Special Education

What is special education?
Special education is instruction that is specially designed to meet the unique needs of students who have disabilities. Special education and related services can include special instruction in the classroom, at home, in hospitals or institutions, or in other settings. The definition of special education comes from IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This law gives eligible students with disabilities the right to receive special instruction and services that are specially designed to:

  1. Meet their unique needs (that result from having a disability);
  2. Help them learn the information and skills that other students are learning in the general education curriculum.

Who is eligible for special education?
Students with disabilities, who need special education and related services, are found eligible when they meet the IDEA definition of a "child with a disability" in combination with state law and regulations. Click on the following link for the eligibility list

Special Education Frequently used Acronyms

Click on the following link for a quick description of frequently used acronyms and terms when communicating/reading about special education

Child Find

Do you know of an infant, child or adolescent who is not developing at the same rate as other children their age?  Many children develop at their own pace, but some have more difficulty than others.

What is Child Find (Special Education)?
Child Find is a process designed to identify, locate and evaluate individuals (birth through 21 years of age) with disabilities who may need special education services.

Who can begin the Child Find process?
A parent or legal guardian can call the Evansville Community School District office at 882-3391 to begin the process.

Why should we refer?
Early identification can prevent failure and frustration. Special attention to teaching and learning strategies may help individuals overcome barriers to learning. If a disability is not found, other resources may be available to help.

What happens after the referral is made?
The parent(s) or legal guardian will be contacted by Evansville Community School District staff. Appropriate personnel will gather together based on the type and characteristics of the disability which is suspected. This school district group with the help of parents will decide if an evaluation (testing) is needed to determine if there is a disability. If an evaluation is needed, the parent along with this group of knowledgeable staff will meet to discuss the outcome of the evaluation, special education eligibility, and whether the student is in need of a variety of service options.

Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable Information
Annual Notice of Special Education Referral and Evaluation Procedures
Annual Notice of Special Education Referral and Evaluation Procedures in Spanish

Wisconsin Common Core

Wisconsin Common Core Essential Elements for English Language Arts and Mathematics Now Available

Wisconsin educators collaborated with educators from 12 other states to create alternate achievement standards aligned to the Common Core State Standards. These alternate achievement standards are called the Common Core Essential Elements (CCEEs) in English Language Arts and Mathematics. The CCEEs were developed to satisfy the requirement of the U.S. Department of Education that Wisconsin have alternate achievement standards for its students with cognitive disabilities that are clearly linked to grade-level academic content standards, promote access to the general curriculum and reflect professional judgment of the highest expectation possible. These new standards will replace the current Extended Grade Band Standards and will be used as the basis for a new alternate assessment, which will replace the current Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for Students with Disabilities (WAA-SwD) in 2014-15.

The standards can be found at:

Special Education and the Physician

In a collaborative effort between the Wisconsin Council of Administrators of Special Services and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, important guidance was recently shared with the Wisconsin Medical Society on the federal and state laws governing pediatric patient referrals for special education services. The guidance, entitled Special Education and the Physician outlines legal requirements and clarifies that special education cannot be prescribed, but must be determined through an IEP process.

Special Needs Scholarship Program

Starting with the 2016-17 school year, the Special Needs Scholarship Program (SNSP)
allows a student with a disability, who meets certain eligibility requirements, to receive a state-funded scholarship to attend a participating private school. The Special Needs Scholarship Program is governed by Wisconsin Statute 115.7915 and Wisconsin Administrative Code Chapter PI 49.

Special Needs Scholarship Program Parent Brochure