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2019-20 School Year

Dear Parent/Guardian:

In Prince William County Public Schools, we are dedicated to working with parents as partners through the special education process. As a parent of a child with a disability, sometimes the information you receive can become overwhelming. With that in mind, the School Division developed this packet to provide you with pertinent information to assist you and your child with a better understanding of the terminology, and expand your knowledge of the resources available.

Should you ever need further information, please do not hesitate to contact your school or the Office of Special Education at 703-791-7287.

Partners in Education,
Michelle M. Roper, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Director
ropermm@pwcs.edu

Parent Resource Center (PRC) Flyer

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Mission Statement

The mission statement of the Parent Resource Center is to assist parents and families of children with special needs to become active participants in their child's education through information, empowerment, and encouragement.

  • Support parents through listening to their concerns;
  • Educate parents of the special education process;
  • Provide school and community-based information and resources to local, state, and national agencies;
  • Maintain a free lending library on topics related to special education, disabilities, and parenting;
  • Provide information on summer camps for students with special needs; and
  • Provide workshops, often in collaboration with community agencies, that address the concerns and questions of parents and educators related to special education and disability.

The Parent Resource Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for lending library items. To speak with a Parent Resource Specialist, contact the Parent Resource Center to schedule an appointment. Sign language and world language interpreter services are available upon request.

703-791-8846 (Voice)  |   703-791-8847 (TDD)  |  703-791-8039 (Fax)

List of Schools by Cluster, Supervisor and Coordinators

Printable PDF

Michelle Roper, Director, Office of Special Education, 703-791-7287

(* Schools that have Preschool)

Cluster 1: Freedom High School

Shelley A. Legall-Brickey,  x7293
John Treadwell, x8503

  • Belmont ES*
  • Featherstone ES
  • Fred Lynn MS
  • Freedom HS
  • Kilby ES*
  • Marumsco Hills ES
  • Rippon MS
  • Potomac View ES
  • Vaughan ES

Cluster 2: Potomac High School

Jessica Tra, x8384
Rozlyn Rodgers, x8062

  • Covington Harper ES*
  • Fitzgerald ES*
  • Leesylvania ES*
  • Mary Williams ES*
  • Porter Traditional
  • Potomac MS
  • Potomac HS
  • River Oaks ES*
  • Swans Creek ES

Cluster 3: Gar-Field High School

Shelley A. Legall-Brickey, x7293
Justine Robertson, x8337

  • Bel Air ES
  • Dale City ES*
  • Garfield HS
  • Hampton MS
  • John Jenkins ES*
  • Kerrydale ES*
  • Minnieville ES*
  • Neabsco ES
  • Woodbridge MS

Cluster 4: Unity Reed High School

Rebecca Yellets, x8922
Richard Terrillion, x8321

  • Chris Yung ES
  • Ellis ES
  • Mullen ES*
  • Sinclair ES
  • Sudley ES
  • Unity Braxton MS
  • Unity Reed HS
  • West Gate ES*

Cluster 5: Hylton High School

Heather L. Grim, x7291
Robbin Ewing, x8580

  • Beville MS
  • Enterprise ES
  • Hylton HS
  • King ES
  • McAuliffe ES
  • Rosa Parks ES*
  • Saunders MS

Cluster 6: Forest Park High School

Jessica Tra, x8384
Carla Henderson, x7385

  • Ashland ES*
  • Dumfries ES*
  • Forest Park HS
  • Graham Park MS
  • Henderson ES
  • Montclair ES
  • Pattie ES*
  • Triangle ES

Cluster 7: Osbourn Park High School

Rebecca Yellets, x.8922
Charlene Briggs, x8804

  • Loch Lomond ES
  • Osbourn Park HS
  • Parkside MS
  • Penn ES*
  • Signal Hill ES*
  • Yorkshire ES*

Cluster 8: Brentsville High School

Janice Hornbeck, x7292
Karen McLean, x8350

  • Bennett ES
  • Brentsville HS
  • Cedar Point ES
  • The Nokesville School
  • Pennington Traditional
  • T. Clay Woods ES

Cluster 9: Woodbridge High School

Jessica Tra, x8384
Robin Weisman, x7452

  • Antietam ES*
  • Lake Ridge ES*
  • Lake Ridge MS
  • Occoquan ES
  • Old Bridge ES
  • Rockledge ES
  • Westridge ES
  • Woodbridge HS

Cluster 10: Battlefield High School

Heather L. Grim, x7291
Lindsey Conn, x7990

  • Alvey ES
  • Battlefield HS
  • Bull Run MS
  • Gravely ES
  • Haymarket ES*
  • Mountain View ES*
  • Reagan MS
  • Tyler ES*

Cluster 11: Patriot High School

Janice Hornbeck, x7292
Megan Kellner, x8581

  • Bristow Run ES*
  • Buckland Mills ES
  • Gainesville MS
  • Glenkirk ES*
  • Marsteller MS
  • Patriot HS
  • Piney Branch ES*
  • Victory ES

Cluster 12: Colgan High School

Shelley A. Legall-Brickey, x7293
Cesar Maisonet, x8784

  • Benton MS
  • Coles ES*
  • Colgan HS
  • Kyle Wilson ES
  • Marshall ES
  • Springwoods ES

Cluster 13: Nontraditional

Ron Pannell, x7467
Chris Peterson, x8025
Leigh Ann Sutton, x8504
Dawn Gurganious, x8513

  • Adult Detention Center
  • Independence Nontraditional
  • Molinari Shelter
  • PACE West
  • Private Day
  • Residential Placements

Cluster 14: Preschool

Kim K. Legault, x8857
Melissa Miller, x8730
Jessica Roach, x8783

  • Child Find
  • Preschool*
  • Washington-Reid

Special Education Advisory Committee (SEAC) Flyer

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SEAC Logo

Special Education Advisory Committee

(SEAC)
2020-21 Meeting Schedule
(3rd Tuesday of each month, 7 – 9 p.m.)

 

Date 

Location

Kelly Leadership Center
14715 Bristow Road
Manassas, VA 20112

August 18, 2020  Rooms 2002 - 2004
September 15, 2020 Rooms 2002 - 2004 
October 20. 2020 Rooms 2002 - 2004 
November 17, 2020  Rooms 2002 - 2004 
December 15, 2020  Rooms 2002 - 2004 
January 19, 2021 Rooms 2002 - 2004 
February 16, 2021 Rooms 2002 - 2004 
March 16, 2021 Rooms 2002 - 2004 
April 20, 2021 Rooms 2002 - 2004
May 18, 2021 Rooms 2002 - 2004 

 

Extended School Year (ESY) Services

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 Factors To Consider When Determining The Need For ESY Services

Regression/Recoupment

 The IEP team determines whether without ESY services, there is a likelihood of substantial regression of critical life skills, that the regression is caused by a school break, and that there will be a failure to recover those lost skills in a reasonable (e.g., six to eight weeks after summer break) time following the school break.

Critical life skills are those skills that students require across environments to:

  • Increase independence from caretakers (e.g., toileting, feeding, dressing, personal hygiene, mobility)
  • Increase independence in school or community (e.g., basic communication, social interaction, reading)
  • Decrease or eliminate behaviors that interfere with functioning in the school or community (e.g., aggression, injurious behaviors, impulsivity)

Degree of Progress

 The IEP team reviews the student’s progress toward the IEP’s goals in critical life skills and determines whether, without these services, the student’s degree or rate of progress toward those goals or objectives will prevent the student from receiving benefit for his/her educational placement during the regular school year.

Emerging Skills/Breakthrough Opportunities

The IEP team reviews all IEP goals targeting critical life skills to determine whether any of these skills are at a breakthrough point. When critical life skills are at this point, the IEP team determines whether the interruption in services and instruction on those goals or objectives during the school break is likely to prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational program during the regular school year.

Interfering Behaviors

 The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, interfering behavior(s) such as ritualistic, aggressive, or self-injurious behavior(s) targeted by the IEP goals have prevented the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational program during the school year. The team also determines whether the interruption of programming which addresses the interfering behavior(s) is likely to prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational programming during the next school year.

Nature and/or Severity of the Disability

 The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, the nature and/or severity of the student’s disability is likely to prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational program during the regular school year.

Special Circumstances or Other Factors

The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, there are special circumstances that will prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her education program during the regular school year.

 

At an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, at least annually, there should be a determination if a student with a disability requires ESY services in order to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). The IEP team should consider all factors in its discussion. All decisions and the basis for the decisions are documented and communicated to the parent (and student, if appropriate).   Remember the critical question: Will the benefits a disabled child gains during the regular school year be significantly jeopardized if the child does not receive ESY?

 

Information to Consider When Determining the Need for ESY Services

Depending on the individual needs of the student, these services will vary in type, intensity, location, inclusion of related services, and length of time. When considering whether ESY is required, the IEP team reflects on the student’s present level of performance and each goal in the student’s IEP.  If the team is concerned about progress on any goal, the team must consider that goal against each of the six ESY factors and whether a student will receive FAPE if ESY services are not provided.  If the team determines that the benefits the student gained during the regular school will be significantly jeopardized due to one of the six factors, the student meets the criteria for ESY. The team must document the factor(s) and the supporting evidence in the ESY IEP based on the individual student’s needs.

  • ESY services should not be granted solely on the basis of the student’s failure to achieve one or more of the IEP’s goals (or objectives or benchmarks, if required).The determination of what services are necessary must be based on those services needed in order for the student to receive FAPE. Thus, the IEP team must also review and consider the need for any related services including transportation. If related services are necessary for the student to benefit from the special education services provided during the ESY, then they must be provided.
  • When the IEP team is determining whether a student needs ESY services, they may use the following types of information:
  • historical data;
  • review of current and previous IEPs;
  • documented regression and recoupment time;
  • documented clinical evidence;
  • classroom observation;
  • progress notes;
  • standardized tests;
  • samples of the student’s work;
  • behavior logs;
  • parent interviews;
  • attendance information;
  • other objective evidence; and
  • expert opinions.

Terminology Associated with ESY

  • Regression/recoupment: The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, there is a likelihood of substantial regression of critical life skills caused by the school break that would result in the failure to recover those lost skills in a reasonable time following the school break.

    Regression:  For the purpose of this document, is a substantial loss of any critical life skill. Some degree of loss in skills typically occurs with all students during normal school breaks and would not be considered substantial. 

    Recoupment (Recovery):  The ability to recover a loss of skills in a reasonable time following a normal school break.  Most students with disabilities recoup skills within a reasonable time following the school break.  Reasonable recoupment rates vary among individuals based upon individual learning styles and rates.  Accordingly, some students with disabilities may require more than six to eight weeks to recuperate. 

  • Some benefit: A student who improves in meeting the IEP goals, as determined by the progress he or she makes toward the goal (or objective or benchmark, if required) in the IEP, has obtained some benefit. The determination of this progress can be shown by, for example, the number of successful trials.
  • Summer school: In contrast to ESY services, summer school programs are optional and voluntary programs that provide enrichment, remedial and reinforcement activities, or address new skills.Summer school is not required for the provision of FAPE.ESY services could be provided in combination with existing summer school programs if such programs are available and are appropriate for the individual student.

Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities

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Critical Decision Points for Families of Children with Disabilities

Acknowledgements

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) wishes to acknowledge all those who provided assistance in the development and review of this document.

Virginia Board for People with Disabilities

Seventy five percent of the funding for this product was provided by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities under the federal Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act. For more information on the Board, please contact: Virginia Board for People with Disabilities, 1100 Bank Street, 7th Floor, Richmond, Virginia 23219, (800) 846-4464, or visit the Board’s website at Virginia Board for People with Disabilities.

Virginia Department of Education

John Eisenberg
Assistant Superintendent for Special Education and Student Services

Henry Millward
Director, Specialized Education Facilities and Family Engagement

Patricia Abrams
Director, Special Education Instructional Services

Jo Ann Burkholder
Director, Student Services

Sarah Susbury
Director, Test Administration, Scoring, and Reporting

Tracy Lee
Specialist, Specialized Education Facilities and Family Engagement

Gloria Dalton
Specialist, Specialized Education Facilities and Family Engagement

Joseph Wharff
Specialist, Student Services

Marianne Moore
Specialist, Special Education Program Improvement

Ellen Harrison
Specialist, Special Education Instructional Services

Deborah Johnson
Specialist, Special Education Instructional Services

Dawn Hendricks
Specialist, Special Education Instructional Services

Lia Mason
Specialist, Test Administration, Scoring, and Reporting

Ron Geiersbach
Coordinator of Due Process Services

REVIEWERS

Heidi Lawyer
Virginia Board for People with Disabilities

John Cimino
Virginia Board for People with Disabilities

Diann Eaton
Virginia Tech Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC)

Jim Gallagher
Amherst County Public Schools

Sandra Hedrick
Richmond County Public Schools

Samantha Hollins
Chesterfield County Public Schools

Louise LeBron
Mathews County Public Schools

David Sable
Radford City Public Schools

Wyllys Vanderwerker
Lynchburg City Public Schools

Mary Wellman
Greensville County Public Schools

We would also like to thank the more than thirty parents, people with disabilities, teachers, counselors, administrators, and other stakeholders throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia who participated robustly in two focus groups at the start of this project. Your input was invaluable and greatly appreciated.

Background

Heidi Lawyer, Executive Director
Virginia Board for People with Disabilities

In its 2014 Assessment of the Disability Services System in Virginia, the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities (VBPD) identified the challenges that families have with respect to having the knowledge and information needed to inform key decisions that can affect their child’s future. The decisions made regarding a child’s assessment and diploma options are a key component of his/her success. The VBPD reported that many parents are not being educated in a timely manner on the implications and ramifications of options related to participation in the general curriculum, assessments, and diplomas. For example, many parents are unaware that if their child does not participate in the Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments, he/she will be unable to obtain a Standard or Advanced Diploma (a “high school diploma” for the purposes of employment, higher learning, continuing education, and financial aid). Public comment from a variety of arenas indicated that parents still struggle with perceived low expectations for their child’s performance, and that too many children continue to be directed away from the SOL track. Families additionally voiced confusion regarding the State’s accountability process. Families reported being told that they can switch back to the SOL track after being enrolled in an alternative curriculum track. It is clear however, that “catching up” with peers becomes more and more unrealistic the longer a child is not participating in the SOL curriculum. To address these issues, the Board made the following recommendation in the 2014 Assessment as follows:

“Develop and implement an adult education curriculum on the special education process for the parents and guardians of children with disabilities to help them understand their rights and their responsibilities. This training, which should be designed to improve partnerships between schools and families, could be offered through VDOE or local school divisions. Specific topics should include (a) the transition to secondary school and to adult services, including work incentives and identification of school division representatives, and (b) the role of community services boards (CSBs), centers for independent living (CILs), and other advocacy organizations. School divisions should conduct vigorous outreach and marketing to ensure families know about these education and information sessions once available.”

In 2016, the VBPD determined that it would facilitate implementation of this recommendation by offering funds to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) to develop and implement a training program on critical decision-making points for children with disabilities to include diploma options, assessment options and key grade level decision-making points, credit and credit accommodations, taking a long-term view, and more. The VBPD determined that direct funding to the VDOE would ensure that the most up-to-date information was included in written information and training, particularly in light of ongoing changes in the federal and state education landscape, as well as ensure that the initiative would be sustainable following the conclusion of the grant period.

Introduction

Parents and caregivers have certain goals in mind when their children go to school. Regardless of whether children have disabilities or not, all parents want them to learn, explore, and experience as much as they possibly can. Parents strive for their children to complete their public education, obtain a diploma, and be fully prepared to move on toward their chosen path, whether that is immediate employment, higher education, or something else. In order for your child to achieve these goals, there are certain decisions that you, as a parent, will have to make along the way. Some of these decisions will occur as early as infancy and toddlerhood.

When parents and school divisions collaborate with one another, great things can happen for children. It is with collaboration in mind that this document seeks to assist all parties in working together positively and constructively to make the best decisions possible for children in Virginia.

The purpose of this guide is to assist you in understanding four things:

  • What are some of the keys to your child’s academic success?
  • What decisions will you need to make regarding your child’s educational path?
  • At what point will you be making these decisions? In this guide, we refer to these as critical decision points.
  • What information will you need so that you can make the most well informed decisions possible for your child?

This document is not meant to limit or replace state regulations.

This guide is divided into sections. The first section provides you with terms and acronyms that you might encounter along your child’s educational journey. This is information that all parents may need to know.

The second section is entitled Keys to Academic Success. This section will provide you with valuable information that will help you to assist your child with obtaining the very best education possible.

The third section contains the Critical Decision Points. In this section, you will find each of these points, general information that will help you to be well informed when making these decisions, and guidance regarding when you will need to consider each.

