Mason Public Schools’ Special Education Department, in cooperation with the Ingham Intermediate School District and neighboring districts, provides a full continuum of programs, ranging from teacher-consultant support services to center-based classrooms. Students' programs and services are based on their needs once they have been found eligible for Special Education services. Eligibility for Special Education services is determined through a referral and evaluation process. Mason Public Schools is committed to high expectations for all our students and ensuring their access and progress within the general education curriculum to the maximum extent possible.
What to do if I suspect my child has a disability?
If your child is suspected of having a disability, anyone can refer him or her to the school for an evaluation. This may be done by contacting the child’s teacher, principal, school counselor, or building special education coordinator.
A Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) will meet to review information needed about your child and determine what evaluations are needed. The team includes specialists from different educational areas. Parents are important members of this team and provide valuable information.
Once written consent is received, the MET team will conduct testing within 30 school days. The MET team will make a recommendation for eligibility to the Individual Education Program (IEP) team. The district will schedule a meeting to develop an IEP.
The IEP team participants must include:
- The parents;
- A general education teacher;
- A special education teacher/provider;
- A representative of the local school district who has the authority to commit resources and is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum;
- A person who can interpret evaluation results; and
- Any other person who the parent or school district wishes to include who has knowledge or expertise regarding your child.
The IEP team will determine if a child has a disability and whether he or she is eligible to receive special education services. The IEP team determines the programs and services provided to a student, supporting the practice that programs and services are determined based on student needs/strengths and are not predetermined based on disability.
The district ensures the child’s IEP is being carried out as it was written. Each of the child’s teachers and service providers has access to the IEP and knows his or her specific responsibilities for carrying out the IEP. This includes the accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided to the child, in keeping with the IEP.
Progress is measured and reported to parents. The child’s progress toward the annual goals is measured, as stated in the IEP. His or her parents are regularly informed of their child’s progress and whether that progress is enough for the child to achieve the goals by the end of the year.
The child’s IEP is reviewed by the IEP team at least once a year. If necessary, the IEP is revised. Parents can make suggestions for changes, can agree or disagree with the IEP goals, and agree or disagree with the placement.
If parents disagree with the IEP and placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement.
At least every three years, the child must be reevaluated. The purpose is to find out if the child continues to be a “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA, and what the child’s educational needs are. However, the child may be reevaluated prior to that time if conditions warrant or if the child’s parent or teacher asks for a reevaluation.
Initial Evaluation Procedure for Special Education Programs and Services
Mason Public Schools emphasizes the importance of utilizing interventions as a proactive measure before pursuing a special education evaluation. By employing a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS), we strive to address students' diverse needs through targeted interventions and accommodations within the general education setting. These interventions are designed to provide timely and effective support, enabling students to make progress and succeed in their academic and behavioral goals. Through this approach, we aim to ensure that every student has access to the resources and support necessary to thrive, while also reserving special education evaluations for those cases where additional specialized services may be warranted.
Click below to learn about MTSS.
IEP Meeting Norms
We commit to seek the best possible outcomes for the student, in their *least restrictive environment
- Meeting student’s unique needs
- Supporting further education, employment and independent living
- Helping our students to reach their full potential
We are respectful of one another in discussion of students, their families and the professionals, programs, schools and agencies that work with them.
- Allowing team members to finish speaking
- Welcoming diverse perspectives
- Understanding that is okay to agree to disagree
We engage in respectful and clear communication and terminology.
- Respecting language preferences
- Using culturally sensitive language
- Using terms and vocabulary for all to understand
- Using Student-first language
- Using Identity-first language
We clarify actions that need to be taken after the meeting has ended
- Examples: start dates and schedules
*Least Restrictive Environment - IDEA REGULATION §300.114(a)(2)
General LRE requirements: Each public agency must ensure that—
(i) to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and (ii) special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids cannot be achieved satisfactorily
Ingham ISD Special Education Parent Advisory Committee
The Ingham ISD Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) has a quarterly newsletter for parents of students with disabilities.