Special Education » Special Education (SPED)

Special Education (SPED)

What is Special Education?

Special Education is specialized instruction specific to the child at no cost to parents. The instruction is designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. As stated by the State of Minnesota and the Federal Government, a child must meet specific criteria set by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) in order to receive special education services.

Students demonstrating academic, behavioral or social difficulties may be identified for additional support through parent or teacher referral. The school may choose to implement targeted interventions to see if the student makes progress. Students suspected of having an educational disability undergo a comprehensive evaluation which identifies if they meet criteria for a disability and what their specific needs are. Parents/families are involved in every step of the process. 

We offer a wide range of service delivery models. Hiawatha Academies is dedicated to providing special education services within the regular class setting whenever possible through a co-taught service model. Students may also receive small group or individual instruction or services outside of the regular classroom when necessary. Hiawatha’s Northrop campuses also offer a specialized classroom for students with more significant needs.

What We Believe

 “All Hiawatha Academies scholars will be empowered with the knowledge, character, and leadership skills to graduate from college and serve the common good.”

This bold mission statement does not make excuses or provides caveats about which students can achieve.  Our belief in the boundless potential of every child is core to our work and we are here to support that in many ways.  Guided by this mission, we are mandated to develop schools and classrooms which can support a wide range of diverse learners including students with exceptional learning needs.  

As a Student Support Team, we’ve established a set of core beliefs that inform and drive our work with students.  We believe:

  • To be successful, every child must be valued, held to high expectations, and seen as a unique and whole person. 
  • The overwhelming majority of students with disabilities (90%+) can achieve academic success on rigorous, grade-level content when given the right supports. When a scholar is not successful, our default assumption must be to rethink how we support the scholar, not that the scholar cannot achieve at this level.
  • Intelligence is multidimensional and should be recognized in its varied aspects for all individuals. 
  • Students with disabilities should be included with non-disabled peers to the greatest degree possible.  Strong inclusive practices benefit all students when executed with thoughtful planning and individualized supports.    

Hiawatha Academies also contracts with Creatively Focused
Dave Haveman
Director of Special Education services and Assistant Director of Special Education services.
Email: dave@creativelyfocused.org 

Hiawatha Academies Total Special Education System (TSES)

This document serves as the Total Special Education System Plan for Hiawatha Academies in accordance with Minnesota Rule 3525.1100. This plan also includes an assurance for compliance with the federal requirements pertaining to districts’ special education responsibilities found in United States Code, title 20, chapter 33, and Code of Federal Regulations, title 34, part 300. This document is a companion to the Application for Special Education Funds – Statement of Assurances (ED-01350-29)

HA Total Special Education System (TSES) [updated, change to PDF when posting to webpage]

Restrictive Procedures Plan

In accordance with Minnesota Statute 125A.094 and 125A.0942, as amended effective 7/1/13, every Minnesota school district is required to develop and make publicly accessible in an electronic format on a school or district website or make a paper copy available upon request a plan that discloses its use of restrictive procedures with special education students. The plan must list the restrictive procedures that the school district intends to use; describe how the school district will implement a range of positive behavior strategies and links to mental health services, describe how the school district will monitor and review the use of restrictive procedures, including post-use debriefings and convening an oversight committee to undertake a quarterly review of the use of restrictive procedures based on patterns or problems indicated by similarities in the time of the day, day of the week, duration of the use of a procedure, the individuals involved, or other factors associated with the use of restrictive procedures, the number of times a restrictive procedure is used schoolwide and for individual children the number and types of injuries, if any, resulting from the use of restrictive procedures, whether restrictive procedures are used in non emergency situations, the need for additional staff training, and proposed actions to minimize the use of restrictive procedures; and includes a written description and documentation of the training any staff members who will be using restrictive procedures have completed to show they have the skills set out in Minn. Statute 125A.0942, subd.5. 

HA Restrictive Procedures Plan (TSES Appendix B) [change to PDF to post on website]

Procedural Safeguards

Procedural Safeguards are a legal document that provides an overview of parental special education rights.