Additional information and resources may be found on the VDOE website at Virginia Department of Education or by contacting VDOE at:

Virginia Department of Education
Department of Special Education and Student Services

James Monroe Building, 20th Floor
P O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120

Toll-free: 1-800-422-2083
Text Users Dial: 711 (Relay)

We hope that you find this information both valuable and easy to understand. Best wishes to you and your child throughout your educational journey.

Helpful Terms and Acronyms

A 504 Plan is a written plan that is required under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC §701 et seq.), as amended. A child's 504 Plan details modifications, accommodations, and services that are needed for the child with a disability to participate in school programs at the same level as his/her peers without disabilities.

Academic and Career Plans (ACP) are documents that serve as roadmaps to choose the proper courses and activities that children need to ensure that they reach their goals for postsecondary education and careers. The ACP must include (but is not limited to) (1) a program of study for high school graduation and a postsecondary career pathway based on a child’s academic and career interests, (2) a review and update, if necessary, prior to a child entering ninth and eleventh grades, and (3) the signatures of the child, the child’s parent or guardian, and a school official designated by the principal.

Accommodations do not reduce learning expectations. They provide access. There are four types of accommodations: presentation (example; reading directions to a child), response (example; allowing for answers to be dictated to a scribe), timing/scheduling (example; allowing sub-tests to be taken in a different order), and setting (example; providing special lighting or acoustics). In contrast, modifications refer to practices that change, lower, or reduce learning expectations. Some examples may be providing below grade level reading material, grades being based on progress a child is making on IEP goals rather than performance on grade level tasks, and significantly simplified vocabulary.

Advanced Studies Diploma currently requires 26 standard units of credit and 9 verified credits. (See Critical Decision Point 3 and Appendix 2 for upcoming changes.) For children with IEPs it should be noted that after graduating with an Advanced Studies Diploma, children will no longer qualify for free appropriate public education or FAPE, and will not be able to receive ongoing services through the public school system after graduation.

Aligned Standards of Learning (ASOL) are academic standards that have been reduced in complexity and depth. It is important to note that the aligned standards of learning are developed from the Standards of Learning and are thus aligned.

Applied Studies Diploma is designed for children who have completed the requirements of their IEP and who do not meet the requirements for other diplomas. (See Critical Decision Point 3 and Appendix 2 for upcoming changes.) Children who earn this diploma will be eligible for ongoing services, Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), through the age of 22.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) means organized educational activities that offer a sequence of courses that:

  • Provides individuals with the rigorous and challenging academic and technical knowledge and skills the individuals need to prepare for further education and for careers in current or emerging employment sectors;
  • May include the provision of skills or courses necessary to enroll in a sequence of courses; and
  • Provides, at the postsecondary level, for a one-year certificate, an associate degree, or industry-recognized credential.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Credentials are credentials earned, generally through testing, that verify skill mastery, educational attainment, and the authority to perform a task or operation.

Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) is an assessment that is customized to each child based on how the child responds to the test questions.

Credit Accommodations provide additional pathways to the Standard Diploma for children with disabilities who meet eligibility criteria. These pathways can be lumped into the following categories (buckets):

· Locally Awarded Verified Credits: In Mathematics and End-of-Course (EOC) English Reading and Writing

· Coursework: Providing standard credits (credits that are awarded for successfully completing a course) through the use of content divided into two parts (example: Algebra I Part 1 and Part 2) and replacing Economics and Personal Finance (6120) for Personal Living and Finance (3120)

For more detailed information, please see the following webpage: VDOE Standard Diploma Credit Accommodations.

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) is special education and related services delivered to preschool aged children from age two (whose birthday falls on or before September 30) through five who experience a disability and require special education services. Educators, along with the child's family, develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with goals and objectives to meet the child’s developmental needs. The goals and objectives include a variety of skills and/or activities for the child to learn and use consistently.

Elementary School is defined as a nonprofit institutional day or residential school (including public elementary charter schools) that provides elementary education, as determined under state law. State law further defines an elementary school as a nonprofit institutional school that has an age appropriate curriculum. A nonprofit preschool facility may be considered an elementary school if it has an age appropriate curriculum and includes developmental activities and opportunities (pre-literacy, early numeracy, problem solving opportunities, and exploration of the child’s environment) interfaced with age appropriate social interactions.

End-of-Course (EOC) refers to a test that is given at the end of a course for which children can earn credit toward a Standard or an Advanced Studies diploma. Examples include Algebra I and Earth Science.

Equitable Services Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are required to locate, identify, evaluate, and spend a proportionate share of Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004) funds for equitable services for children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools located in their district, including religious, elementary, and secondary schools. Parentally-placed private school children with disabilities are provided an opportunity for equitable participation in special education and related services through an Individualized Services Plan. School divisions determine how special education and/or related services will be apportioned to serve parentally-placed private school children with disabilities.

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) means special education and related services that:

  • Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;
  • Meet the standards of the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE);
  • Include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, middle school, or secondary school education in Virginia; and
  • Are provided in conformity with an individualized education program.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004) The re-authorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, December 4, 2004, (IDEA 2004) and its implementing federal regulations, October 13, 2006, provides law and regulations for children with disabilities.

Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner or examiners who are not employed by the local educational agency responsible for the education of the child in question.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) means a written plan for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a team meeting. The IEP specifies the individual educational needs of the child and what special education and related services are necessary to meet the child's educational needs.

Individualized Services Plan (ISP) Each parentally-placed private school child with a disability who has been designated to receive special education and/or related services must have an ISP. The ISP describes the specific special education and/or related services that the LEA will provide to the child, and must, to the extent appropriate, meet the applicable IEP content requirements. The ISP also must be developed, reviewed, and revised consistent with the requirements related to the IEP Team and parent participation.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) means that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who do not have disabilities, and that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the general educational environment, occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in general classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

LRE-Continuum of Placements

Each school division must provide a wide variety, or continuum, of alternative placements so that each child with a disability will have an appropriate program. This continuum includes:

  • General education classes.
  • Special Education Classes.
  • Special Education schools (private/residential).
  • Home-based instruction.
  • Home-bound instruction when instruction is made available to children who are confined for periods that would prevent normal school attendance; and based on certification of need by a licensed physician or clinical psychologist.
  • Instruction in hospitals and institutions, including state facilities.

This continuum of alternative placements also:

  • Must provide for supplementary services, such as a resource room or services or itinerant instruction, provided with general education classes.
  • Must include integrated service delivery, which occurs when some or all goals of your child’s IEP are met in general education classes with similar-age children.
  • Must be based on the individual needs of your child, not a single model used for a specific population or category of children with disabilities.
  • Must be documented by the identification of each alternative considered and the reasons for the placement chosen.
  • Must provide for a program, if appropriate, with similar-age children.

Locally Awarded Verified Credits (LAVC) A child with a disability who has an IEP or 504 and is eligible for credit accommodations may be considered for a LAVC in the areas of English, Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. Locally awarded verified credits in science and history/social science are available to all children pursuing a standard diploma who meet eligibility requirements.

Modifications are adjustments to an assignment or a test that change the standard of what the test or assignment is supposed to measure. Examples of modifications include a child completing work on part of a standard, or a child completing an alternate assignment that is more easily achievable than the original assignment. Please note that modifications on state assessments such as the SOL test are not permitted.

Parent is defined by Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia as:

  • A biological or adoptive parent of a child;
  • A foster parent, even if the biological or adoptive parent’s rights have not been terminated. The local educational agency shall provide written notice to the biological or adoptive parents at their last known address that a foster parent is acting as the parent and the local educational agency is entitled to rely upon the actions of the foster parent until such time that the biological or adoptive parent attempts to act as the parent;
  • A guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the child (but not a guardian ad litem, or the state if the child is a ward of the state;
  • An individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare;
  • A minor who is emancipated; or
  • If no qualified party from the list above can be identified, or those parties are unwilling to act as a parent, a surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with requirements detailed under 8VAC20-81-220.

Postsecondary Goals refer to what your child wants to do after high school. They are developed beginning when your child turns 14 or earlier, if determined appropriate by the child’s IEP team. These cover employment, education, training, and for some youth, independent living.

Preschool A school for children under the age of five that precedes attendance to kindergarten. Preschools may be public or private. Public preschool may be funded through federal, state, and/or local funds and opportunities vary among school divisions.

School Readiness describes the capabilities of children, families, schools, and communities that promote success in kindergarten and beyond. Each component–children, families, schools, and communities–plays an essential role in developing school readiness. School readiness for children refers to children being prepared socially, personally, physically and intellectually to meet literacy, mathematics, science, history/social science and developmental standards.

Self-determination refers to a combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that enable a person to engage in goal-directed, self-regulated, autonomous behavior. An understanding of one's strengths and limitations, together with a belief of oneself as capable and effective are essential to self-determination. When acting on the basis of these skills and attitudes, individuals have greater ability to take control of their lives and assume the role of successful adults in our society. (Field, Miller, and Wehmeyer, 1998)

Social Capital refers to relationships and a network of people who can best assist a person in reaching future goals and researching the appropriate diploma option to reach those goals. Some examples of individuals who can provide knowledge and assistance in these areas are school counselors, special education teachers, general education teachers, employers, and parents and/or guardians.

Standard Credits are awarded for successfully completing a course.

Standard Diploma requires 22 standard units of credit and 6 verified credits. (See Critical Decision Point 3 and Appendix 2 for upcoming changes.) For children with IEPs, it should be noted that after graduating with a Standard Diploma, children will no longer qualify for FAPE and will not be able to receive ongoing services through the public school system.

Standards of Learning (SOLs) are minimum expectations for what children should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, and history/social science.

Substitute Tests Approved for Awarding Verified Credit the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) has approved various “substitute” tests that can be used in lieu of the End-of-Course Standards of Learning test for the purpose of awarding verified credit to children.

Transition Assessments provide information that helps your child and the IEP Team write postsecondary-goals. They help the child and the IEP Team understand strengths, preferences, and weaknesses. These goals often change as the child grows and matures. The school is not responsible for the successful completion of post-secondary goals; the school is responsible for coordinating services and activities that will move the child close to his post-secondary goals.

Verified Credits are awarded when the child successfully completes a course and achieves a passing score on the associated SOL test, or a substitute assessment approved by the VBOE.

Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) is designed to evaluate the performance of children with significant cognitive disabilities who are working on aligned Standards of Learning, which are based on the Standards of Learning, but have been reduced in complexity and depth.

Virtual Course is a class that is delivered virtually through an electronic device such as a computer.

Work-Based Learning (WBL) is a school coordinated, coherent sequence of on-the-job experiences that are related to children’s career goals and interests. It enables children to apply classroom instruction in a real-world business or service-oriented work environment.

Keys to Academic Success

Prior to reviewing critical decision-making points, below are some key components to know that will help children be successful throughout their school careers, beginning in early childhood.

Key number 1: Supporting continual learning and development

The early childhood years are just as important for children with disabilities and developmental delays as they are for all children. All of your child’s future development is based on the critical learning patterns laid down during this period. Many parents want to know the critical skills for their child to learn during their early developmental years.

It is never too early to think about school readiness. Much of this readiness can be developed inside your home. School readiness activities promote success in kindergarten and beyond. Many of us think of kindergarten and think of skills related to learning the alphabet, letter sounds, reading basic words, and counting. While these are important skills for all children entering kindergarten, there are other skills that are equally, if not more important. School readiness activities focus on phonological awareness, language, vocabulary, mathematics, science, and history/social science. School readiness also refers to children being prepared physically and socially. This includes a focus on physical and motor development, as well as social development. Social development includes self-regulation, communicating, interacting with others, problem solving, recognizing and expressing emotions, and other skills. These are skills needed in all settings and throughout our lives.

School readiness activities can guide parents toward better understanding the types of skills a young child should be learning. Keep in mind, however, that every child will develop at a different pace. A child with a disability may enter a formal school setting sooner than a child without a disability and the skills that a child with a disability needs to learn will be individualized based on his needs. The IEP Team will identify the goals and objectives appropriate for the child to succeed. You, as the parent, are a critical part of the IEP Team and will help make these determinations.

Making the transition from Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) to kindergarten

You will also want to consider how best to help your child make the transition from Early Childhood Special Education (special education and related services delivered to preschool aged children from age two through five) to kindergarten, as this can present big changes for young children with disabilities and their families. The nature of the program, length of the school day, location of the school, and staff may all change. Preschool children make the transition into kindergarten more successfully when their schools and families prepare together. By coordinating transition efforts, preschool and elementary programs can help children maintain and maximize the gains they made in preschool.

It is important to understand that the transition from preschool to kindergarten is a process and not a “one size fits all” formula. The IEP Team may provide transition activities such as a school or classroom visit and may meet with your child’s new teacher to share information about your child. Discuss the transition with your child’s teacher and IEP Team. Share any concerns or ideas you may have. Additionally, plan to get to know your child’s new teacher and IEP Team as the transition to kindergarten is made. Sharing information about your child’s strengths and interests is an important part of this process. After all, you know your child best.

Key number 2: Regular attendance

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. If you build this habit early in preschool, your child will learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work!

A child is considered chronically absent if he/she misses only two days of school per month (18 days in a year), whether the absences are excused or unexcused. Even one year of chronic absence can cause a child to fall behind academically and decrease a child’s chances of graduating from high school, which can have long-term consequences on her financial independence, physical well-being and mental health. Attending school every day increases a child’s chances of success in school and in life.

Did you know?

  • Beginning in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.
  • Children can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
  • That by sixth grade, high absences are one of three signs that a child may drop out of high school.
  • Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and/or keep a job.

Here are some helpful tips to support good attendance and your child’s success:

  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Introduce your child to teachers and classmates before school starts to help with the transition.
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make her feel comfortable and excited about learning.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting your child to school if something comes up.
  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips, if possible, when school is in session.
  • Encourage meaningful after school activities, including sports and clubs.

Attendance habits influence grades and participation in school and community-related programs (i.e., teams, clubs, CTE, employment). Developing good attendance also impacts critical workplace skills well into the future.

Visit this website for more information: Attendanceworks

Additional information can be found from the Regulations Governing the Collection and Reporting of Truancy Related Data and Student Attendance Policies, see 8VAC20-730.

Key number 3: Being engaged in my child’s education

Research has consistently shown that family engagement in a child’s education leads to better educational outcomes. A child’s chances of success go up when parents show an active interest in their child’s school work, attend school events, and advocate for their child to the maximum extent possible. (“Research Spotlight on,” n.d.)

If your child receives special education services, you have two important roles:

  • Build and maintain a solid working relationship with all school personnel involved with your child so that the IEP team can function at its most effective level.
  • Ensure that your child receives FAPE (a free appropriate public education)

The best way to attain these goals for your child is to remain engaged in your child’s education through collaborating with your school division. Collaboration is a mutual responsibility between families and school divisions.

What does all of that mean? Here are some definitions.

Family Engagement: Ideally, parents who are engaged may do any of the following:

  • Encourage communication with a child.
  • Support and model enthusiasm for learning.
  • Assist with study habits.
  • Actively participate in meetings.
  • Understand a child’s needs.
  • Understand the Special Education process and parent/child rights.
  • Advocate for a child’s educational needs.

Collaboration: When two or more parties are involved in a partnership with the purpose of working together toward a common goal, this is collaboration. It is a process which is fostered through all parties learning how to communicate effectively with one another as a means of building trust.

Family Engagement leads to better collaboration, which leads to better outcomes for your child.

Key number 4: Understanding our rights

It is important to develop an understanding of your Parental Rights. (The list below is not all-inclusive. Please see the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia for complete information.)

You have the right to:

  • Advocate for your child without fear of retaliation.
  • Receive advance notice/invitation of meetings.
  • Have meetings at a mutually agreed upon date, time, and location.
  • Audio record eligibility, IEP, and manifestation determination meetings.
  • Request to video record. (If you are told that you cannot, ask to see the school division’s policy on video recording).
  • Discuss your concerns/input.
  • Bring and have reviewed any type of documentation.
  • Bring other individuals and have them assist you during meetings.
  • Receive a copy of a procedural safeguards document once per year and any time upon request.
  • Receive an independent educational evaluation (IEE) when you disagree with the results of a school based evaluation, at no cost to you.

What is Prior Written Notice?

Prior Written Notice must be provided to you whenever the school division proposes or refuses any action related to the following:

  • Identification.
  • Evaluation.
  • Educational Placement.
  • Provision of FAPE(free appropriate public education).

Prior Written Notice must contain the following seven elements:

  • Description of the action proposed or refused by the school division.
  • Explanation of the school division’s proposal or refusal to take action.
  • Description of other options considered and the reasons for their rejection.
  • Description of the evaluation, assessment, record, or report used as a basis for the action.
  • Description of other relevant factors.
  • Statement regarding procedural safeguards protections.
  • Sources for assistance.

Understanding the rights of both you and your child will help you to be certain she is receiving the FAPE (free appropriate public education) to which she is entitled.

