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5H - Special Education and Related Services - April 2011 Revision

Note: This procedural directive was reviewed and revised in October 2012. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please refer to the current procedural Directive.

The IEP shall include a statement of the special education and related services to be provided to the child, or on behalf of the child.  The Summary of Services section of the IEP shall include the special education and related services to be provided to the child.

When conducting an initial evaluation or a reevaluation of a child with a disability, the evaluation shall be sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related services needs, whether or not commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.  The IEP Team shall consider the results of the initial or most recent evaluation of the child.  Special education and related services shall be based on evaluation data.  If existing evaluation data is insufficient to determine the special education and related services needs, the IEP Team may propose a reevaluation.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.304(c)(6) and 34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(1)(iii))

Special Education

Special education means “specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.”  (34 C.F.R. § 300.39(a))

Specially designed instruction means adapting, as appropriate to the needs of a child with a disability, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction —

  • To address the unique needs of the child that result from the child’s disability; and
  • To ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards of Albuquerque Public Schools that apply to all children.

(34 C.F.R.  § 300.39(b)(3))

Special education may include specially designed instruction in physical education, travel training, and vocational education.  (34 C.F.R. §§ 300.39(a)(1)(ii) and 300.39(a)(2)(ii), (iii))

Speech-language pathology services may be considered as part of special education rather than a related service if the following standards are met:

  • The service is provided to a child who has received appropriate tier I universal screening before being properly evaluated under the IDEA;
  • The IEP Team that makes the eligibility determination finds that the child has a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child's educational performance;
  • The speech language pathology service consists of specially designed instruction that is provided to enable the child to have access to the general curriculum and meet the educational standards of the public agency that apply to all children; and
  • The service is provided at no cost to the parents under a properly developed IEP.

(6.31.2.7(B)(18)(b) NMAC; 34 C.F.R. § 300.39(a)(2)(i))

Related Services

“Related services means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes.  Related services also include school health services and school nurse services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.”  (34 C.F.R. § 300.34(a) (emphasis added))

The list of related services in IDEA is not exhaustive and may include other developmental, corrective, or supportive services if they are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46569 (August 14, 2006))

Related services shall be included in a child’s IEP only when the IEP Team determines that such service is required to assist the child to benefit from special education.  This includes those services necessary to enable the child to reach, enter, or exit the school and remain at school during the day.  (Irving Independent School District v. Tatro, 468 U.S. 883 (1984) and 71 Fed. Reg. 46569 (August 14, 2006))

Related services may include the following:

  • Monitoring and maintaining medical devices that are needed to maintain the health and safety of the child, including breathing, nutrition, or operation of other bodily functions, while the child is transported to and from school or is at school.
    • Such services shall be included in the child’s IEP as related services if they can be provided by someone who has been trained to provide the service and are not the type of services that can only be provided by a licensed physician.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.34(b)(2)(ii); 71 Fed. Reg. 46571 (August 14, 2006); and Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F., 526 U.S. 66 (1999))
  • Ensuring that hearing aids worn in school by children with hearing impairments, including deafness, are functioning properly.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.113(a))
  • The routine checking of an external component of a surgically implanted device to make sure it is functioning properly.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.34(b)(2)(iii) and §300.113(b)(1))

Exclusions of Related Services

Related services shall not include the following:

  • Medical services (i.e., services provided by a licensed physician) except for diagnostic or evaluation purposes.  (34 C.F.R. §§ 300.34(a) and 300.34(b)(5); Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F., 526 U.S. 66 (1999))
  • A medical device that is surgically implanted, the optimization of that device’s functioning (e.g. mapping), maintenance of that device, or the replacement of that device.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.34(b)(1))
  • The post-surgical maintenance, programming, or replacement of a medical device that has been surgically implanted (or of an external component of the surgically implanted medical device).  (34 C.F.R. § 300.113(b)(2))
    • “Mapping” and “optimization” refer to adjusting the electrical stimulation levels provided by the cochlear implant that is necessary for long-term post-surgical follow-up of a cochlear implant.  Although the cochlear implant must be properly mapped in order for the child to hear well in school, the mapping does not have to be done in school or during the school day in order for it to be effective.  Mapping a cochlear implant, or even the costs associated with mapping, such as transportation costs and insurance co-payments were not intended by Congress to be the responsibility of a school district.  These services and costs are incidental to a particular course of treatment chosen by the child’s parents to maximize the child’s functioning, and are not necessary to ensure that the child is provided access to education, regardless of the child’s disability, including maintaining health and safety while in school.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46569-46570 (August 14, 2006))
    • The exclusion of mapping as a related service is not intended to deny a child with a disability assistive technology (e.g., FM system); proper classroom acoustical modifications; educational support services (e.g., educational interpreters); or routine checking to determine if the external component of a surgically implanted device is turned on and working.
    • The exclusion of mapping as a related service shall not preclude a child with a cochlear implant from receiving the related services (e.g., speech and language services) that are necessary for the child to benefit from special education services.
    • Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes that a child with a cochlear implant may still require related services, such as speech and language therapy, to process spoken language just as other children with hearing loss who use hearing aids may need those services and are entitled to them under the Act if they are required for the child to benefit from special education.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46570 (August 14, 2006))

