Service Delivery Options
Updated July 2018
The continuum of service delivery options available in Contra Costa SELPA offers a range for consideration by Individualized Education Plan (IEP) teams to address the individual needs of students with disabilities. Each public agency must ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services (34 CFR 300.115).
It is the responsibility of education to provide eligible students with disabilities a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment consisting of special education and related services with the use of supplementary aids and services based on the individual needs of the student. Options should include attending the neighborhood school, with age appropriate peers, with curriculum accommodations and modifications as appropriate.
Assignment to special classes, special schools or other removal of the individual from the general education environment shall occur only when the nature and severity of the disability is such that education in general classes, with the use of supplementary aids and services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily and justification for placement has been written (EC 56303). Students receiving special education will be educated with general education students to the maximum extent appropriate as determined by the IEP team.
Special education is specialized instruction and related services that are designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. It is individually developed to address a specific child's needs that result from his or her disability and is individualized for each child. Therefore, program titles considered in service delivery options are used to communicate the structures present in a particular setting and are not intended to limit or restrict the flexibility that staff have in providing a set of services to meet the needs of an individual student.
Program titles contained in policy shall be used for purposes of reporting to the California Department of Education (CDE) through the SELPA's Annual Service Delivery Plan, writing IEPs for students, recording student data for the special education pupil count and reporting for program certification. The Governance Council shall present the Annual Service Delivery Plan in a public hearing before reporting to the State. The purpose is to inform the public of the services available in Contra Costa SELPA.
General Education Classroom
The general education classroom offers non-academic benefit of social interaction for all students. General education classrooms, with the use of supplementary aids and services, provide the most contact with general education students and access to general education curriculum.
Authorization for service is provided by general education credentials. Caseload guidelines should take into consideration the other duties assigned to the staff person. Other considerations for serving students with disabilities in the general education classroom include the impact on general education students, as well as, the special education student being served.
All of the following factors shall be considered by the IEP team in determining the appropriateness of placement in a general education classroom:
Resource Specialist Program
The primary focus of instruction is in the core academic curriculum with expanded instructional methodologies to augment those offered in general education classrooms. Special education staff should be focused on accommodating the student in the general education setting and/or remedial activities that would prepare a student to have the skills necessary to be successful in the core academic curriculum in a general education setting.
Students receiving such services should be accessing the core academic curriculum in the general education setting in all areas in which they are receiving special education services. Special education services are not to be used to provide a parallel program but rather arranged to provide supplementary support to what is already being accessed in the general education program including intervention and categorical programs available to all students. Scheduling of all service needs is to be considered. It is particularly important to consider the delivery location of services in order to allow full participation in all core curriculum areas.
Instructional Support Program
General Education teachers, Resource Specialists, Special Day Class teachers, Speech and Language Clinicians, Instructional Assistants, and/or other support staff may provide instructional support services. Authorization is provided through any credential, which authorizes the provision of instruction and the ability to deliver what is required as described in the IEP. Caseloads are determined by each local educational agency.
The primary focus of instruction is in the core academic curriculum with expanded instructional methodologies beyond those offered in general education classrooms. An example of this would be co-teaching to provide support to special needs and at risk students. Special education staff works in collaboration with all staff (especially general education teachers) in learning and implementing various assessment strategies and in the coordination of differentiated instruction, services, and supports. Through Instructional Support Program leadership the educational team should be focused on accommodating the student in the general education setting and/or in research-based strategies, interventions, and activities that would prepare a student to achieve the skills necessary to be successful in the core academic curriculum in a general education setting. There will be times when Instructional Support Program intervention is provided on a short-term basis.
Students receiving such services should be accessing the core academic curriculum in the general education setting in all areas in which they are receiving special education services. Special education services are not to be used to provide a parallel program but rather arranged to provide supplementary support to what is already being accessed in the general education program including intervention and categorical programs available to all students. The scheduling of all services must consider location for delivery of service to allow full participation in all core curriculum areas.
Related Services (Designated Instructional Service)
Services shall be provided by a credentialed or licensed specialists and provided in general education classrooms or special education settings. Services may be provided in conjunction with general or special education services. Service may also be provided by a specifically trained instructional aide or other certificated staff under the direction of the credentialed or licensed specialist.
Special Day Classes and Schools
The primary focus of instruction is on the unique needs of the student based on their age, disability, or severity of the disability as described in the student's IEP. Often the curriculum offers an alternate pathway because of the needs of a student. Special education continues to provide instruction in life skills areas and independent living. Generally assistance is provided that leads to completion of an alternate program and a certificate of completion rather than a high school diploma.
Authorization is provided through credentials that address service to students within the moderate to severe specialty area. Caseload guidelines vary based on the age of the students, type of disability or severity of the disability to be served in the class. Caseloads are determined by each local educational agency.
Special Education administrators should carefully consider the credentials, staffing patterns, curriculum, instruction, and student patterns before making a selection of a Non-public School or Agency. The primary focus of instruction is not on the core academic curriculum rather on the age, disability, or severity of the disability as described in the student's IEP. Often the curriculum offers an alternate pathway because of the needs of a student. Special education continues to provide remedial instruction in life skills areas and independent living. Assistance is provided that leads to completion of an alternate program and in some instances a high school diploma.
State Special Schools
Home and Hospital
It is the primary responsibility of the parent or guardian of a student with a temporary disability to notify the school district in which the student is deemed to reside of the student's presence in a qualifying hospital. Within five working days following notification from the parent or guardian, the school district shall determine whether the student will be able to receive individualized instruction, and, if the determination is positive, when the individualized instruction may begin. Individualized instruction shall start no later than five working days after the positive determination has been made (EC Section 48208).
When recommending placement for home instruction, the IEP team shall have in the assessment information such as a medical report from the attending physician and surgeon or the report of the psychologist, as appropriate, stating the diagnosed condition and certifying that the severity of the condition preventing the pupil from attending a less restrictive placement. The report shall include a projected calendar date for the pupil's return to school. For those students with exceptional needs with a medical condition such as those related to surgery, accidents, short-term illness or medical treatment for a chronic illness, the individualized education program team shall review, and revise, if appropriate, the IEP whenever there is a significant change in the pupil's current medical condition (5 C.C.R. 3051.4 (c) (d)).
The primary outcome of Home and Hospital Instruction is to maintain a student at the student's former level of performance while recovering from the temporary disability so as not to jeopardize the student's future performance upon returning to school.
The teacher providing the home instruction shall contact the pupil's previous school and teacher to determine:
In some cases, the student may need to leave his or her home state to attend school at a residential program; while in others the student is able to-or even entitled to-placement closer to his or her home. This placement is determined through an individualized educational program (IEP). Some children's challenges are severe enough that they attend intensive programs while continuing to live at home but in other cases the only way a child has access to his or her education is through an educational placement at a residential facility that in some cases will be located out of state.
Like all other related support and services in special education, the local education agency must provide services in a placement that is the LRE. "To the maximum extent appropriate," children with disabilities should be educated in regular classes with their nondisabled peers in a comprehensive school. Residential placements are among the most restrictive educational placements available.
See the attached Residency and Responsibility Chart: Residential Placements for Individuals with Exceptional Needs Pursuant to Education Code Section 56026 (When FAPE is Not at Issue) Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost 2012.
EC 56026, 56100(a)(i), 56001, 56363(b)(4)