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Special Education State Guidance


The Iowa Department of Education, AEAs, and districts have developed the Iowa IDEA Information (i3) website to provide parents, families, educators, and partner agencies with a one-stop shop for procedures, guidance, and resources for both special education and early intervention. To access these additional resources, visit the Resources page within i3.

Athletic Eligibility and Students with Disabilities - Guidance on applying the State rule on athletic eligibility for students receiving special education.

Children with Disabilities and 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program

Collaborative Teaching Guidance

Considerations for a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) - Addresses "free appropriate public education" as the foundational principle of IDEA and special education services in Iowa.

COVID-19 Recovery Services for Learners Receiving IDEA Services Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Provides answers to frequently asked questions related to recovery services.

COVID-19 Webinar Recordings

  • Aug. 18 - Presenter Emily Rubin provides a discussion of what is needed to spark the drive for new learning, resilience and hope.
  • Aug. 11 - Addresses collaboration considerations, teaching and learning skills, paraprofessionals, tech resources for access and instruction, secondary transition, and supporting student behavior.
  • Aug. 4 - Resources for teachers to use as they collaborate with families of learners receiving special education through distance learning. The resources are organized around several stages of collaboration, including: (1) pre-initial contact, (2) initial contact with the family, (3) educational preparation (pre-IEP), (4) pre-instructional delivery, (5) teacher planning/prep, (6) virtual instructional delivery, and (7) virtual instructional delivery feedback.
  • July 21 - Supports for IEP teams focused on identifying free appropriate public education for individuals eligible for special education, specifically in terms of placement decisions and progress monitoring, and guidance related to the planning of COVID-19 Recovery Services.
  • April 23 - Session dedicated to special education.

Distinguishing Schools vs. Programs - Guidance for districts about the rules/ramifications surrounding if locations are a school or a program.

Early Intervening Services Guidance Memo (August 2010) - Memo on permissible uses of 15% of Part B funds for coordinated early intervening services in general education.

Grades Diplomas Transcript 2017 Supplement to 1999 - The Grades, Diplomas, and Transcripts document is currently being revised, with a July 2017 release date.  In the interim, the attached document explains whether the answers in the 1999 document are still current and how they differ in the revised document.

The Relationship between Title I Services and Special Education Services - Explains the relationship between special education services and services under Title I of the ESSA.

Nonpublic Schools and Special Education Services

Placement of Students Ages 3-21 with Disabilities Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - Guidance for teams making placement decisions for children with disabilities. It answers ten key questions about placement decisions, with supporting references from state and federal law.

Procedures and Guidelines for Assessment and Delivery of Special Education Services to Incarcerated Individuals in Iowa's Adult Correction Facilities

Revocation of Consent for Continued Special Education Services - Addresses commonly asked questions that arise when a parent revokes consent for a child's continued special education services.

Revocation of Consent for Continued Special Education Services When Parents Disagree - Explains when one parent requests that special education services be ended, special education services must end, even when the other parent wants services to continue. Also provides guidance about how to determine whether a parent has sole power to make educational decisions.

Safe Classroom Learning Environments Guidance (Senate File 2260) - Provides a comprehensive approach to create a safe learning space for students and teachers. The legislation offers competitive grants and reimbursement for therapeutic classrooms. School requirements include annual reporting of incidents of assault and violence and limitations on the use of classroom clears.

School Behavioral Health Screening and Telehealth Guidance (Senate File 2261) - Expands the opportunities for students to access behavioral health services with a licensed professional mental health provider in a school setting via telehealth, with parent or guardian consent, and allows for school districts, accredited non-public schools, and Area Education Agencies (AEAs) to contract licensed mental health providers to conduct in-person, universal behavioral health screenings with parent or guardian permission.

Service Animal Guidance - Addresses issues associated with the use of service animals in schools under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Special Education Services in Difficult Budgetary Times - Explains when it is and is not permissible to consider cost or cost savings when deciding programs for eligible individuals.

Student Activity Issues in Special Education - An excerpt related to students with disabilities taken from the Student Activity Fund FAQ state guidance.

Withdrawal from Special Education and Section 504 - Clarifies that parents who withdraw their children from special education are not entitled to demand Section 504 Plans.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on October 27, 2021 at 11:08pm.