Please download our district's TRI-CITY SPECIAL EDUCATION LOCAL PLAN AREA (Notice to Parent/Guardian/Surrogate)
These documents are in Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF). If you don't have a copy of Adobe Acrobat, download it from Adobe first. You may also view our District's Child Study Team information below.
Mr. Jim Albanese
Executive Director, Special Education and Student Support Services
Telephone number 310-551-5100 extension 2226
ADDRESSING THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF BHUSD STUDENTS
Beverly Hills Unified School District is committed to serving the educational needs of each of its students. Students learn in a variety of ways and most of our students learn effectively in a traditional instructional setting. However, sometimes students may require additional assistance and support.
The reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 2004 was viewed by Congress as an opportunity to review, strengthen, and improve IDEA 97 to better educate children with disabilities and enable them to achieve a quality education in the least restrictive environment (LRE). One of the ways Congress sought to achieve this was by ensuring access to the general education curriculum and providing students with appropriate interventions before special education is considered. The new emphasis on participation in the general education curriculum is intended to first consider interventions, accommodations and adjustments necessary for students to access the general education curriculum in LRE.
Each school site has a Student Success Team (SST) of trained professionals who review concerns about individual students. The SST serves as a general education problem-solving process and is a forum to support classroom teachers in their effort to provide quality classroom experiences for all of their students. The SST is a general education process that is neither a function of special education nor an automatic process for referral and/or assessment for special education services. Those students who have been assessed and identified as having a disability may be eligible to receive special education services through an Individual Education Program (IEP). These services are designed to meet the student’s individual educational needs.
How do I know if a student may need special education services?
Your student may have difficulties that interfere with his/her ability to go to school or to learn. These difficulties may be in one of these general areas:
Speech and Language DevelopmentSome students may have a very difficult time learning to speak clearly and/or understanding what is said to them.Vision ProblemsSome students may have great difficulty seeing objects and/or printed words even though they may already be wearing glasses.Hearing ProblemsSome students may have difficulty hearing and/or distinguishing sounds and voices, even with hearing aids.Physical DevelopmentSome students may have trouble learning to walk, move or work with small objects.Academic DevelopmentSome students may have great difficulty learning to read, write or do arithmetic. Young students may have trouble with pre-school skills such as learning shapes and colors.Thinking/Memory SkillsSome students may have more difficulty than others in remembering what they see or hear. As a result, it may be a challenge for them to solve problems in daily living or schoolwork.Attention/Perception SkillsSome students may have difficulty processing or understanding information. As a result, it may be hard for them to pay attention or follow directions.Social/Emotional DevelopmentSome students may have trouble managing their feelings and/or behavior. They may find it very difficult to get along with others. It may be hard for them to make friends or to cope with changes in their lives.Living SkillsSome students may be challenged by day-to-day activities such as dressing, feeding themselves or taking care of their basic health and grooming needs.Other Health ConditionsSome students have serious or chronic medical conditions that may interfere with school attendance or learning.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Section 504") is Congress’ directive to schools receiving any federal funding to eliminate discrimination based on disability from all aspects of school operation. Section 504 is a civil rights statute and not a special education statute. At each school, the responsibility for ensuring Section 504 compliance rests with the District, the school’s Section 504 Site Chairperson and the principal or assistant principal.
The first purpose of Section 504 is to protect students from discrimination under federal law. Section 504 assures access to educational services and the learning process that is equal to that given to students who do not have disabilities. All students who have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, have a record of such an impairment, or are regarded as having such an impairment, are protected from discrimination under Section 504.
The second purpose of Section 504 is to provide a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) to those students who (1) actually have a physical or mental impairment, (2) that substantially limits, and (3) one or more major life activities. The provision of FAPE is accomplished through the creation and implementation of Section 504 Service Plan. Only those students who satisfy all three of these criteria are eligible for, and are provided, regular or special education and related aids and services under Section 504 (in the form of a Section 504 Service Plan). The District has established a Referral and Assessment process to determine a student’s eligibility for a Section 504 Service Plan.
Specialized Academic Instruction
Instruction designed for students who require special education assistance is provided by a credentialed Special Education teacher as authorized on the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP). This specialized instruction may be provided within the general education classroom in a co-teaching or collaborative model, through consultation with general education teachers, and/or in a pull-out model in the Learning Center. Additionally assistance from trained instructional assistants and accommodations or modifications to curriculum provides additional support to students within the general education classroom. Specialized Academic Instruction focuses upon individual goals and objectives established for each student from their IEP.
Adapted physical education, language and speech, physical and occupational therapy and counseling are some examples of Related Services. Related services may be required to assist a student to benefit from special education.
The above-mentioned special programs emphasize the importance of the least restrictive environment philosophy. The expectation is that the special needs student will participate in the regular school program as much as possible in the least restrictive environment (LRE) in order to access the curriculum.