SANB developed programs to ensure that each student reaches his or her potential. Inclusive education between regular and special education allows for the opportunity to learn and develop in age-appropriate settings. Students are provided a quality, individualized education program (IEP) in the least restrictive environment that the IEP or IFSP team deems appropriate from birth to graduation and beyond.
Our fundamental mission is to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities that promote lifelong learning, independence, and self-advocacy.
- Everyone has the right to be valued, respected, and educated.
- Students with special needs are entitled to equitable education opportunities provided to them through a range of adaptations, services, and programs.
- Accountability for student growth and development is shared across home, school, and community settings
- Successful student-focused transitions are driven by clear communication, shared knowledge, and on-going support
- Students will work and participate in the community with the life-skills and academics they have learned.
- Evaluation for Special Education
- Following the Evaluation
- Frequently Used Terms
- Early Childhood Special Education
- Extended School Year (ESY)
- Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
- Minnesota Disability Categories
- Procedural Safeguards
- Referral Process
- Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC)
- Third Party Billing
- Total Special Education (TSES)
- Transition Services (18-21)
The purpose of an evaluation is to evaluate if a child has a qualifying disability that may be hindering academic performance based on MN criteria. The evaluation is to determine if the child is eligible for and needs special education services, and if so, to identify the special education needs based on examining all areas of suspected disability and to provide detailed data in relation to the child’s current educational performance and needs. The evaluation may include:
- Formal tests
- Informal assessments
- Observational data
- Historical data
- Medical data
While the District is not financially responsible for the costs of a parent-initiated assessment conducted by a physician, clinic or other agency, the evaluation team will review and consider such assessment data. However, the District is not required to accept the results nor implement the recommendations of an outside assessment unless the evaluation team agrees to do so.
Several professionals may be involved in the evaluation process. These may include, but are not limited to: the classroom teacher(s), special education teacher(s), school nurse, school psychologist, speech/language clinician, adapted physical education teacher, occupational therapist, or physical therapist. Parents/guardians will work with the team to determine what areas will be assessed and tested. A Prior Written Notice will be sent home summarizing the testing and responsible staff member and will request signature. Following parent/guardian permission receipt, the school district has 30 school days, excluding holidays and breaks, to complete testing for students in kindergarten through transition services.
Following the evaluation, the school staff will contact parent/guardian to set up a meeting to discuss the data and results. The members of the evaluation team will be present at this meeting to share individual testing results and to discuss the findings as a whole. The student’s present is up to the parent/guardian’s discretion.
All testing results are summarized in an evaluation report. A draft will be sent to you for review prior to the meeting or shared at the evaluation meeting. In addition, a final report with all edits, additional inputs and team decisions will be sent to you following the meeting. The child’s eligibility for special education services is determined by MN state criteria with specific requirements outlined by both state and federal law. If the child meets this eligibility criteria AND found to have needs, the team will develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP). It is possible to meet the eligibility requirements of a disability and not need special education services. For example, a child with a hearing loss who is succeeding within the general curriculum may not require 'specialized instruction’. In these instances, the evaluation team may discuss other options, supports, and/or other reasonable adjustments/accommodations to enable students to access instruction under a Section 504 plan. In addition, the child might not meet special education eligibility criteria. The team may then choose to consider general education options such as title supports or reading/math interventions.
Accommodation – allows the student to do the same work as the regular education students with a change (i.e. taking tests in a quiet room). This change does not change the rigor of the material being taught.
Adaptations – word used interchangeable with accommodation.
Assistive Technology Device – any item, piece of equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities (can be low or high tech).
Assistive Technology Service – any service that directly assists a student in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device.
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) – a plan to address challenging behaviors; it addresses both the source of the behavior and ways to deal with the behavior so the student can make positive changes.
Case Manager – the person who coordinates a student’s IEP and sees that it is carried out. This person is the first point of contact for any issues or concerns that you may have.
Child Study Team – team that determines if an evaluation is warranted.
Consent – means that you say “yes.” Consent means that you understand and agree in writing to the activity that is being requested, such as an evaluation or an IEP.
Curriculum – the coursework being taught.
Direct Service – specialized service provided directly to the student from the professional to work on goals and objectives.
Evaluation – testing and observations used to determine the eligibility of the student for special education services.
Inclusion-Full – student that qualifies for special education and spends the entire school day in the general education classroom.
Inclusion-Partial - student that qualifies for special education and spends part of the school day in the general education classroom.
