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Special Education/Legality of turning an SDC into an intervention center for SDC, RSP, and Low performing Gen ed students?

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Question
Is it legal for a California school district to rename a special day class (SDC) a "Learning Center" and use it as an intervention setting, bringing in students enrolled in the Resource Specialist Program (RSP), as well as low performing general education students, and require the Education Specialist (renamed "Learning Center Teacher") to teach all of them together at the same time? Does this configuration violate least restrictive environment and continuum of services- circumventing CA Ed Code?

Answer
Blanche,

California (and most other state's) schools have flexibility in what students are assigned to a particular class. It is not so much what the class is called, but rather what it provides to the students. SDC classes have tended to be smaller and have more adults than RSP classes which in turn are smaller than general education classes.

For students with IEP's, the class must meet the unique needs of the student in the least restrictive environment. And it must enable the student to be educated in such a way that his or her goals can be met. Many SDC's (e.g. Autistic Students, Behavior challenged, intellectually challenged) where the students attend all day, every day, are the most restrictive and general education is considered the least restrictive. For students without IEP's (or 504 Plans), the school is given the authority to assign students as they see fit. But for students with IEP's it must meet their unique needs.

If an SDC class has students attending only for part of the day and then attending general education or RSP classes the rest of the day, it is no longer automatically the most restrictive environment. I have clients in classes that serves both students with IEP's and general ed students in reading and writing or math. The class must be specified on the IEP for students having them. The teachers of these classes have to have credentials for teaching special education at the grade level of the class.

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Tim Runner

Expertise

Questions concerning special education: IEP, assessments, Due Process, mediation, resolution conference, federal law, state law, qualifying for services, residential treatment, special day classes, resource specialists, procedures, having your child assessed, adaptive PE, speech & language, non-public school, FAPE, and tuition reimbursement.

Experience

I have been an education advocate representing students and parents for six years. My experience includes: representing my clients in IEPs, SSTs, Due Process, review assessment results for my clients, and mediations. I have represented clients with learning disabilities, autism, Downs Syndrome, cognitively challenged, emotional problems, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, and physical disabilities. I have also represented clients to County Mental Health Departments and Regional Centers. My clients range from pre-school to college students in many states.

Education/Credentials
I have a degree in Mathematics from the University of California with minors in Psychology and Physics. I also studied applied statistics in psychology at the graduate level. I have taught college classes, conducted seminars, written articles for various publications, and testified as an expert witness.

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