When a family begins the special education identification process for a child, it’s important to know all of the partners that will be working with you in this endeavor. The below list offers definitions of those individuals that will be “around the table” with you in the IEP process, each of whom play a role in the assessment, diagnosis, counseling, educational, therapeutic and other services to meet your child’s needs.
Local Education Agency (LEA) representative The LEA role maybe filled by a principal, special education administrator, or special education teacher. This individual has knowledge of the general education curriculum and the resources of the district and is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education services. This person commits the resources of the district in offering written prior notice of proposals and responses to parent requests.
Classroom Teacher: The primary individual that works with your child to meet their overall learning needs. The classroom teacher is the individual who articulates to parents and special educational professionals “what works” and does not work related to your child’s learning. Will be responsible for executing any special education plan established for the child, including passing along pertinent information to other teachers, substitutes, etc.
Parent/Guardian: The individual(s) legally responsible for the child’s care and well-being, including making all educational decisions. Also responsible for articulating how a child learns best in the home environment and coordinating in-school services with out-of-school support, if any.
Special Education Teacher or an anticipated provider of special education services: This person is an expert in adapting curriculum, applying special methodologies, and designing accommodations, modifications, and supports to meet unique needs of children with disabilities, such as a reading specialist.
Other Common Participants:
Special Education Case Manager Case management includes the design, coordination and monitoring of special education and related services to students identified with educational disabilities. The case manager is also responsible for coordinating meetings of all team members, proper notification and documentation for those meetings, communication with team members, and any progress reporting.
Qualified Examiner A qualified examiner is a professional trained to administer, interpret, and report the results of the diagnostic assessments (aka “tests”) required for identification of a specific educational disability.
Categorical Certification Representative Some special educators carry a ‘categorical’ certification (such as intellectual disabilities, emotional and behavioral disabilities, specific learning disabilities, blind/vision disabilities, etc.). This person is required on the IEP team when eligibility for a specific disability is being determined.
School Counselor: School counselors in Dover serve as “case managers” for students on 504 Plans and may participate in IEP identification and management processes if needed for a child’s specific educational disability. Responsible for assisting students in personal and social development, providing referral assistance and working with other staff members in planning/conducting guidance programs for students.
Other Attendees Depending on your child’s educational disability, the following individuals may attend some or all IEP meetings: Special Education Coordinator, School Counselor, School Nurse, Principal/Dean, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Speech/Language Pathologist or Para-educator/ Paraprofessional, the child with a disability, especially when the post secondary goals and transition services are discussed; representatives from community agencies providing services to the child and/or family.