It is important to note that special education is an integral part of the total education system, and not a separate entity. It is a process for enhancing the effectiveness of the system to meet the needs of all students. Students with disabilities will be educated in an age-appropriate environment with non-disabled peers to the maximum extent possible. Students, regardless of their educational needs, will be a part of the school community, to actively promote and foster positive attitudes toward and full acceptance of all students.
A major part of federal special education legislation is the requirement that parents be active participants in determining the services that will appropriately address the special education needs of their children. An effective partnership between parents and educators requires that all people involved be fully informed about special education services and understand the steps required in planning them.