Special education is a broad term for specially designed instruction that meets the unique needs of students with special needs. Springfield Public Schools is committed to educating all of our students, and we strive to meet their needs through classroom instruction, instruction in physical education or home instruction.
Special education staff also coordinate services that enable special needs students to access the instruction, including
- speech and language therapy
- psychological services
- physical therapy
- occupational therapy
- adapted physical education
- assistive technology
Springfield Public Schools follows the legislation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. IDEA is the federal law that assures that special needs students have access to an appropriate education.
Students who qualify for special education services are those who demonstrate a significant developmental delay due to traumatic brain injury, orthopedic impairment, hearing impairment, communication disorders, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, autism, visual impairment, or other health impairment.
How We Do It
Special education programs provide the student with education in the "least restrictive environment." This means that the student will, when appropriate, be educated within the general education setting with the necessary supplementary aids and services.
Programs available for special needs students include:
- Regular education programs: Students remain in the general education setting and receive related and direct services from special education staff.
- Resource room programs: Students receive basic skills instruction from special education staff in resource room setting in addition to their general education program.
- Regional programs: Students receive services from regional program consultants.
- Home/hospital and contract programs: Students who are not able to attend Springfield schools receive instruction in these settings.
- Academic and structured learning centers, and life skills programs: Students receive intensive instruction in specialized classroom programs from a special education teacher.
These special services programs are available for students from ages 5 to 21. There are also programs within the school and community that serve students from birth to age five. The goal of all these programs is to assist students in developing their abilities and skills.
What Is an IEP?
This is a term special needs parents will hear often.
All students who are eligible for special education receive an individual education program, or IEP. The IEP is developed by a team that includes parents, professionals, and sometimes the student.
A student's IEP is reviewed at least once a year and revised as needed with parent participation. Likewise, the student's placement is reviewed at this yearly meeting.
Parents are our partners in all students' education!