Special Education at Dassel-Cokato Schools

  • Special Education is a continuum of services available to eligible students with disabilities from birth to 21 years of age. 

    Guided by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (DEA) and the state of Minnesota regulations, Dassel Cokato School District ensures all students identified as receiving special education services receive a free and appropriate public education.  This mandate follows the Individual Education Plan (IEP) development process, which results in a comprehensive assessment plan addressing the strengths and needs specific to the student. 

    Programs and services for students who have met special education eligibility in any of the 13 disability areas identified in Minnesota Rules Chapter 3525 may receive programming in their neighborhood school and in a regular class setting with peers, as appropriate. 

    For more information on Special Education in our schools please see the Special Education department.

    Special Education Coop - MAWSECO

    The services of a psychologist, counselor and special education specialists are available to provide diagnosis, program planning and serve as resource persons to the school and its students. These persons have knowledge of community resources as well and can make referrals to an appropriate agency for assistance in problem areas.

    A program of services for those students who are mentally handicapped and unable to function in the mainstream classroom is offered through special education services. A specially trained teacher in the field of handicapped children is employed for these services.

    Section 504 Services

    Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that federal fund recipients make their programs and activities accessible to all individuals with disabilities. No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity which receives or benefits from Federal financial assistance. (34 CFR 104.4a) Section 504 of the Act protects persons from discrimination based upon their handicapping condition.

    A person is handicapped under the definition of Section 504 if he or she:

    • has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of the person’s major life activities;
    • has a record of such an impairment; or
    • is regarded as having such an impairment (34 CFR 104.3j)

    "Major life activities" means functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working. (34 CFR 104.3 j 2 ii). When a condition significantly limits a major life activity, an accommodation plan must be developed for that individual. Services under Section 504 must be determined by a team.

    Speech/Language Services

    A Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) is a specialist, sometimes called a speech therapist or speech clinician, who is a member of the special education team with a role to assess, diagnose, treat and help prevent speech, language, cognitive-communication, voice, swallowing, fluency and other related disorders. Some of the primary disability areas an SLP works within the educational setting include, but are not limited to, autism spectrum disorder, Asperger’s syndrome, developmental-cognitive delay, learning disability, ADHD, and articulation disorder. Evaluation and diagnosis of speech, language, cognitive-communication and swallowing disorders include a variety of qualitative and quantitative assessment methods utilizing standardized tests and other special instruments, in order to analyze and diagnose the nature and extent of speech, language, and other impairments.

    The SLP formulates an individualized plan with both long-term goals and short-term goals established for each individual's needs. Clinical services may be provided individually or within groups, depending upon the student's diagnosis and needs.

    Learning Disabilities Services

    The services of a Specialist in Learning Disabilities are available to those students who require the alternative program to meet their learning needs. Students who receive this service must be referred to the specialist for testing and program planning. The student load for this service is limited so students with the most severe difficulty are taken first.