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Special Education Process

The Special Education Process

Tallassee City Schools' Special Education promotes opportunities for disabled students to participate in educational activities designed to facilitate maximum student achievement.  A full range of services, meeting the needs of all identified disabled students (Pre-K – 12), is offered in all schools in the Tallassee City School System. Disabilities recognized by the State of Alabama include Autism, Deaf-Blindness, Developmental Delay, Emotional Disability, Hearing Impairment, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Specific Learning Disabilities, Speech and Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury and Visual Impairment.


Intervention Strategies

Before a student is referred for special education evaluation or concurrently during the evaluation process, intervention strategies must be implemented in the general education program and monitored by the Problem Solving Team (PST) for at least eight (8) weeks, and be determined unsuccessful.  This rule may be waived for specific circumstances.  Alabama Administrative Code 290-8-9-.01(6)



Individual Intellectual Evaluations

Education agencies must conduct or have conducted individual intellectual evaluations in accordance with the following rules:                                                                                                            
(a) Individual intellectual evaluations may only be conducted by clinical  psychologists, school psychologists, school psychiatrists, and counselors  qualified to administer such evaluations.  Graduate students currently enrolled in  approved training programs leading to being qualified to administer individual  intellectual evaluations may administer individual intellectual tests as part of their  training if the test is part of a reevaluation and their written reports are approved  and cosigned by a person properly qualified.                                                                                 
(b) The person conducting the individual intellectual evaluation must develop a  comprehensive written report. 
(c) The person conducting the individual intellectual evaluation may not  determine eligibility for special education services,  but he/she may make  recommendations to the eligibility team or be a member of the team.  Alabama Administrative Code 290-8-9-.02(3) (a-c)




Autism means a developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction evident before age three that adversely affects educational performance.

Developmental Delay -  A child becomes eligible for this area of disability on his/her third birthday if there is a significant delay in one or more of the following areas: (1) Adaptive development, (2) Cognitive development, (3)  Communication development, (4)  Social or emotional development, and/or (5)  Physical development; and if the child needs special education services. 

Deaf-Blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children for children with hearing or visual impairments.

Emotional Disability means a disability characterized by behavioral or emotional responses so different from appropriate age, cultural, environmental, or ethnic norms that the educational performance is adversely affected.  Educational performance includes academic and/or social/emotional skills.  Characteristics must be exhibited over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects educational performance.

Hearing Impairment means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.  This term includes both deaf and hard-of hearing.

Intellectual Disability means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects the child’s educational performance.

Multiple Disabilities means concomitant impairments, the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments.  The term does not include deaf-blindness. 

Orthopedic Impairment includes impairments caused by congenital abnormality (e.g., spina bifida), disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., fractures or burns that cause contractures, amputation, cerebral palsy).  Having a medical diagnosis alone is not enough to justify being identified in the area of orthopedic impairment.  The impairment must adversely affect educational performance.

Other Health Impairment means limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or diabetes.  Having medical diagnosis alone is not enough to justify being identified in the area of other health impairment.  The impairment must adversely affect educational performance.

Specific Learning Disabilities means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations.  Children with specific learning disabilities will demonstrate a severe discrepancy between intellectual ability and achievement in one or more of the following areas:   basic reading skills, reading comprehension, mathematical calculation, mathematical reasoning, oral expression, listening comprehension, or written expression.  No single criterion or specific number of characteristics can be used in identifying children with specific learning disabilities.  Rather, the age-appropriateness of observed behaviors and the frequency, intensity, and duration of a child's learning problems are critical in distinguishing specific learning disabilities from learning problems resulting from such factors as low motivation, underachievement, or inadequate instruction.

Speech and Language Impairment means a communication disorder in the area of articulation, voice, fluency, or language that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

Traumatic Brain Injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment or both, that adversely affects educational performance.  The term applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas such as cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem-solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing and speech.  The term does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma. 

Visual Impairment means a visual impairment that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance.  The term includes both partial sight and blindness.  Alabama Administrative Code 290-8-9-.03(1) to 290-8-9-.03(13)

Individualized Education Program

Education agencies (Tallassee City Schools) must develop and implement procedures to ensure that all eligible children have an appropriate IEP base on the child’s unique needs and not on the child’s disability.  This includes children place in or referred to a private school or facility by the public education agency.  Alabama Administrative Code 290-8-9-.05

The mission of the Tallassee City School District is to provide a quality education, providing the basis for students to become life-long learners as well as moral, ethical, and compassionate people. A partnership of staff, students, parents, and the community will prepare students to become responsible citizens and productive members of the communities in which they live.