Special Services Information

WHAT IS SPECIAL EDUCATION?
“Special education services are educational services that are specially designed to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability. These services are provided by qualified individuals at no cost to the parent. Special education services can vary a great deal based on the student and his or her needs.”    -Maine Department of Education

The Sheepscot Valley RSU 12  recognizes its responsibility to identify all children between the ages of five and twenty within its jurisdiction who may have a disability which requires special education. This identification shall be accomplished through a unit-wide screening process which, while not a definitive or final judgment of a student’s capabilities, is a possible indicator of special educational needs. Final identification of students with disabilities and programming for such students occurs only after an appropriate evaluation and determination by the Individualized Education Program (I.E.P.).

Who Qualifies for Special Education and Related Services?
A child with a disability is an individual who:

  • has reached the age of 5 years
  • has neither graduated from a secondary school program with a regular high school diploma nor reached 20 years at the start of the school year
  • has been observed in the learning environment/classroom setting, and
  • has been evaluated according to these rules and has been determined to have a disability which requires the provision of special education and supportive services
How is a child referred?
It is the policy of Sheepscot Valley RSU 12 to refer all school-age students suspected of having a disability that requires special education to the I.E.P. for an evaluation in the suspected areas of disability. These referrals may be made by professional school staff, by parents/guardians, and by other persons knowledgeable about the child’s educational needs. If you feel your child may have a disability, please contact your school principal.

WHAT IS SECTION 504?
Section 504 is part of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which was enacted by Congress to combat discrimination against individuals with disabilities in services, programs and activities administered by any entity that receives federal funds, including public schools.  Section 504 states in pertinent part:
    No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States... shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance....


Who Qualifies for Section 504 Services?
A child with a disability is an individual who:
  • is school aged - has reached the age of 5; has neither graduated from a secondary school program with a regular high school diploma nor reached 20 years at the start of the school year
  • demonstrates a physical or mental impairment
  • the identified impairment substantially limits a major life activity
  • requires accommodations and/or related aids or services in order to provide the student access to educational programs (e.g. curriculum, facilities, etc.)
How is a child referred?
A referral to consider Section 504 eligibility may be made by a parent/guardian, eligible adult student or school staff for a student who is believed to need accommodations or relates aids and services beyond the accommodations routinely provided for all students. Teachers or other school staff must complete a 504 Referral Form.  A parent/guardian or adult student may, but is not required to, use the Referral Form.  All referrals shall be forwards to the building 504 Case Manager or other designated person, as well as the District Coordinator.

WHAT ARE ELL SERVICES?