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Special Learning Disabilities Criteria

Special Learning Disabilities Criteria

Each local educational agency and public school academy in Michigan must publicly post the process used to determine the existence of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD).

In compliance with this requirement, Hope Academy reports the following:

For grades kindergarten through 6th, general education interventions are used to address student needs for students who may be struggling with success in progressing through the general curriculum. Although the response to scientific, research-based intervention processes do not constitute a full and individual evaluation under the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),
requirements for determining eligibility for special education services, these processes provide record information that can be used as a component of an evaluation under MARSE and the IDEA.

Hope Academy utilizes a Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses in determining the existence of an SLD in the areas of Basic Reading, Listening Comprehension, Written Expression, Oral Expression, Reading Fluency, Reading Comprehension, Math Calculation and Math Problem Solving.

Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses Process:

  1. The student does not achieve adequately for the student’s age or to meet Stateapproved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified above when
    provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the student’s age or
    state –approved grade-level standards; and
  2. The student exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance,
    achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grade-level standards, or
    intellectual development, that is determined by the MET to be relevant to the
    identification of a SLD, using appropriate assessments, consistent with the IDEA
    Evaluation Procedures and Additional Requirement for Evaluations and Reevaluations.
  3. Students identified in the aforementioned categories will begin a researched based intervention process in four week increments with interim meetings to review data and make adjustments dependent on student progress or lack thereof.
  4. After the intervention process (12-14 weeks), summative data is collected to be analyzed to determine if there is a pattern of strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Student referrals for potential eligibility for special education services will follow all of the regulatory requirements in the IDEA, the MARSE, and Michigan laws, policies and procedures for special education.

A copy of the full guidelines used by the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team to determine eligibility under the category of SLD is available in the Special Education office at: 10100 Grand River Ave., Detroit, MI. 48204.


Source: Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services (2010). Michigan criteria for determining the existence of a specific learning disability. Lansing, MI.