Many steps have be taken to ensure that students with disabilities receive equitable access to their education. Guiding principles and laws such as Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE) and Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) are in place to ensure students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) receive supports that meet their unique needs, while learning alongside non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible. Beyond upholding these basic guiding principles for students who are already in Special Education, we must also consider what needs to happen before we would refer a student to be evaluated for a disability.
Our responsibility of providing equitable educational opportunities begins with providing ALL students with sufficient opportunities to learn. Here are a few steps we can take:
- Proactively and systematically identify students’ needs
- Thoughtfully and consistently apply interventions and closely monitor progress
- Collaborate with stakeholders to “see” and support the whole child
Tamarah Tilos, Assistant Director of Academic Intervention