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District Special/Gifted Education

Every exceptional student attending the schools of SHSD shall be offered an educational program that meets his/her educational needs and is suited to his/her unique abilities. The Special Education program shall be designed to comply with IDEA, conform to the goals of the District and integrate, to the maximum extent appropriate, special education with regular instruction programs.  To qualify as an exceptional student, the student must be of school age, in need of specially designed instruction, and meet the criteria for one or more of the following:

  • Blindness
  • Autism
  • Deafness
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Other Health Impaired
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment
  • Developmental Delay

The SHSD uses a set of procedures based on State Standards and Regulations to identify and evaluate the specific needs of school-age students requiring special programs or services. Screening information is used by the Response to Intervention Team (MTSS) in the child's school to meet the child's specific learning/behavioral needs. If progress is not made utilizing the MTSS Team, a child, (with Parent Permission), will be recommended for a Multidisciplinary Evaluation which will result in a comprehensive Educational Report. Parents are then invited and encouraged to attend an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting for the purpose of developing an individualized program based upon the findings of the Multi-Disciplinary Evaluation (MDE).

Parents who think their child is a child with a disability may request, at any time, that the school district conduct an evaluation to determine if the child is eligible to receive special education and related services.  This request must be made in writing to the Special Education Director.  If a parent makes an oral request for an evaluation, the school district shall provide the parent with a Permission to Evaluate-Evaluation Request Form to complete.

When identified students display challenging behavior(s), the IEP will include a Behavior Support Plan. This plan will provide information on positive interventions designed to reduce the challenging behavior and teach appropriate alternative skills.  It is the position of the SHSD, in line with Federal and State requirements, to provide an education in the Least Restrictive Environment, that all SHSD students eligible for Special Education be taught in their home school with regular education peers, to the maximum extent appropriate.  Students will receive their services in the regular education environment to the degree that is deemed appropriate by the IEP team.  Should the IEP team determine, based on student specific data collected, that a more restrictive environment is necessary, the SHSD is able to offer the appropriate program from their full continuum of special education placement options.