Special Education
Special Education

School District of Monroe Special Education

What is special education?
Special education programs are designed for those students who have academic, intellectual, physical, social, behavioral and/or emotional disabilities. Due to these special issues, some students’ needs cannot be met within the traditional classroom environment alone. Special Education programs and services adapt content, teaching methodology and delivery instruction to meet the appropriate needs of each child. These services are of no cost to the family and are available to children until they reach 21 years of age.

The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) defines Special Education as “specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.” So what does this mean? It means that the School District of Monroe employs more than 50 professionals that specialize in serving students with unique learning needs.  The District 
provides a wide-range of services for students with disabilities.  These include support from special education teachers, speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, school psychologists, and vision and hearing specialists.

Who qualifies for special education services?
Students with disabilities, who need special education and related services, are found eligible when an IEP team determines that the student meets the eligibility criteria established by Wisconsin State Law. Wisconsin identifies 11 disability areas that are eligibile for special education services: Autism, Intellectual Disabilities (formerly Cognitive Disabilities), Emotional Behavioral Disabilities, Hearing Impairments, Orthopedic Impairments, Other Health Impairments, Significant Developmental Delay, Speech/Language Impairments, Specific Learning Disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury and Visual Impairments.

For more information on the disability areas and the associated eligibility criteria, please click on this link: Wisconsin Special Education Eligibility

​What happens after my child qualifies for special education services?
After an IEP team determines that a student qualifies for special education services, the team can begin to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP). The IEP serves as an educational contract between the school and the parents to outline the services, accommodations, modification, supports and resources that will be provided for the student. 

Each student with special education needs is assigned a case manager who acts as the primary point of contact for questions and concerns about the student. The case manager also provides regular updates regarding the student's progress toward the goals identified in the IEP.

Who serves as a part of the IEP team?
The IEP team is a group of individuals that work together to make very important decisions about students with special education needs ( or suspected of having special education needs). Each IEP team includes the following individuals:
-Regular education teacher(s) - if any are involved in the student's programming
-Special education teacher(s) or therapists
-District representative (typically a principal or school psychologist)
-Student (when deemed appropriate)

It is important to note that parents/guardians are equal members of the IEP team and have a very strong voice in the process. Parents should feel comfortable knowing that they have every right to advocate for their child. Parents are also welcome to bring someone with them to the meeting to help them effectively communicate the needs of their child and problem-solve any concerns they may have.

Who do I contact if I have a concern or question?
Parents that have concerns regarding the educational services of their children are encouraged to contact their case manager and/or building principal. If that communication does not result in a satisfactory result, parents are welcome to contact Joe Monroe, Director of Pupil Services. Contact information is listed below:  
Joe Monroe, Director of Pupil Services
Address: 925-16th Avenue, Suite 3, Monroe, WI 53566
Phone: 608-328-7184

Resources for Parents:
Introduction to Special Education

Special Education Acronyms & Terms

Special Education Rights for Parents and Children

Wisconsin Statewide Parent-Educator Initiative

U.S. Department of Education: IDEAs that Work

School District of Monroe Special Education Profile

PACER (Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights)

Autism NOW

Ability Hub (Assistive Technology)

School District of Monroe Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program

School District of Monroe Occupational Therapy

School District of Monroe Speech and Language Services

Have an online resource for that you think should be added to this list?
Email Joe Monroe with your suggestion at: