The North Royalton City Schools Department of Special Education provides services to over 500 students with disabilities throughout the District. By federal and state law, school Districts are required to identify children who are suspected of having a disability that adversely affects the child’s educational performance and then to provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) for all children with disabilities. These services can either be provided within the District or by agreement with another school District or service provider. Currently all but a few students with disabilities are served within the District.
The disabilities include: an intellectual disability, a hearing impairment (including deafness), a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment (including blindness), an emotional disturbance, an orthopedic impairment, autism, a traumatic brain injury, other health impairment, a specific learning disability, a developmental delay (for children ages three to five only), deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities.
The law also requires public schools to provide services to preschool age students (ages three to five) with disabilities if they are at least three years of age and not age six, have a disability demonstrated by a documented deficit in one or more areas of development, which has an adverse effect upon normal development and functioning.
Services provided to school-aged students with disabilities ages five through twenty-one may include instruction in regular and/or special education classrooms, school psychology services, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, work study/transition services, and other services as determined by the individual student’s needs.
The Determination Process
A multi-factored evaluation team (MFE team) makes the final disability determination. If a student is identified as a student with a disability, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is written by the IEP team. Both the MFE team and IEP team consist of the child’s parent(s)/guardian(s), teacher(s), special education staff and District administrator(s).
The IEP documents the student’s needs and goals, objectives and services to be provided to meet those needs. The IEP also documents the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) where the goals and objectives will be addressed.
What Are Related Services?
Related Services are support services needed to help children with disabilities benefit from special education. Related Services are identified by the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Team when the IEP is written.
The following are all examples of related services:
- Aide/Attendant services
- Interpreter services
- Medical services (i.e. services provided by a licensed physician to determine a child's medically-related disability)
- Occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant services
- Orientation and mobility services
- Physical therapy and physical therapy assistant services
- School health services
- School nursing services
- School psychological services
- Social work services in schools
- Speech-language pathology services
- Special Transportation
Continuum of Alternative Placements for Students with Disabilities
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) requires states to establish procedures to assure, “that to the maximum extent appropriate,” children with disabilities are educated with children who are non-disabled.
Removal of disabled children from the regular educational environment is permitted only when the nature or severity of the handicap is such that education in the regular class, with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. This statutory standard for maintaining the least restrictive environment (LRE) is the starting point for any school district attempting to meet the educational needs of students with disabilities.
Types of Placement
A. Regular Education Classes with Collaboration/Consultation Services - Collaboration / consultation services focus on special educators and general educators working together to best meet the needs of students with disabilities within the regular education classroom setting.
B. Resource Room/Special Class - The Resource Room/Special Class setting serves children whose disability requires a special education program on a part-time or full-time basis. Participation in the child's regular education activities is maintained to the greatest extent possible while still meeting the student’s individual special education needs. The Resource Room/Special Class provides a modified regular education curriculum that is not offered in regular education classrooms or in some cases a functional, alternate curriculum that meets the individual student needs.
C. Separate Facility - A separate facility is a school that is designed specifically for students with disabilities.
D. Home Instruction - Home instruction is an individualized education program provided to a child whose disability prevents the child from attending a regular or special program.
E. Institutions and Hospitals - Some children with disabilities are confined to hospitals or institutions for long periods of time. In these cases, instruction is provided to those individuals in that setting.