Key number 5: Promoting my child’s independence and self determination

Your child’s role in education, as in life, grows as he matures and gains knowledge about himself and the world around him. Self-determination is an important attribute for all people to possess. It comes through acquiring a set of skills that help a person understand his strengths, preferences, and interests. Self-determined people are able to set goals and develop plans to meet those goals through making choices and decisions, learning to self-regulate, and advocating for themselves. They believe in themselves as capable and effective people who can take control of their lives.

Eventually, all children with IEPs will be expected to attend and provide input to the IEP. They will become team members. As parents, you may want to begin preparing your child to attend and participate in these meetings. He can talk about his strengths, interests, and preferences, and what supports or accommodations help him learn. The skills needed to do this fall under the term self-determination. When children participate, express what is important to them, and express their own goals to the team, they gain confidence. Children begin to understand that they have a right to be heard.

Being self-determined will help your child advocate for himself. However, this does not just happen when a child reaches the age for a secondary transition focused IEP. Your child can participate in the IEP process long before he reaches the age for secondary transition. Your child can invite people to attend the IEP meeting. The IEP is about your child. Who is better qualified to provide information about his learning and goals? There is an important phrase you might have heard which says, “Nothing about me without me.” This means when the person with a disability is being discussed and plans are being made, that individual must be at the table.

Using a One Pager, found at I'm Determined, your child can identify strengths, preferences, interests, and supports in a simple format using words, pictures, or video. It is powerful to have a young person present information to the IEP Team. As your child moves closer to graduation, he might stay in the IEP meeting to be part of the discussion on goals. Goal Setting and Attainment is another tool found on the I’m Determined website. Learning how to make plans so goals can be attained is an important part of being successful in school and in life beyond school. Children can learn to identify people who can provide support. The Good Day Plan, also found on the I’m Determined website, helps a child know that he has some control over the events that influence his life. It’s important for your child to know he has the ability and skills to work hard, complete important tasks, and reach his goals.

It is also important to note that beginning at least one year before your child turns eighteen, the IEP team must inform you that educational rights will transfer to him upon his eighteenth birthday. This means that he will be able to make educational decisions without you. For example, as an adult your child would be able to grant consent for his IEP.

It is a good idea to allow him to begin making choices well before he turns eighteen. As he begins to make choices and understand the consequences of his choices, you can offer more opportunities for him to make decisions.

These experiences build confidence and maturity that will allow him to actively participate in his IEP meetings. Remember, during the IEP cycle when your child turns fourteen, he will be invited to attend the IEP meeting. The IEP Team want to hear from him about his strengths, interests, and preferences. It is your choice to determine whether he will attend until he is eighteen years old.

If you do not think that your child should be making these decisions at age eighteen, it may be possible to continue to be involved. The VDOE has prepared a booklet that will help you to understand this. It is called, Transfer of Rights for Students with Disabilities Upon Reaching the Age of Majority in Virginia, and can be found at the following link: Transfer of Rights for Students with Disabilities Upon Reaching the Age of Majority in Virginia.

Key number 6: Keeping long term goals in mind early in a child’s educational career

Parents often set goals for their children while they are very young. It is okay to dream big. In fact, your high expectations will be a major factor in your child’s success.

If your goal is for your child to attend college, you need to know that IDEA ends at age 22 or at the time when your child obtains a Standard or an Advanced Studies Diploma. There is no Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in post-secondary education. Like any college-bound child, your child will likely have both positive and negative experiences while in college. Being able to bounce back after negative events will play an important role in your child’s ultimate success, so begin preparing him to do this early.

We know that learning beyond high school leads to better employment, but not everyone wants to attend college. Your child might want to seek employment that requires training beyond high school. She might learn while she earns money in an apprenticeship type program. Virginia has many quality postsecondary training programs. Some are on community college campuses. The Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services can assist eligible children with obtaining and maintaining employment or attending college if their employment goals require a degree. The Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) also has programs that lead to careers in manufacturing, health occupations, and other areas. Following is a link to the WWRC website for more information: Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center. There are many available resources and options available for your child.

Employment is a major part of life for most adults. Plan for a career; not just a job. Virginia is an Employment First state. That means that Virginia promotes and supports competitive, integrated employment as a first choice; in other words, a work setting that includes people with and without disabilities where she will earn a competitive wage that is similar to that of others doing the same work. A competitive wage means at or above the minimum wage.

As your child matures, she will likely have her own goals and her goals may not agree with your goals for her. Knowing and using the resources that are available in your community and providing support and opportunities for your child to exercise her skills will lead to better post school outcomes.

Key number 7: Understanding assessment options and their relationship to diplomas/long term goals

For all children with disabilities identified under IDEA, the IEP Team determines how the child will participate in the state’s accountability system and for children identified under Section 504, the 504 Committee determines how the child will participate.

A child’s IEP must specify the child’s participation in the state accountability system as follows:

  • Participation in the Standards of Learning (SOL) test (which assesses the minimum expectations for what children should know and be able to do at the end of each grade or course in English, mathematics, science, and history/social science) with no accommodations.
  • Participation in the SOL test with accommodations.
  • Participation in Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) (evaluates the performance of children with significant cognitive disabilities who are working on aligned Standards of Learning, which are based on the Standards of Learning, but have been reduced in complexity and depth).

Children with disabilities have access to three different diploma options. The diploma that the child will work toward is determined by the IEP team. For children who started their ninth grade year before the 2018-2019 school year, the diploma options follow:

  • The Advanced Studies Diploma requires children to have 26 credits (9 verified). This diploma is Virginia’s highest diploma and requires children to complete three years of a foreign language and advanced math classes. This is the best diploma for children wishing to attend a four-year college.
  • The Standard Diploma requires children to have 22 credits (6 verified). Although children can attend a four-year college with this diploma it is more suitable for children wishing to attend a community college or enter into a career after graduation.
  • The Applied Studies Diploma is only available to children identified as having a disability who complete the requirements of their individualized education programs (IEPs), but do not meet the requirements for the diplomas above. The Applied Studies Diploma is not available for children with 504 Plans.

For graduation requirements for children starting the ninth grade in the 2018-2019 school year and beyond, see Critical Decision Point 3 and Appendix 2.

Children with disabilities who participate in the SOL assessments with or without accommodations, and earn the verified credits may receive either the Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. However, if a child participates in the VAAP, he will not be able to obtain a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma. He or she may receive an Applied Studies Diploma.

Participation in the VAAP should only be considered after the SOL participation has been discussed and all possible accommodations have been fully examined.

It is absolutely critical that parents understand that agreeing to modifications of a child’s curriculum means that their child will not be receiving the same instructional content as his peers. This means that the child will not be adequately prepared to take standardized assessments (such as SOL assessments) that lead to verified credits. Without these verified credits, the child will be unable to earn either a Standard or an Advanced Studies Diploma.

An Applied Studies Diploma is not equivalent to a Standard Diploma, and it may not qualify a child for post-secondary opportunities for which a regular high school diploma is required, such as higher education, financial aid, and some employment opportunities.

For more detailed information on assessments, please see the appendix at the end entitled, What Parents Need to Know about State Assessments.

Key number 8: Understanding diploma options and their relationship to post-secondary goals

Think of your child’s time in school as an educational journey and the career as the final destination on that journey. First, you have to determine where you want to go and then you have to map out the best way to get there. If the career is your destination, then the diploma is the vehicle that will get you to your destination. The last thing you want to do is plan a trip and then realize you don’t have the necessary transportation to get there. In the same way, the diploma your child chooses and the courses she takes in high school, and after high school, need to align with that career so the trip has the least number of roadblocks and detours possible.

Try planning with the end in mind. When your child knows what career path she wants to pursue it will be important for her to choose the courses necessary in middle and high school to earn the diploma that best prepares her for that career. The school counselor and IEP team will be important partners in the planning. How can your child get the information and resources to choose the best career for herself? There is a lot of career information and there are many resources available to assist children and young adults with career exploration and your child will be engaged in career exploration from the moment she enters a classroom.

While in elementary and middle school your child will be exploring Career Clusters and Pathways (CTE Career Clusters) and creating an Academic and Career Plan. That Plan can serve as the roadmap to help your child meet her goals. Your child will also be receiving instruction in Career Investigations. This instruction will be delivered in different ways by different schools but your child will be learning important skills for postsecondary education and a career that include: workplace skills, teamwork skills, career clusters and pathways, identifying short and long term goals, public speaking skills, and self-advocacy strategies. She will also examine labor market data, complete an interest assessment, and create her Academic and Career Plan through this instruction.

Make sure to speak to your school counselor when your child is very young about the best diploma option for your child’s career goal, then start to get the necessary information about the job to know what courses she needs to take to be best prepared for that career. Have all of this information in the Academic and Career Plan and revisit the Plan often (at least once a year) to make sure your child is still on the right path. Remember that if you choose the Applied Studies Diploma, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to reverse course later.

Key number 9: Understanding modification of curriculum versus accommodations

The terms “accommodations” and “modifications” are two words that many people tend to use interchangeably. In special education, however, it is critical to understand that these terms have completely different definitions. Mistaking a “modification” for an “accommodation” in your child’s IEP can mean the difference between your child being able to earn a Standard Diploma and being unable to earn a Standard Diploma.

Accommodations provide adaptations for a child with a disability without setting different expectations. Accommodations help support access to the general curriculum. They do not change what is taught, change the strategies used or change how instruction is delivered to children. Children can receive accommodations and be fully prepared for and able to earn a standard or advanced standard diploma.

Modifications require that children with disabilities perform objectives that are different from those of the rest of the class. The content or task may be reduced in depth and complexity.

Remember, if your child is on a modified curriculum, he is very unlikely to be able to obtain a Standard or Advanced Diploma, limiting his postsecondary and employment options.

Critical Decision Points

Below, you will find information concerning decisions that you will be making throughout your child’s educational journey, as well as information on when you will be making them and suggestions regarding questions that you may want to discuss with the IEP team.

  1. Will an IEP or a 504 Plan be more appropriate for my child?

Eligibility for an IEP is based on the fourteen categories of disability identified by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The child’s impairment must have an educational impact and require specialized instruction for her to qualify as a child with a disability under IDEA. If the child qualifies with one of these disabilities, then an IEP would be developed that provides needed special education services. An IEP must meet certain requirements that are identified in Virginia’s special education regulations. If, in addition to the protections provided under the IDEA, a child also needs services falling under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, those services would be included in the IEP and only one plan would be provided for that child.

A 504 Plan is based on eligibility under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and not the IDEA. A child may be identified as a student with a disability under this statute if she has a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. A 504 Plan is provided for a variety of children who have mental or physical impairments rather than the limited categories provided under the IDEA. The life activity limitation may include a variety of substantial limitations to activities such as learning, reading, concentration, eating, walking, and a variety of others. If a child has a substantial limitation to one of these activities, then the 504 plan may include accommodations and special education services.

Parental input is important throughout the eligibility process in order to assist in determining which type of plan, if any, would be appropriate for the child.

When to consider: At your child’s initial eligibility meeting or at subsequent meetings, should a change need to be made.

Questions to ask the school:

  • What impairment or disability was considered when determining whether my child was eligible for accommodations or services?
  • Are there additional areas of need that should be considered for my child? If there are additional areas of suspected need, what additional testing will be needed to determine if my child needs services in those areas?
  • What information (progress reports) will I receive from the school to assist me in understanding if my child is making appropriate progress?
  • When will another meeting be held to review my child’s progress and to update the 504 Plan or IEP? How can I request that a meeting be held if I have concerns about my child’s progress in meeting her educational goals? Will my preschool-aged child receive an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or an Individualized Service Plan (ISP)?

Parents will typically make decisions about their child’s participation in an early childhood program, including child care and/or preschool. Some children may attend child care for part of a day or the whole day. Preschool may be considered when a child turns three or four. Reasons for selecting a specific child care center or preschool for the child to attend vary and are personal. For example, one family may select a child care center due to its proximity to the parent’s work place while another may select a center where a sibling attended.

When decisions regarding participation in an early childhood program are made, parents often do not know their child has a disability. Both the type of early childhood program and the location of the program are important and may impact the services a child, who is found eligible for special education and related services, may be able to receive. To better understand how this can impact the services your child receives, let us compare an ISP and an IEP.

School divisions are required to locate, identify, evaluate, and spend a proportionate share of IDEA funds for equitable services for children with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools located in their divisions, including religious, elementary and secondary schools. School divisions are also required to consult with private schools within their jurisdictions when making their decisions regarding which services to offer parentally placed private school children with disabilities. These children are provided an opportunity for equitable participation in special education and related services through an ISP. The ISP describes the specific special education and/or related services that the school division will provide to the child. School divisions have limited budgets for these equitable services and are able to determine which special education and/or related services will be offered to children with disabilities parentally-placed in a private school.

There are similarities and differences between an ISP and an IEP. An ISP must be developed, reviewed, and revised consistent with the requirements related to the IEP Team and parent participation; however, an ISP typically provides limited special education and related services to the child. For example, a child with an ISP may be eligible to receive speech therapy every other week. An IEP on the other hand is to provide a free and appropriate public education and may provide more comprehensive educational services for the child.

Whether a child is eligible for an IEP or ISP depends on two primary factors.

  1. Consider the type of early childhood program your child is attending. If the program is considered a preschool and has a curriculum that includes developmental activities (e.g., early literacy, early math, and exploration of the environment) then it may meet the definition of a private elementary school. Many preschools will have curriculums with a focus on early educational skills and would be considered private schools. Child care centers typically provide care and do not have curriculums that focus on early education; therefore, they would not qualify as private schools.
  2. Consider the location of the early childhood program and whether the program is in the same city or county where you, the parents, reside. If your child is in a preschool (and determined to be a private school) outside of the home city or county, and is found eligible for special education services, then he may receive an ISP instead of an IEP.

If your child attends an early childhood program and is determined to be a child with a disability and eligible for special education and related serviced, be sure to talk to your child’s IEP Team and ensure that you understand the services your child may receive.

When to consider: When you are making decisions regarding your child’s daycare/preschool placement.

Questions to ask the school:

  • What are the services that my child would be receiving with an IEP versus services that my child would be receiving with an ISP?
  • How often would my child be receiving these services with an IEP versus an ISP?
  • What would the benefits be to my child of having an IEP versus an ISP?
  • If my child has an ISP and I am not satisfied, can I change schools in order to have an IEP implemented?

  1. What diploma will help our child move toward his post-secondary goals?

The VDOE offers a number of diploma options for children. It is important to know the requirements of each and set goals in elementary and middle school to achieve the best diploma to meet your child’s goals for the future. Participation in state assessments will determine your child’s eligibility for the various diploma options. Critical information on state assessments is included in Appendix 1.

  • The Advanced Studies Diploma requires children to have 26 credits and nine verified credits. Children are responsible for completing three years of a foreign language and Algebra II or above for this diploma. This is the best diploma for children wishing to attend a four-year college.
  • The Standard Diploma requires children to have 22 credits and six verified credits. Although children can attend a four-year college with this diploma it is more suitable for children wishing to attend a community college or enter into a career after graduation.
  • The Applied Studies Diploma is only available to children identified as having a disability who complete the requirements of their individualized education programs (IEPs), but do not meet the requirements for the diplomas above.

Other Diplomas or Certificates offered by the Virginia Department of Education are below:

  • The General Achievement Adult High School Diploma (GAAHSD) is intended for individuals who are at least 18 years of age and not enrolled in public school or not otherwise meeting the compulsory school attendance requirements set forth in the Code of Virginia. See General Achievement Adult High School Diploma (GAAHSD) Program for requirements.
  • The General Educational Development Certificates (GED) is available to children and consists of a battery of four tests that measure the skills considered to be the major outcomes of a high school education. The tests’ questions focus on the general abilities to analyze, evaluate, and draw conclusions. See General Educational Development (GED) Certificate for requirements.

The Certificate of Program Completion is available to children who complete prescribed programs of studies defined by a local school board but who do not qualify for diplomas.

Additional information including adult programs and diplomas can be found at Additional Programs and Diploma Information.

Please Note:

The above diploma requirements are for children that graduate through 2021-2022. New requirements that take effect for first-time ninth-grade children in 2018-2019 and will reduce the verified credit requirement to five for each diploma. Information on requirements are included in the charts in Appendix 2.

Applied Studies Diploma (requires children to complete the requirements of their IEP)

The Applied Studies Diploma is a diploma option available to children identified as having a disability who complete the requirements of their Individualized education programs (IEPs) and meet certain requirements prescribed by the Board of Education pursuant to regulations, but do not meet the requirements for any named diploma.

The Applied Studies Curriculum Map PDF consists of a guide, and six domains that outline skills and competencies that IEP teams can use to identify the need for additional instruction to assist children in meeting their postsecondary goals. The domains include English, mathematics, science, history and social science, employment, and independent living.

