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Special Education

Rockford Area Schools Special Education Department is committed to providing a full continuum of services to students with special needs.  We strongly believe that all students can learn and we are dedicated to meet the educational and behavioral needs of each student.  

Rockford’s programming accesses a wide range of service delivery models which range from home-based service for infants and toddlers(up to age three), 1:1 or small group instruction, resource or specially designed classrooms, co-teaching in targeted classrooms, integrated instruction within the general education classroom, and off-site programming through the Meeker and Wright Special Education Cooperative.  

Services are provided across all school buildings and are staffed with licensed special education teachers whom are trained to provide specialized instruction to allow for students’ mastery of essential skills.  In addition to training and proper licensure, Rockford staff is professional, innovative, talented and enthusiastic about student learning!  


The Rockford Area Schools has an i-Team and a Child Study Team (CST).  The purpose of the i- team is to provide support for the classroom teacher on a daily basis.  The i-team team is comprised of Specialist Teachers, General Education Teachers, Administration, Counselor and Special Education staff. This group works collaboratively to determine the strengths and needs of the learner; give strategies and interventions; develop a timeline and evaluate the plan of action.

If a child is experiencing difficulty in school, the i- team will assist the classroom teacher with pre-referral interventions, accommodation and modifications which are required by Minnesota law.  Before a student if referred for a Special Education assessment, the teacher must conduct at least two instructional strategies, alternatives, or interventions while the learner is in the regular education classroom.  The i-team must provide documentation of those interventions and the pre-referral interventions must be systematic, effective and planned efforts to improve the child’s learning or behavioral concerns. Prereferral interventions typically run 30 school days. (Note: Interventions for Emotional Behavior Disorders are different. For EBD the condition must exist for 6 months and the interventions are implemented for 2 months. This can only change if the student is diagnosed with a medical condition or sudden onset occurs).

In the event that the prereferral intervention is not successful, the SAT team may refer the learner to the CST for a possible Special Education evaluation.  The CST is comprised of Special Education teachers, Speech/Language Pathologists, Early Childhood Teacher, Psychologists, School Nurse, Child Study Coordinator and related service personnel. This team will evaluate the prereferral information, pertinent student information, and address areas of concern before deciding to recommend evaluation.  If an evaluation is recommended, a team is formed and parents are asked to attend a meeting at school to assist in planning the evaluation.  Once the parents give consent for evaluation, the school has 30 school days to complete the evaluation and determine eligibility for services.  If the student meets criteria for a specific disability area, and Individual Education Plan(IEP) is developed by the team (parents, general education teacher, special education, administrator and related service personnel).  If the student does not meet eligibility determination, the evaluation team will utilize the information to assist the general education teacher or may consider a 504 plan if feasible.

Minnesota Department of Education Disability Categories


Emily Seitzer
Special Education Coordinator
763-477-5837 ext. 1030
(C): 763-248-2603
Steph Reichert
Special Education Secretary
763-477-5837 ext. 1005