Individual Education Programs and Services

If the results of a screening or evaluation referral indicate the need for intense and sustained resources for the student to make progress, their special education and/or related services are outlined in an Individual Education Program (IEP). 

Birth - age 36 months
Through a working partnership between families and the community, Infant Toddler Services fosters and coordinates the delivery of timely, comprehensive, quality services for children ages birth to 2.9 years of age who have developmental delays or disabilities.  Referrals can be made by parents or through community daycare providers and/or physicians.  Children who continue to have a need for specialized services transition to Shawnee Mission School District services at age 3.

Click the following link for more information: Johnson County Infant Toddler Services

Ages 36 months - 5 years​
The Shawnee Mission School District offers a range of services for children ages three to five who have been identified as having developmental delays or other disabilities through the district evaluation process. Decisions for service and placement are made by the Individual Education Program (IEP) team, which includes school staff and the parents/guardians. Services include therapies (speech/language, occupational therapy, etc.) on an appointment basis, service provision in a community setting, and services in an Early Childhood Special Education classroom with typically developing peers. Specialized Early Childhood Special Education classes are also available for those children whose needs cannot be met in other classrooms. 

For more information, visit the Early Childhood

Grades K - 12
Students in elementary, middle and high school receive the educational supports based on an evaluation of their eligibility and need. Decisions for service and placement are made by the Individual Education Program (IEP) team, which includes school staff and the parents/guardians. Each student's IEP team determines which services are necessary for the student to achieve the IEP goals which will allow them access to the general education curriculum. Service delivery models include:

  • Collaborative in-class support - Students are served in the general education classroom with special education staff directly providing periodic assistance to the student. Special education staff also works with general staff to design accommodations or to modify the curriculum and/or materials.
  • Resource rooms (elementary) - Students receive instruction from a special education teacher in an individual or small group setting, but often spend most of the day in the general education classroom.
  • Co-Taught Classes (secondary) - Students are served in the general education classroom by both the general education teacher and the special education teacher, providing collaborative planning and implementation of services.  
  • Center-based programs - Center-based classrooms provide highly structured, small group instruction, and therapy services for students with moderate to severe disabilities. These students receive intense specialized programming and are also integrated into general education classes to the greatest extent appropriate to their unique needs. Programs are located throughout the district, but not at every school.  They are designed to meet the needs of students with autism, emotional disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and severe multiple disabilities when the child requires such services and supports that are beyond the resources available in his or her neighborhood school.
  • Off Campus Education (Homebound) - Students whose needs or individual circumstances require that they do not physically attend school are provided services through SMSD Off Campus Education (OCE).  Students may be seen in their home or a designated location identified by the parents and staff on the student’s IEP team.
  • Specialized day school – When students with significant emotional disabilities require intensive services and supports beyond what is available in their neighborhood school or through a center-based program, they may receive special education services through Arrowhead Day School.  Arrowhead integrates trauma-informed therapeutic strategies with general education instruction to support students’ abilities to self-regulate, which enables them to be more successful when integrated into general education settings.

Ages 18 - 21
Shawnee Mission’s Post-High program provides services to students who are not ready to transition to a post-school environment. While in the program, students continue transition activities that prepare them to live and work in the community. These young adults develop employment skills and may be involved in recreation and leisure activities, community college classes and volunteer projects.

Related Services
Related service providers throughout the district work with students directly or through consultation with other IEP team members to help them access the general and/or special education environment and curriculum in their neighborhood school. Services include, but are not limited to, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, etc. SMSD also has programs specific to the needs of students who have visual and/or hearing impairments. 

Project Search
Project SEARCH is a unique, business-led, one-year school-to-work transition program that provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills to help youths with significant disabilities make successful transitions from school to a productive adult life.  In order to be eligible for the program the young adult must participate in a skills assessment and meet the established criteria during the spring.

Transition services
Transition planning and services are available for students age 14 - 21. Services focus on post-school outcomes so that students with disabilities are prepared to lead productive and independent adult lives. Shawnee Mission schools conduct transition assessment(s) and planning as students prepare to move from school to adult living. In order to facilitate a successful transition for students with disability-based IEPs, Transition Specialist(s) may work with IEP teams, students, families, and community partners to develop appropriate transition plans with individualized goals that focus on student independence and post-secondary success.

Extended School Year (ESY)
Students between the ages of 3 and 21 with disability-based IEPs may be eligible for Extended School Year (ESY) services. The decision for extending services into the summer is made by the IEP team.  The majority of students who attend ESY work on maintaining skills that the student has already developed during the school year. The IEP team must consider data that indicates the student would lose skills during a lengthy break from school and would not regain those skills within a reasonable time period upon returning to school without extended services.