Peer-Reviewed Research to the Extent Practicable

The special education and related services shall be based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.320(a)(4))

The phrase “to the extent practicable,” as used in this context, generally means that services and supports should be based on peer-reviewed research to the extent that it is possible, given the availability of peer-reviewed research.”  (71 Fed. Reg. 46665 (August 14, 2006))

In Albuquerque Public Schools, school personnel shall select and use methods that research has shown to be effective, to the extent that methods based on peer-reviewed research are available.  However, IEP Teams shall not be required to include a focused discussion on research-based methods.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46665 (August 14, 2006))

“There is nothing in the Act that requires an IEP to include specific instructional methodologies…The Department’s longstanding position on including instructional methodologies in a child’s IEP is that it is an IEP Team’s decision.  Therefore, if an IEP Team determines that specific instructional methods are necessary for the child to receive FAPE, the instructional methods may be addressed in the IEP.”  (71 Fed. Reg. 46665 (August 14, 2006))

Initiation, Frequency, Location and Duration of Special Education and Related Services

With regard to the special education and related services listed in the IEP, the IEP shall include:

  • The initiation date;
  • Frequency;
  • Location; and
  • Duration.

(34 C.F.R. § 300.320(a)(7))

The responsibility for determining specific levels of services shall rest with the IEP Team.  (OSEP Letter to Anonymous (December 26, 1990))

The meaning of the term ‘duration’ may vary, depending on such things as the needs of the child, the service being provided, and the particular format used in an IEP, and how the child’s day and IEP are structured.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46667 (August 14, 2006))

The IEP shall include information about the amount of services that will be provided to the child, so that the level of Albuquerque Public Schools’ commitment of resources will be clear to parents and other IEP Team members.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46667 (August 14, 2006))

The amount of time to be committed to each of the various services to be provided shall be appropriate to the specific service, and clearly stated in the IEP in a manner that can be understood by all involved in the development and implementation of the IEP.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46667 (August 14, 2006))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall include  the time to be provided for services  in most IEPs to meet the requirement that the level of Albuquerque Public Schools’ commitment of resources be clear.  However, Albuquerque Public Schools recognizes that there may be special circumstances where the amount of time for each session of related services may vary in order to meet the needs of an individual student and there is nothing in the IDEA that would bar such an arrangement in an IEP.  (OSEP Letter to Matthews (January 7, 2010))

Statements that related services shall be provided “as appropriate” fail to adequately specify the level of related services Albuquerque Public Schools is committed to provide.  (O’Toole v. Olathe Dist. Schs., 144 F.3d 692 (10th Cir. 1998))

Albuquerque Public Schools shall not permit the use of "minimums" or any other statement of frequency and duration that does not actually reflect the needs of the child.  The individual needs of the child as reflected in evaluation data, and not administrative reasons (shall drive IEP Team decision-making.  The services specified in the IEP shall reflect what the child actually needs, and must not be understated with an expectation that the provider will exceed the amount specified on the IEP.  The IEP Team shall include the actual amount of service needed by a child on the IEP to ensure that the child receives all required services.

Although it may be appropriate in some cases for a child to receive both direct and indirect consultant services, because there is a significant difference between direct and indirect consultant services, the IEP Team shall specify the amount of direct and indirect consultant services to be provided to the child.  (Board of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. of the City of Buffalo, 29 IDELR 739 (SEA NY 1998))

The location where special education and related services will be provided to a child shall influence decisions about the nature and amount of these services and when they should be provided to a child.  For example, the appropriate place for the related service may be the regular classroom, so that the child does not have to choose between a needed service and the regular educational program.”  (Congressional Committee Report (1997 Reauthorization of the IDEA))

Administrative Position:        Chief Academic Officer

Department Director:        Executive Director of Special Education

References

Legal Cross Ref.:

For more information about the legal references below, refer to the following sites:
  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.34
  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.39
  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.113
  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.304
  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.320
  • 34 C.F.R. § 300.324
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46665
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46667
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46569
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46570
  • 71 Fed. Reg. 46571
  • Board of Educ. of the City Sch. Dist. of the City of Buffalo, 29 IDELR 739 (SEA NY 1998)
  • Cedar Rapids Community School District v. Garret F., 526 U.S. 66 (1999)
  • Irving Independent School District v. Tatro, 468 U.S. 883 (1984)
  • O’Toole v. Olathe Dist. Schs., 144 F.3d 692 (10th Cir. 1998))
  • Congressional Committee Report (1997 Reauthorization of the IDEA).
  • OSEP Letter to Anonymous (December 26, 1990)
  • OSEP Letter to Matthews (January 7, 2010)
  • 6.31.2.7 NMAC

Board Policy Cross Ref.:

Procedural Directive Cross Ref.:

Forms:

NSBA/NEPN Classification: IHBA

Introduced: April 1, 2011
Reviewed: April 12, 2011
Adopted: April 22, 2011

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