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Special education programs are authorized by federal and state laws. These laws require that a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) shall be offered in the least restrictive environment to all students identified as handicapped. This right applies to students eligible for Special Education services as defined under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).

Referrals for Special Education Services

Who can refer?

Referrals can be made by teachers, parents, and appropriate professional persons, and from other members of the public.

When do you refer?

A pupil shall be referred for special education instruction and services only after the resources of the regular education program have been considered and, where appropriately utilized.

How do you refer?

All referrals must be made in writing. It is expected that the vast majority of referrals will originate at the site level as a result of the Student Assistance Process which ensures that the resources of the regular education program have been considered. Information regarding Child Find Referrals such as those from outside agencies or from parents of children not yet enrolled is available at (760) 753-6491.

Assessment Process

What is the purpose of a special education assessment?

The purpose of a special education assessment is to determine whether or not a child is eligible for special education services under state and federal laws.

Who participates in the assessment process?

Parents, teachers and persons knowledgeable of the suspected disability and assessment participate in the assessment process.

What is the timeline?

A proposed assessment plan is developed and given to parents within 15 calendar days of the referral. Parents have at least 15 calendar days from the receipt of the proposed plan to arrive at a decision. The team completes the assessment and has the IEP meeting within 60 calendar days from receipt of signed consent form.

Through the District's Student Study Team process and other procedures, a continuous effort is made to locate and identify individuals who might qualify for special education services. The law also provides that parents may initiate a request to have their child assessed to determine eligibility for special education and/or related services. This request should be in writing and submitted to the site program specialist. Parents will be given a copy of their Procedural Safeguards and shall participate.