SPED » Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Can a parent request an assessment for special education?
A: Yes, parents can submit a written request to have their student assessed for special education. In the written request, it is helpful to include the specific ways in which your child is struggling, as well as any previous diagnosis your child has received. The written response must be submitted to the Principal Once your written request is submitted, HBCSD will have 15 calendar days to respond to your request for assessment. 
 
Q: What are the timelines for special education assessment?
A: Once the assessment plan has been signed and returned, HBCSD will have 60 calendar days to complete the assessments and hold an initial IEP meeting to determine eligibility. It is important to note that assessment for special education does not guarantee that the student will be found eligible for special education services. 
 
Q: What are the 13 eligibility categories for special education?
A: Students can be found eligible for special education under one of the eligibility categories per California Education Code. The 13 eligibility categories are:
  1. Autism
  2. Deaf-Blindness
  3. Deafness
  4. Emotional Disturbance
  5. Hearing Impaired
  6. Intellectually Delayed
  7. Multiple Disabilities
  8. Orthopedic Impairments
  9. Other Health Impairments
  10. Specific Learning Disability
  11. Speech or Language Impairment
  12. Traumatic Brain Injury
  13. Visual Impairment
Q: If my child has dyslexia will he or she qualify for an IEP?
A: While dyslexia is not one of the 13 eligibility criteria, a student with dyslexia could potentially meet the eligibility criteria under Specific Learning Disability. 
 
Q: What types of services can a student with an IEP access?
A: Services are determined on an individualized basis. Some of the services currently being accessed by students with IEPs at HBCSD include Speech and Language therapy, Occupational therapy, Social Skills support, Counseling, and Behavior supports. 
 
Q: If my child has a medical diagnosis, such as ADHD or anxiety, will he or she automatically qualify for an IEP?
A: A medical diagnosis does not automatically trigger eligibility for special education. Special education eligibility criteria is based on the California Education code and there are differences between medical criteria and Education Code criteria. Nonetheless, it is possible for students with a medical diagnosis to also qualify under one of the 13 special education eligibility categories. 
 
Q: What is the difference between an IEP and a 504 plan?
A: Both IEPs and 504 plans can offer formal support for student K-12. 504 plans can provide services and accommodation, changes to the learning environment, to meet the needs of individual students. 504 plans are governed by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. This is a federal civil rights law intended to remove barriers and prevent discrimination against people with disabilities. An important factor to consider is that 504 plan are monitored and implemented by the general education staff. Students with 504 plans are not considered students in special education.