When to consider: In elementary school. It is important to begin thinking about your child’s diploma options as soon as she enters school and to continue to consider throughout the educational career. The diploma that your child earns should be the one best suited to meet the goals she has for life after high school. Although you can change your mind on what diploma to earn, you will want to explore all options to maintain the goal of achieving the highest diploma as possible. Depending on your child’s disability, you may feel that she might not be able to obtain a Standard or an Advanced Studies Diploma or go to college. However, having strong expectations in the early years will help your child obtain her greatest potential. High expectations by both parents and school staff are critical to future success. Many children with significant disabilities are able to obtain a Standard or an Advanced Studies Diploma when they received needed accommodations. You can always change course later.

Middle school is also an important time because the transition plan and academic and career plan are living, working documents that keep you on the path to meeting your goals and should be updated and maintained to ensure you reach your desired destination. Remember, however, that middle school is likely too late to switch from an Applied Studies Diploma to a Standard or an Advanced Studies Diploma. It will not be too late to move in the other direction, should you determine that to be appropriate.

Questions to ask the school:

  • How do the decisions that we are making in elementary school about my child’s participation in state assessments relate to the diploma options that will be available to her?
  • What are the key factors I should consider in making decisions about diploma options?
  • When is the latest point at which I will be able to change my mind about my child’s diploma option?
  • How can credit accommodations help my child earn a Standard or an Advanced Studies Diploma?
  • What courses can my child take in middle school that will count for high school credit?
  • If my child does not do well on the middle school course that counts for high school credit, what procedure can I follow to make sure the grade doesn’t appear on the high school transcript?
  • What is an industry certification and is my child required to earn one? Where will my child’s IEP be implemented?

First, it is important to note that decisions about your child’s placement are made by the IEP team. You, as your child’s parent, play a vital role on this team, as do all the other members. The entire team will meet, discuss options, and make a placement decision for your child based upon his individual needs and the level of support he needs.

When determining placement, the IEP team must consider the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and a variety of placement options that will provide your child an appropriate educational program. The IEP team must identify each placement considered and the reasons for the placement chosen. The general education classroom is considered less restrictive and a self-contained special education is considered to be more restrictive.

LRE-Continuum of Placements

Each school division must provide a wide variety, or continuum, of alternative placements so that each child with a disability will have an appropriate program. This continuum includes:

  • General education classes.
  • Special education classes.
  • Special education schools (private/residential).
  • Home-based instruction.
  • Homebound instruction when instruction is made available to children who are confined for periods that would prevent normal school attendance; and based on certification of need by a licensed physician or clinical psychologist.
  • Instruction in hospitals and institutions, including state facilities.

This continuum of alternative placements also:

  • Must provide for supplementary services, such as a resource room or services or itinerant instruction, provided with general education classes.
  • Must include integrated service delivery, which occurs when some or all goals of your child’s IEP are met in general education classes with similar-age children.
  • Must be based on the individual needs of your child, not a single model used for a specific population or category of children with disabilities.
  • Must be documented by the identification of each alternative considered and the reasons for the placement chosen.
  • Must provide for a program, if appropriate, with similar-age children.

In order for your child to graduate with a standard or advanced standard diploma, your child must be provided access to the general education curriculum. Your child should be taught and assessed based on the Standards of Learning regardless of the setting in which your child receives educational services. Your child may receive supports and accommodations to access the curriculum and content standards.

The standards of learning guide the content for what your child is expected to learn in each grade. These apply to reading, math, science, and social studies. Modifications change these expectations.

It is very important to determine if your child’s curriculum, assignments or assessments will be modified. A modification of a child’s curriculum means that your child will not receive the same instructional content as his or her peers. A modified curriculum means your child will not be adequately prepared to take SOL assessments that lead to verified credits. Your child will not be able to earn a standard or advanced standard diploma without the required verified credits.

Examples of Modifications

Curriculum modifications allow a child to:

Learn different material (such as continuing to work on multiplication while classmates move on to fractions).

Get graded or assessed using a different standard than the standard for classmates.

Be excused from particular projects

Assignment modifications allow a child to:

Complete fewer or different homework problems than peers.

Write shorter papers.Answer fewer or different test questions.

Create alternate projects or assignments.

For additional examples of modifications and accommodations check out the document from PACER (the parent training and information center for Minnesota): PACER Modification and Accommodations

When to consider: At the first and each subsequent IEP meeting

Questions to ask the school:

  • Is my child being educated in the least restrictive environment? What factors have been considered with respect to this placement decision and can it be reconsidered as needed?
  • Is my child receiving access to the general curriculum and how?
  • Is my child participating in the general curriculum and taking SOL assessments? If not, why not?
  • What accommodations will be listed in my child’s IEP for him and who will they be delivered by in the classroom and, if appropriate, during state assessments?
  • Can these accommodations be carried into the general education setting? If not, why not? Are there other accommodations that can be used in the general education setting?
  • Is my child’s curriculum being modified and how will this impact his diploma options upon graduation?
  • Will my child be able to meet the requirements of a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma in his current placement?
  • If my child is being pulled out of the classroom for certain services, will that affect his ability to access the general curriculum and can that impact be minimized?
  • If this is a placement that focuses on addressing the behavioral needs of my child, will my child be able to return to her home school? If so, when? How will we plan an effective transition so that my child can be successful when he returns?

  1. I disagree with an Eligibility team/IEP team decision. How should I proceed?

If you and the school division come to a place where you disagree and are having trouble moving beyond it, there are dispute resolution options outlined below available to you through the Virginia Department of Education.

  • Mediation can assist parents and school staff when they are in negotiations. A mediator can convene and conduct a meeting to clarify issues, focus on the needs of a child, and explore and evaluate possible solutions in a confidential setting.
  • Due Process uses an informal administrative hearing process before a hearing officer to resolve disagreements over such issues as related to a child's eligibility for special education and related services, evaluation of a child with a disability, appropriateness of a child's services and/or placement, or any other matter under free appropriate public education, including disciplinary matters.
  • Complaints are generally expressions of some disagreement with a procedure or a process regarding special education programs, procedures, or services.

For more information on resolving disputes, please see the Resolving Disputes on the Virginia Department of Education website, at VDOE Resolving Disputes.

When to consider: Immediately once a disagreement occurs and cannot be resolved at the local level.

Questions to ask the school:

  • What are my rights regarding dispute resolution?
  • How can we settle this disagreement so that my child’s needs and best interests are being met?
  • If the IEP team cannot resolve this disagreement, what is my next course of action?

  1. What options should we begin discussing and implementing with respect to overall transition planning, including pre-employment transition services?

At age 14, your child’s IEP team must begin transition planning. Your child’s transition plan will include transition goals and objectives, as well as the services that will be provided to help achieve them. Your child’s transition plan may change over time as he makes decisions regarding his post-school plans for higher education and/or employment. If your child’s school has a transition coordinator, that individual will likely participate in developing the transition plan. You will want to talk about opportunities such as work internships, benefits planning, and independent living goals throughout the course of this planning. There are additional resources available, as well. With the passing of the federal Workforce Innovations and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Virginia’s vocational rehabilitation agencies, the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and the Department for Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) are required to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services, often called Pre-ETS. These services can be offered to children who are potential clients of these agencies beginning at age fourteen. It is not required that the child be determined eligible for services through these agencies. Children in public schools, private schools, and those who are home schooled may be involved in the activities listed below.

The following are Pre-ETS services:

  • Job exploration counseling: Includes job shadowing and activities that assist in exploring career interests and abilities, as well as investigating careers.
  • Counseling on opportunities for enrolling in comprehensive transition or postsecondary education: Includes investigating career paths, as well as referrals to college resources, campus visits, and financial aid processes.
  • Work-based learning experiences: Includes informational interviews, job shadowing/mentoring, employer presentations, job fairs, and work-site tours.
  • Workplace readiness training: Includes the development of soft skills, such as work place communication, independent living skills, and accessing transportation.
  • Instruction in self advocacy: Includes training on rights and responsibilities, requesting accommodations on the job, and participating in youth leadership activities in the community

There is a website devoted to providing technical assistance to people seeking information about WIOA. The website is Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center. The acronym WINTAC stands for Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center. Please check this website for additional information.

Please note that in order to receive Pre-ETS services, it will be necessary for you to provide written consent for the rehabilitation agency to know your child’s name and confidential information included in school records. This information includes the IEP, past testing, and other pertinent information. Remember, if your child is eighteen years of age and education rights have transferred, he may provide written consent.

The best way to find out what is happening in your school division is to speak with your child’s special education case manager and the Pre-ETS counselor working in your local rehabilitation office. You can find the location of DARS offices on their website’s homepage using the “find an office” feature at Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services. The DBVI office information can be found at Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired.

When to consider: When the child reaches the age of fourteen.

Questions to ask the school:

  • How do I access transition planning services?
  • What are the key steps we should be following as a team to assist with my child’s successful transition from high school to post-school goals?
  • Is my child’s transition plan part of the IEP or it is a separate plan?
  • What should be included in my child’s transition plan?
  • What if my child changes his mind about what he wants to do?
  • What are the Pre-ETS services and opportunities that are available to my child?
  • Will my child be pulled out of class or will these activities take place after school or on weekends/during summers?
  • Are services offered to groups or to individuals?

  1. How will we discuss disability with our child, including the transfer of rights at age eighteen?

Many older children with disabilities report that they knew something was different for them when they struggled in school and their peers did not. When parents attended school meetings but did not talk about those meetings, children reported feeling fearful that something was wrong with them. Helping children understand that we all have strengths and that we all have areas where we need help to be successful is a good first step toward helping your child understand her disability. Not talking about your child’s disability may lead your child to jump to incorrect conclusions such as, “I am not smart,” or “I am not likeable.”

Being open, naming the disability, and providing information will help your child know that having a disability is not something shameful or embarrassing. Your response to the disability influences how your child deals with her differences and learning difficulties. You can send a powerful message that your child has many characteristics and that the disability is only one part of who she is. One young person describes herself as a sister, friend, soccer player, member of the choir, community volunteer, student, and someone with dyslexia. Conversations with young children do not need to be overly detailed; your conversations can be accurate and age appropriate. Respond to your child’s questions, and if you don’t have answers, assure her that you will find the answers. You can also help your child answer questions that other people might have. What does your child want other people to know about the disability? Your child has interests, strengths, and preferences. Help her identify these and emphasize them.

The I’m Determined website, I'm Determined, provides tools and examples of how parents can help their child identify preferences, strengths, and interests, as well as information about how others can help her to be successful. In addition, there are regional representatives of the program who can talk to you and show you how to navigate the website and use the tools that are available. Please see the I’m Determined website for more details.

Transfer of rights

At age eighteen, education rights transfer to the child. If your child cannot make decisions on his own, you will need to take steps to continue to be involved. If your child will be able to handle this automatic transfer of rights, it will be important for you to prepare him for this important responsibility over a period of time.

The IEP Team must include a statement in your child’s IEP (beginning at least one year before your child turns 18) that you and your child have been advised that the educational rights transfer to the child upon reaching 18.

For more information regarding transfer of rights, visit: Transfer of Rights.

When to consider: As soon as your child is found eligible for special education services

Questions to ask the school:

  • How can I begin explaining my child’s disability and its potential impacts to her?
  • How can my child participate in the development of her IEP to the maximum extent?
  • Can my child effectively exercise her right to make educational decisions when she turns 18 and whom should I consult for advice in this area if I feel that I still need to be involved in educational decision-making on behalf of my adult child?
  • Will I be able to attend IEP meetings after my child’s eighteenth birthday?
  • Will I be able to assist my child in making informed decision or serve as my child’s advocate after her eighteenth birthday?

Agency Resources

Below, you will find the names, web addresses and phone numbers for different agencies and organizations that you may find useful. Unfortunately, web addresses and phone numbers often change. If you find that one of these listed is no longer valid, please contact the Virginia Department of Education for assistance with finding new contact information.

  • Center for Family Involvement (CFI) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

The Center for Family Involvement (CFI) at the Partnership for People with Disabilities at VCU works with families to increase their skills as advocates, mentors, and leaders so that families, children and young adults can lead the lives they want. For more information call (877) 567-1122 or visit Center for Family Involvement at Virginia Commonwealth University

  • Center on Transition Innovations (CTI) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

The mission of the Center on Transition Innovations (CTI) is to provide information, resources, demonstration, and research on pathways to employment that support youth with disabilities to gain access to integrated competitive employment to the fullest extent possible. Through participation in evidence-based employment and work experience models, higher education or postsecondary education training, youth can become integral members of their communities. For more information call (804) 828-1851 or visit Center on Transition Innovations at Virginia Commonwealth University.

  • Community Services Board (CSB)

The Community Services Board (CSB) in your area may provide prevention, treatment, employment and support services for individuals and families with mental health, substance use, and intellectual disabilities. They work collaboratively with schools, law enforcement, and social services. They can also assist you with case management, counseling, crisis services, and general parenting education. The CSB is the point of entry for DD/ID Medicaid Waivers. For more information call (804) 786-3921 or visit the DBHDS Community Services Board

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) manages Virginia's public mental health, developmental disability, and substance abuse services system. Services are provided for children, families, and adults with mental illness, intellectual or developmental disabilities or substance abuse disorders, as well as for veterans. For more information call (804) 786-3921 or visit the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services.

The Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired (DBVI) offers a wide array of specialized services, supports, resources and programs for Virginia residents of all ages who are experiencing significant visual disabilities. The DBVI is committed to providing quality services to assist Virginia's citizens who are blind, deaf/blind, or vision impaired in achieving their maximum level of employment, education, and personal independence. For more information call (804) 371-3140 or visit Virginia Department for the Blind and Vision Impaired .

  • Department of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH)

The Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH) works to reduce the communication barriers between persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and those who are hearing, including family members, service providers, and the general public. For more information call (804) 662-9502 or visit Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) and the CSB work very closely together to serve you, your child, and your family. They help to ensure that thousands of Virginia's most vulnerable citizens have access to the best services and benefits available to them, such as: Financial Assistance, Medicaid Waivers, Health Financial Assistance, Family and Individual Services, Services for Children, and Services for Adults. The DSS is the point of entry for the EDCD Medicaid Waiver. For more information call

(804) 726-7000 or visit Department of Social Services.

The Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (VDARS) can assist you with many things. They collaborate with schools in providing Transition Services. Their Employment Services help people with disabilities get ready for employment and find and retain employment. They have a residential training and medical rehabilitation center known as Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center, and they process disability claims for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income Disability Programs. For more information call (800) 464-9950 or visit Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services.

  • disAbility Law Center of Virginia

The disAbility Law Center of Virginia (dLCV) is the designated Protection and Advocacy organization of Virginia. Using funding received from federal grants, they help clients with disability-related problems like abuse, neglect, and discrimination. For more information call (800) 552-3962 or visit disAbility Law Center of Virginia.

  • The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia

The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia is Virginia’s system of early intervention supports and services for infants and toddlers from birth through age two who are not developing as expected or who have a medical condition that can delay normal development and their families. This program is based at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS). Early intervention services are designed to meet the full range of developmental needs of each child, and the needs of their families related to their child’s development. Services are provided through both public and private agencies in Virginia, and are designed to include a wide range of family-centered services, resources and supports. For more information call

(800) 234-1448 or visit The Infant & Toddler Connection of Virginia.

  • Parent Education Advocacy Training Center (PEATC)

The Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) is the parent information and training center serving families and professionals of children with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The PEATC promotes respectful, collaborative partnerships between parents, schools, professionals, and the community that increase the possibilities of success for children with disabilities. For more information call (800) 869-6782 or visit Parent Education Advocacy Training Center.

  • Training and Technical Assistance Centers (TTACs) provide professional development and support designed to assist schools in addressing accountability and improvement goals for students with disabilities throughout Virginia. There are seven TTACs housed in various universities throughout Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth University, Old Dominion University, the College of William and Mary, George Mason University, James Madison University, Virginia Tech, and Radford University). For more information on TTACs, visit Training and Technical Assistance Centers.

References

Field, S., Martin, J., Miller, R., Ward, M, & Wehmeyer, M. (1998). A practical guide for teaching self-determination. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

Finn, J.D. (1993). School engagement and students at risk. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Lamborn, S.D., Brown, B.B., Mounts, N.S., & Steinberg, L. (1992). Putting School in perspective: The influence of family, peers, extracurricular participation, and part-time work on academic engagement. Chapter 6 in Student engagement and achievement in American secondary schools.

Research spotlight on parental involvement in education. (n.d.). Retrieved from Research spotlight on parental involvement in education.

Appendix 1

What Parents Need to Know about State Assessments

(Please see the Students with Disabilities: Guidelines for Assessment Participation: A Guide for Educators and Parents at VDOE Standards of Learning (SOL) & Testing.)

