Arlington Public Schools (APS) provides a continuum of services for students with disabilities, preschool through high school, found eligible to receive special education services. Identifying a student as eligible for special education services is a carefully managed process guided by State and Federal regulations, as well as APS Special Education policies and procedures (25-4.4). Evaluations required to make this determination are completed only with parent permission.
School-based student study committees review available information regarding students who are experiencing problems that adversely affect their education performance. Students suspected of having a disability are referred for evaluation. An eligibility committee at the student's school reviews assessment data from school-based evaluations as well as any information provided by parents to determine if the student has a disability which requires special education services. When a student is found eligible for special education services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed with the participation of the school staff, the parents and the student (when appropriate). An IEP is a statement of the special education and related services that will be provided to the student which is updated at least annually throughout a student's eligibility for special education.
The Office of Special Education provides ongoing support throughout the special education process for students with disabilities, parents, principals, and school staff, to include support in the areas of evaluation, identification, placement, instruction, and transitional services.
Individuals with disabilities are valued members of the community, entitled to access opportunities which comprise a meaningful and dignified life. The Office of Special Education (OSE) actively promotes and fosters inclusion of all students in the school and greater community as a part of a respectful culture which recognizes the value of individuality.