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Special Education Policy: English

Special Education Policy at Baltimore City College

Definition of Special Education

Special Education means specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of an eligible child with a disability. Special education ensures that all eligible children with disabilities are entitled to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) that is designated to meet their unique needs and to prepare them for college and career success. Special education provides instruction and related services, at no cost to the parent, to enable the child with a disability to have access to, and make progress in, Baltimore City College’s IB Middle Years Program and Diploma Program. 

Baltimore City College has an inclusive approach to Special Education and the IB Program.  All 9th and 10th graders who qualify for admission to City, regardless of disability or need, are provided an education in the classroom with the supports and accommodations that are needed by that student. 

Modifications are made only when indicated by in response to a documented disability that is indicated in an IEP or 504 plan, such as changes in tests or course presentation, location, student response, time requirements, or other attributes that are necessary to ensure a student’s success but do not fundamentally alter or lower the standards or expectations or invalidate the test.


Baltimore City College complies with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) guides how we provide special education and related services to student with disabilities and is built on the following principles:

Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) - This means that a child with a disability is entitled to an education at no cost to the parent. The education is provided under the supervision and direction of Baltimore City Public Schools.

Parent/Student Participation - Parents must be provided opportunities for active participation in determining the services that appropriately address the special education and related services needs of their child. As students become 14 years of age, they are included as active participants in determining their transition needs and education. Child Find – Baltimore City Public Schools has the responsibility to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged 14 to 21, attending Baltimore City College who are in need of special education services. This includes the gathering of information to determine whether a child requires special education and related services. The process includes the identification of a child's strengths and needs and considerations related to progress in Baltimore City College’s IB curriculum.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) - This is the written plan for a student with a disability that is developed and reviewed in accordance with standards outlined in IDEA. Maryland has a standardized IEP format known as the Maryland Statewide IEP used by all local school systems.

Least Restrictive Environment - Children with disabilities are most appropriately educated with their non-disabled peers in regular classrooms, in the school they would attend if not disabled, to the maximum extent possible. Separating the child from non-disabled peers should occur when the student's needs are such that education in the general education classroom, even with supplementary aides, cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

Statewide Assessment Participation - All children with disabilities must be included in all general state and district wide assessment programs. Children with disabilities are provided appropriate accommodations and alternate assessments as defined by their IEP.

Procedural Safeguards - Procedural safeguards must be in place and communicated to ensure that the rights of the child with a disability and the parents are protected.

Roles of Students, Parents and Teachers

A student’s role in the Special Education process is as follows:

At the age of 14, all Special Education students become active participants in the Individual Education Program (IEP) Team meeting process and are encouraged to participate in the discussion and decisions made about his or her educational goals and future plans.

A parent’s role in the Special Education process is as follows:

Each family is given a procedural safeguards document, which includes a full explanation of parental rights in a parents’ native language.  The Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team process encourages full participation in the discussion and decisions made at all IEP meetings.

A teacher’s role in the Special Education process is as follows:

·       to participate in the development of the student’s IEP

·       assist in the determination of supplementary aids and services, program modification, or supports that are provided for the student

·       maintain the confidentiality of the students’ records

·       make necessary accommodations and adjustments to teaching, learning and assessment

Testing Accommodations

All students with special needs- regardless of the test they take- are entitled to accommodations during instruction and testing.  The accommodations a child needs are indicated in his or her IEP.   The amount or degree of accommodation with regards to selection, administration, evaluation of assessments is determined by the governing body of the particular test.  The City College Testing Coordinator, IEP Chair and IB Coordinators work together to submit proper documentation so that students receive proper accommodations to the following organizations:

  • IB Exams- International Baccalaureate Organization

  • SAT, PSAT, AP, ACT- The College Board

  • High School Assessment- Maryland State Department of Education

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