The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Your Student

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Your Student


With so many resources regarding special education available, it’s helpful to know where many of them are rooted. That’s the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which was most recently updated in 2015.

Can IDEA Help Me Access Special Education? 

The purpose of IDEA is to ensure education for students with special needs as well as see that educators and parents have access to resources. Overall, it is to ensure the best education possible. It is important to note special education is not available to someone simply because they live with a disability. There must be evidence it is impacting learning. As for the point of view of The Alpha School, we greatly value what IDEA has done for children and families across the country, so much so that we have all of our school resources and educators focused on serving them.

There are 13 categories of disabilities as described by IDEA. Each can have a range within.

  1. Specific learning disability (includes dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia)
  2. Other health impairments (including ADHD)
  3. Autism Spectrum Disorder
  4. Emotional disturbance
  5. Speech or language impairment
  6. Visual impairment (includes blindness)
  7. Deafness
  8. Hearing impairment 
  9. Deaf-blindness
  10. Orthopedic impairment
  11. Intellectual disability
  12. Traumatic brain injury
  13. Multiple disabilities

Has IDEA Impacted Student Success?

According to the National School Boards Association’s report in 2019, New Jersey was a leader in the country in “on-time” graduation rates of students with special needs. This is no doubt due to our outstanding educators and range of state and community programs. However, there is still a gap to continue closing The Alpha School works to do so with its range of academic programming that meets New Jersey State Learning Standards. 

Students at The Alpha School study language arts literacy, mathematics, social studies, science, and social skills, all while making progress on their IEP goals and preparing for post-secondary life. We also love to incorporate STEM into our classrooms and have several student-loved activities that make learning a game.

Incredible Resources Stemming from IDEA

IDEA is more than just a source of guidelines. It is the foundation for the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), a national office, fighting for equity in our school systems and championing our students with special needs to have every opportunity to realize their dreams. Keep current with topics OSEP is tackling with its monthly newsletters. 

The staff at The Alpha School would love to get to know more about your child.
Schedule a tour or reach out by phone using our contact page.


john gonzalez supervisor of instruction Alpha School

Alpha School an private special education school in New Jersey

Our Mission at The Alpha School is to help all of our special needs students with the learning, social, language, and behavioral support they deserve. Our highly skilled staff are committed daily to helping each student to becoming the best they can while providing a safe and nurturing educational environment.

We would be more than happy to discuss your child’s specific needs and challenges, so please call us at 732.370.1150, or request a tour of Alpha School of Jackson, NJ located just minutes off of Route 9 and Route 195 in Ocean County.

— John Gonzalez, Principal-Alpha School, Jackson, NJ

About RKS Associates

At all the RKS Schools we pride ourselves in discovery the hidden treasures of all of our students. Our academic and support services are appropriately customized for a student unique and diverse needs so that they can reach their full potential.

Alpha School is part of special needs network of schools located in Monmouth, Middlesex and Ocean County New Jersey. Since 1980 the RKS Associates schools have been leaders in helping special needs helping students with various disabilities including autism, Down's syndrome, communication, learning, social, behavioral and emotional disabilities. The range of services RKS schools provide is academic instruction and speech, occupational and physical therapies. In addition to Life Skills, Technology, and a full complement of Support Services.

network of special ed schools in NJ