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Special Education Process

SRVUSD is a single district SELPA (Special Education Local Plan Area) and provides special education services for eligible students from birth to age 22. Special Education provides specialized academic instruction and/or related services for students who meet eligibility criteria and require special education to access the general education setting.  A student may qualify for special education services as an individual with special needs in one of thirteen areas identified by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004). These are:
  • Deaf
  • Hard of Hearing
  • Deaf-Blind
  • Visually Impaired
  • Speech or Language Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedically Impairment
  • Other Health Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Autism
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
Pre-Referral Process: Parents and school teams are encouraged to hold a Student Study Team (SST) meeting, a general education process, to review the student's strengths and areas of concern to determine if alternative instructional strategies, supports or accommodations are needed prior to special education referral.  
Assessment: A referral for special eduction assessment may come from a parent/guardian, or site team at any time.  A referral may be in writing or verbal.  When a referral for assessment is received, an Assessment Plan must be developed by the school site team within 15 days, however, sites are encouraged to meet with families through the SST process, prior to that date, to hear their concerns and determine the areas of suspected disability in order to develop a comprhenisve assessment plan. Given collaboration with the school site team, some families may reconsider their request if the student’s needs can be met with other interventions.  If they agree to reconsider, this must be done via written request. If the assessment moves forward, parental consent is required within 15 days of parent’s receiving the assessment plan for the assessment to be initiated.  Site teams have 60 days from the day in which a signed assessment plan was received to complete the assessment and convene an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team meeting to review the evaluation results.

Eligibility for Special Education

Upon completion of the administration of tests and other evaluation materials, the determination of whether the student is an individual with a disability shall be made by the IEP Team, including the parents of the child and assessment personnel. The IEP Team will take into account all the relevant material which is available on the student. No single score or product of scores shall be used as sole criterion for the decision.  The assessment must be conducted by qualified personnel who are competent in the child's primary language or mode of communication and have a knowledge and understanding of the cultural and ethnic background of the pupil.
Three primary factors are considered in making this determination:
  • Does the student meet the eligibility criteria as an individual with a disability? 
  • Does the severity of the disability have an adverse effect on the student’s educational performance? 
  • Does the child require special education and related services?

Per the IDEA and the California Code of Regulations (34 CFR 300.306) In making a determination of eligibility, a child shall not be determined to be a child with a disability if the child's educational needs are due primarily to: 
  • Lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction; 
  • Lack of instruction in math; 
  • Limited English proficiency; 
  • Temporary physical disabilities; 
  • Social maladjustment; 
  • Environmental, cultural, or economic factors; 
  • Limited school attendance or poor school attendance. 

Individualized Education Program (IEP): The IEP team consists of the parents and/or guardians, a school administrator, a special education teacher, a general education teacher, and other special education staff as determined by the team.  An IEP is a written document which includes instructional goals and/or benchmarks based upon the student's educational needs as specified by the IEP team.  The parent/guardian will be asked for written approval of the IEP at the meeting. No change in educational placement or program will occur without parent/guardian signed permission.  Parents/guardians may revoke consent for special education services at any time.  If a parent chooses to revoke consent to special education the district must grant that request without undue delay and the student then is returned full time to general education and no longer has the rights afforded to special education students.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE):  Special Education students in SRVUSD are first and foremost General Education students. The foundational tenets of the IDEA charge us to provide each special education student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). LRE is the requirement in federal and state law that students with disabilities receive their education, to the maximum extent appropriate, with nondisabled peers.  

LRE isn't a place — it's a principle that guides a child's education program. The LRE for each child may look different because each student’s needs are unique.  IEP teams must consider LRE when making recommendations around special education eligibility, services, and placement.  Additionally, an IEP team must consider the harmful effects of removing a student from participation in the general education environment in order to provide special education supports and services in any separate setting.

IEP Review: A student’s program will be reviewed by the IEP team at least once a year to develop a new IEP, determine progress in meeting established goals, and to determine new goals, services, and supports as appropriate.  An Eligibility Review occurs every three years, where assessments are completed to determine special education eligibility.  However, a parent or site IEP team may call an IEP team meeting anytime during the school year in order to address concerns around a student’s IEP such as mastery of goals or need for additional supports.

