Special Education


The Department of Special Education and Student Services supports its mission by:

  • complying with the provisions of IDEA of 1997(Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997) and the IDEIA of 2004 (Individuals with Disabilities Improvement Act of 2004)

  • appropriately identifying students with disabilities based on federal and state criteria

  • providing high quality, specialized instructional programs utilizing supplemental materials and research-based strategies

  • facilitating a collaborative team among parents, staff, and students to build a positive learning environment

  • promoting a strengths-based approach to build on success

  • supporting the development of knowledge and skills to prepare students to be college-bound and/or career ready in the following areas: academics; social/emotional; behavioral; communication; fine and gross motor; organization; transition goals; and functional life skills.

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In response to legislation passed by the Virginia General Assembly as well as feedback and collaboration with the field, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has released a Video Guide to the Special Education Evaluation Process for Families as additional guidance to support accurate and consistent eligibility determinations and access to special education services across school divisions. These video modules will provide parents, families, and other stakeholders with a brief but comprehensive overview of the special education process on the following topics: Introduction (Overview of Series), Identification, Evaluation, Eligibility, Individualized Education Program (IEP), Reevaluation, Early Intervention, and What’s Next. Each module is designed to be viewed as a stand-alone resource or viewed in succession.

For questions regarding the video modules, please contact Bonnie English, Specialist-Related Services, Evaluation and Eligibility, at (804) 750-8187 or Bonnie.English@doe.virginia.gov; or Dr. Zenia Burnett, Director of Instructional Services, at (804) 750-8666 or Zenia.Burnett@doe.virginia.gov. For general inquiries, email spedinstruction@doe.virginia.gov.

Virginia Department of Education’s Video Guide to the Special Education Evaluation Process for Families