Free Public Schools
CHAPTER 31. Exceptional Children
Subchapter II. General Provisions
(a) The Department of Education is designated as the state agency that, with the approval of the State Board, shall make rules and regulations to carry out this and other titles relative to the identification, evaluation, education, training and transportation of exceptional children including specific definitions for the categories of units for exceptional children authorized for funding in § 1703 of this title.
(b) The rules promulgated by the Department of Education with the approval of the State Board of Education shall provide the criteria by which identified children with disabilities, as defined in § 3101 of this title, shall be assigned to a public school facility, or, if otherwise eligible for admission, to an institution of another state agency, or released for authorized placement in a private school or agency, pursuant to subchapter III of this chapter.
(c) The Department of Education, with the approval of the State Board of Education, shall establish and maintain procedures, by regulation, to assure that children with disabilities and their parents are guaranteed procedural safeguards with respect to the provision of a free, appropriate, public education.
(d) The Department of Education shall promulgate regulations that provide that when a due process hearing is requested by a parent or guardian of a child with disabilities a notice of such request shall be provided to members of the school board for the appropriate school district at the next scheduled school board meeting. Additionally, the regulations shall provide that upon notification of a due process hearing request, a school board president must sign a statement stating that the members of the board of education are aware of said due process hearing. The statement shall be sent by certified mail to the parents or guardian.
Furthermore, the regulations will provide that upon conclusion of a due process hearing a copy of the decision shall be sent to members of the school board for the appropriate district and a signed certified letter shall be sent to the parents notifying them that the members of the school board are aware of the decision. The regulations shall also provide that if the parents or guardian of the child appeal the decision of a due process hearing then the members of the school board for the appropriate school district shall be notified of the appeal at the next regularly scheduled board of education meeting. A certified letter, signed by the president of the board receiving the appeal, shall be sent to the parents notifying the parents that members of the school board are aware of the appeal. Lastly, the regulations shall provide that before a school district can appeal the decision of a due process hearing, a majority of the members of the school board for such district must by affirmative vote decide to appeal.
(e) With respect to any child with a disability who is not beginning to read by age 7, each IEP prepared for such student until that student is beginning to read shall:
(1) Enumerate the specific, evidence-based interventions that are being provided to that student to address the student’s inability to read; and
(2) Provide for evidence-based interventions through extended year services during the summer absent a specific explanation in the IEP as to why such services are inappropriate.48 Del. Laws, c. 194, § 2; 14 Del. C. 1953, § 3102; 51 Del. Laws, c. 287, § 2; 61 Del. Laws, c. 190, § 7; 64 Del. Laws, c. 63, § 3; 68 Del. Laws, c. 84, § 217; 71 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 146; 77 Del. Laws, c. 315, § 1; 77 Del. Laws, c. 424, §§ 8, 9; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, § 135; 79 Del. Laws, c. 300, § 2;
(a) The Governor shall appoint an advisory council to act in an advisory capacity to the Department of Education, the State Board of Education and other state agencies on the needs of exceptional citizens. The General Assembly shall provide for the maintenance of the council. The council shall also serve in the capacity of the advisory panel as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq.
(b) The council shall hold at least 1 joint meeting with the Interagency Coordinating Council each calendar year.14 Del. C. 1953, § 3108; 51 Del. Laws, c. 287, § 3; 61 Del. Laws, c. 190, § 7; 71 Del. Laws, c. 180, § 147; 77 Del. Laws, c. 424, § 10; 83 Del. Laws, c. 213, § 5;
(a) Given the unique communication needs for children who are deaf and hard of hearing there is a need to further develop the comprehensive statewide program which implements a systematic approach to service these children in areas which may include overseeing the development, delivery, and data tracking of these children across the State.
(b) The term “communication mode or language mode” means 1 or more of the following systems or methods of communication applicable to children who are deaf or hard of hearing:
(1) American Sign Language;
(2) English-based manual or sign systems;
(3) Oral, aural, speech-based training;
(4) Spoken and written English, including speech reading or lip reading; and
(5) Communication with assistive technology devices to facilitate language and learning.
