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Special Education

Overview/ Process

Eligibility:

Children with disabilities from birth to age 21 may be eligible for special education. Federal law defines “children with disabilities” as having any of the following types of disabilities.

  • Autism

  • Deaf-blindness

  • Deafness

  • Developmental Delay

  • Emotional Disability

  • Hearing Impairment

  • Intellectual Disability

  • Multiple Disabilities

  • Orthopedic Impairment

  • Other Health Impairment

  • Specific Learning Disability

  • Speech or Language Impairment

  • Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Visual Impairment (including blindness)

Definition:

Special Education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.  Special Education can include:

  • Instruction

  • Instruction in physical education

  • Vocational Education

  • Speech/Language Services

Additionally, once Special Education is determined, related services may also be implemented based on student profile/need (eligibility) e.g.

  • Speech/Language Services

  • Occupational Therapy

  • Physical Therapy

  • Counseling

NOTE: AACPS assures full educational opportunities by providing free and appropriate educational programs and related services for students with disabilities. “At no cost” means that all specially designed instruction is provided without charge, but does not preclude incidental fees which are normally charged to non-disabled students or their parents as part of the regular education program.

Identification, Assessment and Evaluation:

Contact Information:
AACPS Infants and Toddlers Program
c/o Point Pleasant Elementary
1450 Furnace Avenue
Glen Burnie, Maryland 21066
410-222-6911

Children Birth to Age 3

AACPS Infants and Toddlers Program is a countywide system of coordinated, interagency and multidisciplinary early intervention services. Parents, medical personnel, or other concerned individuals may make a referral. Evaluations are completed to determine if the child is eligible for early intervention services.

Contact Information:
AACPS Child Find Teams
200 Scott Avenue
Glen Burnie, Maryland 21060
410-766-6662

Children Ages 3-5

The Preschool Child Find Team is an interdisciplinary team that provides identification services to children from three to five years of age who are may have a disability.

Parents, medical personnel, or other concerned individuals may make a referral. If the IEP team suspects that the child has a disability after reviewing all screening information, assessments in all areas related to the suspected disability are recommended.

Upon parental approval, the recommended assessments are conducted by the school-based staff and reviewed by the IEP team at an IEP team meeting. For those children eligible for services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Extended Individual Family Service Plan (Extended IFSP) is developed. The IEP team reviews the IEP/Extended IFSP, identifies services needed to implement the IEP/Extended IFSP, and considers options for the provision of services in the least restrictive environment.

School-Age Students (Grades K-12)

A student who is suspected of having a disability is referred to the IEP team.  The IEP team meets to review the referral and existing data, information from the parent, previously implemented instructional interventions and strategies, current classroom-based assessments/curriculum measures and observations.  Based on this information, the IEP team shall determine the need for assessment.

If assessments are recommended, the school staff obtains permission and the recommended assessments are conducted by the school-based staff and reviewed by the IEP team at an IEP team meeting. For those children eligible for services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed.  The IEP team reviews the IEP, identifies services needed to implement the IEP, and considers options for the provision of services in the least restrictive environment.

Note: If a parent has an educational concern and/or believes their child may have a disability, please contact your school’s administrator.

Private/Parochial:  If there is a concern or belief that a school-age child who attends a private or religiously affiliated school in Anne Arundel County may have a disability, contact the Compliance Office Technician at 410 222- 5479.

Service Continuum:  The Anne Arundel County School System provides a continuum of services ranging from consultation and general education programming to specialty classes, regional programs and separate public and private (approved nonpublic) school placements. Each elementary, middle, and high school in Anne Arundel County provides special education and related services for students who are identified as eligible for services.

Indirect/Consultation

  • Provide the general educator with guidance from the special education teacher on appropriate strategies for instruction, behavior management, data collection, observation, and feedback in the general education setting.
  • Facilitate service delivery through ongoing communication between general and special educators and related service providers.
  • Assistance in completing functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and developing a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) to address areas of concern.

Direct Service Delivery (within the general education setting)

  • Direct special education instruction within the least restrictive environment of the general education classroom through TEAM teaching, and collaborative instructional models.
  • Direct support for individual students by the special education teacher or instructional assistant by making adaptations or modifications to the general education curriculum and assessments.
  • Individualized or small group instruction to meet the academic and behavior needs of the student, either within the general education classroom or with pull-aside resource services for specific skill development. Anne Arundel County Public Schools recognizes the individual needs of students. In such, the continuum includes specialty programs (Autism, Multiple Intensive Needs (MINC), Emotional Disabilities, and Functional Life Skills [FLS]). Specialty program decisions are IEP Team determined and based on the student’s accommodations/modifications, supplemental aids, and service requirements. They are co-located in comprehensive schools throughout the county.

Direct Service Delivery (outside the general education setting)

  • Direct intensive or multi-sensory instruction utilizing specialized strategies and techniques in a small group, self-contained environment with an alternative curriculum when necessary.
  • More specific skill training in remediation of academic skill deficits or in the social, emotional, and behavioral areas.
  • Supports that address behavioral difficulties that interfere with the student's learning or the learning of other students.

Direct Service Delivery (combined)

Students may receive direct service in both the general education and special education classrooms.  This is an IEP team decision based on individual student need. 

Direct Service Delivery (Regional Options/Separate Day Facility)

A limited number of students may need a regional program within a comprehensive school or a separate day facility. Based on the unique needs and the IEP of the student, the local school or central office IEP teams determine the appropriate placement.

Direct Service Delivery (Approved Nonpublic School)

For those students whose educational needs require services beyond those of the county's regional or separate day facilities, AACPS utilizes Maryland State Department of Education approved nonpublic schools. The nature and severity of the student's disability which significantly impact educational performance may necessitate more intensive resources and may require a more therapeutic segregated setting in order for a student to receive an appropriate educational program.

Service Providers: 

Anne Arundel County strongly believes in a shared accountability with both general education and special education teachers collaboratively supporting ALL students. 

Service may be provided by the following personnel:

  • General Education Teacher
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Speech-Language Pathologist                          
  • Physical Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist                                     
  • School Psychologist
  • Assistive Technology Team                                          
  • Behavior Specialist
  • Literacy Specialist                                                        
  • Low Incidence Specialist
  • LRE Specialist                                                 
  • Administrator    
  • Teacher of Students Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired  
  • Teacher of Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing