Verdugo Hills High School

Special Ed » Special Education

Special Education



Welcome Verdugo students and families!


What is Special Education?


Special education ensures that the unique learning needs of students with disabilities are met through additional services, supports, programs, specialized placements, or environments. Special education services are provided to eligible students at no cost to families. The core purpose of special education is to provide specially designed instruction and intervention, as well as to give students with disabilities access to the same educational programs and/or activities that are available to their  peers in general education classes.


Special Education at Verdugo Hills High School:


Verdugo is committed to meeting the diverse, and differentiated learning needs of all students. We are proud to offer specialized programs, classes and supports to help students excel academically, behaviorally and socially. Administrators, teachers and paraprofessionals work together to address the needs of students through appropriate assessment, identification of problem areas, placement and development of appropriate individual education programs.


Special education services and programs at Verdugo Hills High School:


Resource Support Services:
This program is ideal for students who are at or near grade level in their academic progress, but require additional support to achieve success. As the least restrictive program offered at VHHS, students receive services and accommodations in their general education classes provided by resource specialist teachers and paraprofessionals who collaborate with general education teachers. These students are working towards earning a high school diploma.


Special Day Program:  
Students who participate in our inclusive special day program, have more specialized learning needs and often require more intensive accommodations. Smaller, more slowly paced core academic classes provide the perfect setting for SDP students, who then participate in general education elective classes. These students are working towards earning a high school diploma, and in some cases work toward earning a certificate of completion instead of a high school diploma.
Autism Program: 
Geared toward students with Autism, or on the Autism spectrum, this program is designed to offer both a smaller class setting, and more one-on-one support. Classes offer specifically designed lessons with social and behavioral skill development components. These students are working towards earning a high school diploma, and in some cases work toward earning a certificate of completion instead of a high school diploma.
Intellectual Disability Program:

The ID program offers the most intensely structured and supported classes, designed for special education students with more serious cognitive or intellectual disabilities. Teachers, paraprofessionals, and behavior specialists form a collaborative team to meet the academic, social and behavioral skill development these students will need to be successful in their lives after high school. These students are working toward earning a certificate of completion instead of a high school diploma.  


Schedule a Meeting

Click here to schedule a meeting with your child's teacher, case manager and/or administrator regarding your child's learning needs, classes, IEP questions, or anything we can do to be of assistance. 


Special Education Nationally and within LAUSD


The Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) defines special education as: "Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability."



The IDEA includes 14 primary terms under the main definition of “a child with a disability.” These federal definitions guide how states define who is eligible for a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under special education law.



Eligibility of students with disabilities for special education is determined by the individualized education program (IEP) team according to specific criteria. 


The Special Education Process

There are five basic steps in the special education process: (1) Referral for Assessment; (2) Assessment; (3) The Individualized Education Program (IEP) Meeting; (4) Determination; and (5) IEP Review.


Programs, Supports, and Services

The Division of Special Education provides a range of program and related services to students found eligible for special education.



The focal point of special education is the student whose unique educational needs necessitate a tailor-made program of instruction.


Least Restrictive Environment

More than 30 years of research and experience has demonstrated that the education of children with disabilities is most effective by having high expectations and ensuring access to the general education curriculum in the regular classroom.


Access to Core Curriculum  

While teaching students in the most integrated environment is an important objective of special education, attention also has to be focused on addressing curriculum access.



Special education provides the student with disabilities purposeful, targeted intervention that is designed to help overcome obstacles that may preclude an individual him or her from learning and actively participating in school and society.