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Our services regarding education

Children between the ages of 3 and 22 with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) under Federal Law. The services are individualized and provided through the public school system. The Arc Tennessee can provide an Exceptional Education Mentor to help families understand their special education rights and navigate the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. 

Our team members are called mentors because our role is to empower parents to become great advocates for their child. Services are provided free-of-charge in an educational and supportive capacity to assist families in becoming their child’s strongest advocate. Mentors collaborate with families and share information regarding transition services, disability categories, evaluation and eligibility, testing and assessments, IEPs, 504 plans, behavior interventions and behavior plans.

An Exceptional Education Mentor’s Role

Mentors can review when appropriate, a student’s IEP, behavior interventions, progress reports and/or related services. When necessary, and in a limited capacity, Exceptional Education Mentors can attend an IEP meeting. Please note, our Mentors are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice, nor can they assist in the completion of forms. Mentors strongly encourage families to review and become familiar with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) procedural safeguards, Wrightslaw resources, in addition to completing the Special Education Basic Rights Training provided by Support & Training for Exceptional Parents (STEP).

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Basic FAQs about exceptional education

Let us help you understand what Individual Education Supports are and what they do

What is an IEP?

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written document developed by the team that describes accommodations, modifications, special education and related services that will be provided to the student. The IEP must be reviewed and updated by the team every 12 months.

The IEP Team

An IEP team is a group of people, including school personnel and parents, who decides if a student is eligible for special education and what special education and related services will be provided to an eligible student, based on his or her needs.

IEP Services

IEP Services can include: educational instruction that is adapted to meet the child’s needs, related services such as speech, physical, and occupational therapy, a behavior intervention plan designed to decrease behaviors and allow a student better educational access, as well as other services a child might need to benefit from public education.

Least Restrictive Environment

Please note that all special education services must be provided in the least restrictive environment (LRE). LRE means educating a child with disabilities alongside children who do not have disabilities, for all or part of the school day, or as much as possible.

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Need an Exceptional Education Mentor?

The Arc Tennessee’s team of Exceptional Education Mentors are here to help. Contact us today for more information.

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