Students Who Receive Special Education Services in K-12

This webpage is created to guide district planning teams through the process of planning to meet the needs of students with disabilities. The individuals on the teams will be able to identify the resources, opportunities and challenges in their specific districts as they examine the considerations outlined here. As districts and schools plan for the new school year, the following areas should be considerations for planning purposes:

 
For each of these focus areas, questions are presented to help guide district and building discussions as schools consider students who receive special education services. For planning to serve preschool children who receive special education, please refer to the guidance provided by the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning and School Readiness.
 
Multiple stakeholder groups, including special education administrators, special education teachers and related service personnel, provided input to the considerations outlined in this document.  

Before School Starts: Schools may utilize district or building teams to plan for the new school year. While engaged in planning efforts, the items in this document are for schools’ use during any planning meetings to bring relevant and critical questions for consideration to the conversation.


Curriculum

Research shows that students who receive special education services learn primarily through their interactions with teachers and content. High-quality curriculum and instructional materials serve as the foundation that will assist schools while planning for the  school year. Students who receive special education services interact with materials directly, and teachers use these materials to select topics, methods and sequences for teaching. Options and teachers’ capacity to create and publish their own materials continue to expand. Teams should discuss curriculum and instructional materials in the context of various forms of delivery such as online or in the building. When these discussions happen, consider the following questions.
 

  1.  What processes or procedures need to be put into place to ensure students who receive special education services have access to the general education curriculum?

    1. What curriculum-based resources are needed to support students who receive special education services? 
    2. What supports will special education providers need in order to use multiple resources (such as accommodations, teaching strategies and assessment accommodations) with students who receive special education services?
    3. How will students who receive special education services be provided the tools needed to access both the general curriculum and specially designed instruction as identified in their individualized education programs (IEPs)?

 

  1. How should the district or building plan to re-engage students who receive special education services?

    • For students who receive special education services, what supports and resources are needed to re-engage them in various learning environments ?
    • What data sources will be used to determine present levels of performance and monitor progress for students who receive special education services?
    • If skill deficits are identified, what services and supports will students who receive special education services need?

 

  1. How should districts and schools consider decisions regarding the need for recovery services or compensatory education services for students who receive special education services?

    •  Were services and supports provided as outlined in the student’s individualized education program (IEP)? How were the services and supports documented?
    • If services and supports were not provided as outlined in the student’s IEP, what  efforts were made to engage the student and the student’s family? How were these attempts documented?
    • How much service or support did the student receive in comparison to what is outlined in the student’s IEP? What impact did this have on progress in the general education curriculum and IEP goals?
    • Did parents whose children receive special education services decline services offered? If so, how was this documented?
    • What data sources will be utilized to monitor progress and determine present levels of performance for students who receive special education services?
    • If skill deficits were identified, what services and supports will students who receive special education services need?
    • How will teachers and staff evaluate and determine recovery or compensatory education services on an individual student basis?

 


Assessment

These questions are designed for school teams to consider progress evaluation tools, processes and techniques to evaluate a student who receives special education services and inform instruction to meet the individual student’s current needs. The district and parent decide if recovery services will be provided. Parent input can inform whether a full IEP meeting is needed. When these discussions happen, include the following questions for the team’s consideration.
 

  1. How will districts and schools assess a student’s present level of performance upon the start of the school year?

    • How will students who receive special education services be assessed to determine their present levels of performance?
    • How will teachers continue instruction for students who receive special education services that is aligned with services outlined in each student’s IEP?
    • If skill deficits are identified, what intervention is needed for students who receive special education services?

 

  1.  How will districts and schools conduct evaluations  for students who receive special education services or students suspected of having disabilities?

    • What is the district’s formal, written process for intervention prior to evaluation for special education services?
    • How is the need for evaluation determined in ways that prevent disproportionality in identification of racial or ethnic groups to receive special education services?

 


Instruction

Students who receive special education services have diverse academic and functional needs. Specialized instruction is strategic, flexible, data driven and tied to strong core instruction with tiered or scaffolded supports. Consider these questions while designing instructional strategies.
 

  1. How will districts and schools identify and provide students who receive special education services, as well as those at risk, with the supports and resources needed?

    • How will the district provide specially designed instruction and related services to students who receive special education services ?
    • How will intervention specialists and general education teachers co-plan and co-teach to provide students who receive special education services with instruction that meets each student’s needs and provides access to the general curriculum?
    • What additional training and resources will staff (general education teachers, intervention specialists and related service providers) need to create and deliver instruction that meets the needs of students who receive special education services?
    • How will students who receive special education services be provided with specially designed instruction, related services or assistive technology, as documented in their IEPs?

  2. How will staff provide services to students who receive special education services during the   these changing educational circumstances?  

    • How will districts and schools provide instruction, services and supports for any of the planned formats and instructional environments for students who receive special education services as outlined in their IEPs?
    • What materials and supports are available to students who receive special education services as they transition between various forms of instruction?  
    • How will teachers provide consistent instruction and appropriate levels of support when managing changing educational circumstances ?

