Section I: Instructional Program
Policy Title: Exceptional Education Programs
Policy Code: IHB
Lead Department: Academic Leadership
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SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAMS
A long-range plan will be the basis for providing special education services for students with exceptional needs and education requirements. These services may include specialized programs, personnel, facilities, materials, and equipment needed to promote the individual physical, social, intellectual, and emotional growth of exceptional students.
The Superintendent shall develop procedures that provide educational opportunities for individuals with disabilities and that accomplish District compliance with federal laws including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Arizona revised statutes, and the lawful regulations of the State Board of Education. Such procedures shall include, but not be limited to, the following provisions:
- All children with disabilities aged birth (0) through twenty-one (21) years within the District's jurisdiction are to be identified, located, and evaluated including children attending religious or private schools who are in need of special education and related services.
- A free appropriate public education (FAPE) shall be available to all children with disabilities aged three (3) through twenty-one (21) years within the District's jurisdiction, including children advancing from grade to grade, those who have been suspended or expelled from school in accordance with the applicable IDEA rules and regulations, and any child with a disability the District has placed in or referred to a private school or facility. The District may refer to and contract with approved public or private agencies as necessary to ensure the provision of FAPE for children with disabilities. FAPE for an eligible student with a disability shall extend through conclusion of the instructional year during which the student attains the age of twenty-two (22).
- A full individual evaluation encompassing existing and additional data shall be conducted for each child to determine if the child is a child with a disability and the educational needs of the child before the initial provision of special education and related services A reevaluation of each child shall be conducted at least every third year.
- An individualized education plan (IEP) shall be developed and implemented for each eligible child served by the District and for each eligible child the District places in or refers to a private school or facility. An IEP or an individualized family service plan (IFSP) will be in place for each child with a disability prior to the provision of FAPE.
- To the maximum extent appropriate, opportunities for the least restrictive setting, inclusion in educational exercises with regular program students, and for interaction with the total school environment will be provided to exceptional students, the exception to be only when the student’s condition, with supplementary aids and services, make such regular class education unsatisfactory.
- All required procedural safeguards must be guaranteed to the exceptional students and their parents. The parents will be provided with notices of procedural safeguards in each specified instance and all due process conditions will be satisfied with respect to the provision of a free appropriate public education.
- The District shall follow the established state and federal standards to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information at the collection, storage, disclosure, and destruction stages.
- To the extent essential to provide FAPE to children with disabilities aged three (3) through twenty-one (21), extended school year (ESY) services shall be made available and implemented as necessary.
- Criteria for the graduation of exceptional students, including accomplishment in reading, writing and mathematics, shall be as specified in the District policy on graduation requirements. Such standards shall be equivalent to or greater than those established by the State Board of Education.
- No later than March 1 of each year conduct a review of the reasonable and acceptable ratio of students per teacher for each disability category. The applicable ratios shall be specified in a regulation accompanying the District policy on class size.
- The discipline of exceptional students, and unevaluated students suspected of having a qualifying disability, is to be conducted in such a manner as to comply with FAPE and requirements of the IDEA.
The Superintendent is authorized and directed to establish procedures for the development and administration of the necessary programs, and to document District compliance with the law and this policy. Such procedures will be made available to staff members and to parents as necessary to enhance compliance.
Adopted: May 13, 2008
LEGAL REF.: & A.R.S. 15-761
20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
29 U.S.C. 794, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, (Section 504)
Replaces TUSD Policy 6800 - Special Education