Students are identified for special education in one or more of 13 eligibility categories, and California Education Code defines how students are determined eligible within each category. Services and supports are determined for each student through the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process, which includes parents, teachers, administrators, and special education staff.
It is the District’s responsibility to find students who are in need of special education services. This requirement is known as Child Find. The process for finding students who may be eligible for services usually occurs through parent referral or the Student Study Team (SST) process. An individual teacher cannot refer a student for assessment for special education services outside of the SST process. For children three years of age or younger, referrals may also be made by outside agencies. Given the legal requirement that a student shall be referred for special education instruction and services only after the resources of the regular education program have been considered and, where appropriate, utilized, the SST process is a critical step in determining appropriate referrals for formal assessment.