Special Services

Meeting Unique Needs

State and Federal Law ensures that "all individuals with exceptional needs have available to them a free, appropriate public education and related services to meet their unique needs." When a child is being assessed for possible special education needs, an Individualized Education Program Team (IEPT) shall be convened. Parents are an integral part of that team.

Referrals for identification of a child with possible special needs may come from parents,
teachers, doctors, community agency personnel, any concerned individual or the child.


The Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) provides special education services in cooperation with the school districts. The SELPA continues to ensure that eligible children, birth through age twenty-one, with handicaps have the opportunity to participate in programs and receive appropriate special education services. Programs and services are available for eligible pupils from infancy through age 22.

Student Study Team (SST)

The school site Student Study Team (SST) discusses and recommends intervention strategies using regular school resources and personnel. They may coordinate assessment referrals for students whose needs cannot be met with modification of the regular program. The SST may refer a student to special education only after all resources of regular education have been considered and, where appropriate, utilized.

Individualized Education Program

If the parent and the school agree that the child has a disability and requires special education services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be designed to meet the child's needs. This will take place at a meeting attended by parents and the school personnel and may include others as appropriate.

The State Education Code calls for inclusion of the following elements in an IEP:
  • A summary of the assessment findings, including your child's strengths as well as needs.
  • A statement of goals and objectives, which the group suggests for your child.
  • A list of specific services that will be used to find out how well the plan is working (evaluation).
  • A recommendation for placement.
  • The starting date and frequency of services
For information on parents' rights and resources, please visit California Department of Education website.

Programs Available

The following programs are available to Special Education students:

Instruction and Service:
Such instruction and services will be provided by the general education teacher, the special education teacher or specialists competent to provide such instruction and services. If not, the appropriately credentialed Designated Instruction and Service (DIS) specialist will provide such instruction and service. Some examples are APE and S/L services. If your child needs a specialized service, which relates to his/her educational progress, it may be provided by the local school, County Office of Education or an outside agency.
Pearson Center: The Pearson Center is a post-secondary Special Education program serving students from ages 18-22.  At Pearson Center, vocational experiences develop career awareness and an understanding of job expectations which are important in the transition from school to work.  Reading, writing, money and time concepts, and communication are practiced in class and in real life situations.  Food preparation, personal hygiene, and classroom maintenance are also practiced in school. Community experiences include shopping, laundry and recreation.
For more information, please see the Pearson Center section of the District Programs Page.

Resource Specialist Program: The Resource Specialist provides instructional services to students in order to implement the IEP. He/She also provides consultation to parents and regular staff members in areas such as assessment, curriculum and classroom management as well as monitoring pupil services with regular school programs. The majority of the student's day is spent in the regular program.
Special Day Classes- Students with more intensive educational needs may require Special Day Classes. Placement in Special Day Classes shall occur only when the nature of the handicap is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aides and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Typically 50% or more of the student's day is spent in Special Day Classes.

State Special Schools: The state provides residential schools and assessment for handicapped pupils as appropriate.

Non-Public, Non-Sectarian Schools and Services: All appropriate public school programs in the SELPA or nearby SELPAs shall be explored prior to considering the non-public school program alternatives.

Least Restrictive Environment

The District recognizes the importance of the least restrictive philosophy as set forth in state and federal legislation. It is our intent to implement the requirements to the maximum extent, and to ensure their application in all placement considerations. The intent clearly is to have the special student as much a part of a regular school program as possible while giving considerations to the needs of both exceptional and regular pupils.



Mary H.  Ficcardi, Director
Tel: (530) 872-6400
Fax: (530) 877-5073