All children with disabilities have the right to a “free and appropriate public education” (FAPE). This right is guaranteed by state and federal law. The Wilton Public Schools provide a continuum of services to students with disabilities. Services exist on a broad continuum including, but not limited to: limited special education within general education classrooms; special education interwoven with general education in classes that are “co-taught” by a general education teacher and a special education teacher; pull-out services for intensive skill development; self-contained special education classes, homebound/hospitalized instruction, specialized schools; and beyond.
The Wilton Public Schools also offer a variety of “related” services to assist qualified students in benefiting from their special education program. These may include, but are not limited to speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, physical therapy, specialized transportation, nursing, medical services, adaptive physical education, etc. Eligibility for special education and related services is determined by a Planning and Placement Team (PPT) consisting of district professional staff members and the child’s parent(s)/guardians. Parents and/or teachers who are concerned that a student may have a learning problem caused by a disability should notify the principal, who will convene a Planning and Placement Team meeting.
In order to qualify for accommodations and/or services, a student must have a disability requiring specialized instruction under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or be eligible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For an eligible student, a written plan will be developed outlining the services the team believes are necessary for the student t o benefit from education. These services must be provided in the “least restrictive environment” (LRE) possible. Federal law defines “LRE” to mean, “to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are education with children wo ar not disabled, and that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular education environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”