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Accessing Special Education Services

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Accessing Special Education Services

Intervention and Referrals


Providing effective educational services to students is the result of a process of identification, intervention, referral, evaluation, instructional planning, and placement.  Here are some key steps to the process:

Response to Intervention (RTI): 

Each Bellevue Public School building has a RTI process, which is managed by a collaborative team to support the success of ALL students. One of the main purposes of RTI is to identify, implement, and monitor interventions in general education classrooms to reduce student struggle and support students’ access to and success in general education curriculum and activities and their achievement of district standards. For many students who struggle, the best first step is a referral to the RTI Team and a consistent implementation of interventions. The only exception to this process is when a student has a visible and/or readily identifiable disability and is in need of specially designed instruction and services. The intent of this pre-referral process is to prevent the inappropriate referral of students to special education services and the implementation of effective strategies, including social and emotional supports, school-wide.


The Referral Process: 

A referral of a student suspected of having a disability may be initiated in writing by any source, including but not limited to parents, medical personnel, school district personnel, community agencies, civil authorities, through district screening procedures, and by other interested persons. When a student suspected of having a disability is brought to the attention of school personnel, the school district will document the referral, provide written notice to the student’s parent(s), and determine with parental input whether the student is a candidate for evaluation. 

Upon reviewing the referral, school personnel collect and examine existing school, medical, and other records in the possession of the parent, school district, or other public agency, to determine if the student is a candidate for evaluation. 

 

My child is a . . . 

School age student: If you have a child already in a Bellevue Public School who may be in need of special education services, contact your school's building principal to make a referral.  

Transfer student: If your student is transferring into the Bellevue Public Schools and has received Special Education services from another district, report this information to the staff at the time of enrollment.  If your Preschool student is transferring into the District and she/he has received services in another district, please call 402-293-4000.

Student in private school: If a student attends a private school and/or resides in the Bellevue Public School District, he or she may be referred for a possible evaluation and, if eligible, may receive special education services at a public school site. If you suspect a private school student is in need of special education services work with your private school's principal to initiate the referral process or call 402-293-4000.

 

The Evaluation:

If a school RTI team determines that a student is a candidate for evaluation, the school district must obtain signed parental consent to evaluate the student in all areas of the suspected disability.

A group of qualified professionals, usually drawn from District staff, conduct the evaluation.

They use a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional and developmental information about the student, including information provided by the parents and information related to enabling the student to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum.

After they have completed the testing and evaluation materials, the test administrators and the parent of the student determine, based on Nebraska's Rule 51 criteria, if the student has a disability and is in need of special education and any necessary related services.;

 

The Individualized Education Program (IEP):

  • Once a student has been determined to be eligible for services, an IEP team writes an education plan. The student's parent is an important member of this team.
  • This plan contains at a minimum a) a statement of the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, b) annual goals, c) statement of related services or supplementary aids and services, d) an explanation to the extent the student will participate with typically developing peers, e) projected dates for beginning services, f) the location of those services, and g) how the student’s progress will be measured and reported to parents.
  • The IEP is the framework for ensuring that students with disabilities have a free, appropriate public education.

 

Placement in the Least Restrictive Environment: 

Services outlined in the IEP may occur in several different environments for students. However, students with disabilities are to be educated in the least restrictive environment, meaning that students with disabilities should be educated with students without disabilities to the maximum extent that they are allowed by their disability and learning needs. The least restrictive environment requirement does not mandate inclusion or mainstreaming but rather focuses on participation in the general education environment with general education peers, as appropriate.

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