Mason City Schools' Special Services Department offers a continuum of services to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. We promote inclusion by providing these services in the least restrictive environment (LRE) which means that to the maximum extent appropriate services are provided in the general education environment.
Mason City Schools utilizes a model based off of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and personalization to discover the strengths and needs of struggling learners. The model values collaboration and recognizes that the learner and parents are core members of the team. This process requires the team to analyze and identify issues of concern, areas of strength, set individual goals, brainstorm options for interventions, develop an action plan and gather data to determine the effectiveness of the intervention plan.
Emphasis is placed on success in the curriculum by meeting the student at their current levels of learning, honoring individual learning styles and implementing research-based interventions to support progress. If interventions required to promote student progress are ongoing, intensive, and specialized the team may suspect that the student has a disability as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and conduct a multi-factored evaluation to determine whether there are educational needs which require special education supports and services.
The results of this evaluation are presented in an Evaluation Team Report (ETR), and the eligibility determination is made by the team which includes the parents. Students may be found eligible under the following federally defined disability categories (category definitions can be found in the Ohio Department of Education document “Whose Idea Is This”):
• Intellectual Disability
• Developmental Delay (preschool only)
• Emotional Disturbance
• Hearing Impairment
• Multiple Disabilities
• Orthopedic Impairment
• Other Health Impairment
• Specific Learning Disability
• Speech or Language Impairment
• Traumatic Brain Injury
• Visual Impairment Including blindness
If the student is found to be eligible for special education services then an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed, which sets goals/objectives for educational needs revealed by the ETR. Services to support progress toward these goals are determined and are guaranteed by the IEP. An Intervention Specialist will be assigned to oversee the implementation of the IEP. Your student’s intervention specialist will be a great resource to you in understanding your student’s needs and progress. They coordinate services and accommodations across your student’s school day.
The IEP also documents necessary accommodations, how the student will participate in state and district testing, and necessary transition services for students with disabilities who are 14 years old or more. The IEP is reviewed at least annually to revise goals and services. An IEP meeting may be called at any time to review the IEP.