  • Children with disabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia include identified children under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA) and under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • IDEA and its implementing state and federal regulations require that all children with disabilities participate in the state’s accountability system.
  • Children with disabilities are expected to participate in all content area assessments that are available to children without disabilities.
  • If the parent decides not to have the child participate in the Virginia assessment program, the decision will be considered a refusal to participate and the child, the school, and the school division will receive a score of zero for each test that is refused.

How Children with Disabilities Participate in Virginia’s Accountability System (Statewide Assessments)

  • For all children with disabilities identified under IDEA, the IEP Team determines how the child will participate in the accountability system.
  • For children identified under Section 504, the 504 Committee determines how the child will participate.
  • A child’s IEP must specify the child’s participation in the state accountability system as follows:
  • Participation in the SOL test with no accommodations.
  • Participation in the SOL test with accommodations.
  • Participation in VAAP.
  • If the IEP Team determines that the child must participate in the VAAP instead of the SOL test, a statement that addresses each of the following must be included in the IEP:
    • Why the child cannot participate in the SOL assessment.
    • Why the particular assessment selected is appropriate for the child, including how the child meets the criteria for the alternate assessment.
    • How the child’s participation in VAAP will impact the child’s promotion and/or graduation and with which diploma.
  • In considering possible participation in the VAAP, IEP Team members need to be sure that all possible SOL test accommodations and other alternative assessments, have been examined as options to provide access to state assessments.

Non-Participation of Children with Disabilities in the Virginia Assessment Program

  • Neither the IEP Team nor the 504 Committee can make decisions that a child will not participate in state assessments.
  • If a parent requests that a child not participate in in one or more state assessments, then the IEP Team or 504 Committee must convene to explain the consequences associated with non-participation.
  • Consequences for refusing to participate in state assessments may include the following:
  • When refusing to have a child participate in grades 3-8 assessments, the teachers, parents, and child will not receive information on child progress contained in the assessment score reports.
  • The child may not have an opportunity to experience an assessment in the content area prior to taking assessments required for graduation.
  • When refusing to have a child participate in SOL End of Course assessments, the child may not be able to meet graduation requirements. If the parent decides not to have the child participate in the Virginia assessment program, the decision will be considered a refusal to participate and the child, the school, and the school division will receive a score of zero for each test that is refused. Additionally, a decision by a parent to have a child not participate in state assessments can have negative consequences for the local school division. Ninety-five percent of children with disabilities need to participate in state assessments in order for school divisions to meet participation requirements. If a school division does not meet this threshold, there is potential for a school division to lose its accreditation if enough parents choose not to have their children participate in state assessments.
  • Documentation indicating that the consequences of the decision have been fully explained to and are understood by the parent, guardian, surrogate, or child must be attached to or become part of the child’s IEP or 504 Plan.

 

State assessment programs available to children with disabilities are:

  • Standards of Learning (SOL) with or without accommodations
  • Administered in the content areas of English (reading and writing), mathematics, science, and history/social science.
  • Administered as online tests unless a child has a documented need for a paper assessment.
  • Administered to children enrolled in grades 3-8 and in certain courses.
  • Grade 3 SOL Assessments:
  • Reading and Mathematics SOL tests are administered online using a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT):
  • What is a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT)? A CAT is an assessment that is customized for every child based on how the child responds to the test questions. (See the Computer Adaptive Test Resources at VDOE Standards of Learning - Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT))
  • Grade 4 and 5 SOL Assessments:
  • Grade 4 and 5 Reading and Mathematics SOL tests are administered online using a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT).
  • Grade 5 Science SOL test.
  • Virginia Studies SOL test is administered in either fourth or fifth grade depending on the school division.
  • Grades 6-8 SOL Assessments:
  • Grades 6, 7, and 8 Mathematics SOL tests are administered using a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT).
  • Grade 6, 7, and 8 Reading SOL tests are administered using a Computer Adaptive Test (CAT).
  • Grade 8 Writing SOL test.
  • Grade 8 Science SOL test.
  • Civics and Economics is administered in either seventh or eighth grade depending on the school division.
  • End-of-Course (EOC) Assessments:
  • Children enrolled in specific courses that have an associated EOC Assessment are required to take the EOC tests.
  • EOC History-Virginia and United States History, World History I, World History II, World Geography.
  • EOC Mathematics-Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II.
  • EOC Science-Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry.
  • EOC Reading.
  • EOC Writing.
  • Accommodations are available to children with disabilities as outlined in their IEP or 504 Plans.
  • If a child requires an accommodation that is not documented in the current SOL Test Implementation Manual, a Special Assessment Accommodation Request can be completed by the IEP Team or 504 Committee and submitted by the Division Director of Testing for review by VDOE.
  • Accommodation Resources available online at VDOE Standards of Learning - Participation & Inclusion:
  • Explanation of Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Assistive Technology.
  • Students with Disabilities: Guidelines for Special Test Accommodations
  • Substitute Tests for Verified Credit
  • As permitted by the Standards for Accrediting Public Schools (8VAC20-131-110), the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) has approved various “substitute” tests and set the minimum score that must be achieved for the purpose of awarding a verified credit to children.Substitute Tests for Verified Credit
  • The VBOE also has approved a schedule of career and technical examinations for licensure or certification that may be substituted for SOL tests to earn child-selected verified units of credit. Tests for licensure or certification that require the demonstration of knowledge and skills beyond what is associated with a single course may result in the awarding of two units of verified credit. ThePath to Industry Certification: High School Industry Credentialing
  • Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP)
  • The VAAP is an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards and is specifically designed to evaluate the achievement of children with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to participate in the statewide Standards of Learning testing, even with accommodations.
  • The VAAP is available to children in grades 3-8 and high school who are working on academic standards that have been reduced in complexity and depth.
  • These academic standards are called Aligned Standards of Learning (ASOL) and are available in reading, writing, mathematics, science, and history/social science.
  • Only children with significant cognitive disabilities who meet the VAAP guidelines for participation may be assessed through the VAAP. Visit the following guidance document atVAAP Guidelines.
  • In making an assessment decision for a child to participate in the VAAP, teams must review, consider, and discuss a variety of sources of information, including:
  • Psychological assessments.
  • Observations.
  • Achievement test data.
  • Curricular content for evidence of a significant cognitive disability and the decision is made on an individual basis.
  • Because reliance on Intelligence Quotient (IQ) scores alone is insufficient, IEP Teams shall review all information available pertaining to the cognitive abilities of the child, including:
  • Ability tests.
  • Adaptive behavior measures.
  • Children with disabilities served by 504 Plans are not eligible for VAAP.
  • Children who participate in the VAAP participate in all content areas and compile a collection of evidence to demonstrate achievement on the ASOL.
  • Children who participate in the VAAP will not receive a Standard or Advanced Studies Diploma.

Appendix 2

Graduation Requirement Charts

Graduation Requirements for children who begin the ninth grade in 2011-2012 through 2017-2018

Advanced Studies Diploma (requires 26 standard units of credit and 9 verified credits)

Discipline Area 

Standard Credits: Effective With First Time

Ninth Graders In 2011 - 2012 And Beyond

 Verified Credits: Effective for First Time

Ninth Graders In 2011 - 2012 And Beyond

English 4
Mathematics
Laboratory Science
History and Social Sciences 4
Foreign Languages   
Health and Physical Education  
Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education   
Economic and Personal Finance  
Electives - Advance   
Student Selected Test   
Total 26 

 

Standard Diploma (requires 22 standard units of credit and 6 verified credits)

Discipline Area 

Standard Credits: Effective With First Time

Ninth Graders In 2011 - 2012 And Beyond

 Verified Credits: Effective for First Time

Ninth Graders In 2011 - 2012 And Beyond

English 4
Mathematics
Laboratory Science
History and Social Sciences 3
Health and Physical Education  
Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education   
Economic and Personal Finance  
Electives - Standard   
Student Selected Test   
Total 22 

 

Graduation Requirements for children who begin the ninth grade in 2018-2019

Advanced Studies Diploma (requires 26 standard units of credit and 5 verified credits)

Discipline Area 

Standard Credits: Effective With First Time

Ninth Graders In 2018 - 2019 And Beyond

 Verified Credits: Effective for First Time

Ninth Graders In 2018 - 2019 And Beyond

English 4
Mathematics
Laboratory Science
History and Social Sciences 4
Foreign Languages   
Health and Physical Education  
Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education   
Economic and Personal Finance  
Electives - Advance   
Student Selected Test     
Total 26 


   Standard Diploma (requires 22 standard units of credit and 5 verified credits)


Discipline Area 

Standard Credits: Effective With First Time

Ninth Graders In 2018 - 2019 And Beyond

 Verified Credits: Effective for First Time

Ninth Graders In 2018 - 2019 And Beyond

English 4
Mathematics
Laboratory Science
History and Social Sciences 3
Health and Physical Education  
Foreign Language, Fine Arts or Career and Technical Education   
Economic and Personal Finance  
Electives - Standard   
Student Selected Test     
Total 22 

 


Abbreviations

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ABBREVIATIONS

The abbreviations in this section represent frequently used terms associated with special education processes in PWCS. This is not an exhaustive list.

AAC
Augmentative and Alternative communication.
ADHD
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
ADA
Americans with Disabilities Act.
ADC
Adult Detention Center.
AIM-VA
Accessible Instructional Materials Center of Virginia.
APE
Adapted Physical Education.
ASD
Autism Spectrum Disorder.
ASL
American Sign Language.
ASOL
Aligned Standards of Learning.
AT
Assistive Technology.
BIP
Behavioral Intervention Plan.
CA
Chronological Age.
CAI
Computer Assisted Instruction.
CBI
Computer Based Instruction.
CEC
Council of Exceptional Children.
CEIS
Coordinated of Early Intervening Services.
CFR
Code of Federal Regulations.
CLD
Cultural and Linguistic Diversity.
COR
Central Office Review.
CP
Cerebral Palsy.
CRT
Criterion-Referenced Test.
CSB
Community Services Board.
DARS
Means consecutive days, inclusive of Saturdays and
DBVI
Department for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
DD
Developmental Delay.
DSS
Department of Social Services.
DVR
Department of Vocational Rehabilitation.
ED
Emotional Disability.
EL
English Learner.
EL SWD
English Learner Students with Disabilities.
EMPLOY
Employment Opportunities for Youth.
ESY
Extended School Year.
FAPE
Free Appropriate Public Education.
FAPT
Family Assessment and Planning Team.
FBA
Functional Behavioral Assessment.
FERPA
Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
FY
Fiscal Year.
HI
Hearing Impairment.
ID
Intellectual Disability.
IDEA
Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004.
IEE
Independent Educational Evaluation.
IEP
Individualized Education Program.
IFSP
Individualized Family Service Plan.
ITP
Individualized Transition Plan.
JDC
Juvenile Detention Center.
LEA
Local Education Agency.
LRE
Least Restrictive Environment.
MD
Multiple Disabilities.
MDR
Manifestation Determination Review.
MJS
Molinari Juvenile Shelter.
MTSS
Multi-Tiered System of Support.
NASDSE
National Association of State Directors of Special Education.
NICHCY
National Information Center for Handicapped Children/Youth.
O&M
Orientation and Mobility.
OCR
Office of Civil Rights.
OHI
Other Health Impairment.
OI
Orthopedic Impairment.
OSE
Office of Special Education.
OSEP
Office of Special Education Programs.
OSERS
Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services.
OSMAP
Office of Student Management and Alternative Programs.
OT
Occupational Therapy.
PACE
Positive Attitude and Commitment to Education.
PLP, PLOP
Present Level of Academic Performance and Functional Performance.
PRC
Parent Resource Center.
PT
Physical Therapy.
RtI
Response to Intervention.
SCR
School Case Review.
SEA
State Education Agency.
SEAC
Special Education Advisory Committee.
SECTION 504
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
SLD
Specific Learning Disability.
SLI
Speech/language Impairment.
SOL
Standards of Learning.
SLP
Speech Language Pathologist.
SP
Services Plan.
SPED
Special Education.
SSEAC
State Special Education Advisory Committee.
TBI
Traumatic Brain Injury.
USDOE
United States Department of Education.
VAAP
Virginia Alternative Assessment Program.
VCASE
Virginia Council of Administrators of Special Education.
VDOE
Virginia Department of Education.
VI
Visual Impairment.
Virginia Regulations
The Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children in Virginia
VSAP
Virginia State Assessment Program.
VSDB
Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton.

Definitions

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DEFINITIONS

The terms defined in this section represent frequently used terms associated with special education processes in PWCS. This is not an exhaustive list. Definitions are sourced from the Federal Regulations which govern the education of students with disabilities, 34 CFR Part 300, the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, January 25, 2010, and PWCS special education manuals.

Accommodations
Accommodations are practices and procedures in the areas of presentation, response, setting, and timing/scheduling of instruction which provide equitable access to assessment and/or instruction to students. Accommodations reduce or eliminate the effects of the student’s disability, but they do not reduce the learning expectations.
Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, P.L. 108-446, December 3, 2004, §1400 et seq. (34 CFR 300.4).
Administrative Designee
Refers to a Division employee who is:
  • Designated by the Office of Special Education (OSE) to act on behalf of the Director of Special Education;
  • Qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities;
  • Knowledgeable about the general curriculum;
  • Knowledgeable about the availability of division resources;
  • Authorized to commit division resources;
  • Responsible for the eligibility process;
  • Responsible for the provision of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE); and
  • Responsible for assuring Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).
Adverse Educational Impact
The term “educational" in adverse educational impact refers to academic, social, emotional, motor, communicative, cognitive, vocational, and/or behavioral impact which is evidenced during the school day. The degree to which the impact of the concern is “adverse" is determined by the eligibility group on a case-by-case basis.
Age of eligibility
All eligible children with disabilities who have not graduated with a standard or advanced studies high school diploma who, because of such disabilities, are in need of special education and related services, and whose second birthday falls on or before September 30, and who have not reached their 22nd birthday on or before September 30 (two to 21, inclusive) in accordance with the Code of Virginia. A child with a disability whose 22nd birthday is after September 30 remains eligible for the remainder of the school year (§ 22.1- 213 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.101(a) and 34 CFR 300.102(a)(3)(ii)).
Age of majority
The age when the procedural safeguards and other rights afforded to the parent(s) of a student with a disability transfer to the student. In Virginia, the age of majority is 18 (§ 1-204 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.520).
Agree or Agreement
See the definition for "consent."
Alternate Assessment
The state assessment program, and any school divisionwide assessment to the extent that the school division has one, for measuring student performance against alternate achievement standards for students with significant intellectual disabilities who are unable to participate in statewide Standards of Learning testing, even with accommodations (34 CFR 300.320(a)(2)(ii) and 34 CFR 300.704(b)(4)(x)).
Anecdotal Record
According to the American Association of School Administrators, 1992, The nongraded primary: Making schools fit children. Arlington, VA: an anecdotal record is "a written record kept of a child's progress based on milestones particular to that child's social, emotional, physical, aesthetic, and cognitive development." The teacher observes and then records a child's actions and work throughout the day while the activities are occurring. The recording is informal and typically is based on notes or a checklist with space for writing comments. It emphasizes "what a child can do and his or her achievements, as opposed to what he or she cannot do". It is useful for reporting a student's progress and achievements during parent-teacher conferences.
Antecedent
A "stimulus" or environmental event that precedes a behavior.
Assessment
Educational assessment is the process of documenting, usually in measurable terms, knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs.

The term assessment is generally used to refer to ongoing activities that a teacher may utilize to accurately describe a student’s skills and progress. Though the notion of assessment is generally more complicated than the following categories suggest, assessment is often divided for the sake of convenience using the following distinctions:
  1. formative and summative;
  2. objective and subjective;
  3. referencing (e.g. criterion-referenced, norm-referenced); and
  4. informal and formal.
Assistive Technology Device
Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of that device (34 CFR 300.5).
Assistive Technology Service
Any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. The term includes: (34 CFR 300.6)
  1. The evaluation of the needs of a child with a disability, including a functional evaluation of the child in the child's customary environment;
  2. Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by children with disabilities;
  3. Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
  4. Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
  5. Training or technical assistance for a child with a disability or, if appropriate, that child's family; and
  6. Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education or rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to employ or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of that child.
At no cost
All specially designed instruction is provided without charge but does not preclude incidental fees that are normally charged to students without disabilities or their parent(s) as part of the general education program (34 CFR 300.39(b)(1)).
Audiology
Services provided by a qualified audiologist licensed by the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology and includes: (Regulations Governing the Practice of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, 18VAC30-20; 34 CFR 300.34(c)(1))
  1. Identification of children with hearing loss;
  2. Determination of the range, nature, and degree of hearing loss, including referral for medical or other professional attention for the habilitation of hearing;
  3. Provision of habilitative activities, such as language habilitation, auditory training, speech reading (lip-reading), hearing evaluation, and speech conservation;
  4. Creation and administration of programs for prevention of hearing loss;
  5. Counseling and guidance of children, parents, and teachers regarding hearing loss; and
  6. Determination of children's needs for group and individual amplification, selecting and fitting an appropriate aid, and evaluating the effectiveness of amplification.
Autism
Means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.