Special Education Programs and Locations

Special Education Programs and Locations

SRVUSD provides a continuum of special education services for eligible students from birth to 22. Each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) is designed to address the student’s unique needs and outline the supports and services they will receive.  The full continuum of program options includes, but are not limited to the following:

San Ramon Infant Toddler Early Start (SITES): Services for children and their families from birth to three years who display significant developmental delays or have a known low incidence disability.  The SITES program is currently located at Hidden Hills Elementary.

Preschool Special Education: Services for eligible children ages 3 to 5. Services may include participation in a preschool class setting, provisions of related services such as speech and language or occupational therapy, or targeted intensive services in our Center for the Early Intervention of Autism (CEIA).  Preschool special education programs are currently located at Greenbrook Elementary, Live Oak Elementary, and Walt Disney Elementary.

Resource Specialist Program (RSP): Students with specific learning needs are provided Specialized academic instruction (SAI) either within their general education classroom or in a small group setting within the resource room.  Every elementary, middle, and high school within SRVUSD offers resource specialist program services.

Special Day Class (SDC): These classes provide specialized academic instruction (SAI) to those students with more intensive needs.  Students are enrolled in these special classes usually for the majority of their school day and are grouped according to similar instructional needs.  The continuum of special day class options includes: Mild, Moderate, and Intensive.  Special Day Classes are currently located at the following school sites:
  • Bella Vista Elementary (Mild)
  • Country Club Elementary (Mild)
  • Montair Elementary (Mild)
  • Creekside Elementary (Moderate)
  • Golden View Elementary (Moderate)
  • Bollinger Canyon Elementary (Intensive)
  • Charlotte Wood Middle (Mild and Moderate)
  • Diablo Vista Middle (Mild and Intensive)
  • Gale Ranch Middle (Mild)
  • Pine Valley Middle (Mild)
  • Iron Horse Middle (Mild and Intensive)
  • Stone Valley Middle (Mild)
  • Windermere Ranch Middle (Moderate)
  • California High (Mild and Moderate)
  • Dougherty Valley High (Mild, Moderate, and Intensive)
  • Monte Vista High (Mild)
  • San Ramon High (Mild, Moderate, and Intensive)

Counseling Enriched Programs (CEP): Our CEP program offers enhanced mental health support for students with significant social/emotional needs.  Students receive school based counseling support, specialized academic instruction, and/or related services within a therapeutic classroom environment. CEP classrooms are currently located at Coyote Creek Elementary, Los Cerros Middle School, and Monte Vista High School.
REACH: REACH is a high school counseling enriched program housed at the Del Campus. Students that attend this program participate in courses through Venture and receive services/supports, including mental health support, per their Individualized Education Program (IEP).  

Adult Transition Program:  The transition program is designed to provide services to students 18-22 years of age who have obtained a Certificate of Achievement per their IEP.  The program, housed at the Del Campus, focuses on developing independence and functional living skills. Students in the transition program participate in a variety of activities designed to support skill development in the following areas:
  • Daily living skills/self-help
  • Vocational
  • Functional Academics
  • Community Skills
  • Social/interpersonal skills
  • Leisure and recreation

Related Services: These services are provided to meet the needs of an eligible student and support their participation in special education.  Related services are provided at each school site depending on the needs of the students including the following:
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • School Psychologist support/Counseling
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Behavior support services
  • Adaptive Physical Education
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services
  • Visual Impairment supports and services

Non-Public Schools (NPS), Residential Treatment Centers (RTC), CCCOE Programs, or State Special Schools:  If a student’s special education needs cannot be met through the local programs, an alternative setting outside the district may be appropriate.  Non-Public Schools are certified by the California Department of Education (CDE) and offer specialized supports in a segregated setting as part of the public school continuum.  Residential Treatment Centers are live-in facilities that provide intensive mental health supports and therapy for students with significant mental health or other behavioral problems. The Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) operates classes for students who have multiple disabilities and are medically fragile.  The CDE operates two State Special Schools, California School for the Blind (CSB) and California School for the Deaf (CSD).