Mendocino County SELPA

The Mendocino County Special Education Local Plan Area is made up of 12 school districts and the County Office of Education. These entities work together to offer a free appropriate public education (FAPE) providing programs and services of high quality and the establishment and maintenance of policies that assure compliance with federal and state law.

What is a Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA)?

A SELPA is a state-mandated association that provides for all the special education service needs of children residing within the regional boundaries. There are approximately 116 SELPA's in California. Each SELPA develops a local plan describing how it provides special education services. Responsibilities of the SELPA include:SELPA Tree

  • Ensuring Program Availability for all Children with Disabilities
  • Curriculum/Program Development Support
  • Surrogate Parent Training
  • Community Advisory Committee Support
  • Management Information System
  • Transition Planning
  • Legal Assistance
  • Personnel Development
  • Budget Planning and Review
  • Evaluation
  • Interagency Coordination
  • Program Coordination
  • Fiscal Management
  • Program Specialists
  • Community Awareness

The SELPA Administrator is responsible for assuring that:

  • All individuals with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.
  • All regular education resources are considered and, where appropriate, utilized on a local or regional basis to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
  • A system exists at the regional level for identification, assessment and placement of disabled students.
  • A viable system for public education is functioning in the community, with broad participation and interaction involving parents and other agencies serving children and young adults.

Legal Concepts of Special Education:

Child Find - Each public school system is responsible to find and serve all eligible children with disabilities in its area

Free Appropriate Public Education - Each public school system is responsible for ensuring that each child with disabilities is served appropriately, at no expense to the parent.

Least Restrictive Environment - Each child is assured of his/her right of education with non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of both.

Due Process - The right of parent participation, and challenge, in all aspects of assessment, identification and placement is assured; involves mediation or administrative hearing procedures and complaint procedure in case of disputes.

Individualized Educational Planning - The right of a child to an educational program designed to meet his/her individual needs and based on adequate assessment is assured. At age 14 to 16 this includes the development of an Individual Transition Plan (ITP) to provide for transition into the world of work.

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