Special education programs, services, and supports are provided to address the unique needs of our students with disabilities aged 2-21, inclusive. Individualized services are provided in the child's least restrictive environment, as outlined in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). A continuum of services for all students with disabilities is considered. Most programs are available at each school. However, some programs which are less frequently required may not be available at every school; thus they have been strategically located in schools throughout our county. In this case, every effort is made to assign the student to a school as near the base school as possible.Parents, students, teachers, and administrators participate in the evaluation, identification, and eligibility process for special education. Eligibility is determined through a formal assessment process by using ability tests, achievement tests, student work samples, parent feedback, student observation/interview, teacher observations, and other assessment tools as needed. If the student is found eligible, team members work together to develop an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) that is appropriate for each child. Parents are highly encouraged to participate in the special education process while supporting independence for their children with special needs.
Inclusive practices are at the forefront of our local programs. Students with mild to severe disabilities are offered services at all levels within general education classrooms, whenever possible. We recognize that separate special education programs may also be needed. In these cases, the team discusses which special ed program is most appropriate.
The majority of students with disabilities spend most of their day in general education classrooms with special assistance, accessing the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOLs) and division-wide curriculum. Accommodations and/or modifications to the curriculum are provided as needed to meet the established goals of the students’ IEPs.
Related services such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision services, psychological services, interpreting services, and transportation are provided to students who require additional support to benefit from their special education program.All special education programs have the following features:
Every student receiving specialized instruction has his or her own uniquely designed program, the Individualized Education Program (IEP). It is the IEP that best describes your child and the types of accomodations, modifications and specialized instruction needed for success.
- access to the general education curriculum
- inclusion in the general education classroom (as determined in the IEP)
- collaboration and consultation with the general education staff
- Instructional and/or behavioral support from specialists
- assistive technology services and supports provided as appropriate.
"The Department of Education shall annually prepare and distribute to local school boards packets of information describing the educational and other services available through the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind, the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing, and the Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired to students who are identified as hearing impaired or visually impaired. Local school boards shall annually post this information on the school division's website and inform the parents of those students who are identified as hearing impaired or visually impaired of its availability. School boards shall ensure that packets of such information are available in an accessible format for review by parents who do not have Internet access."