Autism does not apply if a child's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance. A child who manifests the characteristics of autism after age three could be identified as having autism if the criteria in this definition are satisfied (34 CFR 300.8(c)(1)).
Avoidance
A behavior that prevents an event/stimulus from occurring.
Baseline Data
The occurrence of a behavior before an intervention. It provides comparison data between pre-intervention and post-intervention.
Behavior
Any observable and measurable act of an individual.
Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)
A plan that utilizes positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports to address behavior(s) of concern.
Behavior of Concern (BOC)
A behavior that is socially significant or a safety issue, that the team determines requires changing.
Business Day
Means Monday through Friday, 12 months of the year, exclusive of federal and state holidays (unless holidays are specifically included in the designation of business days, as in 8VAC20- 81-150 B 4 a (2)), (34 CFR 300.11).
Calendar Day
Means consecutive days, inclusive of Saturdays and Sundays. Whenever any period of time fixed by this chapter shall expire on a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state holiday, the period of time for taking such action under this chapter shall be extended to the next day, not a Saturday, Sunday, or federal or state holiday (34 CFR 300.11).
Career and Technical Education
Means organized educational activities that offer a sequence of courses that: (20 USC § 2301 et seq.)
  1. Provides individuals with the rigorous and challenging academic and technical knowledge and skills the individuals need to prepare for further education and for careers (other than careers requiring a master's or doctoral degree) in current or emerging employment sectors;
  2. May include the provision of skills or courses necessary to enroll in a sequence of courses that meet the requirements of this subdivision; or
  3. Provides, at the postsecondary level, for a one-year certificate, an associate degree, or industry-recognized credential and includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher- order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupational-specific skills.
Case Manager
The educator who is knowledgeable about the student, is responsible for managing the special education or 504 processes, ensures that accommodations are provided per IEP specifications, and delivers specialized instruction to the students eligible under IDEA and/or qualified under Section 504.
Caseload
The number of students served by special education personnel.
Central Office Eligibility
A special education eligibility meeting which includes staff from the OSE along with representatives from the school, as needed. Central office eligibilities may be conducted for a variety of reasons. They are commonly initiated as a result of requests from school administrators or by the OSE.
Central Office Review
A local Prince William County procedure which offers parents and school staff an informal method for resolving disputes prior to or after initiating a state mediation or due process appeal.
Change in Identification
A change in the categorical determination of the child's disability by the group that determines eligibility.
Change in Placement or Change of Placement
When the local educational agency places the child in a setting that is distinguishable from the educational environment to which the child was previously assigned and includes: (34 CFR 300.102(a)(3)(iii), 34 CFR 300.532(b)(2)(ii) and 34CFR 300.536)
  1. The child's initial placement from general education to special education and related services;
  2. The expulsion or long-term removal of a student with a disability;
  3. The placement change that results from a change in the identification of a disability;
  4. The change from a public school to a private day, residential, or state-operated program; from a private day, residential, or state-operated program to a public school; or to a placement in a separate facility for educational purposes;
  5. Termination of all special education and related services; or
  6. Graduation with a standard or advanced studies high school diploma.
A "change in placement" also means any change in the educational setting for a child with a disability that does not replicate the elements of the educational program of the child's previous setting.
For the purposes of discipline, means: (34 CFR 300.536)
  1. A removal of a student from the student's current educational placement is for more than 10 consecutive school days;
  2. or
  3. The student is subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern because they cumulate to more than 10 school days in a school year, and because of factors such as:
    1. The length of each removal;
    2. he child's behavior is substantially similar to the child's behavior in previous incidents that resulted in the series of removals;
    3. The total amount of time the student is removed; or
    4. The proximity of the removals to one another.
Chapter
Refers to the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, effective July 7, 2009.
Charter Schools
Any school meeting the requirements for charter as set forth in the Code of Virginia (§§ 22.1-212.5 through 22.1-212.16 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.7).
Child
Any person who shall not have reached his 22nd birthday by September 30 of the current year.
Child with a Disability
A child evaluated in accordance with the provisions of this chapter as having an intellectual disability, a hearing impairment (including deafness), a speech or language impairment, a visual impairment (including blindness), a serious emotional disability (referred to in this part as "emotional disability"), an orthopedic impairment, autism, traumatic brain injury, an other health impairment, a specific learning disability, deaf-blindness, or multiple disabilities who, by reason thereof, needs special education and related services. This also includes developmental delay if the local educational agency recognizes this category as a disability in accordance with 8VAC20-81-80 M 3. If it is determined through an appropriate evaluation that a child has one of the disabilities identified but only needs a related service and not special education, the child is not a child with a disability under this part. If the related service required by the child is considered special education rather than a related service under Virginia standards, the child would be determined to be a child with a disability (§ 22.1-213 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.8(a)(1) and 34 CFR 300.8(a)(2)(i) and (ii)).
Co-Teaching
A service delivery option with two or more professionals sharing responsibility for a group of students for some or all of the school day in order to combine their expertise to meet student needs.
Cognitive Impairment
See Intellectual Disability, Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, January 2010.
Collaboration
Interaction among professionals as they work toward a common goal. Teachers do not necessarily have to engage in co-teaching in order to collaborate.
Complaint
A request that the Virginia Department of Education investigate an alleged violation by a local educational agency of a right of a parent(s) of a child who is eligible or suspected to be eligible for special education and related services based on federal and state law and regulations governing special education or a right of such child. A complaint is a statement of some disagreement with procedures or process regarding any matter relative to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education (34 CFR 300.151).
Comprehensive Evaluation
For the purposes of eligibility, the term means an evaluation that assesses all areas of concern regarding a student’s academic and/or functional performance, even in areas not typically related to a suspected disability.
Comprehensive Services Act (CSA)
Establishes the collaborative administration and funding system for services for certain at-risk youths and their families (Chapter 52 (§ 2.2-5200 et seq.) of Title 2.2 of the Code of Virginia).
Consensus
An opinion held by all or most of general agreement.
Consent
(34 CFR 300.9)
  1. he parent(s) or eligible student has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought in the parent's(s') or eligible student's native language, or other mode of communication;
  2. he parent(s) or eligible student understands and agrees, in writing, to the carrying out of the activity for which consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom; and
  3. The parent(s) or eligible student understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent(s) or eligible student and may be revoked any time.
If a parent revokes consent, that revocation is not retroactive (i.e., it does not negate an action that has occurred after the consent was given and before the consent was revoked. Revocation ceases to be relevant after the activity for which consent was obtained was completed.).

