Overview

What is Special Education?
 
California Education Code (section 56031) defines special education as:

Specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs, whose educational needs cannot be met with modification of the general instruction program; and Related services that help individuals with special needs to benefit from specially designed instruction. Special education is an integral part of the total public education system. Other features of special education are:
  1. It is provided in a way that promotes maximum interaction between students with and without disabilities in a manner which is appropriate to the needs of both;
  2. Services are provided at no cost to parents;
  3. It provides a full range of program options to meet the educational and service requirements of individuals with exceptional needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE).   The LRE is generally the setting that is most similar to those attended by general education students.
It provides a full range of program options to meet the educational and service requirements of individuals with exceptional needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The LRE is generally the setting that is most similar to those attended by general education students.

 
Who is eligible for Special Education services?
 
A student, ages 3 through 22, having one or more of the following thirteen Federally defined disabling conditions that adversely affect his or her educational performance, may be eligible to receive special education services.
  • Autism
  • Deaf-blindness
  • Deafness
  • Hearing impairment,(Hard of Hearing)
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple disabilities
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health impairment
  • Serious emotional disturbance
  • Specific learning disability
  • Speech or language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment
Eligibility is determined through an assessment process that identifies one or more impairments that prevent a student from achieving at his/her potential. A student may be performing significantly below the districts standards and additional interventions may be necessary for the student to maximize access to the educational program.