Katie Adams

Special Education Director, K-12 & AHS

Gabby Sena

K-12 SPED Program Coordinator


Alex Menton

HS RSP Teacher & AHS RSP Teacher

Michelle Briggs

Elementary RSP Teacher

Mirella Gonzalez

K-12 Lead Paraeducator

What is Special Education

IDEA is the nation’s special education law. It gives rights and protections to kids with disabilities. It covers them from birth through high school graduation or age 21 (whichever comes first). Parents and legal guardians also have rights under the law. 

IDEA places two big responsibilities on states and their public schools.

First, school districts must provide a free appropriate Public Education. (FAPE) to kids with disabilities. And these kids must learn side by side with peers as much as possible — something called the least restrictive environment, or LRE.

Schools must find and evaluate students who may have disabilities, at no cost to families. This is known as Child Find. If a child has a qualifying disability, schools must offer special education and related services (like speech therapy and counseling) to meet the child’s unique needs. These are provided through an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The goal is to help students make progress in school.

Second, schools have to give parents a voice in their child’s education. At every point in the process, IDEA gives parents specific rights and protections. These are called procedural safeguards. For example, one safeguard is that a school must get consent from parents before providing services to kids.

Special Education Timelines

Initial Assessment and IEP Development

Service/Obligation

Propose an assessment plan for initial assessment.

Timeline

15 calendar days from date of referral.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

  • Tolled for school breaks in excess of 5 schooldays.
  • If referral received 10 days or fewer before end of school year, then due within first 10 days of next school year.
  • Note: Attached procedural safeguards notice to proposed assessment plan.

Authority

  • EC 56043(a)
  • EC 56321(a)

Service/Obligation

IEP Team meeting to review initial assessments.

Timeline

60 calendar days to determine the student’s eligibility and areas of need after receipt of parent consent to assessment plan.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

  • Student enrolls in another LEA.
  • Student not made available.
  • Note: Not tolled for school breaks in excess of 5 schooldays.

Authority

  • EC 56043(c)
  • ED 56302.1

Service/Obligation

Not applicable

Timeline

Recommended: Complete the student’s initial IEP in its entirety within 60 days unless one of the exceptions above applies.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

None

Authority

Not applicable

Applicable to All IEP’s

Service/Obligation

Notify parents of the IEP team meeting (send IEP meeting notice).


Timeline

Early enough to ensure an opportunity to attend” the IEP meeting.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

None.

Authority

  • EC 56043(e)
  • EC 56341.5(b)


Service/Obligation

Notice of procedural safeguards.

Timeline

  • Inform parents of procedural safeguards “at each” IEP meeting.
  • Give a copy of the notice to parent(s) at least once each school year.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

None

Authority

  • EC 56500.1
  • 34 CFR 300.504

Service/Obligation

Implement the IEP.

Timeline

As soon as possible” after receipt of parent consent to the IEP.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

None

Authority

  • EC 56043(i)
  • EC 56344(b)

Service/Obligation

Profess reports on IEP goals provided to parent(s).

Timeline

Per the IEP.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

None

Authority

EC 56345(a)(3)

Re-assessments

Service/Obligation

Triennial eligibility review every 3 years based on the date of the last triennial review.

Timeline

Every 3 years based on the date of the last triennial review.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

May occur more frequently if necessary, but no more than once a year unless the parties agree.

  • Parent and LEA may agree in writing that triennial assessments are not necessary. They may also agree to limit the scope of the review.
  • Recommended: Begin triennial assessment process at least 60 days prior to the triennial review.

Authority

  • EC 56043(k)
  • EC 56381


Service/Obligation

Propose assessment plan for re-assessment.

Timeline

15 calendar days from the date of referral.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

  • Tolled for school breaks in excess of 5 schooldays.
  • If referral received 10 days or fewer before end of school year, then due within first 10 days of next school year.
  • Note: Attach procedural safeguards notice to assessment plan.

Authority

  • EC 56043(a)
  • EC 56321(a)

Service/Obligation

Parent consent to a proposed assessment plan.

Timeline

At least 15 calendar days after receipt of the proposed assessment plan.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

None

Authority

  • EC 56043(b)
  • EC 56321(c)(4)

Additional IEP Meetings

Service/Obligation

Annual IEP team review.

Timeline

Not longer than 12 months from the date of the last annual IEP.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

None

Authority

  • EC 56043(d), (j)
  • EC 56343(d)
  • EC 56380

Service/Obligation

IEP team meeting to review re-assessment (including triennial assessments).

Timeline

60 calendar days after receipt of parent consent to the assessment plan.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

  • Tolled for school breaks in excess of 5 schooldays.
  • If referral received 30 days or fewer before end of school year, then due within first 30 days of next year.

Authority

  • EC 56043(f)(1)
  • EC 56343(a)
  • EC 56344(a)

Service/Obligation

Parent requested IEP team meeting.

Timeline

30 calendar days after written request from parent for IEP team meeting.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

  • Tolled for school breaks in excess of 5 school days.
  • If parent makes an oral request for IEP team meeting, school district must direct parent to make a written request.

Authority

  • EC 56043(l)
  • EC 56343.5

Service/Obligation

IEP meeting to review student’s lack of anticipated progress.

Timeline

No statutory timeline.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

Consider: Convene the IEP team within 30 days after determining that the demonstrating a lack of anticipated progress.

Authority

EC 56343(b)

Independent Educational Evaluations (IEE)

Service/Obligation

Respond to a request for IEE.

Timeline

No specific statutory timeline, but must respond without unnecessary delay.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

Recommended: 10-15 calendar days after request for an IEE from parent(s).

Authority

34 CFR 300.502(b)

Discipline

Service/Obligation

Conduct a manifestation determination review.

Timeline

Within 10 schooldays after the decision is made to remove student for disciplinary purposes for >10 schooldays.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

Refer to 34 C.F.R. section 300.530.Recommended: Refer to F3’s Special Education Removals for Disciplinary Purposes piece.

Authority

34 CFR 300.530(e)

Service/Obligation

Provide parent(s) with notice of change of placement and copy of procedural safeguards.

Timeline

Day decision is made to remove student for disciplinary purposes for >10 schooldays.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

Refer to 34 C.F.R. section 300.530.

Authority

34 CFR 300.530(h)

Student Records/Record Request

Service/Obligation

Provide parent(s) with copies of student records

Timeline

After an oral or written request form parent(s):

  • Within 5 business days and “before” any IEP meeting or resolution session.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

None

Authority

  • EC 56043(n)
  • EC 56504

Service/Obligation

Provide new LEA with special education records.

Timeline

5 business days after request from new LEA for records.

Exceptions/Note/Considerations

None

Authority

EC 56043(o)

Section 504 & Student Study Team

What is Section 504

A 504 Plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has a disability identified under the law and is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment at the same level as their non-disabled peers.

Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met.

Section 504 states that: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…” [29 U.S.C. §794(a), 34 C.F.R. §104.4(a)].

What is Student Study Team (SST)

​The SST is a group formed within the school to further examine a student’s academic, behavioral and social-emotional progress. The SST team can propose interventions for the student. The team usually consists of a teacher, administrator, and support personnel from the school.

The Student Study Team is often the first step a parent can take when they have a concern about their child’s progress in school.

The SST is a group formed within the school to further examine a student’s academic, behavioral and social-emotional progress. The SST team can propose interventions for the student. The team usually consists of a teacher, administrator, and support personnel from the school. Sometimes a special education teacher will also participate to give his or her perspective. The student and parent are also a part of the team.