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Eligibility Criteria for Special Education

 

Eligibility for Special Education
 
In order for a child to receive special education services, the IEP team must determine that:
The child needs special education services.
The pupil meets the age requirements for special education services.
The child's disability meets the criteria for one of the 12 disabling conditions.
 
According to the California Code of Regulations (C.C.R.), Title 5, Sec. 3030: A pupil shall qualify as an individual with exceptional needs (pursuant to Ed Code Section 56026), if the results of the assessment (as required by Ed Code Section 56320) demonstrate that the degree of the pupil's impairment requires special education in one or more of the following program options (authorized by Ed Code Section 56361):

- Resource specialist program/learning center (Related Services)
- Designated instruction and services (DIS)
- Special classes and centers
- Nonpublic, nonsectarian school services
- State special schools
- Instruction in settings other than classrooms where specially designed instruction may occur.

and/or

- Other settings determined to be appropriate by the IEP, including:
- Learning centers
- Regular education classrooms
- Combinations of settings and services.

The determination of a childs' eligibility for special education must be based upon:

Consideration of all the relevant information pertaining to the child's educational needs.
The findings of a multidisciplinary assessment where no single test or single observation is the sole determining factor. The assessment must be conducted by qualified personnel who are competent in the child's primary language or mode of communication, and have a knowledge and understanding of the cultural and ethnic background of the pupil.
"Disabled": For special education purposes, disabled refers to having one or more of the following impairments to such a degree that it adversely affects the students' education and who, because of those impairments, need special education and related services.

Autism: A pupil exhibits any combination of the following, to include but not limited to:
- An inability to use oral language for appropriate communication.
- A history of extreme withdrawal or relating to people inappropriately and continued impairment in social interaction from infancy through early childhood.
- An obsession to maintain sameness.
Extreme preoccupation with objects and/or inappropriate use of objects or both.
- Displays peculiar motoric mannerisms and motility patterns.
- Self-stimulating, ritualistic behavior.

Deaf: A hearing impairment which is so severe that it affects the child's ability to understand language and speech with or without a hearing aide.
 
Deaf-blind: A combination of both hearing and visual impairments which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special programs solely for deaf or blind students.
 
Hard of hearing: A hearing impairment, whether permanent or fluctuating, impairs the processing of linguistic information through hearing, even with amplification which adversely affects the student's educational performance but which is not included under the definition of "deaf".
 
Intellectual Disability: Significantly below average general intellectual functioning existing at the same time with deficits in adaptive behavior and made apparent during the developmental period.
 
Multi handicapped: A combination of impairments which cause such severe educational problems that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. (This term does not include deaf-blind students.)
 
Severe Orthopedic Impairment: A severe orthopedic impairment evident at birth or caused by disease or other causes such as cerebral palsy, amputations, fractures or burns.
 
Other Health Impairments: Limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to a chronic or acute health problem such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, or diabetes.
 
Emotional Disturbance: A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree.
- An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors.
- An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
- Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
- A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
(This term includes children who are schizophrenic, but does not include children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they are seriously emotionally disturbed.)

Specific Learning Disability: A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written. This disorder is apparent in an inability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations.
 
Speech Impairment: A communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment and a voice impairment.
Traumatic Brain Injury An acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child's educational performance. The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
 
Visual Impairment: A visual impairment which, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance.