Special education is specially designed instruction which meets the unique needs of the special needs students. Special education may include classroom instruction, instruction in physical education or home instruction.
Related services may also be provided to allow the student to benefit from education services. These may include transportation, speech and language therapy, psychological services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adapted physical education and assistive technology.
Springfield Public Schools follow the legislation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA. IDEA is the federal law which assures that special needs students have access to an appropriate education.Students who qualify 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.
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.The 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 which serve students from birth to age five. The goal of all these programs is to assist students in developing the abilities and skills.
IEPs: An individual education program (IEP) is developed for all students who are eligible for Special Education. The IEP is developed by a team which includes parents, professionals, and sometimes the student.
At least once a year the student's IEP is reviewed and revised with parent participation. Likewise, the student's placement is reviewed at this yearly meeting.
As you know, being a parent of a special needs student is special. We are here to help you with your special needs.