We’re Here for You
Insight School of Arizona (ISAZ) offers robust special education services to support students and meet their needs, empowering them to thrive in school and beyond. With high-quality, personalized learning and the help of teachers and support staff, students with special needs can achieve their academic goals, find their confidence, and pave a path to success.
Identification of English Language Learners (ELL) Coordinator
Per ARS 15-752 Children who are English learners shall be educated through sheltered English immersion.
Section 504 Coordinator
504 Accommodation Plans
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is federal legislation that impacts schools and other entities that receive federal funding. The Act is a civil rights statute designed to eliminate discrimination against individuals in schools and the workplace because of disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) incorporates all Section 504 provisions, and its protections are guaranteed regardless of federal funding. The regulations are very broadly written and intended to cover a wide range of public entities to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Section 504 and ADA prohibit the discrimination of students on the basis of a disability.
Section 504 states: “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” If a school receives any federal financial assistance, all programs or activities of the school are covered by Section 504. Because the District receives federal financial assistance, it must comply with the requirements of Section 504.
Section 504 Comparison to IDEA
Individuals who are disabled under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) are also protected under Section 504/ADA. While Section 504 provides for services similar to those available through special education, the intent and requirements of the acts are different. IDEA is a mandate to provide special education and related services to students who meet specific eligibility criteria for one or more of 13 categories of disability and need special education and related services.
Section 504, while intended to be consistent with the IDEA, provides broader and different coverage than does the IDEA with a focus on providing equal opportunity to all students through “reasonable accommodations”. The Section 504 definition of an individual with a disability is broader, including any person whose physical or mental impairment substantially limits one or more major life activities, including, but not limited to, learning, thinking, concentrating and reading. Most if not all children and young adults who receive special education and related services under the IDEA are also considered qualified individuals with disabilities under Section 504. However, all individuals who qualify for 504 services may not qualify for special education under IDEA. It is important to note that Section 504 is not a consolation prize for students who do not meet the eligibility requirements of IDEA.
IDEA identifies as eligible only children and young adults who have specific types of disabilities and who, as a result, need special education and related services in order to access and make progress in the general school curriculum.
Identification of Homeless Liaison
The McKinney-Vento Definition of Homeless
Subtitle VII-B of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (per Title IX, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act) defines homeless as follows:
The term “homeless children and youths”
(A) means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence (within the meaning of section 103(a)(1)); and
(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals;*
(ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));
(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
(iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
If your family lives in any of the following situations:
- In a shelter
- In a motel or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation
- In a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station
- Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship
Your school-age children may qualify for certain rights and protections under federal McKinney-Vento Act. Your eligible children have the right to:
- Receive a free, appropriate public education.
- Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment.
- Enroll in school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents.
- Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (The school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled) if that is your preference.
- If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision.
- Receive transportation to and from the school of origin if you request this.
- Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children’s needs.
Identification of Foster Care Coordinator
The Foster Care Coordinator will identify, support, and accurately report all students who are students supported in Arizona Foster Care. The goal of identifying students in Foster Care is to ensure educational stability and appropriate support. Program guidance ensures that students in Foster Care receive support in remaining at their school of origin, as appropriate, are provided with immediate enrollment and timely records transfer, as well as support for any required transportation needs.
Identification of Migrant Education Coordinator
The Migrant Education Coordinator will identify, support, and accurately report all students who qualify for the Arizona Migrant Education Program. The goal of the Migrant Education Program is to ensure that all migrant students reach challenging academic standards and graduate. Program guidance ensures that migratory children who move among the districts/states are not penalized in any manner by disparities among states in curriculum, graduation requirements, or state academic content and student academic achievement standards. One critical component to ensuring educational continuity is the timely records exchange.
Identification of American with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance Act Coordinator/Special Programs Manager
Request for Parent/Guardian Interpreter Services or Disability Accommodations
Annual Public Notice of Special Services & Programs
In accordance with federal and state regulations, ISAZ will provide an annual public notice to families informing them of ISAZ’s child find responsibilities, procedures involved in the identification of educational disabilities and determination of students’ service and support needs.
ISAZ strives to identify, locate, and evaluate all enrolled children who may have disabilities. Disability, as stated in IDEA, includes such conditions as hearing, visual, speech, or language impairment, specific learning disability, emotional disturbance, cognitive disability, other health or physical impairment, autism, and traumatic brain injury. The process of identifying, locating, and evaluating these children is referred to as Child Find.
As a public school, we will respond vigorously to federal and state mandates requiring the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education regardless of a child’s disability or the severity of the disability. In order to comply with the Child Find requirements, Insight Academy of Arizona (ISAZ) will implement procedures to help ensure that ISAZ students with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, who are in need of special education and related services—are identified, located, and evaluated —including students with disabilities who are homeless or students who are wards of the state.
Parent/Guardian permission and involvement is a vital piece in the process. Once a student has been identified as having a “suspected disability” or identified as having a disability, ISAZ will ask the student or the student’s Parent/Guardian for information about the child such as:
- How has the suspected disability or identified disability hindered the student’s learning?
- What has been done, educationally, to intervene and correct the student’s emerging learning deficits?
- What educational or medical information relative to to the suspected disability or identified disability is available to be shared with the school?
This information may also be obtained from the student’s present or former teachers, therapists, doctors, or from other agencies that have information about the student.
All information collected will be held in strict confidence and released to others only with parental permission or as allowed by law. In keeping with this confidence, ISAZ will keep a record of all persons who review confidential information. In accordance with state regulations, parents have the right to review their child’s records.
As part of the Child Find process, some services may include a complete evaluation, an individualized education program designed specifically for the child, and a referral to other agencies providing special services.
Special Education (IEP) or Service Agreements (504 Plans)
Privacy and Confidentiality
Special Education Grievances or Disputes
ISAZ recognizes that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between the school-based team and ISAZ families or students. Should this situation occur, the ISAZ special education case manager will initiate an IEP team discussion where the specific details contributing to any educational concern are fully discussed and addressed as the entire team determines would consider most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting, and the ISAZ Special Education Team seeks to establish and maintain the confidence of its families to always serve its students in order to maximize their educational success.
Dispute Resolution Options
- IEP Facilitation – IEP facilitation is a voluntary process that can be utilized when all parties to an IEP meeting agree that the presence of a neutral third party would help facilitate communication and the successful drafting of the student’s IEP. This process is not necessary for most IEP meetings. Rather, it is most often utilized when there is a sense from any of the participants that the issues at the IEP meeting are creating an impasse or acrimonious climate.
- Mediation – A voluntary process in which both parties seek to resolve the issues involved in the concern with an unbiased, third party mediator from the Arizona State Department of Education. The mediator who will write up the details of the agreement that the parties come to through the mediation conference, the agreement is signed by both parties, and thus what the document states is mandated to be implemented; This process is overall less time-consuming, less stressful, and less expensive to complete than a due process hearing (see below)