Child Find Notice
Child Find Notice
The Special Education Department employs specialists, administrators and teachers with specialized expertise, certification and/or license to design, implement and supervise special education services of the district. The STEP Center provides a variety of services, information and training for parents and teachers of special education students. For more information regarding special education services, please contact one of the following:
Educational needs of children with disabilities
Special education means the specifically designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Specially designed instruction means adapting content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of the child and to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum. Special education is a service, not a place.
Eligibility for Special Education services
Two federal laws protect children with disabilities, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act (IDEA) of 1973. Children experiencing disabilities are guaranteed a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under IDEA and Alaska State Regulations. Under IDEA, a child with a disability is one who has a physical or mental disability as defined in one of 14 eligibility categories, the disability adversely affects the educational performance of the child, and because of the disability the child is in need of special education and related services. The areas of eligibility are autism, deafness, deaf blindness, early childhood developmental delay, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, specific learning disability, cognitive impairment, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment. Section 504 defines disabled as “any person who has a physical or mental disability which substantially limits a major life activity or has a record of such a disability or is regarded as having such a disability.” For information about whether your child may qualify for services under IDEA or Section 504, contact an administrator at your child’s school.
Rights of children with disabilities
IDEA provides for a Free Appropriate Public Education to all children experiencing disabilities in the least restrictive environment. This means services without charge to the parent, in conformity with an appropriately developed Individualized Education Program (IEP), provided at public expense under public supervision, and which meet the education standards and administrative policies and procedures of the state education agency. IDEA requires school districts to provide parents with opportunities to become involved in their child’s educational program and to document that involvement. These rights place responsibility on the parent to become actively involved. Rights to which parents are entitled under IDEA are referred to as procedural safeguards. A copy of the procedural safeguards is available at any school or through the ASD website at
Services available to children with disabilities
The Anchorage School District provides comprehensive educational services through the Special Education Department to all children who experience disabilities and have additional needs beyond those which can generally be met by the regular classroom program. Special education services are provided in all ASD schools, including alternative schools, optional schools, charter schools and special school programs. Services are designed by an IEP team to be provided in the least restrictive environment, including the parent as a contributing member. IDEA requires that a continuum of special education placements is available, which includes support in the regular classroom supervised by special education personnel, direct service by special education personnel in the regular classroom, pull-out time from the regular classroom with service from special education personnel, self-contained special education classrooms, special schools, home or hospital instruction, or instruction in an institution. Since all components of the continuum cannot be provided in every neighborhood school, the IEP teams make every effort to provide the appropriate services for a student in a setting as close to his/her normal classroom as possible. In addition to providing the necessary special education services, the IEP team may determine a need for related services. Related services may include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, specialized nursing services, audiology services and transportation.
The district maintains the confidentiality of information relating to students with disabilities. The district must obtain written consent before disclosing personally identifiable information to any person other than a school employee who has a legitimate educational interest, employees of the school in which the child is enrolled, or a representative of the United States Department of Education or the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development.