Special Education

Student holding Heron United sign at Invitational Field Day

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that provides for the education of children with disabilities. According to IDEA 04, children with disabilities are entitled to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

IDEA 04 states that each student determined to need special education and related services, be provided these services in the LRE, that is, in the environment that promotes the maximum interaction with the general school population in a manner appropriate to the needs of the student and his or her non-disabled peers.

NUSD believes that individuals with disabilities should be educated to the maximum extent possible in accordance with their individual capabilities and in a manner that enables them to strive for their fullest potential. This will be accomplished by:

  • Maintaining high standards and expectations for each individual’s achievements in correspondence with their abilities and physical limitations
  • Focusing on the strengths of students and emphasizing that students with disabilities are valued and shall be included fully in the District
  • Fully involving parents of students with disabilities in all aspects of their child’s education with the goal of developing effective home-school partnerships
  • Engaging staff in regular professional development activities in order to keep current with effective programs and practices
  • Challenging individuals with disabilities to use their abilities to the maximum extent possible to become educated, productive, and independent citizens

Referral Process 

If you are concerned about your child please discuss your concerns with your classroom teacher. Often, the teacher can address your concerns and no further action is necessary. The teacher may suggest that you attend a Student Services Team (SST) meeting to discuss your child’s educational progress. This team, consisting of teachers, administration and a counselor, may recommend data-based interventions to support your child in the classroom. If interventions have been tried and documented, the SST may recommend a Special Education assessment.

Continuum of Services

Consistent with Federal and State policy, the continuum of services offered by the district includes:

Placement in the LRE is set along this continuum:

  • General Education Classroom
  • General Education with Related Services
  • Resource Specialist Program (RSP): Consultation, Push-in, Pull-out, Learning Center Instruction
  • District Special Day Class
  • County-Operated Programs
  • Non-Public School (NPS)
  • Home Instruction (HI)
  • Residential Placement

All appropriate public school programs in the SELPA and/or County will be explored prior to consideration of placement in an NPS.