The Special Education Department supports students and staff by identifying, locating, and evaluating high school age students suspected of having a disability who may be eligible for special education services designed to meet their educational needs at no cost to families. This includes students that are highly mobile, migrant, experiencing homelessness, students who are wards of the state, and students attending private schools located within SMJUHSD boundaries. The district is committed to providing eligible students with disabilities a free and appropriate public education consistent with federal and state laws at no cost to the families in the least restrictive environment. Based upon this assessment, the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team meets to determine eligibility and discuss program options. To qualify as an individual with exceptional needs under the eligibility criteria, the assessment must demonstrate that the student's impairment adversely affects his/her educational performance and therefore requires special education. A full reevaluation of the special education student to determine continued eligibility must be conducted every three years. An IEP is a legal document that describes how the district will provide supports and services for a student with exceptional needs.