Special Services Overview
Special Services provides support and services to children, families, and communities as they work together to address the needs of students who qualify for special education services , or have unique needs that are addressed through Section 504, Health Services, or other Student Support Services.
The Tri-City United School District's Student Support Team (S-Team) is a process that uses the skills of professionals from different disciplines to develop and evaluate intervention plans that improve significantly the school performance of students. Referrals to S-Team typically occur when a child is continuing to demonstrate difficulties despite modifications and best practice strategies that teachers and parents have already put in place. As part of the S-Team process, the team collects educational data and parent information about a student’s skills. After gathering information the team recommends educational interventions and/or strategies that will best meet the needs of the student.
For more information about the S-Team process, please contact, Holle Spessard, Special Services Director at 507-364-8131 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sections 504 is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with physical or mental impairments. These impairments must impact a major life activity in order to qualify for 504 accommodations. Schools are required to provide reasonable accommodations. Tri-City United has a process in place to meet the requirement of Section 504. The 504 coordinators are the social workers or school counselors in each building.
Special education is instruction and related services that are designed to meet the unique learning needs of a student with a disability. Students are evaluated by a team of professionals to determine if they qualify in one or more of the following disability areas:
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH)
Developmental Cognitive Disability (DCD)
Emotional/Behavior Disorders (EBD)
Other Health Disabilities (OHSD)
Physically Impaired (PI)
Severely Multiply Impaired (SMI)
Specific Leaning Disability (SLD)
Speech or Language Impairment
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Visually Impaired (VI)
In order to evaluate a student for special education schools must implement and document at least two instructional strategies or interventions within the general education classroom. The intervention must last long enough to give a student an opportunity to benefit from the strategy or intervention.
If the pre-referral process is unsuccessful the district will consider an evaluation. Once written consent is obtained from the parent/guardian the team will begin an evaluation to determine if the child is eligible for and needs special education services.
When a student is eligible for and needs specialized instruction an Individual Education Program (IEP) is developed. The IEP team would include parents, school personnel and others who have knowledge of the student’s special education needs. The team determines the needs, goals, services, and the placement for each special education student. Teams always consider the most inclusive, least restrictive educational program for each child. The plan is documented in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is reviewed at least annually.
Sometimes a student needs a more intensive, structured educational program in a more restrictive setting in order to benefit from instruction. TCU students have access to these programs through Southwest Metro Education Cooperative. Parents of students with disabilities who attend a non-public school with in the geographic boundaries of Tri-City United including homeschooled students are eligible for an Individual Service Plan (ISP) which is similar to an IEP.