• Special Education

    Frequently Used Terms

    Accommodation – allows the student to do the same work as the regular education students with a change (i.e. taking tests in a quiet room). This change does not change the rigor of the material being taught.

    Adaptations – word used interchangeable with accommodation.

    Assistive Technology Device – any item, piece of equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.

    Assistive Technology Service – any service that directly assists a student in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device.

    Case Manager – the person who coordinates a student’s IEP and sees that it is carried out. This person is the first point of contact for any issues or concerns that you may have.

    Child Study Team – team that determines if an evaluation is warranted.

    Consent – means that you say “yes.” Consent means that you understand and agree in writing to the activity that is being requested, such as an evaluation or an IEP.

    Curriculum – the coursework being taught.

    Direct Service – service provided directly to the student from the professional.

    Evaluation – testing and observations used to determine the eligibility of the student for special education services.

    Inclusion-Full – student that qualifies for special education and spends the entire school day in the general education classroom.

    Inclusion-Partial - student that qualifies for special education and spends part of the school day in the general education classroom.

    IEE (Independent Educational Evaluation) - an evaluation provided by a mutually agreed upon independent professional at no cost to you. The school district is required to give you several choices of qualified professionals to perform the IEE. You can then choose which professional conducts the IEE. To request an IEE, you need to notify, in writing, the Director of Special Services that you disagree with the district’s evaluation and are requesting an IEE. Keep a copy for yourself as well. You also have the right to a second opinion at any time at your own expense. The school district must consider this information.

    IEP (Individualized Education Plan) – an educational service plan for a student age 3 up to age 21.  Services need to begin within 30 calendar days from the date the student was found eligible.

    IEP Team – the group of people responsible for defining a student’s educational plan. The Team must include:

    • A parent
    • A representative of the district who is authorized to assign resources
    • At least one of the student’s special education teachers
    • At least one of the student’s general education teachers
    • Student, if appropriate
    • There may be more team members as appropriate.

    IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) - a plan is for children in Early Childhood Special Education (birth through age 2). The development of the IFSP should be completed within 45 calendar days from the initial referral.

    Indirect Service – time spent conferring and coming up with ideas to help the student.

    LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) – the educational setting appropriate to meet the individual student’s needs that provides the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate.

    Modification – a change that lowers the rigor of the material and changes what a test or assignment measures.

    PCA (Personal Care Assistant) – an individual helping a child learn skills so he or she can be more independent at school, home and in the community.

    Positive Behavior Intervention – a plan to address problem behaviors; it addresses both the source of the behavior and ways to deal with the behavior so the student can behave more appropriately.

    Pre-Referral Interventions - before referring a child for an evaluation, the classroom teacher may plan strategies to see if your child’s behavior improves with simple changes in curriculum or environment. These are called “pre-referral interventions.” At least two pre-referral interventions must be tried and documented. If the child’s performance improves, an evaluation may not be needed. If problems continue, an evaluation will help identify more specific ways to help the child learn.

    Referral - anyone can make a referral for a special education evaluation. When classroom interventions are not successful, the classroom teacher may make a referral for a Child Study Team to consider whether the child should receive further evaluation. The team decides the areas to be evaluated and the types of evaluation to be completed.

    Related Services – services required to make a child benefit from special education. An example may be transportation or occupational therapy.

    Respite Care – care provided for the child so parents can have a break.

    Response to Intervention (RtI)- a tiered model of instructional support available for all elementary students. It includes providing high quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make changes in instruction, and applying child response data to important educational decisions.

    Resource Room – a room other than a general education classroom where a student may receive his or her special education services. The room is a special education setting.

    Section 504 – a Federal Civil Rights Law. It protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Section 504 falls under the responsibility of the general education program. A student is considered to have a disability within the definition of Section 504 if he or she: has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more of such person’s major life activities; has a record of such impairments; or is regarded as having such impairment. If your child is evaluated and does not qualify for special education, he or she may qualify under Section 504 if the disability substantially limits one or more major life activities. A team decision is required to make this determination. A 504 plan may provide for regular or special education and related aids and services designed to meet the student’s needs as adequately as the needs of nondisabled students are met. Contact the 504 Coordinator in your child’s building for additional information.