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Private School Students & Special Education Services

The Individual with Disability Education Act (IDEA) defines the legal rights of private school students to publicly funded special education services. Specifically, IDEA states that a private institution student does not have the same legal rights to special education services as a special education student in a public school 

Public school districts are given a small amount of money each year by the federal government to fund the Individualized Service Plan (ISP) for special education students who attend private school settings. Per the North Coast Consortium for Special Education (NCCSE) local plan Carlsbad Unified School District provides the following for students enrolled in a private school located within the Carlsbad Unified School District's boundaries:

  • Evaluation of private school students to determine eligibility for Special Education
  • A meeting to review the results of the evaluation and determine if the student is eligible for special education.
  • For a student who is found eligible for Special Education and parentally placed in a for-profit private school, the District will conduct a re-evaluation in three years to determine ongoing special education eligibility. No additional support or services are available to students in a for-profit private school through the public school district. 
  • For a student who is eligible for special education and parentally placed in a non-profit private school, a Service Plan (SP) will be developed. The SP will be reviewed annually and a reassessment will occur every three years. Services that are available through a Service Plan in the NCCSE SELPA are:

-Consultation services up to four times per year by an Education Specialist and/or a Speech-Language Pathologist

-Access to NCCSE professional development opportunities

Evaluation Request Procedure:

Education Code 56303 states that a pupil shall be referred for special education instruction and services only after the resources of the regular education program have been considered and, where appropriate, utilized. If you and your private school have considered and implemented appropriate resources in the regular education program and you continue to have concerns that your student may have a disability, please contact Elyssa Luria, School Psychologist at 760-331-5647 or

  • Download and fill out the Private School Referral Packet using your computer
  • Please include the following with the Registration Packet:
    • Your child’s birth certificate or passport
    • Your driver's license
  • You will then email the completed packet to or print and submit the packet to 

Magnolia Elementary School

ATTN: Elyssa Luria, PPPSS Assessment Team

1905 Magnolia Avenue

Carlsbad, CA 92008

Once the District has received and reviewed the above items, a member of the private school assessment will contact you within 15 days to go over the procedure, develop a plan and answer any questions you may have regarding the evaluation process.

If you have any questions about referrals, please contact the Special Education Department at 760-331-5019.