Proudly Serving Students of All Abilities

Special EducationThe Johnston Community School District special education department serves approximately 600, PK-12 resident students and 100, PK-12 non-resident students throughout the school year.  Johnston Community District works with Heartland AEA 11 to provide occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech services as well as technical assistance and professional learning to meet the diverse needs of students. A range of special education services designed to meet the individual needs of all students are provided in each building as well as an early childhood preschool program.

How are students identified as needing special education services?

Before being placed in special education, a Building Assistance Team assists regular classroom teachers in meeting individual needs. A problem-solving approach is used in designing interventions to use in the general education classroom before there is any consideration of a special education placement. The Building Assistance Team assists the general education classroom in designing and monitoring the interventions.

Read the JCSD Special Education Service Delivery Plan (2022) 

Provide Feedback for the Delivery Plan (closes 7/10/22)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

Any child with a disability who requires special education has the right to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.  It is critical for parents to understand their rights and be involved in the process.  Special education teachers collaborate with classroom teachers and support personnel to create the most appropriate, least restrictive environment. Parents should receive a copy of the Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents (Parental Rights in Special Education) at least once a year.

Read the Parental Rights Summary

Read the Procedural Safeguards Manual for Parents

Parental Rights Summary in other languages (provided by Heartland AEA)

Beyond the classroom: Residential facilities

Two residential facilities are located within the Johnston School District.  ChildServe is a facility for children PK-12 with multiple disabilities.  Youth Home of Mid-America is a residential facility for young men ranging is ages from 11 to 18.  Students from both facilities receive educational services in our school system, either in classes on their campus or within a school building.  These facilities bring students from all over the state, creating an enriching environment for all learners.

Learn more about ChildServe

Learn more about Ellipsis


Shawna Shanahan staff photo
Director of Special Education
District Office