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Determining Eligibility for Special Education

Office of Student Services
Contact Information

Cory Mikolazyk
Director of Student Services
Foxborough Public Schools
[email protected]
(508) 543-1645

Kim McDowell
District Wide Team Facilitator/OOD Coordinator
[email protected]
(508) 543-1645

Dianna Parr
Preschool Coordinator
Burrell Elementary School
[email protected]
(508) 543-1605

Rose Ferraro
Elementary Special Education Team Chair
(Burrell, Taylor, Igo)
[email protected]
(508) 543-1645 or (508) 543-1607

Sherry Spicer
Ahern Middle School
Special Education Team Chair
[email protected]
(508) 543-1610

Matthew Struble
Foxborough High School
Special Education Department Chair
[email protected]
(508) 543-1616

Identifying students who are eligible for special education involves a comprehensive process. The criteria for identifying eligible students are set forth in the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004 (IDEA) and the MA Special Education Regulations. A multi-disciplinary Team of school personnel and parents make the final determination.

In order to be eligible for special education, as a result of the evaluation process, three questions must be answered by the Team.

Question 1

Does the student have a disability(ies)?

A disability is defined within the regulations as one or more of the following:

  • Autism
  • Developmental Delay
  • Intellectual Impairment
  • Sensory Impairment - Hearing
  • Sensory Impairment - Vision
  • Sensory Impairment-Deaf-Blind
  • Neurological
  • Emotional Impairment
  • Communication Impairment
  • Physical Impairment
  • Health Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability

Question 2

If a student is found to have one or more of the disabilities above, the Team must then consider question 2, which is a two pronged question:

  • Is the student making effective progress?

and if not,

  • Is the lack of progress a result of the student's disability?

Question 3

Lastly, if the student is not making effective progress and the lack of progress is determined to be caused by the disability, the Team must then determine:

  • Does the student require specially designed instruction in order to make effective progress in school
  • And/or does the student require related services in order to access the general curriculum?

If the Team answers yes to all three questions, the student is eligible for special education. The Team moves to the next part of the process which is developing an Individual Education Program (IEP). Team determination of Placement is made AFTER the IEP is developed.