Special Education

Special Education within the Douglas Public Schools encompasses a wide range of services for eligible students with disabilities, ages 3-22. In accordance with federal and state laws and regulations, students identified as eligible for special education have an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) that is designed by a Team of individuals that includes district professionals, the parents/ guardians, and the student, when appropriate. Each IEP is developed to meet the unique needs of the student and includes information of what services will be provided, where the services will be provided, and the goals set for the student. The Douglas Public Schools provide a wide range of specialized instruction that represents a continuum of service delivery options. In keeping with the federal mandate of Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), Teams will always consider providing specialized instruction in the general classroom first. The vast majority of our special education students receive their specialized instruction within an inclusive environment, spending more than 80% of their day in the general education classroom. When the appropriate level of services requires instruction outside the general education classroom, the Team will consider other placement options, such as an Academic Center or a specialized district program. 

District programs are developed when a cohort of students have like needs of a more intensive nature. Throughout each level (preschool - post high school), highly specialized programs exist for students with Autism, language-based learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral challenges, and for students whose disabilities cross domains, resulting in a need for an integrated Team approach. 

Special education is a highly regulated and complex process. The special educators work closely with families and encourage a collaborative relationship. In addition, the Douglas Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) provides support to families through regularly scheduled meetings and parent networking.

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