Campus in the fall
Special Education


Perpich Arts High School provides a comprehensive program for students with disabilities.

Our special education department offers intervention supports, evaluations and special education instruction. These services may be provided in the classroom, through one-on-one support and instruction, or in small groups.

What is special education?

Special education is instruction specific to the child at no cost to parents. The instruction is designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Children must meet specific criteria set by the state of Minnesota and the federal government to receive special education services. Special education is an instructional service, not a place.

Identification and referral

The special education process begins with identifying learners ages birth to 21 who are eligible for special services and in need of specialized instruction.


Formal and informal measures are used to determine the learner’s strengths and areas of need. Parent permission is required to start the Initial assessment and evaluation process. The parents/guardians are invited to meet with special education staff to determine the areas of assessment and eligibility.


During this phase, the learner’s needs are determined and, together with the family, a plan is written to meet those needs. The underlying principle is a free and appropriate public education provided in the least restrictive environment. This may be in a mainstream classroom or a resource room. These decisions are discussed in a collaborative planning meeting.

Good communication from the beginning

Because most of the special education students accepted into Perpich have already received an evaluation and have an individual education plan in place, it is helpful if the families of these students send a copy of the learning plan to Perpich after the student is accepted to attend. The home school usually sends the plan to Perpich, but to have the family follow up to make sure that has happened allows our special education staff to be fully prepared to help your student from the first day of classes in the fall.

Parental rights

Procedural Safeguards Notices, also referred to as Parental Rights, give general guidance regarding special education rights afforded to parents of children with special education needs. These rights are provided to parents under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Procedural Safeguards Notice: Part B provides an overview of parental rights for parents of children with disabilities ages 3 through 21 under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Watercolor painting


Children may qualify for special education services in the following disability categories:

Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. The disability may be exhibited as an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. SLD also includes conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia.

Emotional or behavioral disorder
Serious problems with behavior, social skills, peer relations, emotional responses and coping skills which interfere with learning and/or relationships in school.

Speech or language impairment
Great difficulty with speaking, understanding or using words and sentences in a meaningful way.

Cognitive disability
Many difficulties in learning and adapting. The learner experiences a much slower rate of learning.

Hard of hearing
Hearing loss which interferes with the learner’s performance in school.

Visual impairment
Loss of vision, visual field cut and/or very poor visual acuity even with correction (glasses), which interferes with learner’s performance in schools.

Physical impairment
Permanent, severe and acute or chronic physical conditions which greatly interfere with performance at school.

Autism spectrum disorder
Great difficulty in communicating and interacting with others, thus interfering with learning and/or relationships at school.

Traumatic brain injury
Permanent and severe injury to the brain occurring after birth, which greatly interferes with learning.

Other health disability
A broad range of medically diagnosed chronic or acute health conditions that greatly interfere with learning.

Public Notice of Records Destruction

Perpich Center for Arts Education District #1000-70 would like to notify students, and/or parents of students, who graduated or withdrew from the Perpich Center for Arts Education District in the 2018-2019 school year, that the special education records that have been kept on file are no longer needed to provide educational services. Therefore, in alignment with the board of directors approved Record Retention Schedule policy, 2018-2019 records will be destroyed after May 31, 2024. Destruction of these records is the best protection against improper and unauthorized  disclosure. Please be aware that these records may be needed in the future for social security benefits or other purposes. If you desire to review your file or those of your dependent child/children or keep a copy of the file for your own records, please direct your request before May 30, 2024 (after this time these records may be destroyed) to: Jeanne Femrite at

“Perpich is the best school for me because it provides a diverse student population, artistic environment, and academic opportunities that can't be found anywhere else in the state.”

Literary Arts Student from Plymouth

“My teachers encourage me to push myself outside of my comfort zone and to always strive to better my art, never settling for good enough.”

Theater Student from Sartell

"For 17 years I’d carried the bulk of my children’s education myself. Sending the two oldest away to Perpich was a huge step of faith and I have not been disappointed. The teachers, in particular, have been fabulous!"

Perpich Arts High School Parent

"[Perpich] was a hugely formative experience for me and I think gave me many of the tools to get to this point of doing meaningful work that I love."

Andrew Edman (Visual Arts 2005)

“From the moment I came to Perpich, it was like a college campus, with an emphasis on independence and finding your own self, with training in academics and becoming an artist.”

Trent Ramert (Theater 2020)

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