Skip directly to content

Frequently asked questions


What is Search and Serve?


Parents who suspect their child has a mental or physical disability are advised to contact their local school district or the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), according to Office of Education officials. Federal and state laws require public schools to provide free and appropriate education for children with disabilities.  Youngsters from birth through 21 years of age may qualify for special education programs in public schools. Specialists in education for the disabled will help parents identify appropriate programs, regardless of the type of disability. In Los Angeles County, the Office of Education operates many educational programs for children with disabilities by participating in regional planning programs with school districts known as Special Education Local Plan Areas (SELPAs). Students, parents/guardians or others who have any concerns about discrimination or who wish to file complaints should first contact their local school district’s director of special education for information, or they may call the SELPA office numbers listed below. Information about SELPAs is available from local school districts, the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s Compliance Support Services Unit (562) 803-8338, and the following SELPA offices where the pupil resides:
ABC/Norwalk La Mirada USD562-868-0431
Antelope Valley  661-274-4136
Compton310-639-4321 x 46661
Early Intervention Administration562-940-1700
East San Gabriel Valley626-966-1679
Long Beach USD562-997-8067
Los Angeles County Office of Education   562-401-5737
Los Angeles USD 213-241-8303
Mid Cities562-461-8795
Pasadena USD626-396-3600 x88600
Pomona909-397-5090 x 3843
Puente Hills 626-964-7458
Santa Clarita661-294-5398
Tri-City310-842-4220 X4201
West San Gabriel Valley626-943-9748
Whittier Area Cooperative562-945-6431 x217



Most common acronyms in Special Education



AAC               Augmentative Alternative Communication

ABA               Applied Behavioral Analysis

ACSA            Association of California School Administrators

ACSE            Advisory Commission on Special Education

ADA               American with Disabilities Act

ADA               Average Daily Attendance

ADR               Alternative Dispute Resolution

AIR                 American Institutes for Research

ALJ                 Administrative Law Judge

APE                Adapted Physical Education

API                  Academic Performance Index

ARRA             American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

AT                   Assistive Technology

AU                   Administrative Unit

AYP                 Adequate Yearly Progress

BCBA              Board Certified Behavioral Analyst

BD                   Behavior Disorder

BER                Behavior Emergency Report

BHRS             Behavioral Health and Recovery Services

BICM              Behavior Intervention Case Manager

BIP                  Behavior Intervention Plan

CAFSE           Coalition for Adequate Funding for Special Education

CAC                Community Advisory Committee

CAHSEE        California High School Exit Exam

CALPADS      California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System

CalSTAT        California Services for Technical Assistance and Training

CALTIDES     California Longitudinal Teacher Information Data Education System

CAPA              California Alternate Performance Based Assessment

CASEMIS       California Special Education Management Information System

CBI                 Community Based Instruction

CCF                Community Care Facility

CCR               California Code of Regulations

CCS                California Children Services

CDE                California Department of Education

CEIS               Coordinated Early Intervening Services

CELDT           California English Language Development Test

CFR                Code of Federal Regulations

CMA                California Modified Assessment

CMH               County Mental Health

COE               County Office of Education

COLA             Cost of Living Adjustment

COTA             Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

CSS               Communication Severity Scales

DDS               Department of Developmental Services

DHH               Deaf/Hard of Hearing

DHS               Department of Health Services

DIBELS          Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy

DIS                  Designated Instructional Service

DMH                Department of Mental Health

DOF                Department of Finance

DOL                District of Location

DOR                District of Residence

DRDP             Desired Results Developmental Profile

DTT                 Discrete Trial Training

EC                   Education Code

ECE                 Early Childhood Education

ED                   Emotional Disturbance

EL                    English Learner

ELA                  English/Language Arts

ESEA               Elementary and Secondary Education Act

ESY                  Extended School Year

FAA                  Functional Analysis Assessment

FAPE               Free and Appropriate Public Education

FBA                 Functional Behavioral Assessment

FERPA           Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FFA                 Foster Family Agency

FFH                Family Foster Home

FIEP               Facilitated Individualized Education Program

FMTA             Focused Monitoring and Technical Assistance

FRC               Family Resource Center

FTE                Full time equivalent

HIPAA            Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

HOH              Hearing of Hearing

HOUSSE       High, Objective, Uniform State Standards of Evaluation

HQ                  Highly Qualified

HRC                Harbor Regional Center

IA                    Instructional Assistant

ID                    Intellectual Disability

IDEA               Individualized with Disabilities Education Act

IDEIA             Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act

IHE                 Institute of Higher Education

ISA                  Individual Service Agreement (for NPS/NPA)

IAES                Interim Alternative Educational Setting

ICF                  Intermediate Care Facility

IEE                  Independent Educational Evaluation

IEP                  Individualized Educational Program

ISP                   Individual Services Plan

IFSP                 Individual Family Service Plan

ITP                  Individual Transition Plan

IWEN              Individual with Exceptional Needs

JPA                  Joint Powers Agreement

LAO                Legislative Analyst’s Office

LAS                 Language and Speech

LCI                  Licensed Children’s’ Institution

LEA                 Local Educational Agency

LI                     Low Incidence

LRE                 Least Restrictive Environment

MOE               Maintenance of Effort

MTU               Medical Therapy Unit

MOU               Memorandum of Understanding

NASDSE         National Association of State Directors of Special Education

NCLB              No Child Left Behind

NOI                 Notice of Insufficiency

NPS/NPA       Non-Public Schools/Non-Public Agencies

OAH               Office of Administrative Hearings

OCR               Office of Civil Rights

OHI                 Other Health Impairment

OI                    Orthopedic Impairment

O&M               Orientation and Mobility

OOHC            Out of Home Care

OSEP             Office of Special Education Programs

OSERS          Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services

OT /PT            Occupational and Physical Therapy

PDD                Pervasive Developmental Disorder

PECS              Picture Exchange Communication System

PENT              Positive Environment, Network of Trainers

PS                    Program Specialists

PWN               Prior Written Notice

RSP                 Resource Specialist Program

RS                    Related Services

RtI2                  Response to Instruction and Intervention

SAI                   Specialized Academic Instruction

SCIA                Special Circumstance Instructional Assistance

SDC                Special Day Class

SEA                 State Educational Agency

SEEDS            Special Education Early Delivery System

SEIS                Special Education Information System

SELPA            Special Education Local Plan Area

SESR              Special Education Self-Review

SH                   Severe Handicap

SLD                 Specific Learning Disability  

SLI                   Speech/Language Impairment

SLP                  Speech/Language Pathologist

SLPA               Speech/Language Pathology Assistant

SNF                 Skilled Nursing Facility

SOP                 Summary of Performance

SPP                  State Performance Plan

SSC                 School Services of California

SSID                State Student Identifier

STAR               State Testing and Reporting

TBI                  Traumatic Brain Injury

TEACCH        Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children

VI                    Visual Impairment

WRC               Westside Regional Center