Thirteen in every 100 Manteca Unified students access special education services.
The 3,171 students are enrolled in everything from speech and language therapy and resource specialist services that pull children out of class and then return them to special day classes, occupational therapy, adaptive physical education, counseling services, and classes dealing specifically with autism to behavioral services.
Students that have unique needs that Manteca Unified programs are unable to address are referred to various programs operated by the San Joaquin County Office of Education such as the McFall School on Hoyt Lane next to Northgate Park and across from Neil Hafley School.
The district and county office are in a collaborative effort to make sure students’ special needs are served.
As for Manteca Unified given how students with various needs across the district will vary, they offer a “regional” approach to make sure optimum programming can be offered. That means there will be times certain services aren’t needed by a school site or a campus may have only one student needing a particular program. In such cases they may be sent to another district campus. If Manteca Unified doesn’t have a program to meet their needs then they are referred to the SJCOE.
Deputy Superintendent Roger Goatcher notes Manteca Unified employs California’s double-pronged approach on qualifying students for special education services. First, a student must have a disability and secondly, there has to be a need for special education services.
To determine a student’s need and eligibility for special education, schools must identify students who have a disability. They also must conduct a formal evaluation process.
Should the evaluation show general education programs can’t meet a student’s needs, the district develops an Individualized Education Program (IEP) to define what additional services Manteca Unified will provide. As a result, each student’s IEP differs based on heir disability and needs.
That said not all disabled students need special educations services if they’re doing well in general education instruction.
If a determination is made the general education programs aren’t effectively addressing a student’s needs a child may be evaluated for special education programs. Parental consent is needed for a formal assessment.
The district’s special education services are accessed by students age 3 to 22.