The meaning of the term "consent" is not the same as the meaning of the term "agree" or "agreement." "Agree" or "agreement" refers to an understanding between the parent and the local educational agency about a particular matter and as required in this chapter. There is no requirement that an agreement be in writing, unless stated in this chapter. The local educational agency and parent(s) should document their agreement.
Consequence
Environmental events/ stimulus presented that occur right after the behavior.
Consult and Monitor
A service delivery option used to describe IEP services other than direct instruction. Consultation and monitoring are inherent in all IEP service delivery options. Consult/monitor means that (a) the special education teacher provides service on the IEP goals through collaborating with other professionals in order to make instructional decisions; and (b) collects data through a variety of methods to document student progress in order to make instructional decisions.
Continuum of Placement Options
From least to most restrictive, includes services delivered in general classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions (CFR 300.115).
Controlled Substances
A drug or other substance identified under schedules I, II, III, IV, or V in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances act in State and Federal Regulations.
Core Academic Subjects
Means English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics, and government, economics, arts, history, and geography (34 CFR 300.10).
Correctional Facility
Any state facility of the Virginia Department of Corrections or the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, any regional or local detention home, or any regional or local jail (§§ 16.1-228 and 53.1-1 of the Code of Virginia).
Counseling Services
Services provided by qualified visiting teachers, social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, or other qualified personnel (34 CFR 300.34(c)(2); Licensure Regulations for School Personnel (8VAC20-22)).
Dangerous Weapon
A weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance, animate or inanimate, that is used for or is readily capable of, causing death or bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade of less than three inches in length (18 USC § 930(g)(2); § 18.2-308.1 of the Code of Virginia).
Day
Calendar day unless otherwise indicated as business day or school day (34 CFR 300.11).
Deaf-Blindness
Simultaneous hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness (34 CFR 300.8(c)(2)).
Deafness
A hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects the child's educational performance (34 CFR 300.8(c) (3)).
Destruction of Information
Physical destruction or removal of personal identifiers from information so that the information is no longer personally identifiable (34 CFR 300.611(a)).
Developmental Delay
A disability affecting a child ages two by September 30 through six, inclusive: (34 CFR 300.8(b); 34 CFR 300.306(b))
  1. (i) Who is experiencing developmental delays, as measured by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures, in one or more of the following areas: physical development, cognitive development, communication development, social or emotional development, or adaptive development, or (ii) who has an established physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay;
  2. The delay(s) is not primarily a result of cultural factors, environmental or economic disadvantage, or limited English proficiency; and
    The presence of one or more documented characteristics of the delay has an adverse effect on educational performance and makes it necessary for the student to have specially designed instruction to access and make progress in the general educational activities for this age group.
Differential Reinforcement of an Incompatible Behavior (DRI)
A schedule of reinforcement in which a desired behavior is reinforced that is incompatible with the behavior of concern. For example: When out of seat behavior is selected for reduction, then in seat behavior is reinforced as it cannot coexist at the same time as out of seat behavior.
Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (DRO)
A schedule of reinforcement for which reinforcement occurs when the behavior of concern does not occur during a specified period of time.
Differentiation
An organized yet flexible way of proactively adjusting teaching and learning methods to accommodate each child's learning needs and preferences in order to achieve his or her maximum growth. It ensures that what a student learns, how he or she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he or she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning.
Direct Functional Behavior Assessment
Documentation of a behavior assessment which collects data on the behavior(s) of concern as they occur.
Direct Instruction
The explicit teaching of a skill-set.
Direct Services
Services provided to a child with a disability directly by the Virginia Department of Education, by contract, or through other arrangements (34 CFR 300.175).
Disability Category
Categories recognized in Virginia are: intellectual disability; deafness, hearing impairment; speech or language impairment; visual impairment; emotional disability; orthopedic impairment; autism; traumatic brain injury; other health impairment; specific learning disability; deaf-blindness; multiple disabilities; developmental delay; or student with a disability.
Discrete Trial
A series of learning opportunities with a definite beginning and end.
Due Process Hearing
An administrative procedure conducted by an impartial special education hearing officer to resolve disagreements regarding the identification, evaluation, educational placement and services, and the provision of a free appropriate public education that arise between a parent(s) and a local educational agency. A due process hearing involves the appointment of an impartial special education hearing officer who conducts the hearing, reviews evidence, and determines what is educationally appropriate for the child with a disability (34 CFR 300.507).
Duration
How long a behavior lasts.
Dyslexia
This term refers to a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Early Identification and Assessment of Disabilities
The implementation of a formal plan for identifying a disability as early as possible in a child's life (34 CFR 300.34(c)(3)).
Education Record
Those records that are directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. The term also has the same meaning as "scholastic record." In addition to written records, this also includes electronic exchanges between school personnel and parent(s) regarding matters associated with the child's educational program (e.g., scheduling of meetings or notices). This term also includes the type of records covered under the definition of "education record" in the regulations implementing the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (20 USC § 1232g(a)(3); § 22.1-289 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.611(b)).
Educational Performance
A student’s academic and non-academic behaviors which are required during the school day. Educational performance can be determined through various measures including grades, non-standardized and standardized test results, classroom observations, and curriculum-based assessments.
Educational Placement
The overall instructional setting in which the student receives his education including the special education and related services provided. Each local educational agency shall ensure that the parents of a child with a disability are members of the group that makes decisions on the educational placement of their child (34 CFR 300.327).
Educational Service Agencies and Other Public Institutions or Agencies
(34 CFR 300.12)
  1. Regional public multiservice agencies authorized by state law to develop, manage, and provide services or programs to local educational agencies;
  2. Recognized as an administrative agency for purposes of the provision of special education and related services provided within public elementary schools and secondary schools of the state;
  3. Any other public institution or agency having administrative control and direction over a public elementary school or secondary school; and
  4. Entities that meet the definition of intermediate educational unit in § 1402(23) of the Act as in effect prior to June 4, 1997.
Eligible Student
A child with a disability who reaches the age of majority and to whom the procedural safeguards and other rights afforded to the parent(s) are transferred.
Emotional Disability
This term refers to a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a student’s educational performance:
  1. An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
  2. An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
  3. Inappropriate types of behaviors or feelings under normal circumstances;
  4. A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
  5. A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
Emotional disability includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disability as defined.
Equal Access
Equal opportunity of a qualified person with a disability to participate in or benefit from educational aid, benefits, or services.
Equipment
Machinery, utilities, and built-in equipment, and any necessary enclosures or structures to house machinery, utilities, or equipment and all other items necessary for the functioning of a particular facility as a facility for the provision of educational services, including items such as instructional equipment and necessary furniture, printed, published and audio-visual instructional materials, telecommunications, sensory, and other technological aids and devices and books, periodicals, documents, and other related materials. (34 CFR 300.14)
Escape
A behavior that terminates an event/stimulus.
Evaluation
Procedures used in accordance with this chapter to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs. (34 CFR 300.15)
Excess Costs
Those costs that are in excess of the average annual per-student expenditure in a local educational agency during the preceding school year for an elementary school or secondary school student, as may be appropriate, and that shall be computed after deducting: (34 CFR 300.16)
  1. Amounts received:
    1. Under Part B of the Act;
    2. Under Part A of Title I of the ESEA; and
    3. Under Parts A and B of Title III of the ESEA; and
  2. Any state or local funds expended for programs that would qualify for assistance under any of the parts described in subdivision 1a of this definition but excluding any amounts for capital outlay or debt service.
Extended School Year Services
Special education and related services that: (34 CFR 300.106(b))
  1. Are provided to a child with a disability:
    1. Beyond the normal school year of the local educational agency;
    2. In accordance with the child's individualized education program;
    3. At no cost to the parent(s) of the child; and
  2. Meet the standards established by the Virginia Department of Education.
Extinction
Withholding the reinforcers that maintain the behavior of concern (BOC) to reduce the occurrence of the behavior of concern.
Fading
Gradually reducing the strength or rate of a prompt or other help or cue.
Federal Financial Assistance
Any grant, loan, contract or any other arrangement by which the U.S. Department of Education provides or otherwise makes available assistance in the form of funds, services of federal personnel, or real and personal property (34 CFR 104.3(h)).
Formal Observation (Direct Observation)
An observation that is personally seen (or heard) by the observer and immediately recorded.
Free Appropriate Public Education or FAPE
Special education and related services that: (34 CFR 300.17)
  1. Are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;
  2. Meet the standards of the Virginia Board of Education;
  3. Include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, middle school or secondary school education in Virginia; and
  4. Are provided in conformity with an individualized education program that meets the requirements of this chapter.
Frequency
The number of times a behavior occurs during an observation period.
Function Based Intervention
Using interventions that are based on “why" a behavior of concern is occurring (decreases the BOC while increasing the replacement behavior).
Function of Behavior
“Why" a behavior is occurring (Gain attention, Gain tangibles/activities, Escape/Avoid, Gain Sensory Stimulation).
Functional Behavior Assessment
A process to determine the underlying cause or functions of a student’s behavior that impede the learning of the student or the learning of the student’s peers.
General Curriculum (“General Education")
The same curriculum used with children without disabilities adopted by a local educational agency, schools within the local educational agency or, where applicable, the Virginia Department of Education for all children from preschool through secondary school. The term relates to content of the curriculum and not to the setting in which it is taught.
Generalization
Transferring a skill taught in one place, or with one person, to other places and people.
Graphs
Visual display of collected objective information on behavior like frequency, duration, intensity, and latency that allow a team to view the data over time.
Hearing Impairment
An impairment in hearing in one or both ears, with or without amplification, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child's educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in this section (34 CFR 300.8(c)(5)).
Highly Qualified Special Education Teacher
A teacher has met the requirements as specified in 34 CFR 300.18 for special education teachers in general, for special education teachers teaching core academic subjects, for special education teachers teaching to alternate achievement standards, or for special education teachers teaching multiple subjects as it applies to their teaching assignment (34 CFR 300.18).
Home-based Instruction
Services that are delivered in the home setting (or other agreed upon setting) in accordance with the child's individualized education program.
Homebound Instruction
Academic instruction provided to students who are confined at home or in a health care facility for periods that would prevent normal school attendance based upon certification of need by a licensed physician or licensed clinical psychologist. For a child with a disability, the IEP team shall determine the delivery of services, including the number of hours of services (Regulations Establishing Standards for Accrediting Public Schools in Virginia, 8VAC20-131-180).
Home Instruction
Instruction of a child or children by a parent(s), guardian or other person having control or charge of such child or children as an alternative to attendance in a public or private school in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Virginia. This instruction may also be termed home schooling (§ 22.1-254.1 of the Code of Virginia).
Homeless Children
The term "homeless children and youth" in § 725 (42 USC § 11434a) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended, 42 USC § 11431 et seq. and listed below: (34 CFR 300.19) The term "homeless children and youth" means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence within the meaning of § 103(a)(1) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act and includes the following:
  1. Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to a lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
  2. Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings within the meaning of § 103(a)(2)(C);
  3. Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
  4. Migratory children (as such term is defined in § 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless because the children are living in circumstances described in subdivisions 1 through 3 of this definition.
The term "unaccompanied youth" includes a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.
Home Tutoring
Instruction by a tutor or teacher with qualifications prescribed by the Virginia Board of Education, as an alternative to attendance in a public or private school and approved by the division superintendent in accordance with the provisions of the Code of Virginia. This tutoring is not home instruction as defined in the Code of Virginia (§ 22.1-254 of the Code of Virginia).
Hypothesis
A statement of the relationship of the antecedent(s) to the behavior of concern followed by the given consequence(s) that predicts the function of the behavior.
Illegal Drug
A controlled substance, but does not include a controlled substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under the Controlled Substances Act, 21 USC § 812(c), or under any other provision of federal law (34 CFR 300.530(i)(2)).
Impartial Special Education Hearing Officer
The person, selected from a list maintained by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court of Virginia to conduct a due process hearing.
Implementation Plan
The plan developed by the local education agency designed to operationalize the decision of the hearing officer in cases that are fully adjudicated.
Inclusive Practices
Behaviors which welcome every student into the school community and all school activities.
Incompatible Behavior
Behaviors which an individual cannot do at the same time. For example: sitting and standing are incompatible.
Indirect Data Collection
Data collected via records review, interviews, and/or work samples.
Independent Educational Evaluation
An evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner or examiners who are not employed by the local educational agency responsible for the education of the child in question (34 CFR 300.502 (a)(3)(i)).
Individualized Education Program or IEP
A written statement for a child with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a team meeting in accordance with this chapter. The IEP specifies the individual educational needs of the child and what special education and related services are necessary to meet the child's educational needs (34 CFR 300.22).
Individualized Education Program Team
A group of individuals described in 8VAC20-81-110 that is responsible for developing, reviewing, or revising an IEP for a child with a disability (34 CFR 300.23).
Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) under Part C of the Act
A written plan for providing early intervention services to an infant or toddler with a disability eligible under Part C and to the child's family (34 CFR 303.24; 20 USC § 636).
Infant and Toddler with a Disability
A child, ages birth to two, inclusive, whose birthday falls on or before September 30, or who is eligible to receive services in the Part C early intervention system up to age three, and who: (§2.2-5300 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.25)
  1. Has delayed functioning;
  2. Manifests atypical development or behavior;
  3. Has behavioral disorders that interfere with acquisition of developmental skills; or
  4. Has a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in delay, even though no current delay exists.
Informed Parental Consent
See “Consent."
Initial Placement
The first placement for the child to receive special education and related services in either a local educational agency, other educational service agency, or other public agency or institution for the purpose of providing special education or related services.
Instructional Level
The instructional level is the level at which a student can perform with assistance from a teacher.
Intellectual Disability
Significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a child's educational performance (34 CFR 300.8(c)(6)).
Intensity
The force with which a behavior occurs.
Interim Alternative Education Setting
A term for an educational setting and program other than the student’s current placement that enables the student to continue to receive educational services according to his or her Individualized Education Program.
Interpreting Services
As used with respect to children who are deaf or hard of hearing, means services provided by personnel who meet the qualifications set forth under 8VAC20-81-40 and includes oral transliteration services, cued speech/language transliteration services, sign language transliteration and interpreting services, and transcription services, such as communication access real-time translation (CART), C-Print, and TypeWell and interpreting services for children who are deaf-blind. A child who is not deaf or hard of hearing, but who has language deficits, may receive interpreting services as directed by the child's Individualized Education Program. (Regulations Governing Interpreter Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing 22VAC20-30; 34 CFR 300.34(c)(4)(i))
Intervention
The process used to impose changes.
Intervention Team
Formerly referred to as the Child Study Committee, is a multidisciplinary, problem solving team. This team meets regularly to identify, implement, and make recommendations related to specific student needs.
Latency
Refers to how much time passes between a prompt or initial event of some kind and the occurrence of the behavior.
Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and that special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the general educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in general classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. (34 CFR 300.114 through 34 CFR 300.120)
Level I Service
The provision of special education to children with disabilities for less than 50% of their instructional school day (excluding intermission for meals). The time that a child receives special education services is calculated on the basis of special education services described in the individualized education program, rather than the location of services.
Level II Service
The provision of special education and related services to children with disabilities for 50% or more of the instructional school day (excluding intermission for meals). The time that a child receives special education services is calculated on the basis of special education services described in the individualized education program, rather than the location of services.
Limited English Proficient
With respect to an individual:
(20 USC § 7801(25); 34 CFR 300.27)
  1. Who is aged 2 through 21;
  2. Who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school; or
  3. Who:
    1. Was not born in the United States or whose native language is a language other than English;
    2. Is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas, and comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency; or
    3. Is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and
  4. Whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual:
    1. The ability to meet Virginia's proficient level of achievement on Virginia's assessments;
    2. The ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
    3. The opportunity to participate fully in society.
Local Educational Agency (LEA)
A local school division governed by a local school board, a state- operated program that is funded and administered by the Commonwealth of Virginia or the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton. Neither state-operated programs nor the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton are considered a school division as that term is used in these regulations (§ 22.1-346 C of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.28).
Long-term Placement
If used in reference to state- operated programs as outlined in 8VAC20-81-30 H, means those hospital placements that are not expected to change in status or condition because of the child's medical needs.
Long-term Removal
Any removal from the current placement by the school administrator for more than 10 consecutive school days in a school year; or, when the student is subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern:
  1. Because they accumulate more than 10 school days in a school year;
  2. Because the student’s behavior is substantially similar to the student’s behavior in previous incidents that resulted in a series of removals; and
  3. Because of such additional factors such as the length of each removal, the total amount of time the student is removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another.
Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)
A process to examine all relevant information and the relationship between the student’s disability and the behavior subject to the disciplinary action.
Mass Screening
Generally, refers to screenings performed on all students. An example would be the mass health screenings required by Virginia regulations to be completed within 60 days of a student entering the public schools or at regular intervals in grades 3, 7, and 10.
Mediation
A process to resolve disputes between parents of a student with a disability and local educational agencies including the identification, evaluation, or educational placement and services of the student, the provision of a free appropriate public education to the student and matters arising prior to the filing of a state complaint or request for a due process hearing. Mediation is available to resolve these issues at any time a joint request is made to the Virginia Department of Education from a school representative and a parent. Detailed information can be found in Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, January 2010.
Medical Services
Services provided by a licensed physician or nurse practitioner to determine a child's medically related disability that results in the child's need for special education and related services (§ 22.1-270 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.34(c)(5)).
Modifications
Changing (generally to reduce) the curriculum or accompanying assessment expectations. Modifications may result in implications which adversely affect a student throughout his/her educational career (Graduation options may be limited).
Motivator
An item or action that increases the occurrence of the behavior it proceeds.
Multiple Disabilities
Simultaneous impairments (such as intellectual disability with blindness, intellectual disability with orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness (34 CFR 300.8(c)(7)).
National Instructional Materials Center (NIMAC)
The national center established to do the following: (34 CFR 300.172)
  1. Receive and maintain a catalog of print instructional materials prepared in the NIMAS, as established by the U.S. Secretary of Education, made available to such center by the textbook publishing industry, state educational agencies, and local educational agencies;
  2. Provide access to print instructional materials, including textbooks, in accessible media,
  3. free of charge, to blind or other persons with print disabilities in elementary schools and secondary schools, in accordance with such terms and procedures as the NIMAC may prescribe; and
  4. Develop, adopt and publish procedures to protect against copyright infringement, with respect to print instructional materials provided in accordance with the Act.
National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS)
The standard established by the United States Secretary of Education to be used in the preparation of electronic files suitable and used solely for efficient conversion of print instructional materials into specialized formats. (34 CFR 300.172)
Native Language
If used with reference to an individual of limited English proficiency, means the language normally used by that individual, or, in the case of a child, the language normally used by the parent(s) of the child, except in all direct contact with a child (including evaluation of the child), the language normally used by the child in the home or learning environment. For an individual with deafness or blindness, or for an individual with no written language, the mode of communication is that normally used by the individual (such as sign language, Braille, or oral communication) (34 CFR 300.29).
Nonacademic Services and Extracurricular Services
May include counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the local educational agency, referrals to agencies that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities, and employment of students, including both employment by the local educational agency and assistance in making outside employment available (34 CFR 300.107(b)).
Notice
Written statements in English or in the primary language of the home of the parent(s), or, if the language or other mode of communication of the parent(s) is not a written language, oral communication in the primary language of the home of the parent(s). If an individual is deaf or blind, or has no written language, the mode of communication would be that normally used by the individual (such as sign language, Braille, or oral communication) (34 CFR 300.503(c)).
Observation
May be formal or informal and must be conducted by a qualified individual to gain more information about an individual student.
Occupational Therapy
Services provided by a qualified occupational therapist or services provided under the direction or supervision of a qualified occupational therapist and includes: (Regulations Governing the Licensure of Occupational Therapists (18VAC85-80-10 et seq.); 34 CFR 300.34(c)(6))
  1. Improving, developing, or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation;
  2. Improving ability to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired or lost; and
  3. Preventing, through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function.
Operant Conditioning
A type of learning in which an individual's behavior is modified by its antecedents and consequences.
Operational Definition
Providing a concrete, specific description of a behavior.
Orientation & Mobility
Services provided to students who are blind or visually impaired by qualified personnel to enable those students to attain systematic orientation to and safe movement within their environments in school, home, and community; and includes travel training instruction, and teaching students the following, as appropriate:
  1. Spatial and environmental concepts and use of information received by the senses (e.g. sound, temperature, and vibration) to establish, maintain, or regain orientation and line or travel (e.g. using sound at a traffic light to cross the street);
  2. To use the long cane or service animal to supplement visual travel skills or as a tool for safely negotiating the environment for students with no available travel vision;
  3. To understand and use remaining vision and distance low vision aids; and
  4. Other concepts, techniques, and tools.
Orthopedic Impairment
A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures) (34 CFR 300.8(c)(8)).
Other Health Impairment
Having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever,and sickle cell anemia and Tourette syndrome that adversely affects a child's educational performance (34 CFR 300.8(c)(9)).
Paraprofessional
Also known as paraeducator, an appropriately trained employee who assists and is supervised by qualified professional staff in meeting the requirements of this chapter (34 CFR 300.156(b)(2)(iii).
Parent
As defined by (§ 20-124.6 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 99.4 and 34 CFR 300.30)
  1. Persons who meet the definition of “parent";
    1. A biological or adoptive parent of a student;
    2. A foster parent:
      1. If the biological parent(s)’ authority to make educational decisions on the student’s behalf has been extinguished under the law
      2. The student is in permanent foster care pursuant to the Code of Virginia or comparable law in another state; and
      3. The foster parent has an ongoing, long-term parental relationship with the student, is willing to make the educational decisions required of the parent under this chapter, and has no interest that would conflict with the interest of the student;
