Special Education

Our comprehensive special education program serves students with disabilities ranging in age from birth to 21. All services are developed to facilitate each student reaching his/ her full potential. From early intervention to community based vocational training, students are provided a quality, individualized educational program in the least restrictive environment.

The following underlying assumptions guide the organization and provision of special education in our district:

  1. Special Education is a service that should be brought to students in the typical environments in which they would be educated if they did not have a disability.
  2. Students with disabilities should have exposure to the rich curricular, instructional, and social opportunities of the general education system.
  3. Students with disabilities should be held to rigorous academic standards.
  4. Families are essential partners in making educational decisions for students.
  5. Accountability for meaningful progress is an essential component of all special education programs.

Nearly all students with disabilities in Eden Prairie are educated at their home schools. They receive a full range of appropriate special education and related services, in the general education setting and/ or in pull out small groups or individual instruction. A very small number of students are educated in specialized programs in and outside of the district. The district is able to provide a rich system of inclusive education because of the strong working relationships between general education and special education and the full support from building administrators.

Each school in Eden Prairie has a special education team that provides services to students with a variety of disabilities. A special education LEAD teacher is available at each school to assist students and families with the special education process.

Early Childhood Special Education

Eden Prairie Schools strives to ensure that each student reaches his/her full potential by working to meet the unique educational needs of every student who walks through our doors. One way Eden Prairie Schools meets the needs of students is through Early Childhood Special Education—programs and services that meet an individual child’s needs for children with disabilities from birth to age 5.

Early Childhood Special Education includes:

  • Early Intervention Services for children birth through age 2;
  • Comprehensive assessment of development for children ages birth through age 5;
  • Direct and consultative services for children with special education needs (birth through 5), including possible services of ECSE teachers, speech and language therapy, and motor specialists;
  • Parent support and education regarding special services, community resources and child development;
  • Children with special needs are served in a variety of natural and inclusive settings such as home, childcare, or preschool;

For more information about ECSE, please contact the Early Childhood Special Education office at (952) 975-6979.

Referral Process

Part C (Ages Birth to Age 2 Years, 11 months)

Parents or professionals with concerns about an infant or toddler’s development may call our school district directly at 952-975-6977 OR may use the state online Help Me Grow Referral System:  http://helpmegrowmn.org/HMG/Refer/index.html. After receiving a referral, a public school professional on the early intervention team will make an appointment for a home visit with parents/guardians to gather developmental history and screen your child and discuss the need for further comprehensive evaluation. The school district has 45 calendar days to complete the evaluation from the time of the initial referral. The special education team will then review the results of the evaluation to determine if the child qualifies for special education services based on state eligibility criteria. 

Part B (Ages 3-5 preK)

Parents or teachers with concerns about a child’s development or educational performance can request a special education referral. Children ages 3-5 may be asked to be screened through Early Childhood Screening (952-975-7047). The Early Childhood Screening team may then refer the child to the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) team. The ECSE team may deem an evaluation appropriate and will meet with the parent(s) to develop an evaluation plan. Once parents have agreed, and the signed evaluation plan has been received, the school district has 30 school days to complete the assessment. The special education team will review the results to determine if the student qualifies for special education services based on state eligibility criteria.

Ages 5 to 21

Teachers or other staff members who are concerned about a student’s developmental or educational performance may refer students for special education evaluation utilizing the school’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) problem-solving team.  Parents or guardians have the right to refer by written request and also work with their child’s teacher within the school’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support to determine appropriate pre-interventions and supports. If it is determined that a special education evaluation is appropriate, an evaluation plan is developed with the parent(s)/guardian(s), student, general and special education staff input.

Parents must agree to the initial evaluation in writing before the evaluation process may begin. Once parents have agreed, and signed permission for the evaluation has been received, the school has 30 school days to complete the evaluation. The special education team will review the results to determine if the student qualifies for special education services based on state eligibility criteria. If a student is found to be eligible for special education services, an Individual Education Program plan is developed with parental input.

