Special Education

Special Education Referrals:

The Pre-Referral Meeting

All students are monitored through 6-8 week periods as part of the Response to Intervention (RtI).

What is Response to Intervention (RtI)?

Response to Intervention is a process used by educators to help students who have challenges with learning or behavior needs; every teacher will use interventions with any student to help them succeed in the classroom - this is not just for children with a learning disability or special needs.

Educators will meet to discuss student needs every 6-8 weeks as part of the RtI process. Measures of progress will be utilized to determine the most appropriate researched and proven intervention suited to help each individual student learn.

If the team decides that the student data indicates a potential need for more intensive supports and services, a referral to special education will be made.

Special Education Referral Meeting

Parents receive a meeting notice to attend a referral meeting. A copy of Parental Rights will be provided at the meeting and is available on the NHDOE website.

At the referral meeting, the team will describe the concerns about the student’s progress. The team will discuss interventions in place. The parent will be asked to share observations from home.

The team members will determine whether a recommendation for special education evaluations in appropriate. Assessment data will be used to make this decision.

The evaluation team has 60 days to complete the evaluations. A copy of the evaluations will be sent home 5 days prior to the meeting. The team will reconvene at that time to review the evaluations.

The Evaluation Meeting

Parents will receive a meeting notice at least 10 days prior to the scheduled meeting.

Meeting attendees will include the parent(s)/guardian, classroom teacher and special educator. The principal, occupational therapist, speech/language pathologist, physical therapist and school psychologist may also attend, if appropriate.

The team will determine if the child is eligible for special education services based on the evaluation results shared at the meeting. This is a team decision.

If there is evidence of a disability and the decision of the team is that the student requires specialized instruction through special education supports and services, the team will meet within 30 days to develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Who will conduct the evaluations?

Special Educator and/or Learning Disabilities Specialist will provide testing in the academic areas.

The Speech and Language Pathologist will conduct testing if there is a concern with the student's ability to communicate ideas and transmit information.

Occupational Therapist will provide testing if there are concerns dealing with handwriting, fine motor, mobility, eye to hand coordination, and visual perception problems.

Physical Therapist will provide testing if there are concerns with gross motor skills including mobility and safely navigating the school environment.

School Psychologist may evaluate the child in one or more of the following areas: intellectual ability, cognitive assessments, attention tasks, adaptive functioning, and behavior self-monitoring skills.


If a student is found eligible for special education, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be developed. An IEP is a written document for each child with a disability and includes how the student’s disability affects involvement and progress in the general curriculum.

The student’s current level of performance and functioning, as well as annual goals in the area(s) of need will be detailed in the IEP. Each goal will be measurable and may include both academic and functional aspects of the school day. Services, accommodations and/or modifications will be included in the document to support the student in reaching these goals.

At the meeting, the team will review the draft IEP and create a final document. Student placement in the least restrictive environment will be determined by the team.

Once the IEP and placement have been agreed upon, the team can begin implementation of the IEP.