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Special Education – Ames Community School District

Ames Community School District is committed to meeting the needs of individual students in the least restrictive environment, adjusting services and educational strategies as student needs change. Working collaboratively with parents and guardians is a core aspect of student success.

Special education includes instruction specifically designed for each child’s unique needs and is provided free of charge to parents. The federal Disability Education Act (IDEA) guarantees services for children with disabilities nationwide. Special education supports and services are provided to ensure that the needs of all students with disabilities are met. These supports and services are listed in your Individualized Education Program or Plan (IEP) or 504 Education Plan.

If your child may have a disability or if you have concerns related to your child’s IEP, please contact your child’s teacher, individual school principal, or contact the Office of Special Education.

what we do

  • Overseeing and implementing individualized education plans and 504 plans.
  • We provide creative, diverse and high-quality educational support in a variety of settings and styles.
  • Supports staff through career development related to students with additional needs and students enrolled in special education programs.
  • Transport including specialized IEP transport.
  • Provides resources for after-school planning and transition.
  • Monitor grants, deadlines, and year-end report deadlines.

Special Education or Section 504?

Some students are eligible for special education services under the Education for Persons with Disabilities Act. These students are also protected from discrimination under Section 504. Additionally, some students may be protected by Section 504 but are not eligible for special education. These children are entitled to accommodation that gives them the opportunity to receive an equivalent education and are also protected by procedural safeguards.

Image Caption: Two overlapping circles showing the relationship and differences between the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504. The idea is a funding law that provides federal funding to compliant states, has specific category definitions for people with disabilities, and has age limits. , limited to education. Section 504 is a civil rights antidiscrimination law, is mandatory for all recipients of federal funding (no money is provided), has a broad functional definition of disabled, and has no age limit. It is useful for education, etc.Both create the federal right to free decent public education, are the least restrictive environment, and require evaluation and due process.


Dini Thomas

Director – Special Education

district manager

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Alicia Ortner

special education coordinator

district office

breanna dailey

Secretary – Student Services

district office