Special and Bilingual Education

Special Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the law that supports special education. There are two parts of the law that deals with children; Part B that supports children ages 3-12 and Part C that supports children from birth to two years of age. IDEA regulates how state and public agencies promote, intervene, and provide special education and related services. Amendment to IDEA, Part B, was proposed in 2011 with regards to state or local agencies seeking to use public benefits or insurance, like Medicaid to pay for services.

The title Special Education usually brings to mind students who are struggling in the classroom or who have handicapping conditions. However, Special Education encompasses students who may have difficulty but the program also services students who are known as “gifted”. The process to enter the program at either end of the spectrum requires parental consent, diagnostic test, and teacher input.

Once enrolled in the Special Education program each student will have an individual educational plan (IEP) to meet the specific learning needs for each child. The purpose is to provide students who need more help get focused support by teachers and support staff. The IEP will have specific knowledge and skills that teachers will focus on to help the child succeed.

Admission, Review, and Dismissal, (ARD) meetings are conducted at least annually if not more often to discuss the progress of the student and make adjustments to the IEP’s which include accommodations or strategies that will help increase the student’s learning within the classroom. A student in Special Education may remain in school until they reach the age of 21. (“What is Special Education,” 2013)

Bilingual Education (General Information)

Chapter 89 known as Adaptations for Special Populations one will find the policy requiring the state that provides each student who is identified as an English language learner (ELL) the opportunity to participate in a bilingual education or English as a second language program (ESL). These programs were developed to provide students an equal opportunity to be successful in school.

The policy requires school districts to identify ELL students, provide bilingual and ESL programs, seek certified teachers to help ELL the chance to achieve academically, and be successful on state achievement tests.

The goal for bilingual education for students ELL students to become competent in English language, mathematics, and science allowing them to reach their academic goals. ("Adaptations for Special Populations," 2012)