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Student Services « West Ottawa Public Schools

Student Services

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Special Education – Alternatives for Students With Special Needs

West Ottawa takes pride in being responsive to the needs of all children. Those who are identified as having a disability receive instruction with direct and indirect support in academic and/or social areas.

A broad range of special education instructional and support services were provided to 10.2% of the district’s total number of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.


The decision to provide special education services is made by an Individualized Educational Planning Committee (IEPC) which minimally includes:

  • parents
  • teachers
  • diagnostic personnel
  • school administrators

Success of a program is monitored by improvement in the child’s functioning in the areas identified within his/her IEP (individualized education plan).

Services are provided under federal and state guidelines such as IDEA, which was reauthorized in 2004, and the Mandatory Special Education Act (Public Act 198) for students suspected of having a handicapping condition.


West Ottawa is strongly committed to the concept of “least restrictive environment” for all children.

Students from birth to 26 who are identified as being eligible for special education programs/services under Federal and Michigan guidelines are provided with appropriate experiences in their own classrooms to the greatest extent possible with special education instruction and support. Teams of diagnostic, consultative, supportive, and direct instruction professionals work with general education teachers to help each student maximize his/her potential and participate in a school’s educational program as fully as possible.

The nature and extent of services provided are dependent upon individual needs. Classroom environment and curriculum may be accommodated and modified. Placements of eligible students in specialized programs outside the district are made only after all available options have been explored.


Our services include:

  • School psychologists
  • School social workers
  • Speech therapists
  • Adaptive physical wellness
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Teacher Consultants
  • Audio enhancement
  • Assistive technology

Section 504

Section 504 is the section of the federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which applies to persons with disabilities. Basically, it is a civil rights act which protects the civil and constitutional rights of persons with disabilities. For a student to qualify for Section 504 services, they must have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities, have a record of such an impairment, or are regarded as having such an impairment. Major life activities include such things as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, working, caring for oneself, and performing manual tasks. If a student meets the criteria, a Section 504 is created and implemented by parents and school staff.

*Auxiliary aids and services, such as signers or audio tapes of printed materials, are provided at Board of Education meetings and district functions upon receipt of seven (7) days prior notice.