Special Education

Arlington Public Schools offers a continuum of special education programs and services to meet the needs of eligible students. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal legislation governing how students with disabilities receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). 

It is both our core value and legal mandate to ensure students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) participate in general education classrooms and experiences to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student. We continually strive to improve our systems to promote meaningful and appropriate inclusion, while increasing the frequency and intensity of services at students’ neighborhood schools. For some children, we recognize that a more restrictive placement is necessary to support their growth. We continue to build our capacity to follow a multi-step, data driven process to ensure these decisions are made with appropriate consideration.

Finding children who need special education and related services is a basic function of the special education system. This process is called “Child Find” and is for all children with disabilities residing in the state, including children with disabilities who are homeless or are wards of the state, and children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated.

All buildings in the district house programs for students with moderate disabilities, and we have programs for students with greater needs sited throughout the district. Special Education includes related services such as speech and language therapy and fine and gross motor therapy for eligible students.

Special Education services require collaboration among all stakeholders – parents/guardians, the students, school staff and support personnel. School psychologists in each building work in tandem with building administrators to ensure students eligible for special education receive programs designed to meet their individual needs.