Special Education Services

What is Special Education?

Smithfield Public Schools fully recognizes the Individual with Disabilities Act, 2004 and the RI Regulations Governing the Education of Children with Disabilities as adopted by the Rhode Island Board of Education, September 9, 2013 .

Special education, by definition is "specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. (300.39 (a)) A student may qualify for special education services in one of the following thirteen areas

Hearing Impaired • Visually Impaired • Specific Learning Disability • Other Health Impaired • Deafness

Autism Spectrum Disorder • Multiple Disabilities • Orthopedically Impaired • Intellectual Disability

Speech-Language Impaired • Traumatic Brain Injury • Deaf-Blindness • Emotionally Disturbance

Specially designed instruction means adapting, as appropriate to the needs of an eligible child under this part, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction—

(i) To address the unique needs of the child that result from the child‘s disability; and

(ii) To ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to all children. (300.39 (3))

Identification of a Disability

A student who has a suspected disability can be referred to the school’s evaluation team by a parent or teacher. Upon receipt of the referral, the evaluation team must meet within 10 school days to discuss whether there is a suspected disability and determine if additional testing and/or data collection is needed.

The evaluation team also must determine if exclusionary conditions for determining a disability exist. Such conditions could include, but are not limited to, lack of schooling (past history of poor school attendance), environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Program Service Models

If a student is identified as having a disability, an IEP (Individualized Educational Program) must be written. The IEP is written by the IEP team which consists of the parent, student if applicable, student’s general education teacher, the special education teacher, related service providers, if applicable, and a representative from the school or school department.

All IEP teams must consider the least restrictive environment when determining the services that will be provided.

Least Restrictive Environment (300.114) requires

(1) To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and

(2) Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

Reporting and Assessment of Student Progress

Student progress is measured following the same policy as students without disabilities. In addition, parents will also receive progress reports based on the student’s progress toward achieving their IEP goals. These progress reports will be sent home at the same time that report cards are issued. Students with disabilities participate in all state assessments. The student’s IEP team determines whether an alternate assessment is required.

Parent Involvement

Smithfield Public Schools encourages parent participation. Parents are encouraged to become a part of their school community by particpatschool’s events. In addition, there is a district–wide Special Education Advisory Committee in which parents, who have children with disabilities, are encouraged to participate.