessment is made by a parent
  2. An initial assessment is made within 15 days of the date of referral
  3. Within 60 days, an IEP team (Individual Education Program) reviews the initial assessment and determines the student's eligibility
  4. If found eligible, the IEP is developed within 30 days of the eligibility decision
  5. The Parent is provided with the IEP for approval and signature to return to WUSD
  6. Upon approval and signed consent, the IEP is immediately implemented
  7. Parent is provided reports on student progress as often as parents of general education peers are provided reports on student progress
  8. An IEP meeting is held yearly to review and report on progress and amends the IEP, as necessary
  9. Every three years a special education eligibility process is conducted to determine continued services