Exiting from Special Education

The goal of a special education program should be to support a student appropriately so that the student’s weaknesses can be remedied to the point where the student no longer needs special help. Some students with significant disabilities will always require specially designed instruction, but others may, at some point in their education, no longer require special education supports and services.

A student’s IEP Team can decide that the student no longer requires special education services. For instance, a student who had been receiving services due to an emotional disability may have improved so much that the student no longer needs special supports in school. A student may be learning at or above grade level, be advanced on all PSSA subtests, and no longer requires special services (although it’s important to note that a student is not ineligible for special education just because the student is passing from grade to grade).

A student becomes ineligible for special education if he/she graduates from high school or “ages out” (students with disabilities have the right to attend school and receive special services until the end of the school term in which they turn 21) – whichever comes first. 

 

Before a Student Can Exit Special Education Services

 

The school must reevaluate the student before deciding that the student is no longer eligible for services. The school must then give the parent a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement/Prior Written Notice (NOREP/PWN) that explains why the student will no longer receive services and on what information the school based this decision. On the NOREP/PWN, the parent must check whether the parent agrees or disagrees with this decision. If the parent disagrees with the school’s decision to remove the student from special education, the parent can ask for mediation or a special education hearing to resolve the dispute.   If the parent does disagree and asks for mediation or a hearing, the student will remain in special education until the dispute is resolved.

 

Reevaluation Guidelines for Exiting Students

 

The IEP team should develop referral questions to be answered to assist the team in determining if a student no longer requires special education supports and services. The following questions are some ideas the team can consider but it does not constitute an exhaustive list of ideas:

  • What is the student’s academic function compared to district grade level standards? Is the student functioning at grade level?
  • What are the student's performance on PSSA and benchmark assessments?  
  • What does the district-based assessments tell the team about the student's academic performance compared to the student's peer group?
  • Does the student’s emotional functioning allow him/her to appropriately cope with emotions in a safe and appropriate manner? 
  • Is the student able to demonstrate appropriate behaviors in school as outlined by the school's code of conduct? 
  • Does the student manage his/her behaviors in an appropriate manner that does not interfere with other students?
  • Does the student need related services supports and services to access the general education curriculum? (Identify related services)
  • Does the student attend school on a regular basis and over a prolonged period of time (school year)?

Exiting Procedures from Special Education

  1. For a student who no longer need specially designed instruction, a reevaluation is proposed by the IEP case manager, and a reevaluation is conducted 
  2. The Reevaluation Report is prepared by the IEP case manager and/or school psychologist (or by speech/language therapist for those students whose primary disability is Speech/Language Impairment).  The Reevaluation Report is provided to the parent/guardian ten days prior to the IEP meeting.  The case manager completes the Invitation to Participate in the IEP meeting and mails it to the studnet

  3. The Reevaluation Report is prepared by the IEP case manager and/or school psychologist (or by speech/language therapist for those students whose primary disability is Speech/Language Impairment).The Reevaluation Report is provided to the parent/guardian ten days prior to the IEP meeting.
  4. The case manager completes the Invitation to Participate in the IEP Meeting and mails it to the student’s parent/guardian. A copy of the Invitation Letter or e-mail notification is provided to all members of the IEP team (psychologist, counselor, regular education teacher(s), OT, PT, speech therapist, OVR, behavior special, I. U., Tech School, etc.). A copy of the Invitation Letter is made for the student’s file to document the effort to invite the parent/guardian to the IEP meeting.

  5. The IEP meeting is held, at which time no IEP is prepared but an IEP meeting signature page is used to document attendance.  A Chapter 15 Service Agreement (504 plan) or Plan for reasonable accommodations to regular education may by prepared by the IEP team.  Specifying any regular education accommodations that are proposed for the student. 
  6. The parent/guardian is asked to sign a NOREP that includes a statement that the student is returning to regular education as well as the rationale for the return to regular education only.
  7. The completed packet, containing all original documents as specified on the Special Education Document Transmittal slip (RR, Invitation to IEP, IEP signature page, and NOREP) is sent by the IEP case manager to the Director of Special Education.  A copy of all completed special education documents is retained at the building level.
  8. The information is recorded to ensure accurate information for Penn Data Special Education Child Count. 

Parents Wants Student Out of Special Education

A parent can decide he/she no longer wants his/her child to receive special education. If this is the case, a parent can request revocation of services. (Refer to Revocation Section of Manual)

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