K-12 Programs

Special Education is a continuum of services available to eligible students with disabilities. Guided by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and Minnesota regulations, the West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area School District ensures all special education students receive a free and appropriate public education. This is guided by the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) development process, which results in a comprehensive plan addressing needs specific to the individual student. 

School District 197 offers programs and services for students who have met special education eligibility in any of the 13 disability areas identified in Minnesota Rules Chapter 3525. District 197’s special education department serves approximately 900 children age birth through 21 with a wide range of service delivery models. These models include a variety of school-based services both within the school district and through alternative educational program placements in Intermediate School District 917. 

School District 197 has a continuum of services available to meet the needs of all students with disabilities who are eligible for and need special education services and related services. A pupil may also be referred for a special placement in other locations such as a State Academy, day treatment, a private school, a charter school or a residential facility. Services must be provided to those in need of such services whether they are in the districts public schools or one of the non-public schools within District 197’s boundaries. 

A free and “appropriate” public education will be provided to all students with disabilities who are eligible for such services and who are in need of special education and related services by District 197. The special education will be suited to the individual’s needs based on an individual education evaluation and listed on the student’s IEP/IFSP/IIIP through the educational team. The provision of an appropriate education is the provision of regular or special education and related aids and services that are designed to meet the needs of a student with disabilities as adequately as the needs of students without disabilities.