Student Services and Special Education » Special Education

Special Education

The Banning Unified School District (BUSD) is dedicated to all students can learn and that special needs students are guaranteed an equal opportunity to become contributing members of society. The Special Education Department is committed to providing quality programs and services designed to ensure that all students with special needs receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE), to the maximum extent possible, through supporting and collaborating with District and school site staff, parents, and community members.
The Special Education Department is dedicated to meeting the educational needs of all eligible students with disabilities age 3-21 years of age who reside within the city of Banning. The Department works collaboratively with all departments and sites to ensure that all students have equal access to an excellent educational program. For our students with special education services, specialized academic instruction might be provided within the general education classroom in a co-teaching or collaborative model, through consultation with general education teachers, and/or in a pull-out model.
Special Education means specially designated instruction at not cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs, whose educational needs cannot be met with modification of the regular instructional program, and related services at no cost to the parent, which may be needed to assist such individuals to benefit from specially designed instruction. It also means designated or related services, if required to assist an individual with exceptional needs to benefit from special education. (Source: California Education Code Section 56031)
Special Education is founded upon some key legal provisions. The first is a "Free, Appropriate Public Education, commonly referred to as FAPE. The FAPE is a description of the services and supports that are required for a child with a disability to gain educational benefit. The offer of FAPE is outlined in a student's Individualized Education Program(IEP).
The second provision is the Least Restrictive Environment(LRE). LRE is interpreted by Congress ad educating students with disabilities in the same instructional settings their peers without disabilities to the greatest extent possible. The supports and services a child receives through an IEP should be delivered in the LRE. Once a student qualifies for Special Education services, and IEP team develops an IEP, consisting of qualified professionals, the student as appropriate, and the parent(s). The IEP is a legal document that outlines the offer of FAPE and the provision of LRE.


The Banning Unified School District is committed to the identification and service of students with special needs within the least restrictive environment (LRE) and with access to the regular education curriculum. One of the major requirements of special education is that students are educated in the LRE. This means that a student should be placed in a program that can meet the individual student’s needs and does so with a minimum loss of contact with general education programs. Assignment to special classes, programs, or schools, or other removal of the student from the general education environment occurs when the nature and severity of the disability is such that education in general education classes, with or without the use of supplementary aides and/or services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

The Banning Unified School District offers a continuum service for all students in special education based on needs identified by the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team. The continuum is fluid and programming options are highly individualized for each student based on the student’s unique strengths and areas of needs. Program and service options are discussed and decided on as an IEP team, of which, the parent is an important member. If you have questions about the continuum of services, this can be discussed in an IEP team meeting.

  • General Education Classroom
  • Resource Specialist Program (RSP): the student receives special education services 50% or less of the school day
  • Special Day Class (SDC) in the District: the student receives special education services 51% or more of the school day
  • Special Day Class (SDC) outside the District
  • Regional class or services provided by the Riverside County Office of Education
  • State approved nonpublic school (NPS) Note: All appropriate public school programs in the District and/or County will be explored prior to consideration of placement in a NPS.

A variety of services are also available based on each student’s individual needs as identified by the IEP Team. Just a few of these services are highlighted below.

  • Specialized Academic Instruction
  • Adapted Physical Therapy
  • Counseling and Guidance
  • Language and Speech Development
  • Mental Health Service
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Positive Behavioral Supports and Intervention
  • Psychological Services
  • Physical Therapy
  • Preschool – Early Intervention
  • Transition from School to Work


Other Options and Placements

To meet the needs of students with disabilities who require very specialized instructional settings, the District has joint agreements with surrounding school districts that operate specialized programs such as a regionalized program for the deaf, the school for the deaf, programs for students with visual impairments, and specialized programs for students with cognitive impairments. The Riverside County Office of Education also operates several programs that are available for students with severe disabilities as well as infant programs. Several of these County Programs are located at District school sites. The District also has joint agreements with different agencies to provide specialized services.


Different service delivery models are available within the Banning Unified School District, which offer a spectrum of choices for your children. The models described here are not the only configurations possible, nor are they exclusive. Many sites are using more than one model to meet their needs.


 Just as the Special Education staff members work together for the benefit of individuals with special needs, they are available to join a school planning team to extend and improve the educational programs on campus. We welcome the opportunity to participate!

When reviewing services delivery options, the consideration of "full inclusion" is often discussed. This term refers to children, who are typically more significantly impacted by their disability, receiving supports and services in the general education classroom alongside their non-disabled peers. Children qualify for special education services by meeting eligibility criteria ser forth by state and federal laws. Students do not "qualify" for a particular program. Because of this, it is possible for a student with more significant needs to have a program designed to meet his/her needs in the general education classroom. Each child is unique, and the concept of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is truly realized when a program is specifically designed to meet the needs of the child. If a student is anot making adequate progress on IEP goals, even when all supports and services are in place, the placement, including that of "full inclusion", needs to be examined for a more appropriate placement.


The BUSD is a member of the Riverside County SELPA, which is a consortium of multiple school districts. The responsibility of the SELPA to ensure that a continuum of program options and/or services is made available to all special education students residing within the SELPA geographical boundaries and to provide technical assistance and administrative support for the requirements of Federal and State law. The BUSD implements the Riverside County SELPA policies and procedures, which can be accessed by clicking this link:


Parents of children with disabilities from ages three through twenty-one have specific educational rights and protections under federal and state laws. These rights are called “Procedural Safeguards.” Individuals serving as surrogate parents and students aged eighteen receiving special education services, are also entitled to these rights.

Parents must be given opportunities to participate in any decision-making meeting regarding their child’s special education program and services. Parents have the right to participate in IEP meetings about special education eligibility, assessment, educational placement of their children, and other matters relating to FAPE. When a parent cannot be identified or located, the BUSD may appoint a surrogate parent to represent a child with a disability.

Please click below for Parent Rights and Procedural Safeguards:

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is an informal process of settling concerns and/or disagreements related to the provision of special education services to students with special needs. The ADR process encourages all parties to collaboratively problem-solve to reach a mutually beneficial resolution without litigation.

The Riverside County SELPA offers the following options for resolution:

  • Facilitation of Collaborative Individualized Education Programs (IEP)
  • Utilization of an Intake Coordinator to work with each district to resolve the concern and/or disagreement
  • Facilitation of a Resolution Session 

Please click here for more resources on ADR.

Students who have suspected or identified disabilities in the areas listed below may be eligible to receive special education services. Eligibility and services vary and are based on individual student needs. Children enrolled in private schools, home schools, or other public schools may also be eligible to receive special education services.
  • Autism
  • Deaf
  • Deaf-Blindness
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Hard of Hearing
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedic Impairment
  • Other Health Inpairment
  • Speech and Language Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairment
  • Established Medical Disability (for infants)
Please contact the Special Education Department if you have any questions regarding Special Education.