The Student Services team work with students to develop:
- Engaged, motivated and high achieving lifelong learners educated for success in the 21st Century.
- Welcoming and nurturing environments for unique learners.
- Involved and informed students, staff, parents and community members.
- Collaborative relationships for successful student transitions and individualized learning.
- Professionals who apply current educational practices in instruction, curriculum, interventions and evaluation.
We offer a broad range of services to address the unique educational needs of students, including the Placement Center, Family Engagement, English Learners, Special Education, Health Services, Home School, Homebound Instruction and Section 504.
Special Education Programming
Providing a Continuum of Services
Columbia Heights Public Schools provides a continuum of special education and related services. These services are designed to meet each student's unique special education needs and the goals set by the student's Individual Education Program (IEP) team. Services are provided in the least restrictive environment appropriate for the student
The Special Education Process
The special education process includes identifying, evaluating and appropriately placing students who are eligible for services. Once services are provided, progress reports and annual IEP planning meetings offer opportunities to review a student's progress, update the IEP and further talk about placement.
Identifying a Need for Services
- Teachers, parents or the student himself/herself may request that a special education evaluation be considered. The request can be made by contacting the school's principal or dean of students.
- Parents and/or the student participate with school staff in what is called the Referral Review process.
- Parent permission is needed for the initial evaluation, which examines areas related to the student's suspected disability. Evaluation results are reviewed by a team of school personnel, the parents, and/or the student. Educators on the team usually include a school psychologist, a general education teacher, a special education teacher, an administrator and sometimes other professionals. The entire team determines whether the student is eligible for and needs special education.
Planning for Services and Placement
- When special education services are needed, the school team, including parents and/or the student, develops an Individual Education Program (IEP) plan.
- The IEP includes:
- Program goals and objectives for the student.
- Types of specialized services that may be needed.
- The amount of time the student will spend in general education activities.
- The place where services will occur.
- Some of the placement options – or combination of options – a team may consider include the regular or mainstream classroom, a school's resource learning center, a self-contained special education classroom or an off-site. The "least-restrictive environment" principle guides the placement decision.
- If there is a disagreement about the IEP or special education services, school staff, parents, and the student, when appropriate, work to reach agreement through mediation, conciliation, or a due process hearing.
- At progress reporting times and during annual IEP review meetings, the student's progress is reviewed, the IEP is updated and the student's placement is discussed. Parents are encouraged to review program goals and suggest changes. Parents, students who are their own legal guardian or school personnel may request an IEP and placement review at any time.