IEE (Independent Educational Evaluation) - an evaluation provided by a mutually agreed upon independent professional at no cost to you. The school district is required to give you several choices of qualified professionals to perform the IEE. You can then choose which professional conducts the IEE. To request an IEE, you need to notify, in writing, the Director of Student Support Services that you disagree with the district’s evaluation and are requesting an IEE. Keep a copy for yourself as well. You also have the right to a second opinion at any time at your own expense. The school district must consider this information.
IEP (Individualized Education Program) – an educational service program for a student age 3 up to 21. Services need to begin within 30 calendar days from the date the student is found eligible.
IEP Team – the group of people responsible for defining a student’s educational program. The Team must include:
- A representative of the district who is authorized to assign resources, known as the Administrative Designee
- At least one of the student’s special education teachers.
- At least one of the student’s general education teachers.
- Student, if appropriate
- There may be more team members as appropriate.
IFSP (Individual Family Service Program) - a program for children in Early Childhood Special Education (birth through age 2). The development of the IFSP should be completed within 45 calendar days from the initial referral.
Indirect Service – professional staff that consult with team members on services, modifications, adaptation, and any issues related to the IEP goals/objectives.
LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) – the educational setting appropriate to meet the individual student's needs that provides the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate.
Modification – a change that lowers the rigor of the material and changes what a test or assignment measures.
Occupational Therapy - a related service that helps to promote and assess fine motor, visual motor, sensory motor, and self-care skills related to routines and activities related to school participation and tasks. The OT designs and provides intervention strategies and adaptations to assist with fine motor skills which may include direct therapy with the child, consultation with the teacher, modification of the environment, provision of adaptive equipment, and staff training.
PCA (Personal Care Assistant) – an individual helping a child learn skills so he or she can be more independent at school, home and in the community.
Physical Therapy - a related service that helps to promote motor development related to routines and activities related to participation in school with expertise in movement and function. The PT designs and provides therapeutic intervention strategies and adaptations to assist with functional mobility and safe, efficient access and participation in academic settings.
Pre-Referral Interventions - before referring a child for an evaluation, the classroom teacher must plan strategies to see if your child’s behavior or academic progress improves with simple changes in curriculum or environment. These are called “pre-referral interventions.” At least two pre-referral interventions must be tried and documented. If the child’s performance improves, an evaluation may not be needed. If problems continue, an evaluation will help identify more specific ways to help the child learn.
Referral – parents/teachers or staff knowledgeable about the student can make a referral for a special education evaluation. When classroom interventions are not successful, a referral will be made for a Child Study Team to consider whether the child should receive further evaluation. The team decides the areas to be evaluated and the types of evaluation to be completed.
Related Services – services required to make a child benefit from special education. An example may be transportation, physical therapy, or occupational therapy.
Response to Intervention (RtI) - a 3-tiered model of instructional support available for all students. It includes providing high quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make changes in instruction, and applying child response data to important educational decisions.
Resource Room – a room other than a general education classroom where a student may receive his or her special education services. The room is a special education setting.
Section 504 – a Federal Civil Rights Law. It protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance. Section 504 falls under the responsibility of the general education program
Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) - acts as an advisory body to the district through Special Services Administration on behalf of students receiving special education services. The SEAC will work towards the district mission of providing a high-quality educational experience for all learners as it applies to students with special needs and their families.
Early Childhood Special Education is available to children ages birth through six if they meet any of Minnesota’s thirteen disability definitions, or if they demonstrate a Developmental Delay (i.e. a substantial delay or disorder in development, or have a condition or impairment that inhibits normal development).
SANBE partners with the Mounds View School District to provide programs for Infants and Toddlers (birth to age 3):
The Interagency Early Intervention Committee (IEIC) is a collaborative effort among the Public Schools, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Public Health. These agencies work together to address the needs of young children with disabilities and their families in the areas of education, health and social services. Quality early intervention services are of primary importance in assuring young children with disabilities are prepared for successful school and life experiences.
Referrals for Evaluation are accepted from parents, physicians or other caring adults whenever a young child exhibits developmental concerns. Referrals for infants and toddlers can be made by calling the Special Education Department at 612-706-1000 or by visiting the Help Me Grow website. For those infants and toddlers who qualify, services are usually provided in the child's home, although some children may be served within a school setting if that best meets their needs.
SANBE also partners with Mounds View School District to provide Early Childhood Special Education (ages 3 thru 6):
Children with disabilities, ages three through six-years, may be eligible for special education services through the schools. Referrals for Evaluation are accepted from parents, physicians or other caring adults whenever a young child exhibits developmental concerns. Referrals for children ages 3-6 can be made by calling the Special Education Department at 612-706-1000 or by visiting the Help Me Grow website. For those children who qualify, services are usually provided within a school setting, although some children may be served within their home or other environments if that best meets their needs.
