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Applying to Middle Schools and High School with an IEP

Published
October 19, 2021
Topics
K-12, Special Education

The Formula

The SWD seat ensures that students with disabilities have equitable access to a wide variety of schools. The DOE calculates the student seat type by dividing the number of class periods per week the student spends receiving special education instructional services (not related services) by the total weekly number of class periods (excluding lunch).

DOE Formula for Determining SWD Seat

Seats for Students with Disabilities (SWD)

Available for students who receive special education instructional services for more than 20% of their weekly academic program through their current IEP.

Seats for General Education (GE) Students

Available for: 

  1. All students who receive general education programming
  2. For admissions purposes only,  students who receive special education instructional services for 20% or less of their weekly academic program through their current IEP are considered general education students

The Criteria

Special Education Services and Instruction Criteria for SWD Seat

Will Count toward SWD Seat

Special education instructional services:

  • Support Services (SETSS)
  • Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT)
  • Special Education Class (self-contained)

Will Not Count toward SWD Seat

Special education related services:

  • Speech Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy (OT)
  • Counseling
  • Physical Therapy (PT)
  • The seat type will be automatically noted on a student’s application, including on their “My Schools” account.
  • These seat groups apply only for admissions purposes. Students with IEPs are expected to receive all of the services on their IEP in their new schools. 
  • Parents should consult with school staff to confirm which seat their student’s application will count as.

Case Examples

Maria and Will’s school has 35 periods per week (excluding lunch). Calculate their percentage of special education instructional services by dividing the number of periods each student receives these services by 35, the total of non-lunch class periods.

Maria is in a special class setting for a combined 20 periods a week.

20 ÷ 35 = 57%

Maria’s application will count towards a SWD seat because her special education instructional services are   over the 20% mark.

Will receives SETSS once a day for 5 total periods a week.

5 ÷ 35 = 14%

Will’s application will not count towards a SWD seat because his special education instructional services are below the 20% mark. He would apply for a general education seat.