(c) In developing an individualized education plan (IEP) for a child who is deaf or hard of hearing, in addition to any other requirements established by the Department of Education, the district or charter school shall consider the related services and program options that provide the child with an appropriate and equal opportunity for communication access. The school system shall consider the child’s specific communication needs and address those needs as appropriate in the child’s individualized education program. In considering the child’s needs, the district or charter school shall expressly consider the following:
(1) The child’s individual communication mode or language;
(2) The availability to the child of a sufficient number of age, cognitive, academic, and language peers of similar abilities if the parents so desires;
(3) The availability to the child of deaf or hard of hearing adult models of the child’s communication mode or language;
(4) The provision of optimal, direct, and ongoing language access to teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing, interpreters, psychologists, educational audiologists, administrators, and other special education personnel who are knowledgeable due to specific training and who are proficient in the child’s primary communication mode or language;
(5) The provision of communication-accessible academic instruction, school services, and direct access to all components of the educational process, including but not limited to, recess, lunch and extracurricular social and athletic activities including the equal opportunity to participate in advanced course work and/or technical vocational course work and academic classes as identified by the Individual Education Program team;
(6) Enabling a parent or guardian to make informed decisions concerning which educational options are best suited to the parent’s or guardian’s child, and be involved in determining the optimal services, placement and content of their individual program; and
(7) Equipping children who are deaf or hard of hearing with appropriate assistive technology across a full spectrum.
(d) No child who is deaf or hard of hearing shall be denied the opportunity for instruction in a particular communication mode or language solely because another communication mode or language was originally chosen for the child.
(e) A variety of factors may be considered when determining the optimal instruction in a communication mode, including but not limited to:
(1) Changes in the child’s hearing or vision;
(2) Development in or availability of assistive technology;
(3) The physical and acoustic design of the learning environment; and
(4) The subject matter.
(f) A child may receive instruction in more than 1 communication mode or language.77 Del. Laws, c. 474, § 1; 78 Del. Laws, c. 179, §§ 136-140;
The Department of Education, through the process described herein, shall award start-up grants to public schools for the purpose of initiating new programs to offer specialized educational services to students who are capable of performing accelerated academic work, or renewing existing programs of the same description whose funding sources are expiring. The number of schools receiving such grants and the amount of such grants shall be determined based upon funds available during the relevant fiscal year. Grants shall not be awarded to supplant existing funds for current programs.
(1) Start-up grants shall be made for a single year, with the rebuttable assumption that they will be renewed for a single additional year pending available funding.
(2) Grants shall be awarded based upon the following criteria:
a. Grants shall be awarded to programs that offer educational services specifically targeted at students who are capable of performing accelerated academic work.
b. The quality of the proposed curriculum, qualifications of persons acting as instructors, integration with existing school programs, and sustainability of the program after expiration of its start-up grant shall be primary considerations in the awarding of grants.
c. Programs that contain programming of the type enumerated in § 3101(6) of this title, including but not limited to programs focused on the visual and performing arts, shall be eligible to receive grants under this section, provided that they otherwise qualify under this section.
d. Preference shall be given to programs that are offered during the traditional school day, or alternatively programs that provide a means for after-school transportation. Preference shall also be given to:
1. Programs that can demonstrate that they incorporate components of existing successful programs targeted at students who are capable of doing accelerated academic work; and
2. Programs that minimize costs that do not have a direct impact in the classroom (including professional development).
e. Preference shall be given to programs that explicitly provide for the encouragement of participation by students from diverse backgrounds, including students with disabilities.
f. All programs awarded grants must provide a means for assessing the impact of the program on participating students’ academic growth.
g. The Department of Education shall also consider such other factors as may be recommended by the Gifted and Talented Student Task Force or its successor organization.
(3) The Department shall develop by regulation an explicit formula for evaluating proposals for grants under this section, and the scoring of such grant applications shall be considered public information. The Department shall also prepare an annual list of existing Delaware programs targeted at students who are capable of performing accelerated academic work for use by prospective grant applicants. The Department shall annually catalog the programs started with grants awarded under this section for the purpose of allowing replication of successful programs in additional schools and school districts.
(4) “Academic work” for purposes of this statute shall consist of work in the areas of writing, reading, science, math, or engineering, or work in other areas (including history and social studies) that specifically incorporates 1 of those academic fields.79 Del. Laws, c. 67, § 1;