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Serving Students With Disabilities: A Resource for Assessing the Basic Components of Your Special Education Infrastructure

Produced by California Department of Education, California Collaborative for Educational Excellence, WestEd


Developed for California’s local education agencies, this resource identifies six components an infrastructure needs to have in place to operate a well-functioning special education program.

The publication also provides a tool for examining the degree to which these components are in place in your system. The results of that examination can help you decide where best to start system improvement efforts.

The Six Basic Components

  • Collaboration and Communication. Norms and processes that allow for meaningful and productive interaction between special education programs and other programs, as well as between schools and families.
  • Staffing. Processes to monitor and address personnel needs, and strategic allocation of staff with defined roles and responsibilities.
  • Policy and Procedures. The existence of up-to-date, documented, and accessible procedures that are compliant with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), along with a robust pre-referral system, such as a multi-tiered system of support.
  • Data Systems. Accurate and consistent data sources that are accessible and monitored at the student, classroom, and school levels.
  • Resource Management. Budget planning and monitoring processes that ensure that resources for special education are strategically allocated and managed to meet state and federal guidelines and to serve students with disabilities.
  • Instructional Practices. Professional learning opportunities, systems, and processes for general and special education teachers and other personnel, to support high-quality Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and all students’ access to the general education curriculum.

Resource Details

Product Information

Copyright: 2020
Format: PDF
Pages: 28
Publisher: WestEd