The Admission, Review and Dismissal Process

A.R.D. is an acronym for Admission, Review and Dismissal. An ARD meeting is held to admit a student into special education, as well as a minimum of once per year to review the child’s program and progress. An ARD meeting is held to dismiss a child from special education if and when they no longer need specially designed instruction or related services.

An ARD meeting is a meeting of a group of people who help to determine whether or not a student is eligible for special education due to a disability and a need for specially designed instruction. That same group of people will be the ones who develop the Individual Education Program (IEP) if the student is eligible. The IEP is a kind of map for the school year that contains individual goals and objectives, as well as accommodations and/or modifications needed in the general education classroom. The ARD committee determines which state assessments a student will take, as well as any needed supports on those assessments. The IEP provides the type and duration of special education services and supports for each student. The IEP is highly individualized for each student; therefore it is essential to have an ARD Committee made up of people who know the student and are able to make well informed decisions on the student’s behalf. As students get older, they are able to participate more actively in the IEP process.

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The ARD committee is usually made up of a special education teacher, a general education teacher, a campus administrator, the diagnostician, speech and language pathologist or school psychologist (a person qualified to interpret evaluations and the instructional implementations), a staff member representing any related services the child might require and of course, the parents and the student when appropriate.

Additional members may include the LPAC representative for EL students who is able to address any language support needed by the student, as well as the school counselor or other staff member with knowledge of the student. Parents are entitled to invite additional people to the ARD meeting, but will be required to provide written consent to discuss the student in front of that person. All ARD Committee meetings and IEP documents are confidential and the student’s privacy is protected.

An ARD meeting is typically held at the school that the child is attending, although ARD meetings may be held over the phone or via teleconference. An ARD meeting usually lasts about an hour.

An ARD is held for initial placement or any time the school staff or parents feel a change is needed in a student’s special education program. The IEP must be reviewed at least once a year, but an ARD meeting may be held at other times. For example, an ARD should be held to review additional assessment, or make any significant changes to a student’s program. Many concerns can be addressed through parent-teacher conferences and do not require a formal ARD committee meeting. Minor changes to the IEP can be made with an ARD amendment agreement.

If you do not agree with the decision of the ARD committee, a 10-day recess is given before any further plans will be discussed and parents are provided with the Notice of Procedural Safeguards. If additional data is needed to help the ARD Committee make decisions, it is gathered during the recess. The ARD Committee will agree on a new time to reconvene prior to the end of the meeting in which there is a disagreement. The Special Education Coordinator may help parents navigate through the ARD process by answering any questions and addressing parent concerns.