The mission of the Cedar Springs Department of Special Education (DSE) is to provide, implement and monitor a full continuum of special education services delivered in a variety of settings to enable students to benefit from their education. Our special education programs serve eligible students with mild to intensive needs ranging from preschool to adult transition programs.
All special education services are determined at the individual student level through the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. The IEP process is student-centered and focuses on a student's strengths, unique needs, goals and necessary services and supports that are reasonably calculated to provide the student an educational benefit in the least restrictive environment.
In support of the CSPS District Improvement Plan and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement ACT of 2004 (IDEA), DSE is committed to promoting improved academic achievement for all students with disabilities. Parents are valued partners with students and school staff members in planning the student's services through the Individualized Education Program decision-making Progress. All decisions regarding the placement of a child with a disability in a special education service delivery model will be made by an Individualized Education Program Team in consultation with the parents or guardians of the child and consistent with the Least Restrictive Environment requirements of the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
If you would like more information of the special education identification process, and special education programs and services, please contact the Department of Special Education at 616-696-0580.
Home Community Program
Cedar Springs Public Schools offers a Home/Community program designed to encourage development in young children. The program provides special education services to students who qualify from birth to 5 years old. Services are free of charge and may include:
In Home Early Childhood Evaluations
Weekly Home Visits & Play Groups
Referrals to other resources
Early On services
Parents as Teachers program
Coordination of Special Education Services
Preschool Classroom Programs for ages 3-5
Early Childhood Programs Our preschool programs are designed to meet the individual needs of students with developmental delays or disabilities from ages 3-5. Through play, the preschool curriculum allows children to grow and learn in a language based, hands on, developmentally appropriate setting.
If you have a concern about your child's development, please contact the Department of Special Education.
Extended School Year (ESY)
What is ESY services?
ESY refers to special education and/or related services provided beyond the normal school year for the purpose of providing a FAPE to a student with a disability. The purpose of ESY is different from the purpose of enrichment programs, summer school programs offered to all students, or compensatory education programs, and are not simply an extension of the regular school year. ESY services are offered at no cost to parents and will vary by type, location, and length of time, depending on the individual needs of the student. The purpose of ESY services is to maintain skills, not to develop new ones.
ESY services are NOT:
Not for teacher new skills;
Based on the category of student's disability;
Mandated for all students with disabilities;
Required 12-month programs;
Child care services;
Necessarily a continuation of the total IEP provided to a student with a disability during the regular school year;
Required to be provided all day or every day;
An automatic provision from year-to-year;
Required to be provided in a traditional classroom setting;
A service to be provided to maximize each student's potentional;
For credit recovery;
A replacement for lack of attendance.
Who is eligible for ESY services:
Any student with an IEP is eligible for the consideration of ESY services if ESY is essential to provide FAPE. Each student has his or her own individual educational needs. Therefore, ESY services will accomplish different purposes for different students. Some students may suffer losses of social, behavioral, communication, academic, self-sufficiency or other skills during interruptions in academic year instruction.
CSPS contracts with Kent ISD and Dean Transportation to provide transportation services for our students with disabilities. Students with IEP's whose disability requires them to have specialized transportation, will be transported by Dean.
Parents who have questions about their student's transportation may call the Cedar Springs Department of Special Education for assistance.
All students leave school to create their adult lives. "Transition" describes that critical transformation, and includes the education, legal information, planning, and community connections our special education students need in order to achieve those adult goals.
The transition process prepares students with disabilities for adult life by focusing on the specific areas of post-secondary education, employment, community participation, and when appropriate, independent living skills.
What are Transition Services?
Transition services are intended to be a coordinated set of activities, provided by the school and, when necessary, community agencies, to students with disabilities to promote successful movement from high school to adult life.
Transition services are part of a results oriented process that is focused on improving both the functional and academic needs of a student with a disability.
When Does Transition Planning Begin?
Federal rules and regulations require that transition planning for students with disabilities begin no later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16, and updated annually thereafter. However, it is considered best practice to begin transition planning as early as when a student is 14, and in some cases earlier, as they begin to transition from the middle school to the high school.
Who is Involved in the Transition Planning Process?
Transition Services and measurable post-secondary goals leading to a student's post-secondary vision, must be identified in a student's Individualized Education Program (IEP), beginning with the first IEP in effect when the student turns 16. Therefore, the IEP team, including the student, parents, teachers and when appropriate outside agencies, are involved in transition planning. Student and parent participation are integral to the success of achieving positive transition outcomes.