A child who receives Early Childhood Special Education under the Developmental Delay criteria is re-evaluated prior to turning seven years of age. To continue to receive special education services beyond their seventh birthday, they must qualify for one of the thirteen K-12 disability areas.
ESY is not the same as summer school. Summer school is optional and is offered at the discretion of districts, whereas ESY is a mandatory extension of special education services during breaks in regular instruction.
School districts are required to provide extended school year services to a student when the IEP Team determines that special education services are necessary during a break in instruction in order to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Generally, if the child is at a critical learning period, or it is anticipated there will be a significant regression in knowledge and/or skills and if recoupment of those skills will take an unusually long time, then extended year services must be provided. (see MN Rule 3525.0755)
Regression - All students, disabled and non-disabled, experience regression during breaks in instruction. For the purposes of ESY Services, regression is a decline in the performance of a skill or acquired knowledge, as specified in the annual goal(s) of the student's IEP, that occurs during a break in instruction.
Recoupment - A student's ability to regain the skill performance or relearn the acquired knowledge to approximately the same level that existed just prior to the break in instruction.
Significant - Regression/recoupment is significant when the recoupment period is longer than the length of the break in instruction. For example, to be considered significant, the time needed to recoup/relearn a skill in the fall would need to be greater than three months - the length of the summer break.
Self-sufficiency - Those functional skills necessary for a student to achieve a reasonable degree of personal independence as identified in the annual IEP goals for a student requiring a functional curriculum.
When a student is eligible for and needs specialized instruction, an Individual Education Program (IEP) plan is developed at an IEP Team meeting that includes parents, school personnel and others who might have input into the student's special education needs.
An IEP is a plan that spells out the special education services a child will receive based on the results of the evaluation. The IEP Team develops goals as targets for the child to achieve and determines the instructional strategies needed so that the student can make progress in their educational program. An IEP is generally in effect for one calendar year, although the parents or school can request the IEP Team review the plan as needed.
The size and composition of IEP Teams varies depending upon the unique needs of the student. Generally, an IEP Team consists of:
- One or both parents (Parents are STRONGLY encouraged to attend all IEP meetings. However, the final decision to attend or not is up to the parents.);
- The student, beginning at grade 9 or age 14 (If the student chooses not to attend, the IEP Manager must insure that the student's preferences are reported.);
- A special education teacher;
- A "representative of the school district" who is empowered to make decisions on behalf of the school district;
- Regular education teacher(s); and
- Others at the invitation of the parents or district.
There are a number of people who can assist parents if they have questions. If your concerns are specifically related to the implementation of your child's IEP, you should discuss them with your child's IEP Manager. Parents might also elect to speak to their child's building principal for questions related to both special and general education. Although the Director of Special Education cannot overrule an IEP Team's decisions, you may wish to contact the Director for clarification or mediation if you cannot resolve a problem with the IEP Team.
Special education is specially designed instruction and related services that enable a student with a disability to access and benefit from their program of education. Special education addresses the individual needs of the child that arise from a disability and is provided at no cost to the parents. These services can include specialized personnel, special instructional supplies and materials, modification to curriculum and other special accommodations.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) - ASD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects how an individual processes information and interprets the world. Core features of autism are persistent deficits in social interaction and communication and restricted, repetitive or stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests or activities. Each individual with ASD displays a unique combination of characteristics, ranging from mild to severe, requiring individually determined educational and treatment programming.
The first signs of autism appear in early childhood and can be detected by an experienced professional as early as 18 to 24 months of age. Early and accurate identification and intervention can change the trajectory for many children on the autism spectrum. Because of the low incidence and complexity of this disability, professionals with experience and expertise in the area of autism need to be included on the team determining the disability and educational program.
Blind-Visually Impaired (BVI) - BVI means a medically verified visual impairment accompanied by limitations in sight that interfere with acquiring information or interaction with the environment to the extent that special education instruction and related services may be needed.
Deaf-Blind - Deaf/Blind means medically verified visual impairment coupled with medically verified hearing impairment that, together, interferes with acquiring information or interacting in the environment. The combination causes severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.
Developmental Cognitive Disability (DCD) - DCD is defined as a condition that results in intellectual functioning significantly below average and is associated with concurrent deficits in adaptive behavior that require special education and related services.
Developmentally Delayed (DD) - DD services are available to students from birth to seven years of age who have a substantial delay or disorder in development, or have an identifiable sensory, physical, mental, or social/emotional condition or impairment known to impede normal development and need special education. Students are eligible for these services if they meet criteria in 2 or more areas as specifically defined by the Department of Education.
