District 196 Special Education is committed to equitable opportunities through high quality practices to accelerate growth for all students.
Equitable opportunities to accelerate growth
We provide a full continuum of services for students with disabilities. Our Special Education Department serves approximately 4,500 students who range in age from birth through 21. All schools in our district provide special education services with licensed special education teachers and offer intervention supports, evaluations and special education instruction.
District 196 offers a wide range of service delivery models. Most students receive services in their neighborhood school and, when possible, in their general education classroom setting.
Special Education is specialized instruction specific to the student at no cost to parents. The instruction is designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Children must meet specific criteria set by the State of Minnesota and the Federal Government to receive special education services. Special Education is an instructional service, not a place.
To receive special education services, a student must first be evaluated and meet state criteria. Once qualified, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed for the student.
District 196 has a comprehensive program of Early Childhood Special Education services for children ages birth through the start of kindergarten. Children ages 3-5 who have cognitive or physical disabilities or developmental delays are served in a variety of welcoming and nurturing educational settings.
Dakota Ridge is a school for District 196 students who are enrolled in special education services and face social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Dakota Ridge provides a safe place for students to work on social, emotional and behavioral regulation and increase pro-social behavior.
The Transition Plus Program is a program for young adults ages 18-21 with special needs, who need assistance and support while pursuing transition goals and objectives. It is a community-based program emphasizing employment and independent living skills.
Special Education is specialized instruction specific to the student at no cost to parents. The instruction is designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.
Center-based classrooms in our inclusive learning community foster high levels of learning in order to support our work of helping students in reaching their full potential. We build communication, functional, social, emotional, and behavioral skills in addition to the core academics, differentiated for individual students. Learn more about where our center-based programs are located.
THRIVE: Serves students with unique health needs who have significant educational needs in the areas of communication and functional skills, and require a highly supported, small group instructional environment.
CONNECT: Serves students who have significant educational needs in social communication and self regulation, and require a highly supported, small group instructional environment.
SKILLS: Serves students who have educational needs in functional and academic skills. Students may receive instruction in the classroom, community environments and/or job training sites, as specified in the individual education plan.
ACHIEVE: Serves students who have educational needs in emotional, behavioral and self-regulation skills in a supported environment.
STRATEGIES: Serves students who have educational needs in social communication and self regulation skills in a supported environment.