Each year, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education releases determinations on state-level implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Their accountability framework looks at the educational results and functional outcomes for children with disabilities as well as the compliance requirements of IDEA. Indicators included in the framework are graduation, drop-out rate, participation and proficiency for students with IEPs, suspension and expulsion rates, educational environments, preschool environments and outcomes, parent involvement, disproportionate representation, child find, early childhood transition, secondary transition, post-school outcomes, resolution sessions, mediation and the state’s systemic improvement plan.

The state of North Dakota was one of only 21 states to meet requirements this year, and West Fargo Public Schools was one of only a handful of districts in the state to do so.

The West Fargo Public Schools Special Education Department attributes our success to the hard work of all staff, a continued dedication to intentional staff training, partnerships with parents/guardians and a commitment from community agencies in supporting students to be successful.

Our staff members achieve this by creating individualized education plans that focus on understanding and responding to student needs. We believe in working with the student’s multi-disciplinary team to ensure that individual needs are being met. The West Fargo Special Education Department’s mission of achieving student growth through the collaboration of our staff, families, and community drives the work we do for each student who receives special education programming.

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West Fargo Public Schools offers a wide range of special education programs and services, which are provided to students and their families beginning at age 3 and carrying through age 21. Our special education and related services staff provide instruction and support to students with identified disabilities in the least restrictive environment, to the maximum extent appropriate with nondisabled peers and access to the general education curriculum. A continuum of services and placements are available in all areas of disability in West Fargo Public Schools.

The Individual Education Program (IEP) team, including parents, determines the most appropriate setting and services based on the student’s unique needs. The disability categories for special education in North Dakota are autism, deaf, deaf and blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, intellectual disability, non-categorical delay, other health impairment, orthopedic impairment, speech and/or language impairment, specific learning disability, traumatic brain injury and visual impairment.

As we enter the 2019-2020 school year, the West Fargo Special Education Department will focus on training staff in:

  • Understanding and identifying best practices in order to impact academic and

social/emotional growth in our students;

  • Providing intentional evidence-based interventions and strategies that align to the unique

needs of the student;

  • Facilitating the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) process and

procedures with fidelity.

This focus includes achieving individual student IEP goals as well as accomplishing a larger long-term goal of achieving student growth that will allow each student to contribute to their community.