 


Leadership, Administration and Governance

Leaders build the capacity of all staff to meet the diverse needs of students in more fully inclusive settings in which instruction is flexible and accessible to all learners. Leaders develop and support inclusive practices for students who receive special education services through implementing comprehensive institutional norms, supporting a culture of learning, planning for teacher capacity and professional development, and sustaining their commitment to innovation and learning. As the district and building(s) continue to design for the  school year, use these questions to consider inclusive leadership practices.
 

  1. How will time be allocated for collaborative planning  to develop resources that support learning ?

    • How will teachers collaborate to assess the current needs of students and staff ?
    • How will teachers collaborate to address delivery of services in various learning environments that impact retention, workload and other  concerns of special education staff?
    • What professional learning can be provided to staff to equip them with the tools and knowledge to meet diverse student needs?
    • How can educational service centers, state support teams, associations and other professional organizations be used to support the district’s efforts?

 


School Climate and Supports

School climate is the holistic context, including the quality of social connectedness and supportive practices that nurture inclusion and safety. Inclusion is not only the expectation that students who receive special education services are encouraged to participate and engaged in school activities (learning and social) to the maximum extent appropriate, but also supported with diverse practices and equitable access. Inclusion ensures students who receive special education services are provided with the individualized, specially designed instruction and supports necessary for their growth and development. While exploring and setting conditions for the  school year related to school climate and supports, consider these questions to ensure equitable access and practices for students who receive special education services.
 

  1. How will districts and schools incorporate strategies and supports that meet the needs of school climate and supports for students who receive special education services?

    • How will students who receive special education services be provided with equitable opportunities to participate in the various learning environments?
    • How will staff support the establishment of an inclusive community to support the needs of students who receive special education services?
    • What strategies can districts and schools put in place to ensure all students who receive special education services are welcomed and feel secure in receiving the services and supports as outlined in their IEPs?

 

  1. How will districts and schools incorporate strategies and supports that meet the needs of the whole child, including mental health and academic intervention?

 

  1. How will districts and schools maintain a safe environment  for staff  while supporting students with behavioral challenges who may need intervention?

    • Are all staff familiar with the protocols for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports?
    • Are staff members familiar with the restraint and seclusion updated requirements as set forth by the Department?

 


Community and Family Engagement

One of the most effective means of ensuring academic success is to engage parents in their students’ education. A knowledge of the surrounding community, including partnerships and resources that support students who receive special education services, can benefit the overall educational experience. When parents and educators work collaboratively as partners, it enhances the educational experiences of students who receive special education services. Use the following questions to discuss and develop the most appropriate engagement practices for parents and community.
 

  1. How can districts and schools engage parents in the evaluation process, IEP development, meetings and district and school activities?

    • What modes of communication will be used to engage parents in their students’ special education services and supports and how will these communication attempts be documented? How can schools and districts engage parents at times and places that are most convenient for the parents?

 


College and Career Readiness

Each Child, Our Future aims to ensure every child is challenged, prepared and empowered to become a resilient, lifelong learner who achieves success as defined in multiple ways. Transition planning and services will support the postsecondary training and education, competitive integrated employment and independent living goals of students who receive special education services. As secondary transition plans are created for students who receive special education services, please consider the following questions.
 

  1. What strategies will districts and schools incorporate  to ensure students receiving special education services are college and career ready?

    • Has the district and school reviewed the Department’s resources regarding graduation and determined if students who receive special education services are on track for graduation?
    • How will students who receive special education services learn about and engage in college and career opportunities?
    • How will students who receive special education services learn of and be provided support for scholarship opportunities?

 

  1. How can districts and schools provide secondary transition services and activities that will enable students who receive special education services to make progress on postsecondary goals in the areas of postsecondary education and training, competitive integrated employment, and independent living ?

    • How will age-appropriate transition assessments be used to provide information about student preferences, interests, needs and strengths for each postsecondary goal?  
    • How will student progress be monitored, documented and reported for completing transition services and activities?
    • How will staff provide transition services  and effectively communicate with the student and parents, if applicable, regarding the transition services throughout the  school year?
    • How can districts and schools effectively communicate with employers, universities and other agencies, such as Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and county boards of developmental disabilities, to ensure students who receive special education services continue community-based career opportunities to earn graduation credentials?

 


Operations

 

  1. What are the considerations that districts and schools need to consider regarding the safety of staff, students, parents and community partners related to health and safety measures?

    • Will additional processes be needed for students who receive special education services to adhere to the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Ohio Department of Health?
    • How does the school’s or district’s face covering policy consider language acquisition, specifically for students with language or hearing impairments (facial expression, lip reading)?
    • What visual supports or tools can be used to communicate and still maintain physical distancing?
    • What additional processes need to be developed for all students based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control, the Ohio Department of Health and county health departments?

 

  1. How will districts and schools determine the health and safety needs for students who receive special education services who also require special transportation as outlined in their IEPs?

    • How will districts and schools adhere to the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Ohio Department of Health for the transportation of students who have transportation services listed in the IEP?
    • How will transportation providers and transportation staff be trained to support students who receive special education services?
    • How does the operations plan for transportation take into consideration the provision of a student’s IEP to ensure individual student needs are met?
    • How will districts and schools adhere to the guidelines outline by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ohio Department of Health and county boards of health regarding the safe transportation of students with disabilities, especially those who are medically fragile?

 
 

Last Modified: 8/16/2021 7:45:39 AM