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Special Education State Guidance


Additional special education guidance and information be found on the COVID-19 Guidance and Information webpage.

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

At-Risk or Alternative Education and Special Education - Eligible individuals may participate in at-Risk or alternative education schools, programs, or services.

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.

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

District Developed Service Delivery Plan for Special Education

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.

Effective Communication Decision Tree - Based on federal guidance, this document provides a decision-making framework for teams to determine how to comply with the "effective communication" requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Eligibility and Evaluation

  • Department Appeal of Due Process in A.W. Decision (2017-09-26) - Memo providing guidance for addressing two of the administrative decisions from the A.W. case that most pertain to the identification of individuals eligible for special education.

Eligibility Determinations Without AEA Staff - Explains the Law's requirement that AEA staff be a part of any decision that a child is eligible for special education.

Extended School Year Services (ESYS): General Guidance - This document explains how IEP Teams determine which students with disabilities are eligible for ESYS services and how to provide those services.

Graduation Changes for Individuals Eligible for Special Education - Administrative Consideration for Changes in Definition of Diploma (2018-10-17) - This document provides an overview and implications related to Iowa's special education rule change regarding graduation for individuals eligible for special 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.

Guidance on Enrollment of Children with Disabilities in Virtual Schools and Virtual Programs - This document explains the required considerations to ensure that children with disabilities have an equal opportunity to access virtual programs while also receiving a free appropriate public education.

Guidance on 4+ Services (January 2017)

IDEA/504/ADA Comparison Chart

Independent Educational Evaluation FAQ - Answers many common questions about independent educational evaluations for children under the IDEA.

Multiple Measures in Eligibility Requirement - Explains how special education eligibility determinations based on single factors are improper.

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

Parent Request for Initial Evaluation

Placement of Children with Disabilities Outside Resident District School Sites - Guidance for IEP teams and school officials about placements outside resident school district sites, including placements made by other agencies for non-educational reasons.

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.

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.

Surrogate Parent Guidance - Explains when a surrogate parent must be appointed for a child with a disability and what rights and duties surrogate parents have.

Transportation Issues in Special Education - Discusses transportation of students with disabilities under IDEA and Iowa Code.

Use of Special Education Funds

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 August 09, 2020 at 1:33pm.