    3. A guardian generally authorized to act as the student’s parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the student (but not guardian ad litem, or the state if the student is a ward of the state);
    4. An individual acting in the place of a natural or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, step-parent, or other relative) with whom the student lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the student’s welfare;
    5. A surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with requirements detailed under 8VAC20
    6. A minor who is emancipated under § 16.1-333 of the Code of Virginia.
  2. If a judicial decree or order identifies a specific person(s) under subdivisions 1a through 1e of this subsection to act as the parent of a student or to make educational decisions on behalf of a student, then such person(s) shall be determined to be the parent for purposes of this definition.
  3. Parent does not include local or state agencies or their agents, including local departments of social services, even if the student is in the custody of such an agency.
  4. The biological or adoptive parent, when attempting to act as the parent under this chapter and when more than one parent is qualified under this section to act as a parent, shall be presumed to be the parent for purposes of this section unless the natural or adoptive parent does not have legal authority to make educational decisions for the student.
  5. Noncustodial parents whose parental rights have not been terminated are entitled to all parent rights and responsibilities available under this chapter, including access to their child’s records.
  6. Custodial stepparents have the right to access the student’s record. Noncustodial stepparents do not have the right to access the student’s record.
  7. A validly married minor who has not pursued emancipation under § 16.1-333 of the code of Virginia may assert implied emancipation based on the minor’s marriage record and, thus, assumes responsibilities of “parent" under this chapter.
Parent Counseling and Training
Assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child, providing parents with information about child development, and helping parents to acquire the necessary skills that will allow them to support the implementation of their child's IEP or IFSP (34 CFR 300.34(c)(8)).
Participating Agency
A state or local agency (including a Comprehensive Services Act team), other than the local educational agency responsible for a student's education, that is financially and legally responsible for providing transition services to the student. The term also means any agency or institution that collects, maintains, or uses personally identifiable information, or from which information is obtained under Part B of the Act (34 CFR 300.611(c), 34 CFR 300.324(c) and 34 CFR 300.321(b)(3)).
Pattern
Series of short-term removals that constitute a pattern of removals:
  • Because the removals cumulate to more than 10 school days in a school year;
  • Because the child’s behavior is substantially similar to the child’s behavior in previous incidents that results in the series of removals; and
  • Because of such additional factors such as the length of each removal, the total amount of time the student is removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another (8VAC20-81-160).
Pattern of Behavior
A recurrent way of acting by an individual or group toward a given object or in a given situation.
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)
A unique augmentative/alternative communication system developed for use with children and adults with autism and other social communication deficits. People using PECS are taught to exchange a picture of a desired item with a “teacher," who immediately honors the request.
People First Language
Language that puts the person before the disability, and describes what a person has, not who a person is. Students identified with a disability are students first. Examples of people first language:
  • He has a cognitive disability;
  • She has a developmental delay;
  • He receives special education services;
  • He has a diagnosis of Down syndrome;
  • She communicates with her eyes/device/etc;
  • She has a learning disability; and,
  • He has a mental health diagnosis.
Performance Deficit
When a student has the skills to do the appropriate behavior, but either chooses not to do so or, for reasons such as anxiety, anger, frustration, or a medical condition, cannot perform the behavior.
Personally Identifiable
Information that contains the following: (34 CFR 300.32)
  1. The name of the child, the child's parent, or other family member;
  2. The address of the child;
  3. A personal identifier, such as the child's social security number or student number; or
  4. A list of personal characteristics or other information that would make it possible to identify the child with reasonable certainty.
Physical Education
The development of: (34 CFR 300.39(b)(2))
  1. Physical and motor fitness;
  2. Fundamental motor skills and patterns; and
  3. Skills in aquatics, dance, and individual and group games and sports (including intramural and lifetime sports). The term includes special physical education, adapted physical education, movement education, and motor development.
Physical Therapy
Services provided by a qualified physical therapist or under the direction or supervision of a qualified physical therapist upon medical referral and direction (Regulations Governing the Practice of Physical Therapy, 18VAC112-20; 34 CFR 300.34(c)(9)).
Planned Ignoring
Deliberate withholding of attention, verbal interaction, and physical contact for a short duration.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
A nationally recognized approach to support positive academic and behavioral outcomes for all students. Through focused attention on data collection and analyses, PBIS provides a framework of proactive, evidence-based prevention and intervention behavioral strategies that aid schools in defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors in a positive school culture.
Precorrections
Specific behavioral prompts that remind students of the expected actions/behaviors.
Present Level of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance (PLP)
Provides a statement which is required as part of an Individualized Education Program. The statement is the basis for the areas of need and the annual goals that will follow. The PLP describes the student’s present level of educational performance and the impact of the student’s disability in relation to his/her access and progress in the general curriculum. For preschool students, the PLP describes how the disability affects the student’s participation in appropriate activities. The PLP is written in objective, measurable terms using specific data.
Preventions
The action of stopping something from happening or arising.
Prior Written Notice (PWN)
Written information provided to parents when the school division proposes or refuses to initiate a change in the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a student, or the provision of a free appropriate public education.
Private School Children with Disabilities
Children with disabilities enrolled by their parent(s) in private, including religious, schools or facilities that meet the definition of elementary school or secondary school as defined in this section other than children with disabilities who are placed in a private school by a local school division or a Comprehensive Services Act team in accordance with 8VAC20-81-150. (34 CFR 300.130)
Proactive
Creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened.
Procedural Safeguards
A series of rights under the IDEA set forth at 8VAC20-81-170. See also, document entitled “Your Family’s Special Education Rights in Virginia" which informs parents of their special education rights including how families and schools can resolve problems.
Program
The special education and related services, including accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, as determined by a child's individualized education program.
Prompts
Input that encourages a student to perform a behavior or activity.
Proper Notice
The amount of time and the method by which parents are informed and provided the opportunity to participate in meetings regarding special education decisions relating to their child.
Proximity
Standing or sitting close to student(s) to decrease undesired behavior(s) while increasing desired behavior(s).
Psychological Services
Those services provided by a qualified psychologist or under the direction or supervision of a qualified psychologist, including: (34 CFR 300.34(c)(10))
  1. Administering psychological and educational tests, and other assessment procedures;
  2. Interpreting assessment results;
  3. Obtaining, integrating, and interpreting information about child behavior and conditions relating to learning;
  4. Consulting with other staff members in planning school programs to meet the special needs of children as indicated by psychological tests, interviews, direct observation, and behavioral evaluations;
  5. Planning and managing a program of psychological services, including psychological counseling for children and parents; and
  6. Assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies.
Public Expense
The local educational agency either pays for the full cost of the service or evaluation or ensures that the service or evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent(s) (34 CFR 300.502(a)(3)(ii)).
Public Notice
The process by which certain information is made available to the general public. Public notice procedures may include, but not be limited to, newspaper advertisements, radio announcements, television features and announcements, handbills, brochures, electronic means, and other methods that are likely to succeed in providing information to the public.
Qualified Person who has a Disability
A "qualified handicapped person" as defined in the federal regulations implementing the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 USC § 701 et seq.).
Qualify/Eligible
A "qualified handicapped person" as defined in the federal regulations implementing the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 USC § 701 et seq.).
Qualitative Data
Deals with descriptions, it is data that can be observed but not measured (Anecdotal).
Quantitative Data
Data that can be expressed as a number or quantified (Frequency, duration, latency).
Recreation
Includes: (34 CFR 30.34(c)(11))
  1. Assessment of leisure function;
  2. Therapeutic recreation services;
  3. Recreation program in schools and community agencies; and
  4. Leisure education.
Redirection
The act of helping a student to re-focus on whatever they are being asked to do at a given point in time.
Reevaluation/ Three Year Reevaluation
A reevaluation must occur at least every three years to determine that a student continues to require specialized instruction. A reevaluation may be requested by the student’s parent, teacher, or other authority.
Rehabilitative Counseling Services
Services provided by qualified personnel in individual or group sessions that focus specifically on career development, employment preparation, achieving independence, and integration in the workplace and community of a student with a disability. The term also includes vocational rehabilitation services provided to students with disabilities by vocational rehabilitation programs funded under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC § 701 et seq.), as amended (34 CFR 300.34(c)(12)).
Reinforcer
An event/item/action that increases the occurrence of the behavior it follows.
Reinforcement
An event/item/action which maintains or increases the probability of a behavior.
Reinforcement Inventory/Menu
Also known as preference assessment. A list of action/event/items that the student can choose from for reinforcement. Can also be a historical record of previous reinforcers.
Related Services
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. Related services do not include a medical device that is surgically implanted including cochlear implants, the optimization of device functioning (e.g., mapping), maintenance of the device, or the replacement of that device. The list of related services is not exhaustive and may include other developmental, corrective, or supportive services (such as artistic and cultural programs, and art, music and dance therapy), if they are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education (§ 22.1-213 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.34(a).
Removal
Excluding the student from the student’s current educational placement, generally, due to inappropriate behavior.
Removal from School
When a student is excluded from school by the LEA for any reason. This includes in-school suspension and suspension from the bus.
Replacement Behavior
The replacement of an undesired behavior with a specific desired behavior that meets the same function of the undesired behavior.
Respondent Conditioning
Also known as classical conditioning, a type of learning in which an individual's behavior is consistently elicited by a reflexive or classically conditioned stimulus.
Response to Intervention (RtI)
Refers to a tiered, proactive intervention approach for students experiencing educational challenges in the general curriculum. If the student does not respond to targeted, scientifically-based interventions, the student may be referred to determine special education eligibility using documentation from interventions used from RtI process in the eligibility decision.
School Day
Any day, including a partial day, that children are in attendance at school for instructional purposes. The term has the same meaning for all children in school, including children with and without disabilities (34 CFR 300.11).
School Health Services and School Nurse Services
Health services that are designed to enable a child with a disability to receive FAPE as described in the child's IEP. School nurse services are services provided by a qualified school nurse. School health services are services that may be provided by either a qualified school nurse or other qualified person (Chapter 30 (§ 54.1-3000 et seq.) of Title 54.1 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.34(c)(13)).
Scientifically Based Research
Research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs and includes research that: (20 USC § 9501(18); 34 CFR 300.35)
  1. Employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;
  2. Involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn;
  3. Relies on measurements or observational methods that provide reliable and valid data across evaluators and observers, across multiple measurements and observations, and across studies by the same or different investigators;
  4. Is evaluated using experimental or quasi- experimental designs in which individuals, entities, programs, or activities are assigned to different conditions and with appropriate controls to evaluate the effects of the condition of interest, with a preference for random- assignment experiments, or other designs to the extent that those designs contain within- condition or across-condition controls;
  5. Ensures that experimental studies are presented in sufficient detail and clarity to allow for replication or, at a minimum, offer the opportunity to build systematically on their findings; and
  6. Has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review.
Screening
Those processes that are used routinely with all students to identify previously unrecognized needs and that may result in a referral for special education and related services or other referral or intervention.
Section 504
That section of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, which is designed to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance (29 USC § 701 et seq.).
Separate Incidents of Misconduct
Misconduct occurring at different times.
Serious Bodily Injury
Bodily injury that involves substantial risk of death, extreme physical pain, protracted and obvious disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ or mental faculty (18 USC § 1365(h)(3); 34 CFR 300.530(i)(3)).
Services Plan
A written statement that describes the special education and related services the local educational agency will provide to a parentally placed child with a disability enrolled in a private school who has been designated to receive services, including the location of the services and any transportation necessary, and is developed and implemented in accordance with 8VAC20-81-150 (34 CFR 300.37).
Setting Events
The context in which a behavior occurs, either immediately before the behavior (antecedent/fast trigger), or long in advance of the behavior (distal antecedent/slow trigger).
Severe Disabilities
This term is no longer used. See Intellectual Disability.
Severity
The magnitude or amount of variation in the behavior.
Short-term Removal
A removal for a period up to ten consecutive school days or ten cumulative school days in one school year.
  • School personnel may implement a short–term removal of a student with a disability from the student’s current educational setting to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension, to the extent those alternatives are applied to a student without disabilities.
  • Additional short-term removals may be given to a student with a disability in a school year for separate incidents of misconduct as long as the removals do not constitute a pattern [of removals].
  • If the short-term removals constitute a pattern, the requirements for long-term removals must be implemented.
  • PWCS staff determines when isolated, short-term removals for unrelated instances of misconduct are considered a pattern.
  • ohese removals only constitute a change in placement if PWCS staff determines there is a pattern.
Skill Deficit
When a student does not perform a desired behavior, because the student does not know how.
Small Group Instruction
Refers to a reduced-size group, which enables students to receive more individualized instruction and feedback.
Social Work Services in Schools
Those services provided by a school social worker or qualified visiting teacher, including: (Licensure Regulations for School Personnel, 8VAC20-22-660; 34 CFR 300.34(c)(14))
  1. Preparing a social or developmental history on a child with a disability;
  2. Group and individual counseling with the child and family;
  3. Working in partnership with parents and others on those problems in a child's living situation (home, school, and community) that affect the child's adjustment in school;
  4. Mobilizing school and community resources to enable the child to learn as effectively as possible in the child's educational program; and
  5. Assisting in developing positive behavioral intervention strategies for the child.
A local educational agency, in its discretion, may expand the role of a school social worker or visiting teacher beyond those services identified in this definition, as long as the expansion is consistent with other state laws and regulations, including licensure.
Socially Significant
Behavior that is important for an individual to do (or not do) in order to successfully function within their environment. The extent to which an undesired behavior impacts a student’s functioning/learning and/or that of others.
Special Class
A classroom taught by a special education teacher in which only special education students are enrolled. It is sometimes referred to as a self-contained class.
Special Education
Specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent(s), to meet the unique needs of a student with a disability, including instruction conducted in a classroom, in the home, in hospitals, in institutions, and in other settings and instruction in physical education. This term includes each of the following if it meets the requirements of the definition of special education: (§ 22.1-213 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.39)
  1. Speech-language pathology services or any other related service, if the service is considered special education rather than a related service under state standards;
  2. Vocational education; and
  3. Travel training.
Special Education Hearing Officer
The term "impartial hearing officer" as that term is used in the Act and its federal implementing regulations.
Specially Designed Instruction
Adapting, as appropriate to the needs of an eligible child under this chapter, the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction: (34 CFR 300.39(b)(3))
  1. To address the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability; and
  2. To ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards that apply to all children within the jurisdiction of the local educational agency.
Specific Learning Disability
A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; of intellectual disabilities; of emotional disabilities; of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage. (§ 22.1-213 of the Code of Virginia; 34 CFR 300.8(c)(10)) Dyslexia is distinguished from other learning disabilities due to its weakness occurring at the phonological level. Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.
Speech or Language Impairment
A communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, expressive or receptive language impairment, or voice impairment that adversely affects a child's educational performance (34 CFR 300.8(c)(11)).
Speech-Language Pathology Services (34 CFR 300.34(c)(15))
  1. Identification of children with speech or language impairments;
  2. Diagnosis and appraisal of specific speech or language impairments;
  3. Referral for medical or other professional attention necessary for the habilitation of speech or language impairments;
  4. Provision of speech and language services for the habilitation or prevention of communicative impairments; and
  5. Counseling and guidance of parents, children, and teachers regarding speech and language impairments.
State Assessment Program
The state assessment program in Virginia under the Act that is the component of the state assessment system used for accountability.
State Educational Agency
The Virginia Department of Education (34 CFR 300.41).
State-operated Programs
Programs that provide educational services to children and youth who reside in facilities according to the admissions policies and procedures of those facilities that are the responsibility of state boards, agencies, or institutions (§§ 22.1-7, 22.1-340 and 22.1-345 of the Code of Virginia).
Standards-Based Education
Uses the Standards of Learning curriculum as the basis for designing instruction and assessment. Student performance is used to determine the effectiveness of the instruction for the particular content with a group of learners, as well as necessary adjustments to instruction.
Stay Put Provision
When there is a disagreement between the school division and the parent(s), a student with a disability remains in the current educational placement until the disagreement is resolved, unless the division and parents otherwise agree.
Strategic Instruction
A set of specific steps that leads to a desired outcome. Instructional strategies must be directly taught and modeled by the teacher. Students must be given many opportunities to practice the strategy. Over time, the instructional strategies taught by the teacher become internalized by students as learning strategies. Strategic instruction teaches students to understand a strategy, procedures to use the strategy, and usefulness of the strategy. These are required components when teaching new strategies to students so that they understand when and why to use them.
Supplementary Aids and Services
Aids, services, and other supports that are provided in general education classes or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with children without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with this chapter (34 CFR 300.42).
Surrogate Parent
A person appointed in accordance with procedures set forth in this chapter to ensure that children are afforded the protection of procedural safeguards and the provision of a free appropriate public education (34 CFR 300.519).
Task Analysis
The process of breaking down a complex skill into its component parts.
Team Teaching
A teaching method in which two or more teachers teach the same subject/theme. The teachers may alternate teaching the entire group or divide the group into sections or classes that rotate between the teachers. Team teaching involves a group of instructors working purposefully, regularly, and cooperatively to help a group of students of any age learn. Together, teachers set goals for a course, design a syllabus, prepare lesson plans, teach students, and evaluate results.
Termination of Services/No Longer Eligible/ Declassify
Occurs when the eligibility group determines that the student is no longer a student with a disability who needs special education and related services and parental consent for termination has been secured. The local educational agency shall evaluate the student before determining the student is no longer eligible.
Threat Assessment
A PWCS general education process. It is a fact-based process relying primarily on an appraisal of behaviors to identify potentially dangerous or violent situations and address them. When conducted for students with disabilities, the protections of the IDEA must also be maintained.
Time Sampling
An observable recording system in which an observation period is divided into equal intervals to measure the presence/absence of behavior following specified time intervals. Can be partial, whole, or interval sampling.
Timely Manner
If used with reference to the requirement for National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard, means that the local educational agency shall take all reasonable steps to provide instructional materials in accessible formats to children with disabilities who need those instructional materials at the same time as other children receive instructional materials (34 CFR 300.172(b)(4)).
Transfer from Part C (Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities) Services
Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) to be taken to support the transition of the child to: (34 CFR 300.124)
  1. Early childhood special education to the extent that those services are appropriate;
  2. Or other services that may be available, if appropriate.
Transfer Student
A student who moves into the Division from another school division during the same school year is considered a transfer student.
Transition Plan
A coordinated set of activities designed to assist students with disabilities as they transition between education levels. Most commonly used for transition from high school to adulthood, this plan is required to be included in the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 14 years old and is then updated annually thereafter.
Transition Services
“Secondary Transition Services" means a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that is designed within a results-oriented process that: (34 CFR 300.43)
  1. Is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the student with a disability to facilitate the student’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation.
  2. Is based on the individual student’s needs, taking into account the student’s strengths, preferences, and interests and includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.
Transition services for students with disabilities may be special education, if provided as specially designed instruction, or related services, if they are required to assist a student with a disability to benefit from special education.
Transportation
  1. (34 CFR 300.34(c)(16))
  2. Travel to and from school and between schools;
  3. Travel in and around school buildings; and
  4. Specialized equipment (such as special or adapted buses, lifts, and ramps), if required to provide special transportation for a child with a disability.
Traumatic Brain Injury
An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Traumatic brain injury applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem- solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma (34 CFR 300.8(c)(12)).
Travel Training
Providing instruction, as appropriate, to children with significant cognitive disabilities, and any other children with disabilities who require this instruction, to enable them to: (34 CFR 300.39(b)(4))
  1. Develop an awareness of the environment in which they live; and
  2. Learn the skills necessary to move effectively and safely from place to place within that environment (e.g., in school, in the home, at work, and in the community).
Triggers
An antecedent that repeatedly occurs and creates an association which leads to the occurrence of an undesired behavior.
Universal Design
Has the meaning given the term in § 3 of the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, as amended, 29 USC § 3002. The term "universal design" means a concept or philosophy for designing and delivering products and services that are usable by people with the widest possible range of functional capabilities, which include products and services thatare directly usable (without requiring assistive technologies) and products and services that are made usable with assistive technologies (34 CFR 300.44).
VAAP
Measures alternate achievement standards (Aligned Standards of Learning) for students with significant intellectual disabilities who are unable to participate in Standards of Learning testing even with accommodations.
Virginia Regulations
Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia.
Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (VSDB) at Staunton
The Virginia school under the operational control of the Virginia Board of Education. The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall approve the education programs of this school (§ 22.1-346 of the Code of Virginia).
Visual Impairment including Blindness
An impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness (34 CFR 300.8(c)(13)).
Vocational Education
For the purposes of special education, means organized educational programs that are directly related to the preparation of individuals for paid or unpaid employment or for additional preparation for a career not requiring a baccalaureate or advanced degree, and includes career and technical education (34 CFR 300.39(b) (5)).
Ward of the State
A child who, as determined by the state where the child resides is: (34 CFR 300.45)
  1. A foster child;
  2. A ward of the state; or
  3. In the custody of a public child welfare agency. "Ward of the state" does not include a foster child who has a foster parent who meets the definition of a "parent".
Weapon
Dangerous weapon under 18 USC § 930(g)(2), (34 CFR 530(i)(4)). 

Parents as Partners Flyer

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Prince William County Public Schools Office of Special Education

Parent Resource Center

is hosting

Parents as Partners in Special Education:

Building Bridges Between Home, School and Communities

This conference is designed to empower parents, prekindergarten through 12th grade, to advocate for their child and navigate the special education process to ensure successful outcomes. This event will include a community partner resource fair, the sharing of parent perspectives, networking, and break-out sessions on related topics including, but not limited to:

  • The special education process;
  • The behavior intervention process;
  • Mental health needs and supports;
  • Communication between home and school; and
  • The transition between elementary and middle school, middle and high school, and high school to post-secondary roles.

We look forward to your participation! Contact Suzanne Plybon at PLYBONSM@pwcs.edu or 703.791.7295, 703.791.8847 (TDD) to register for this event or ask questions.

February 29th, 2020

11 am - 3 pm. Patriot High School, 10504 Kettle Run Road, Nokesville, VA 20181