Students with Special Needs
Minnehaha Academy holds its Christian emphasis and its desire for academic excellence as complementary goals. Our curriculum requires that students be motivated to work in a challenging academic atmosphere. Our faculty is committed to helping all students develop their academic potential, and we embrace students with a varying range of academic abilities. While we don’t provide a tailored curriculum or service IEP’s or 504 plans, we work with families to provide accommodations within the scope of available resources to help students compensate for their academic needs in ways that enable them to fulfill the coursework required of all students. Find out about educational assessment resources.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if my child is currently on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) ?
Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) is responsible for IEP determination and administration in the private schools located within that district. They are obligated to provide services in the nearest public school building available (which involves transportation issues). Minnehaha Academy does not write or administer IEP’s, and while teachers will consider the goals and accommodations recommended, they are not under legal obligation to provide those services. Minnehaha Academy has a non-public representative from MPS who can work with parents to determine the status of an open IEP for a student who transfers into MA.
What if my child currently has a 504 plan?
Schools which receive federal funding are obligated to write and observe 504 plans, which apply to regular education (not special education). Minnehaha Academy does not receive federal funding, so does not use 504 plans. We work with families in the admission process to determine which parts of any current 504 plan might be most applicable and possible in our setting. Accommodations are listed as part of the special needs database and passed on to teachers through our own process.
What does MA require to provide accommodations?
While we will work with all of our students, certain accommodations require documentation of need, which might involve a doctor’s note or a full psycho-educational assessment determining learning disability, ADHD, autism, anxiety or other diagnosis. These reports often contain numerous recommended interventions and accommodations, some of which our school is able to supply and some which might not be possible. It is important that any recent reports be submitted in the application process so we are able to have an honest conversation about what our school is able to provide.
How does MA work with accommodations?
Our approach is to work with individual students in specific situations – with particular teachers, subjects, classes – to determine where the need is and what types of accommodations are possible in our setting. We have a Student Support Team in the Lower School, Learning Lab in the Middle and Upper Schools, and counselors in all three divisions as supports in this process. We do not have a special education department or personnel to provide ongoing individualized services for students.