Belding Area Schools, in cooperation with the Ionia Intermediate School District, offers special education programs and services for school district residents who qualify from birth to age 26.

A continuum of specialized programs and services is offered for the speech and language impaired, learning disabled, emotionally impaired, cognitively impaired, physically impaired, and otherwise health impaired students. We also have programs and services for those students with autism spectrum disorders and early childhood developmental delays. The continuum includes consultant services, resource room programs, categorical classrooms, and departmentalized programs. At our middle school and high school levels, services focus on transition needs that will enable students to be as successful in adult life as practicable.

The special needs of every student are considered when developing an individual education plan (IEP). Parents are encouraged to be actively involved in the planning and implementation of their child’s program.

A major emphasis of Belding’s special education programs and services, in accordance with Federal and State mandates, is to provide maximum involvement in the rigorous general education curriculum to the extent possible for each particular student, while recognizing the unique learning needs of each of these students. Innovative programs involving team teaching, community based instruction, pre-vocational exploration, and vocational programming at Heartlands, a vocational program housed at the Ionia Public High School, have been implemented and continue to be provided to our students.

Professionals who support special needs students include the instructional staff, school psychologists, social workers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, vision therapists, hearing consultants, paraprofessionals, speech and language therapists, teacher consultants and the director of special education.