The Special Education Office is located at Hibbing High School in Room 104. The office has a conference room and a sensory room across the hall for students to access. The office is staffed with a special education secretary, two School Psychologists, and the Director of Special Education. It is also next door to the Student Services Office as another layer of support for students and staff. There is also a satellite office at Lincoln Elementary in Room 205 where the district Special Education Evaluation Coordinator is housed. The staff working out of the special education office support all buildings in the district.
- WHAT IS SPECIAL EDUCATION?
- WHAT ARE THE 13 DISABILITY CATEGORIES?
- WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR IDENTIFICATION AND REFERRAL?
- WHAT MUST OCCUR PRIOR TO A SPECIAL EDUCATION EVALUATION?
- WHAT DOES AN EVALUATION LOOK LIKE?
- WHAT IS AN IFSP/IEP?
- WHAT IS SECONDARY TRANSITION AND WHEN DOES IT TAKE PLACE?
- WHAT RIGHTS DO PARENTS HAVE?
- HOW IS A CHILD DISMISSED FROM SPECIAL EDUCATION?
- WHAT IS THIRD PARTY BILLING?
The Special Education process begins with identifying learners, age birth to 21, who are eligible for special services and in need of specialized instruction.
How do I refer my child?
Parents, teachers, physicians or any concerned person can refer a child for potential special education services.
Birth - Age 3:
Referrals for infants and toddlers can be made by contacting the Hibbing Early Learning Center (HELC): Emily Rudolph, Early Intervention Teacher at (218) 421-7484.
Ages 3 - 5:
Referrals for preschool children ages 3 - 5 can be made by contacting the Hibbing Early Learning Center (HELC): Lisa Smith, Early Intervention Teacher at (218) 208-0853.
Referrals can also be made online at Help Me Grow Minnesota website.
Referrals for students who are already in school may be made by contacting your child’s teacher or guidance counselor. Once a referral is received the student concerns team will determine how to proceed. Options available to the team in attempting to resolve the reported academic or behavior problem include:
- Developing and implementing interventions within the general education setting that are designed to target the identified problem.
- Referral to the Section 504 team to determine if the student is eligible for and needs an accommodation plan.
- Conducting a comprehensive evaluation to determine if the child is eligible for and needs special education instruction. If an evaluation is warranted, parents will be asked for their written permission to assess their child before any testing occurs.
To assure that students are given ample opportunity to succeed within the general education program, Minnesota Statute 125A.56 requires that schools implement and document at least two “instructional strategies, alternatives or interventions” within the general education classroom prior to referring a child for special education evaluation. This stage is called the ‘pre-referral process.’ In many instances, the child’s needs can be met by changing instructional strategies or through other interventions within the general classroom.
The duration of the pre-referral interventions are based on the individual child’s needs. The interventions must be of sufficient duration to allow the child to succeed from the new instructional strategies and/or interventions. However, the pre-referral process must not be used to unduly delay a special education evaluation if it becomes apparent the interventions are not successful.
For an initial evaluation, the district will conduct the evaluation after written consent is obtained from the parents. The purpose of 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 that will be the focus of the specialized instruction.
Districts have forty-five (45) calendar days from the referral date to complete the evaluation of a child age birth to three, and thirty (30) school days from the date written permission is received to complete the evaluation for students age three and above.
- An evaluation is recommended when your child’s academic team of teachers feels that your child may have issues at school that are interfering with his or her ability to learn.
- The purpose of the evaluation is to determine if the student qualifies for special education.
- The evaluation should examine all areas of suspected disability and provide a detailed description of your child's current educational performance and needs.
- This evaluation may include formal tests, informal observations, and evaluations. Evaluations may also include review of the student’s educational and medical history. The evaluation team will include, but are not limited to, the general education teacher, a special education teacher, the school nurse, the school psychologist, a speech/language pathologist, an adapted physical education teacher, occupational therapist, and physical therapist.
- If the child qualifies for special education services, the results from the evaluation will be used as a guide to develop your child’s educational program (IEP).
- If you disagree with any part of the evaluation, you need to resolve the issues before proceeding to the next step.
Some questions you may want to ask the school staff:
- Why do you want to do an evaluation?
- What kind of information will we find out from the evaluation?
- What kind of testing will be done?
- What areas will be tested?
- What will happen if I say no?
- Will I get a copy of the evaluation results?
- What if I would like a specific test?
- What do I do if I disagree with the results?
After the evaluation:
After the evaluation, the IEP manager assigned to your child will contact you. This person will coordinate a date and time for you to come in to discuss the results of your child's evaluation. This team includes the parent(s), members of the evaluation team along and at least one classroom teacher. The student may attend this meeting. The student’s participation is determined on an individual basis and is up to parents. It is beneficial for students in middle school and high school to attend as his/her input can be very valuable. The results will be summarized in an Evaluation Report.
An IFSP is an Individual Family Service Plan. This plan is designed to meet the needs of families and children with special needs ages birth to three. It will include the present level of education performances, annual goals and objectives, and indicate what services and or special programs are needed to achieve the goals. An IFSP is reviewed at least annually and can be changed or modified as needed.
An IEP is an Individual Education Plan. It is specially designed to meet the special education needs for students ages three to twenty-one. It will include present level of education performances, annual goals and objectives, and indicate what services and or special programs are needed to achieve the goals. An IEP is reviewed at least annually and can be changed or modified as needed.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 requires procedural safeguards that school districts must follow to protect the rights of parents and children. The procedural safeguards are given to parents once a year.
Students are no longer eligible to receive special education services when:
- The IEP Team, following a comprehensive evaluation, determines the student is no longer eligible for or no longer needs specialized instruction.
- The student graduates, having successfully completed the graduation requirements or goals on the IEP.
- The student, who has not received a high school diploma, turns 21 prior to July 1st (a student who turns 21 on or after July 1st, remains eligible to receive special education services until the end of that school year).
- The parent, or adult student, withdraws consent for special education.
Minnesota law 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 Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individual Family Services Plan (IFSP), 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 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.