Exceptional Student Services
Executive Director - Student Support Services
Exceptional Student Services (ESS) provides special education and related services for eligible students with disabilities, in compliance with The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Exceptional Children’s Education Act (ECEA). The IDEA is a federal law and the ECEA are the state regulations; each provides requirements for how schools serve the educational needs of students with disabilities.
Special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including--
- Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and
- Instruction in physical education.
Specially designed instruction means adapting, as appropriate to the needs of an eligible child the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction--
- To address the unique needs of the child that result from the child's disability; and
- To ensure access of the child to the general curriculum, so that the child can meet the educational standards within the jurisdiction of the public agency that apply to all children.
Related services means transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. Related services also include school health services and school nurse services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.
There are fourteen disability categories for Educational Identification:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Deaf Blindness
- Developmental Delay
- Hearing Impairment, including Deafness
- Infant/Toddler with a Disability
- Intellectual Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impaired
- Serious Emotional Disability
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual Impairment, Including Deafness
Students determined by an IEP team to be eligible for special education based on the identification of one or more of these disability categories is entitled to a Free, Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). With consideration for individual needs, students with disabilities in the Thompson School District participate in general education environments with their typically developing peers to the maximum extent appropriate, resulting in meaningful growth and achievement.