Our Special Services department includes a wide array of programs and services designed to meet the needs of our learners with disabilities.
Special education and support services are available to all learners ages birth to 21 who have not graduated and who have been identified as needing these specialized instructional services.
Our Special Education teachers and support staff provide educational programming designed to meet the needs of our students with disabilities. We offer these services to ensure that learners with disabilities receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Highly trained Special Education teachers and paraprofessionals give students specialized instruction designed for each individual in an Individual Education Plan (IEP).
For more information email Joan Opitz at Joan.Opitz@HopkinsSchools.org, or call 952-988-4042.
The Special Education Process
Identification and Referral
The Special Education process begins with identifying learners ages birth to 21 who are eligible for special services and in need of specialized instruction.
We use formal and informal measures to determine the learner’s strengths and areas of need. Parent permission is required to start the Initial assessment and evaluation process. The parent is invited to participate in a Child Study Team at the building site to determine the areas of assessment.
During this phase, the learner’s needs are determined and, together with the family, a plan is written to meet those needs. The underlining principle is where the services are delivered; we use the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) as a guiding principle for determining whether this is in the mainstream classroom, in the resource learning center, in a self-contained special education classroom, or in a program that is off site. These decisions are discussed in a collaborative planning meeting entitled Individual Education Plan conference.
Transition Plus is a joint program among the Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Minnetonka school districts that works with young adults with disabilities, ages 18 to 21. Using the IEP team process, Transition Plus services help students achieve their goals by providing specialized instruction, training, and support.
Intermediate District 287
The Hopkins School District is part of Intermediate District 287, a consortium of 14 metro-area school districts who work collaboratively to provide restrictive, smaller learning environments with students who demonstrate significant, multiple, and complex needs that cannot be served in our neighborhood schools.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- What does being referred mean?
- What kinds of issues could my child's teacher be referring to?
- May I attend this "child study team" meeting?
- Do I have to give permission for this evaluation to take place?
- How will I know if the school is going to do an evaluation of my child?
- If I decide to go ahead with the evaluation, how long will it take?
- What happens if my child has disabilities but does not speak English?
- What services are available for students with multiple and significant disabilities?