Special Education

Special Education Services

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) every student is entitled to a free and appropriate public education. When a student is deemed eligible for Special Education Services, an IEP Team is convened in order to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the student. This plan is designed to provide specially designed instruction and services in the least restrictive environment possible.

Who is Eligible?

In order for student to be eligible for special education services, his or her educational progress must be negatively impacted by one of the following disability types:


  • Autism
  • Developmental Delay
  • Intellectual
  • Sensory: Hearing, Vision, Deaf-Blind
  • Neurological 


  • Emotional (including Anxiety Disorders)
  • Communication
  • Physical
  • Specific Learning
  • Health (including ADD, ADHD)

In addition, the student must require specially designed instruction and/or related services in order to make effective progress in school. If the student has a disability but does not qualify for special education services, he or she may be eligible for accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabiliation Act.   For more information, see:

The IEP 

The student's IEP document is agreed upon by the student's parents or guardian in collaboration with a team of educators from the student's school district. The IEP is updated every year at the student's annual IEP Review meeting. Every three years the student is reevaluated in order to determine if he or she continues to be eligible for special education services.

The IEP Document includes the following information:

  • Annual Educational Goals
  • Special Education Services
  • Accommodations and Curriculum Modifications
  • Supplementary Aids (including Assistive Technology)

Transition Planning Form (TPF) 

When a student with special education services turns 14, their IEP Team will begin the transition planning process.  Specific post-secondary goals will be developed in order to prepare the student for future training, education, employment, and daily living experiences.

The Transition Planning Form is a document that will be added to the student's IEP in order to record the transition planning process.  There are three parts to the Transition Planning Form:  


Post-Secondary Vision

  • What are the student's preferences and interests?
  • What are the student's desired outcomes for post-secondary education, training, employment, and adult living?


Disability Related Needs

  • What are the skill areas the student needs IEP goals or related services for?
  • What skills will the student need to develop in order to achieve their post-secondary vision?


Action Plan

  • Instruction: What courses of study will the student need?
  • Employment: What employment opportunities or work-related skills will the student need?
  • Community/Adult Living: What types of community or adult living experiences will the student need?


The Transition Planning Form Action Plan is designed to help the student prepare for a successful transition to adult life with the highest degree of independence possible.


Teaching staff, family members, community members, and local agencies work together to support the student's action plan.

Resources for Parents