Special Education

Special Education

When a child is struggling in school, it may be a result of a learning disability. If so, your child may be eligible for support from certified special education personnel.  Detroit Community Schools is a caring environment, offering an array of programs and services designed to meet the unique needs of students who are found eligible under the state and federal guidelines of IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 

Adopting new, researched based teaching methods with the emphasis on inclusion provides us the best opportunity to support all special education students. Our staff is committed to work together to provide a framework for students in our program that will motivate them to work to the best of their ability.  Due to the high dropout rate of students with disabilities (which then limits their employment opportunities in the future), it is imperative that we focus on offering students with special needs a free and appropriate public education as they progress toward earning their high school diploma.

Emphasis is placed on educating students in the least restrictive environment to the maximum extent appropriate. All decisions about programs and services for students with special needs are based on the individual needs of a student, and must be made by an Individualized Educational Planning Team (IEPT).  Modifications to your child’s curriculum, or specific interventions are identified through discussion with the IEP team, and reviewed and revised annually.  Parental involvement in the development and implementation of their child’s individualized program is critical.


Detroit Community Schools provides evaluations for students who are suspected of having a disability under IDEA (the federal special education law) and/or Section 504. If there is reason to suspect that a student has a disability, an evaluation may be recommended. Parental consent will be requested prior to evaluation. Following the 504 or special education evaluation, a team meeting is held to review the evaluation data and develop an appropriate program for the student.

Steps to take if you suspect that your child may have a disability:

1. Request to meet with the Special Education Coordinator and the School Principal.  Bring a list of your specific concerns and share any information you have from outside sources. School personnel welcome input from family doctors, tutors, private therapists, etc, as we move forward to determine the appropriate support needed for your child’s success in school.

Remember that our goal is to provide education in the least restrictive environment possible, therefore a series of interventions and supports (implementing new strategies within the general education curriculum) may be recommended prior to considering an evaluation.

2. Contact the Office of Special Education Services if you have specific questions about evaluations or programming under IDEA or Section 504.

Ms. J. Klatt, Special Education Coordinator (313-537-3570, ext. 401)

Preschool Aged Children

At this time, Detroit Community Schools Special Education services apply to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. However, Wayne RESA is proud to be a partner working with school districts, agencies and families to best prepare young children for success in school and in life.  Their early childhood staff connects parents with service providers in Wayne County, who offers information about available resources.  Wayne RESA has a network of services for families of children birth to age three who are developmentally delayed, or are at risk of developing delays because of an established medical condition, or who have a disability.

There are no income restrictions for eligibility.

Parents are a child’s best advocate.  If you truly feel that something isn't "quite right" with your baby or toddler, don't wait to reach out for help. Intervention during the first years of a child's life is essential for their success. Don't wait to see if your little one "outgrows" your concern. Addressing these concerns early allows the best chance at success for your child. 


Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency
33500 Van Born Road
Wayne, MI  48184
Phone: (734) 334-1300

Lena Montgomery
Manager - Early Intervention Services
(734) 334-1438  


Monitoring Special Education is a mandated function of each Michigan intermediate school district and all educational entities in the country. The monitoring focuses on a dual system of compliance and continuous improvement activities. The Continuous Improvement and Monitoring System-2 (CIMS-2) is the revised system used to analyze and interpret data and to ensure compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) of 2004 and the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education. This process is based on priorities established in the IDEA 2004 and the State Performance Plan (SPP). The CIMS-2 process is implemented through an electronic workbook. For more information go to: http://cims.cenmi.org/Home.aspx.