What can be done if teachers and parents have concerns about a child's learning, speaking, listening, behavior, organization, or motor skills?
- Parents and teachers talk about concerns.
- Two classroom interventions will be designed to help the child be successful.
- If these interventions are not successful, then a referral may be made to the Child Study Team.
Who is on the Child Study Team?
The Child Study Team consists of the building principal and special education personnel who meet weekly to discuss students who are having difficulty in school for a variety of reasons. See list below.
What happens at the first Child Study Team meeting?
An initial referral meeting is scheduled where the classroom teacher and parents review and discuss their concerns. At this meeting it is decided if a formal assessment is necessary to determine the need for special education services or if other interventions are needed. If the decision is made for a formal educational assessment, then the Child Study Team decides which areas need to be assessed and who will conduct the assessments. For this assessment to take place, the parent/guardian must give written permission. The Child Study Team has 30 school days to complete the assessment process.
What happens after the assessment?
The Child Study Team will schedule a meeting to review assessment results to determine if the student meets Federal and State criteria for special education services. Members of the assessment team will share the results verbally and in a written report with the student's parent(s)/guardian(s) and classroom teacher. Information gathered during the assessment will be used by the team to make recommendations for enhancing the student's success in the classroom.
What if my child qualifies for special education?
Parent(s)/guardian(s), classroom teacher, special education staff, and the principal (or administrative designee) will meet to write an Individual Education Program (IEP). An IEP details the goals and objectives that will be used to meet the child's needs. Parent/guardian permission is necessary to initiate special education services.
Frequently Asked Questions By Parent(s)/Guardian(s)
Q: How will my child feel about special education assessment or service?
A: It has been our experience that students like to go to the resource room. They like the rewards and success they experience in individual or small group settings. Many children leave their classrooms for a variety of reasons throughout the school day.
Q: What are typical classroom adaptations that can help my child?
A: The following is a list of commonly used classroom adaptations for a variety of needs:
- Extended time to complete assignments
- Extended time for tests
- Preferential seating
- Tests read aloud
- Responses recorded for the student
- Token reinforcement system in the classroom
- Use of a calculator when appropriate
- Shortened assignments (quality is stressed, not quantity)
- Alternative grading system
- Accommodations for state and district testing
Q: If my child receives special education, what will be missed if he/she leaves the classroom?
A: What the student misses from the classroom is determined on an individual basis by the IEP team. If a certain subject area is a very positive experience, we try not to pull the student during that time. If the total reading or math program is provided in the special education resource room, we serve the student during their classroom reading or math time.
Q: Can you predict how long my child will be in special education?
A: It is not possible to predict how long a child will need special education services. What we do know is that most children need some direct instruction to increase their skills. They need to learn how to compensate for their disability and capitalize on their strengths. The ultimate goal of special education is for students to eventually be dismissed from services. However, if needed, special education services are available through high school (and in some cases until the student turns 21). Students who receive special education are re-evaluated every three years to determine if there is a continuing need for service.
Q: Can my child be "cured?"
A: If a child is diagnosed with a disability, it is not something that can be "cured." Students can become very successful if they acquire the skills they need, capitalize on their strengths, and advocate for themselves to get necessary adaptations.
Zanewood Community School Child Study Team
School Psychologist: Dani Johnson
School Social Worker: Della Van Dyke
Full Service Special Education Teachers: Alison Krysel, Mary McCabe, Miata Foluke
(For information about the Connect Program, visit: http://www.district279.org/services/StudentServices/SpecialEd/Autism.cfm )
Speech/Language Pathologist: Sue Wiedemeier
Occupational Therapist: Stacy Bobek
Developmental Adaptive Physical Education (DAPE): Jon Fritz, Rick Christlieb
Disability areas include:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Developmental Cognitive Disability
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Early Childhood Special Education (3-6)
- Emotional or Behavioral Disorder
- Other Health Disability
- Physically Impaired
- Severely Multiply Impaired
- Speech/Language Disorder
- Specific Learning Disability
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visually Impaired
Minnesota Department of Education's Special Education Website:
ISD 279's Special Education Services Website:
Reach for Resources, Inc. (a non-profit organization that helps people with disabilities reach their full potential):