What is Special Education?
Special Education is specifically designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Sunnyvale School District is a member of the Special Education Local Plan Agency (SELPA II).
For additional information about Santa Clara County SELPA, please check the Santa Clara County Office of Education website at
How is the eligibility for Special Education determined?
Students are assessed in all areas of suspected disability. Written parental consent must be obtained prior to an assessment. Students receiving Special Education and any related services must meet the criteria under one of the following categories for Special Education eligibility:
-Visual Impairments including blindness
-Other Health Impairment
-Specific Learning Disability
-Speech and Language Impairment
-Traumatic Brain Injury
-Hard of Hearing
What is an Individualized Education Program (IEP)?
Following assessment, an IEP Team meeting takes place. Participants include the parent(s), teachers, administrators, and other individuals and, if appropriate, the child. If the IEP Team determines that the student is eligible for and needs special education, an IEP is developed to address the student's needs. The IEP Team will identify: presents levels of academic achievement and functional performance, areas of need, goals to address areas of need, and special education and related services that provide maximum interaction with typically developing peers. Written parental consent is required prior to IEP implementation.
The IEP Team meets annually to review the IEP. The parent or any member of the IEP Team may request an IEP Team meeting at any time.
What is a Child Find?
All children with disabilities residing in the SELPA including children with disabilities who are homeless children or are wards of state and children with disabilities attending private, including religious, elementary, and secondary schools, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services, shall be identified, located, and assessed. (EC 56301)
Referrals for assessment may come from parents, teachers, agencies, and appropriate professionals. A referral for special education is made only after the resources of general education have been considered and, when appropriate, utilized. (EC 56303)
What does the law entail? (IDEA)
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004) and the California Education Code guarantee all identified students with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
What Programs may be available?
Continuum of Special Education and Related Services for Identified Students:
-General education with supplementary aids and services
- General education with non-intensive specialized academic instruction
- General education with related services
- General education with intensive specialized academic instruction
- Special classes and centers in nonpublic, nonsectarian schools
- State special schools
- Home instruction
Related services may include but are not limited to:
- Speech and Language
- Audiological services
- Orientation and mobility
- Adapted physical education
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Vision services
- Health and nursing services
- Vocational and career development
- Counseling and psychological services
- Parent counseling and training
- Recreation services
- Services for pupils with chronic illness
- Services for deaf and hard of hearing
- Home and hospital instruction