Families & Students

Additional Resources


Exceptional Student Services (ESS)

CEC believes all students can be successful and achieve great things when they have access to the right services and support systems. All CEC schools offer comprehensive services for 504 Plans, ALP, ELL, IEP, homeless students, and MTSS.

For more information, please contact the appropriate coordinator, which can be located on your schools staff directory.

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and activities that receive federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.

A Section 504 Plan is developed under this legislation that includes accommodations that the student needs for equal access to instruction and assessment.

A Section 504 Plan is not considered special education.

Advanced Learning Plan (ALP/GT)

The Exceptional Children’s Educational Act (ECEA) is a Colorado law that mandates appropriate education for exceptional students (i.e., those with disabilities and those who are gifted); the State Board of Education adopts Rules that guide administrative units on how the law is to be administered.

The ECEA defines “gifted” children as persons between the ages of four and twenty-one whose aptitude or competence in abilities, talents, and potential for accomplishment in one or more domains are so exceptional or developmentally advanced that they require special provisions to meet their educational programming needs. Gifted students include gifted students with disabilities (i.e., twice exceptional) and students with exceptional abilities or potential from all socio-economic, ethnic, and cultural populations. Gifted students are capable of high performance, exceptional production, or exceptional learning behavior by virtue of any or a combination of these areas of giftedness:

  • General or specific intellectual ability
  • Specific academic aptitude
  • Creative or productive thinking
  • Leadership abilities
  • Visual arts, performing arts, musical or psychomotor abilities

An Advanced Learning Plan (ALP) is a legal plan for an identified gifted student. The student must adhere to ECEA rules and be aligned to standards. The ALP is updated annually with parent and student input.

English Language Learner (ELL)

The Equal Education Opportunities Act of 1974 prohibits states from denying equal educational opportunity to an individual on account of his or her race, color, sex, or national origin. The statute specifically prohibits states from denying equal educational opportunity by the failure of an educational agency to take appropriate action to overcome language barriers that impede equal participation by its students in its instructional programs.

Colorado schools must appropriately identify English Language Learners (ELL), analyze ELL performance, and implement and evaluate evidence-based Language Instruction Educational Programs. Like most schools, CEC uses a combination of approaches, adapting their instructional model to the size and needs of their ELL population.

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that ensures services to children with disabilities throughout the nation. It governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children and youths with disabilities.

An IEP Plan clearly defines how a school plans to meet a child’s unique educational needs that result from a disability.

An IEP Plan is considered special education.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is the primary piece of legislation related to the education of children and youth experiencing housing instability.  The McKinney-Vento Act was enacted to address the numerous barriers children with unstable housing face in obtaining a free, appropriate public education. Specific provisions ensure enrollment, accessibility, and educational stability for students lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

Who qualifies for McKinney-Vento?

Any displaced child or youth that is living in a shelter, motel, inadequate trailer, or house, is staying temporarily with relatives or friends due to economic hardship or loss of housing, is living apart from a parent or legal guardian, or is living in any other unstable housing situation.

Education Rights of McKinney-Vento Students:

  • Access to a McKinney-Vento Educational Liaison in their school district 
  • Identification through outreach and coordination activities 
  • Immediate enrollment with full and equal opportunity to succeed in school 
  • Choice between the neighborhood school or the school of origin (school last enrolled in or attended) 
  • Transportation to the school of origin (including preschool) 
  • Immediate access to free school meals and educational services for which they are eligible 
  • Automatic eligibility for Title I, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 
  • Support with school supplies and other needs, including, referrals to health care, dental, mental health and substance abuse, housing, and other appropriate services 
  • Unaccompanied youth are informed of their status as independent students on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 

Select a Link:

CDE – Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program (McKinney-Vento)

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS)

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a prevention-based framework using team-driven leadership and data-based problem solving to improve the outcomes of every student through family, school, and community partnerships, comprehensive assessment, and a layered continuum of supports.

Do You Have Questions?

For questions regarding exceptional student services, please contact:

Kimberly Musselman
Director of Exceptional Student Services

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