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Office of Programs for Exceptional Children (OPEC)

Dorchester School District Four (DSD4) currently provides Special Education services to  students with disabilities, ages 3 to 21, under the Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Education Act of 2004 (IDIEA) based on the 2013 Child Count. The District provides a continuum of Special Education and related services to students attending public schools, community-based day cares, as well as, private and home schools. Special Education means specially designed instruction (34 C.F.R. § 300.39(a)(1)), to address the unique needs of a child that result from the child’s disability to ensure the child has access to the general education curriculum in order to meet the educational standards that apply to all children (34 C.F.R. § 300.39(b)(3)(i) and (ii) by adapting the content, methodology or delivery of instruction. Special Education supports the student in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) through the implementation of specially designed instruction, accommodations/modifications, materials and curriculum, as appropriate.


Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are required by federal law (IDIEA) for all students who meet criteria as a student with a disability. Written by a collaborative team that includes the child’s parents, general education teachers, special educators, related service providers, and community agencies, as appropriate, an IEP documents the educational and related services a student requires to reach specified short-term and long-term goals.


All students with IEPs are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that includes access to an education that will best prepare them to attain positive post-secondary outcomes.


In order for a student to qualify for Special Education services, a student must meet eligibility as a student with a disability and the child must have specific needs which are so unique that they require specially designed instruction to access the general education curriculum (34 C.F.R. § 300.8).  A student may meet criteria in one of thirteen areas:


-   Specific Learning Disability               -  Orthopedic Impairment       

-   Speech-Language Impairment          -  Other Health Impairment

-   Developmental Delay                        -  Traumatic Brain Injury

-   Intellectual Disabilities                       -  Autism

-   Emotional Disabilities                        -  Multiple Disabilities

-   Visual Impairment                             -  Deaf-blindness

-   Deaf and Hard of Hearing



Dorchester School District Four utilizes a collaborative team approach on behalf of all students with disabilities.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact your child’s school and/or Monica K. Tudder, Director of Programs for Exceptional Children at (843) 462-7629.