Restrictive Procedures

Restrictive Procedure Plan

First page of the PDF file: EPS2018-19RestrictiveProceduresPlan

Restrictive Procedures Documentation Form

First page of the PDF file: RestrictiveProceduresDocForm

MDE Restrictive Procedures Oversight Committee

  • Mary Waters-Cryer, Director of Related Services (Facilitator)
  • Ann LaBonne, District Behavior Team
  • Traci Davis, District Behavior Team
  • Nicole Hutchinson, District Behavior Team
  • Adrienne Jonas, District Behavior Team
  • Felicia Thames, Principal, Prairie View
  • Ashley Ross, Lead Special Education Teacher, Prairie View
  • Erin Watt, Lead Special Education Teacher, Central Middle School
  • Martha Long, School Psychiatry, K-6 Assessment Team

Meeting Dates:

  • October 25th, 2018 (2PM-3PM)
  • January 17th, 2019 (2PM-3PM)
  • March 14th, 2019 (2PM-3PM)
  • May 30th, 2019 (2PM-3PM)

Procedures Following the Use of Restrictive Procedures

First page of the PDF file: ProceduresfollowingtheuseofRPs

Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC)

Council of parents, educators and administrators who meet to advise the District on decisions affecting students in special education. The State of Minnesota Department of Education mandates that all districts maintain parent advisory councils in order to increase involvement of parents of children with disabilities. Members of the council are parents and school teaching staff representing a variety of disabilities and school sites. In Eden Prairie, half of the designated council members are parents of children with disabilities.

The Eden Prairie SEAC meets quarterly and provides a forum for the council to discuss special education issues. Examples of discussion topics include school-to-school transition, web site resources, state and federal legislation related to special needs students, and school-home communication. Parent education is also a goal.

SEAC Information

What is a SEAC?

A SEAC is a group that provides input on special education issues to its local school district.

  • Its purpose is to advise and to advocate, not to decide policy.
  • Minnesota law requires each school district or cooperative to have a SEAC.
  • Minnesota law does not say how the groups should be organized or what duties they should perform.

Why are SEACs important?

  • Local SEACs advise school districts on the development of programs and services to meet the special educational needs of children and families.
  • Parents can help districts be more effective by sharing families' unique perspectives.
  • As a result, outcomes for children can improve.

Why might I want to participate on a SEAC?

  • I may be able to help other families and children with disabilities in my school district.
  • I can share what I’ve learned since my child began his education.
  • I can support the school professionals in my district.
  • I will be a good role model for my child.
  • I feel good when I make a contribution to this community.
  • I will learn information and skills that may help me work more effectively with my school district.
  • I will meet others with similar goals, both parents and school professionals.
  • I may build professional relationships with others in my district.
  • I will become more knowledgeable about special education.
  • By sharing my unique perspective and insights as a parent, I may help the school district work more effectively with families and improve outcomes for children.

Additional info for SEAC website:

  • Past Accomplishments and progress
  • On-going projects

Source: A Parent’s Guide to Special Educational Advisory Councils, PACER Center

Information Flyer

First page of the PDF file: SEACFLYER17-18


First page of the PDF file: SEACByLaws

School Transition Timeline

First page of the PDF file: SEAC-TransitionTimelinesforParentsandStaff22016

Who to Contact with Questions

First page of the PDF file: SEACWhotoContactChart17-18

Meeting Dates

Thursday October 11th, 6:00-8:00PM

Administrative Services Center- Eagles Development Center (8100 School Road)

Monday, February 4th, 6:00-8:00pm

Administrative Services Center- Eagles Development Center (8100 School Road)

Thursday, April 11th, 6:00-8:00pm MEETING CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER (updated 4/11)

Administrative Services Center- Eagles Development Center (8100 School Road)

Monday, May 13th, 6:00-8:00PM

Administrative Services Center- Eagles Development Center (8100 School Road)

Get Involved

If you are interested in SEAC please complete the attached form and return to Rose Quintero at rosewinton@yahoo.com.