The Minnesota Department of Education's Early Learning Services offers information and resources on DD through its Help Me Grow programs. For information on infant and toddler intervention services, preschool special education or information and referral through Help Me Grow, see the offsite resources links or call toll-free 1-866-693-4769.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) - DHH means a diminished sensitivity to sound that is expressed in terms of standard audiological measures. A hearing impairment has the potential to affect educational, communicative, or social functioning that may result in the need for special education instruction and related services.
Emotional or Behavioral Disorders (EBD) - Students who may be considered for special education under the Emotional or Behavioral Disorders (EBD) category need specialized services for emotional or behavioral supports for a wide range of complex and challenging emotional or behavioral conditions. Medical, biological and psychological conditions as well as genetic dispositions can affect these students' ability to learn and function in school.
Other Health Disability (OHD) - OHD means a medically diagnosed chronic or acute health condition that may adversely affect academic functioning and result in the need for special education and related services. Examples include, but are not limited to, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, cancer, Tourette's syndrome, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and cystic fibrosis.
Physically Impaired (PI) - Students determined to be Physically Impaired (PI) have medically diagnosed, chronic, physical impairment, either congenital or acquired, that may adversely affect physical or academic functioning and result in the need for special education and related services. Examples of diagnoses that may meet these criteria are cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury, otegenesis imperfecta and arthrogryposis.
Specific Learning Disability (SLD) - SLD is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. A student may qualify for SLD services if he/she is functioning at an academic level significantly below grade level peers and is demonstrating a severe discrepancy between actual and expected achievement in one or more of the following areas:
- Oral expression
- Listening comprehension
- Basic reading skills
- Reading comprehension
- Reading Fluency
- Written expression
- Mathematical calculation
- Mathematics problem solving
A specific learning disability may occur with, but cannot be primarily the result of:
- Visual, hearing or motor impairment.
- Emotional disorders.
- Environmental, cultural, economic influences.
- A history of an inconsistent education program
Speech Language Impairments (SLI) - The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) defines SLI as “a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, language impairment or a voice impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.”
- Fluency disorder means the intrusion or repetition of sounds, syllables, and words; prolongation of sounds; avoidance of words; silent blocks; or inappropriate inhalation, exhalation, or phonation patterns. These patterns may also be accompanied by facial and body movements associated with the effort to speak.
- Voice disorder means the absence of voice or presence of abnormal quality, pitch, resonance, loudness, or duration.
- Articulation disorder means the absence of or incorrect production of speech sounds or phonological processes that are developmentally appropriate (e.g. lisp, difficulty articulating certain sounds, such as l or r).
- Language disorder means a breakdown in communication as characterized by problems in expressing needs, ideas, or information that may be accompanied by problems in understanding.
Severely Multiply Impaired (SMI) - Students with severe multiple impairment (SMI) meet the criteria for two or more of six categorical areas: deaf or hard of hearing, physically impaired, developmental cognitive disability (severe/profound), visually impaired, emotional or behavioral disorders and autism spectrum disorders.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) - Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both. TBI adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Traumatic brain injury applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as: cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
Procedural Safeguards Notice
Procedural Safeguards provide an overview of parental rights for parents of children with disabilities ages 3 through 21 under Part B, and birth through age 2 under Part C, of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Procedural Safeguards represent their rights as parents and the protections they have—and their child as well—under the law and its implementing regulations.
Interventions are utilized by the classroom teacher before a school-aged child may be referred for special education evaluation. The purpose of these pre-referral interventions is to determine if improvements or positive impacts can me made to student performance using select interventions. Classroom teachers must implement at least two interventions and collect data to document this. Parent permission is not required but good communication regarding both the type and duration of interventions is important for future discussions.
Child Study Teams meet to consider evaluation referrals if classroom interventions are recorded as unsuccessful. This team of educators reviews the supportive evidence and considers disability evaluation, then decides the specific areas to be evaluated and assessments that should be conducted.
The referral is a request for assessment and the starting point of the special education process. This request for referral may be made by a parent or guardian, teacher, any public or private member of the school district , a judicial officer, or a student (who is legal adult-age or an emancipated minor). The district may choose to call a meeting to discuss concerns. Parents wishing to initiate a request for a referral should submit a written request for evaluation to the school principal, school psychologist, or Special Education Director, and keep a copy for home files. This document should include both a reason for referral and a description of the academic or behavior concerns. Additional details or information may be requested. If the referral is in reference to a child under the age of 6, please submit a form through Help Me Grow.
