Special Education

Academic success for all students.

What is Special Education? 

Special education is instruction, specific to the child, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. It is important to note: Students with disabilities are general education students first. They receive special education support services in conjunction with the general education curriculum. Special education is an instructional service, not a replacement for general education curriculum. 

Every student receiving special education services will progress at his or her own individual rate. Our special education services are reasonably calculated to allow your student to benefit from instruction in their areas of need. A student who has a disability will always have the disability and would not be expected to progress in all areas at the same rate as his/her regular education peers. Our mission is to create individualized goals for students receiving special education services to ensure they are still progressing at their own pace. 

Special Education is Not: 

  • Tutoring in regular education courses.
  • An assurance that students will pass regular classes.
  • Special education is not a cure. It assists in removing barriers caused by the disability but does not remove the disability.
  • Rehabilitation for a physical disability.

For more information on special education, visit Minnesota Department of Education page

Special education services are offered throughout the Sauk Rapids-Rice School District as part of Benton-Stearns Education District (BSED). Once a child has been referred for special education services and has qualified under one of the categorical disability areas, they are eligible to receive services based on their Individualized Education Program (IEP). This process begins with your student’s teacher.

Main Contact

Ellie Hamilton 
Special Education Coordinator
Phone: 320-253-4703
Email: ellie.hamilton@isd47.org

Erin Dohrmann 
Executive Director, Benton Stearns Education District 
Phone: 320-257-7348
Email: edohrmann@bentonstearns.k12.mn.us