Special Education

What is Special Education?

According to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) 2004, special education is the specially designed instruction and related services required to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and at no cost to a student or student’s family.

At The Next Step PCS, students found eligible for special education services, which includes students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan are provided comprehensive services in an inclusion setting model in a general classroom environment. We also provide in-house counseling services, and specialized instruction for students identified as needing special education services.

Referral process for Special Education Services

Teachers and case-managers are instructed during professional developments at the start of the school year to input any observe concerns, which includes academic or behavioral challenges in our internal student database, Quickbase. Members of the Student Support Team (SST) meet bi-weekly to discuss concerns inputted in Quickbase and to provide Response to Intervention (RTI) strategies to support the student for 60 days. If no progress in shown after this time period, the student is referred for a comprehensive psychological evaluation, which is completed within 30 days of the referral.

In addition to capturing student concerns in our internal database, Quickbase, as an LEA we provide comprehensive special education services to students enrolling at our LEA with an IEP or 504 plan from their previous LEA or a student self-reporting that they may need additional academic support.

Student assessment and evaluation

Student interview, work-sample, standardized evaluation, need screening assessment, and a comprehensive psychological evaluation is used to determine eligibility for special education services. If a student is deemed to qualify for special education services, but the student is over 22 years old, we provide the student a 504 plan.