• Program and Service Options

    Santa Ana Unified School District makes available a range of educational programs for students with special needs.  The IEP team determines placement and services of each student based on the principle of Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).  LRE means that a student is to participate in as much of the general education program as is appropriate in view of his/her educational needs. In other words, the District will remove children from the general classroom only when the nature or severity of the child's disability is such that the child's education in general education classes with supplementary aids and services cannot be satisfactorily achieved.  Additionally, the child's program should be located as close to home as possible, meaning that the program options at the child's neighborhood school are considered first.  All students will participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities with typically developed peers to the maximum extent appropriate.

    The following are program options:

    Early Start Program 

    This program is designed to provide early intervention services to infants and toddlers (birth to 18 months, and 18 to 36 months old).  The classes emphasize student/parent training. Other aspects of this program are home visits and family involvement activities.  An Individualized Family Service Plan documents these services for eligible 0-3 year old children.

    Preschool Program 

    Preschool-age children (3-5 until eligible for Kindergarten) with special needs may be served in several ways:

    • Designated instruction and services
    • Head Start or State Preschool with designated instruction and services
    • Special Education Class
    • Special Education Class with designated instruction and services

    General Education Class Program 

    A student with special needs may be placed in a general education classroom program when the IEP team determines that his/her educational needs can be met in that setting with the use of supplementary aids and services.

    Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI) 

    A student can receive SAI in any of these programs as determined by the IEP team: 

    Mild /Moderate (MM) Programs

    Responsibilities of the Mild Moderate teachers include providing instruction, monitoring student progress, implementing and revising IEPs, coordinating services, and consulting with parents and staff.  Specialized academic instruction may be provided in the general education classroom or in a MM classroom, as deemed appropriate by the IEP team.

    A student may need MM services for a small amount of time if the student can make progress in a general education classroom for a majority of the school day. MM class is available for the majority of the student’s day if the IEP team determines the student requires more SAI. 

    Moderate/Severe (MS) Programs

    A student is eligible for MS when the IEP team determines that his/her educational needs require support for the majority of the student’s day. Students in separate MS classes will participate in nonacademic and extracurricular activities with their typically developing peers to the maximum extent appropriate. MS programs are of two types: SUCSESS, which are autism-specific classes and Non-categorical MS classes. 

    Home and Hospital Instruction (HHI)

    SAUSD may provide specialized academic instruction for a student residing in a local hospital, or may provide home teaching when a student is unable to attend, even part-time, school for medical or any other significant reason as determine by the IEP team. HHI is typically 5 hours per week in the home or hospital.

    Certified Nonpublic School and Designated Instructional Services

    This placement is considered when a student’s unique needs cannot be met within the public school programs. This placement may include day treatment non-public school or a residential-type placement and is the most restrictive type of placement.

    Related Services 

    Support services are provided when they are required to assist a student with special needs to benefit educationally from his/her special education program.

    Support services may include:

    • Speech and Language
    • Audiological services
    • Sign Language Interpreter services
    • Psychological services
    • Physical and occupational therapy
    • Adapted physical education
    • Counseling services including rehabilitation counseling
    • Orientation and mobility services
    • Specialized vision services
    • Specialized deaf and hard-of-hearing services
    • Health and nursing – specialized physical healthcare services
    • Assistive technology services
    • Braille transcription
    • Career awareness
    • College awareness