Start of Special Education

Special Education & Congress 1975

  • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) enacted by congress in 1975
  • Requires schools to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with certain eligible disabilities and to provide special help, education and related services
  • The law has been revised several times since its original passage


FAPE means Free and Appropriate Public Education. The individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) states that each child who has a disability needs special education and related services will receive FAPE.


Purpose of a Goal

IEP goals are written to show meaningful educational benefits for students based on their ability level; a Supreme Court decision made this change in March 2017.

Grade Level Goal

  • IEP goals are written at a child's instructional level
  • Goals do not have to be at grade level unless appropriate


  • Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is written to provide a child with a disability with specially designed education
  • Written by a group of professionals, parents, and the disabled student (if appropriate)
  • Addresses goals, testing, services, placement, accommodation, modifications, and eligibility status

Please be aware that some goals may have to be revised to reflect a change of environment to an at-home online classroom setting.

Adaptations, accommodations, and supports are changes written into the IEP to help a student overcome or work around disability to achieve academic success in his current environment. An adaptation usually changes to the child’s classroom environment, such as moving an easily distracted child away from the windows. An accommodation is a change that helps a student overcome or work around the disability. Example: Permitting a visually impaired student to use a keyboard with large keys. Accommodations for statewide testing should be provided to general education teachers who will be state testing. Method Schools offer these in an online format only. Please be aware that some of your child’s adaptations, accommodations, or supports may be changed at your 30-day IEP meeting to reflect an at home, online learning environment with the parent as the primary teacher. 

A modification is a change in what is being taught to or expected from the student. For example, grade-level assignments are adjusted to a child’s instructional level, which is usually several grades below the student’s chronological age. Students who have their curriculum modified work will receive a certificate of completion upon graduating high school rather than a high school diploma. As desirable as a diploma is, some students find the diploma an unrealistic goal and will conclude their high school career with a Certificate of Completion. A Certificate of Completion is not an academic credential, and there are no state course or grade requirements necessary to earn a certificate of completion. A student successfully working toward his/her IEP goals and receiving modified instruction in the majority of his/her classes is generally eligible to receive a Certificate of Completion. Students exiting high school with a Certificate of Completion are eligible to participate in any graduation ceremonies the school may sponsor. A Certificate of Completion provides honor to a student exiting high school and is a concrete symbol of entry into the adult world. Most schools design their Certificates of Completion to resemble a diploma.

Your child’s IEP will have services that are based upon your child’s current present levels of performance. Services may vary from student to student, but they are designed to help meet educational goals. Services which may have been provided face-to-face at a traditional school site are offered online as Method Schools is online, at home charter school. In a traditional public school setting, specialized academic instruction (SAI) may be provided anywhere from 5-7 hours a day @ five days a week. At Method Schools, SAI times are reduced to reflect an at home online classroom setting rather than a traditional classroom. SAI is supporting multiple online resources and accommodations. Please be aware that some service times may be adjusted to reflect an online curriculum program and reasonable times. 

I wish to welcome you and your family to Method Schools' virtual online education program. I am proud to be a part of this innovative program as the Special Education Director. My role is to help students who have been offered an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) under the auspices of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or a 504 Plan according to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. 

Method Schools by the Numbers



Based on 2018 and 2019 surveys

% 4

Academic Growth

Annual, for students who remain at Method for an entire year


K-12 students served in 2018-19


Christine Young Director of Special Education
Sabrina Godshaw Academic Improvement Mng


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