Posted 8/11/04

The County Office of Education (COE) provides services for students with severe handicaps (SH) and for students with emotional disturbances. Specified district services are also available including: resource specialist services to the Juvenile Court schools, itinerant vision specialist services, itinerant orientation and mobility specialist services, assistive technology specialist services and augmentative communication specialist services.

The Special Education Administrators of County Offices (SEACO) SH Curriculum implemented in county programs for students with severe disabilities results in a certificate of completion. Students enrolled in a county-operated program for students with emotional disturbances may receive a high school diploma through their district of residence upon completion of graduation requirements and meeting requirements of the California High School Exit Examination.

Students may be referred to county special day classes by their district of residence. The district director or SELPA assigned program specialist should contact the COE regional program administrator. The county administrator will be invited to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting where county placement is considered. After an IEP team determines that a county-operated class is the least restrictive placement appropriate to meet the student's needs, referral may be made at the request of the district special education administrator. Placement will be completed following the County Office of Education guidelines.

Resource Link

Contra Costa County Office of Education Special Education Handbook


Scheduling IEP Meetings for Students Placed in County Programs
County administrators will designate an IEP contact person for the district administrator/ designee and notify each district of that responsible person. The district will contact the teacher and parent to set up the date. When the date is set, the district will send the notice in a timely manner (at least 2 weeks in advance) to the COE program administrator's office and the student's family. The COE clerical staff will distribute the notice to related services staff, special education teacher, general education teacher, site administrator and all others. If the COE program administrator is required to attend, the district administrator will coordinate this at the time of scheduling the IEP meeting. It is the district's responsibility to schedule the IEP meeting on or before the due date.

It was discussed and decided at Administrative Council that when the student is participating in a general education class, the special education teacher is the logical person to contact the general education teacher regarding when the meeting will be held. If there is difficulty arranging for the general education teacher to attend the IEP, the special education teacher is to notify the regional program administrator. The COE program administrator will contact the district administrator who will resolve the situation.

It is recommended that COE staff and district personnel collaborate and coordinate regarding student services and the scheduling of IEPs. When scheduling IEPs, district personnel should consider scheduling during teacher contract hours when possible. It is also recommended that district and county staff work together to develop an agenda for the IEP meeting. County teachers may want to develop proposed IEP schedules of when they are available and submit them to the district. For students enrolled in county placements on April lst but leaving COE programs shortly after, or districts holding an IEP meeting on April lst and moving a student from a COE placement, the student will remain on the COE April count.

Guidelines for General Education Participation in IEP Meetings
The following procedure will be used to schedule the attendance of a general education teacher at IEP meetings for County placed students.

  • District of residence secretary/administrative designee contacts the County class teacher to identify potential dates for IEP meeting.
  • County class teacher contacts appropriate County DIS staff and regular education teacher to finalize IEP meeting date and confirm the date with district of residence contact.
  • District of residence sends written notification to County class teacher, DIS personnel, regular education teacher, school site administrator and County Program Administrator.
  • Should the attendance of the County Program Administrator be required, the administrator from the student's residence will directly coordinate their attendance.
  • If the County teacher is having difficulty arranging for regular education participation at the IEP, the administrator from the district of residence will contact the special education administrator from the district of service to resolve the situation.
Resource Link


Click here to download and print "Referral to County-Operated Classes"