Referrals do not mean that a child is eligible for special education services or that they have a disability, rather, it is a first step in the process to address concerns. Following a referral, the team, including parents/guardians, will participate in a Child Study meeting to determine what areas will be evaluated, what tests will be used, and who will do the testing. The evaluation cannot take place without parental/guardian written consent. Teachers may refer a child to the Child Study Team without parental/guardian permission however, no special education evaluation will take place without written/signed consent by the parent/guardian. Once the mandatory signatures for consent are received, the evaluation will be completed in 30 school days.
A Special Education Advisory Council-SEAC-provides input on special education issues to its local school district. Minnesota law requires each school district in the state to have a special education advisory council (SEAC). The purpose is to advise the school district on policy, and advocate on behalf of district students with special education needs. SEAC is composed of parents of children with disabilities, district special education staff, and a representative from each non-public school located within the district.
To provide an effective and inclusive educational experience for learners, staff and families in an atmosphere where differences are accepted, valued, and supported by the larger education system and its community partners.
We will support special education students, families and staff through efforts that:
- Enhance programs and services.
- Increase parent involvement.
- Advise the Special Education Department
- Promote awareness amongst the community at large and the school community
- Facilitate communication between parents, staff and community.
- Coordinate family support resource awareness.
- Meeting notes are available by contacting District Secretary April Hindi, at 612-706-1000 within two weeks following the meeting
- Meeting agendas will be prepared at least one-week prior to the meeting date and will be available through the district's website or by contacting the district secretary
- The special education coordinator/director will serve as an information source to all stakeholders regarding special education programs/policies
- Recommendations from the Council will be recorded, kept on file with the coordinator and presented to the appropriate source (i.e. administration, School Board, teaching staff, and/or committees via the coordinator/director
Minnesota law (M.S.125A.21) requires that school districts seek reimbursement from private and public health insurers for the cost of health-related services provided to students who receive special education services. If your child receives health-related services as part of their IEP, IFSP or IIIP, a member of your child's team may ask your permission to share information with your insurer and/or physician in order to bill for these services.
Health-related services are developmental, corrective and supportive services that are required in order for a student to benefit from their program of specialized instruction. Health-related services include supports such as:
- Diagnosis, evaluation and assessment;
- Speech, physical and occupational therapies;
- Paraprofessional/personal care assistant (PCA) services;
- Mental health services;
- Transportation; and
- Health services such as nursing.
While districts are required to seek payment from both private and public insurers, St. Anthony-New Brighton Public Schools will seek to bill only public insurance - Medical Assistance (MA) and MinnesotaCare (MC). Billing public insurance has no impact on your child's nor family's medical coverage. St. Anthony-New Brighton Public Schools will not seek to bill private insurance, as doing so could cause your insurance rates to increase and/or have other negative effects on your child's and family's insurance coverage.
One of the most important things to know is that Minnesota laws offer protections to parents and students when schools bill MA or MC. These protections include:
- Services provided by the district and paid by MA or MC do not count toward any monthly, annual or lifetime limits for the same or similar services. For example, if your child's IEP includes occupational therapy services, it does not affect therapy service limits your child might need or receive from a rehab agency.
- Services provided by the district and paid by MA or MC do not count toward any home care or waiver caps. For example, if your child's IEP includes staff to assist with eating and toileting, it does not affect the amount of personal care assistant services your child can receive at home.
- Services provided by the district and paid by MA or MC do not affect services your child gets from other providers, or those covered by a PMAP.
- There are no parental fees nor co-pays for services provided by the district and paid by MA.
- Services provided by the district and paid by MA do not count toward a spenddown.
Minnesota law requires that any money received from third party billing can only be used for three things:
- For the benefit of students with special needs within the district,
- To pay for the cost of doing third party billing, and
- For training and help to increase the amount of third party billing.
Total Special Education (TSES)
The Total Special Education System (TSES) manual documents special education policies, procedures, and programs and includes sections for descriptions of the district’s child study procedures, methods of providing the special education services for the identified pupils, administration and management plan, operating procedures of interagency committees and interagency agreements as required under Minn. R. 3525.1100.
Transition services must be addressed in the first IEP by grade 9, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP. The purpose of transition planning is to make decisions and assign responsibilities related to the 5 areas of independence: Post-secondary education, work experience, community participation, recreation/leisure, and daily living skills. Some special education students are determined to need additional supports in one or more of these areas following completion of high school.
SANBE partners with Intermediate District Northeast Metro 916 to provide transition services to special education students until the age of 21. Providing transition services is typically a shared responsibility between the school and community agencies such as Vocational Rehabilitation Services agency.