Board of Education
on the Education
of Students with
The Connecticut State Board of Education believes that all students, including students with exceptionalities, are unique and influenced by cultural, linguistic, intellectual, psychological, health and economic factors. The Board also believes that throughout their education, all students may have exceptional challenges that impact their ability to learn. The Board recognizes, though, that the intensity of some of these challenges requires these students to receive special protections under state and federal law. Students with exceptionalities in Connecticut are defined by the Board as those students who have extraordinary learning abilities or outstanding talents in the creative arts, and those who meet the criteria for eligibility pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA).
All students, including students with disabilities and those with outstanding talents in the creative arts or extraordinary learning abilities, should receive educational services that enable them to develop their full potential in light of these influencing factors. As such, the Board expects that teaching and learning provide a wide continuum of options and settings to foster high expectations, expertise, continuing improvement and curricula which are appropriately challenging for preparing all students, including those with exceptional learning abilities, for entry into higher education and/or the workplace.
The Board strongly encourages districts to recognize the value of and to increase support for services to students identified as talented and gifted to address their exceptionalities. Students identified as eligible under IDEA federal legislation must be provided with a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. To address the uniqueness of each of these students, a varied educational environment and a unified and coordinated continuum of educational opportunities and supports are needed to provide and accommodate each student’s strengths and challenges.
Educational models that promote multiple instructional strategies which encourage and accommodate students in the general education environment to the maximum extent appropriate are crucial. As such, the Board has embraced Connecticut’s Framework for Response to Intervention (RTI), Using Scientific Research-Based Interventions: Improving Education for All Students. This model of strong core instruction and early intervention provides all students, including students with exceptionalities, the opportunity to receive the academic and behavioral supports needed to be successful.
All adults in the education community are responsible for assisting all students, including those with exceptionalities, in achieving academic and social goals. Educating students with these exceptional differences is improved through collaborative partnerships among families, school districts, educational organizations, state agencies, businesses and institutions of higher education. Each partnership strengthens the Board’s vision of assuring that Connecticut’s students, including those with exceptional challenges, are provided with a high-quality, comprehensive and equitable education.