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What is Special Education?

Special Education is specialized instruction provided for children from birth to age 22 who qualify according to the laws and regulations outlined by the state and federal government. A student may qualify for special education services as an individual with special needs in one of thirteen areas identified by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004). These are:

Deaf/Hard of Hearing
Visually Impaired
Speech-Language Impaired
Specific Learning Disability
Multiple Disabilities
Orthopedic Impairment 
Other Health Impairment
Intellectual Disability
Established Medical Disability (ages 3-5)
Emotionally Disturbed
Traumatic Brain Injury

The Special Education Process:
If a student is demonstrating a pattern of serious difficulty in school and frequently exhibits learning problems, consideration of Special Education may be needed. This can occur in the following way:

Referral and Identification:
A referral may be initiated by a parent/guardian, teacher, physician, the student, school administrator or community agency. Contact your local school for information regarding a referral for assessment if you suspect your student has a disability.

An Assessment Plan is developed within 15 days of a written referral. Written parental consent is required for the assessment and the evaluation results will be shared with the parents/guardians at an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting.

Individualized Education Program (IEP):
An initial IEP team meeting will be held within 60 days of the district’s receipt of parent/guardian signing an assessment plan. If the IEP team agrees that the student is eligible under one of the thirteen eligibility categories, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) will be developed by the IEP team with appropriate placement to meet agreed upon educational goals. 

The IEP team consists of the parents or guardians, a school administrator, a special education teacher, the student's general education teacher, and other special education staff as determined by the team.

When a student with exceptional needs has been found eligible for Special Education, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed. An IEP is a written document which includes instructional goals and objectives and accommodations and modifications to the general education program based upon the student's educational needs as determined by the IEP team.

The parent/guardian will be asked to give written approval of the IEP at the meeting. Goals will be developed and reviewed yearly. No change in educational placement or program will occur without parent/guardian permission.

Communication between all parties involved will be ongoing and parents/guardians are encouraged to request informal conferences with teachers, to visit the classroom, and utilize notes, email, or phone calls to learn about the student's program and performance. Additionally, progress towards goals and objectives will be reported by the special education providers at each trimester and at the annual review IEP team meeting.

Preschool Intervention Program:
Preschool Intervention Program for Preschool Children ages 3 to 5:  Small group speech and language instruction to support language development and improvement of articulation skills. Referrals for preschoolers should be initiated by calling the Student Services Department at (530) 582-2560.

Services for eligible preschoolers may include speech and language services, specialized instruction and other services as determined by assessed needs and on an individual basis.

Preschoolers needing more intensive programs/services will be provided appropriate services upon review of assessments and as determined by the IEP team.

Confidentiality of Records

All individualized education program records are maintained in accordance with state and federal pupil confidentiality laws.

Copies of records will be sent to other agencies or persons outside of the district only with written request and permission of the parent/guardian or by court order.  Requests can be faxed to the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District office at (530) 582-2566 or email