“Special education” is instruction, specific to the student, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability. Special education is an instructional service, not a place. Specialized instruction and support are provided through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) plan, which addresses the student’s unique needs related to his or her disability.
It is important to note that students with disabilities are general education students first. New Discoveries Montessori Academy’s special education program provides a continuum of services and access to an array of services including, but not limited to:
- co-taught classrooms with instruction from a general education teacher as well as special instruction provided by special education teachers licensed in a wide range of disabilities
- school psychology services
- occupational therapy
- speech and language therapy
- behavior intervention
- developmental adapted physical education
For further information about special education at New Discoveries Montessori Academy, please feel free to contact:
Special Education Coordinator
320-234-6362 ext 2019
“Students are found eligible for special education services by meeting specific criteria defined by State and Federal Rules and Regulations. In order to determine if a student is eligible for special education services, a team conducts a comprehensive evaluation. Students are found eligible in one or more of the following disability areas:
Teachers and parents who suspect that a student has a disability that is interfering with academic progress may make a referral for a special education evaluation. Parents are encouraged to talk to the student’s teacher to discuss a referral for a special education evaluation. That referral will be brought to the special education team for follow-up and planning. Teachers may also make referrals for a special education evaluation, which may include implementing academic or behavioral interventions prior to the special education evaluation being conducted.
At least one time per year, New Discoveries Montessori Academy must provide parents with a written summary of their rights regarding their child who is receiving special education services. A copy of these rights can be accessed here or requested from your child’s case manager.
All Minnesota school districts and public charter schools are required to attempt to collect reimbursement for some special education services for children who are eligible for Medical Assistance or MN Care. Examples of services that could be billed include occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, some paraprofessional services, and special transportation. If a student is new to New Discoveries Montessori Academy, permission to bill MA will be requested. Permission is required only once.
The TSES is a plan required by Minnesota Rule 3525.1100 that assures the district is in compliance with state and federal requirements pertaining to the district’s responsibilities and the provision of special education services. The TSES plan includes:
- the district’s referral process, including referral to special education by parents
- the district’s procedures for identifying and evaluating students suspected of having a disability
- methods used for evaluating students suspected of having a disability
- methods the district uses for providing special education services and the services that are available
- description of the Special Education Advisory Committee as required to encourage parent participation in district special education decision making
In Minnesota, a school may use a restrictive procedure in the event of an emergency. An emergency means that a child’s behavior in the moment has placed him or her or others at imminent risk of injury. There are two allowable restrictive procedures in the State of Minnesota – physical holding/restraint and seclusion. At New Discoveries Montessori Academy, only physical holds are used; there are no seclusion rooms and seclusion is never used. A physical hold can only be used by a person specifically trained and only as a last resort to divert the student from the behavior in the moment. New Discoveries Montessori Academy staff have used physical holding on rare occasions. All incidents are reported to parents when they happen and to the MN Department of Education each year.
Minnesota law (M.S. 125A.24) requires that each district establish a Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) to provide input to the district’s Board of Education and to district administration about policies and decisions that affect children and youth with disabilities. SEAC is composed of parents of children with disabilities and district special education staff. New Discoveries Montessori Academy’s SEAC meets at least one time per trimester.
The Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) is made up of parents and professionals who are interested in promoting parent involvement at New Discoveries Montessori Academy.
We believe that one of the most important aspects of special education is the role played by parents in the education of their children with special needs. Parents are critical partners in ensuring the long-term success of their children, as New Discoveries Montessori Academy seeks ways in which to best meet these children’s needs. The purpose of the council is to provide a forum for administrators, teachers, and parents of students receiving special education services to come together for the continuous improvement of special education services through collaborative planning and parent education.
SEAC will ….
- Work collaboratively to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities.
- Advocate for children with disabilities and, on behalf of those children, for parents of children with disabilities.
- Provide a forum for parents to share ideas and information.
- Provide information about programs in the community to further support the needs of families of children with disabilities.
- Provide educational opportunities for parents to learn about additional ways to support their child and to advocate more effectively.
- SEAC will meet at least one time per trimester. Additional meetings can be scheduled across the year to address topics suggested by parents at the Fall meeting.
If you are interested in becoming an active member of the Parent Advisory, please contact Bess Bauman.
Phone #320-234-6362 ext 2019