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Special Education

District 196 Special Education is committed to equitable opportunities through high quality practices to accelerate growth for all students.

Equitable opportunities to accelerate growth

We provide a full continuum of services for students with disabilities. Our Special Education Department serves approximately 4,500 students who range in age from birth through 21. All schools in our district provide special education services with licensed special education teachers and offer intervention supports, evaluations and special education instruction.

District 196 offers a wide range of service delivery models. Most students receive services in their neighborhood school and, when possible, in their general education classroom setting. 

Special Education is specialized instruction specific to the student at no cost to parents. The instruction is designed to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. Children must meet specific criteria set by the State of Minnesota and the Federal Government to receive special education services. Special Education is an instructional service, not a place. 

To receive special education services, a student must first be evaluated and meet state criteria. Once qualified, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed for the student.


Janet Fimmen, 
Director of Special Education



District 196 Special Education
3455 153rd Street West
Rosemount, MN 55068

Get Involved

Join the Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) and help advocate on behalf of District 196 learners with disabilities from birth through age 21. Learn more about SEAC.

Special Education programs

A teacher claps and sings along with young children in an early childhood class.

Early Childhood Special Education

District 196 has a comprehensive program of Early Childhood Special Education services for children ages birth through the start of kindergarten. Children ages 3-5 who have cognitive or physical disabilities or developmental delays are served in a variety of welcoming and nurturing educational settings.

The back of a row of graduates wearing black graduation caps.

Dakota Ridge

Dakota Ridge is a school for District 196 students who are enrolled in special education services and face social, emotional and behavioral challenges. Dakota Ridge provides a safe place for students to work on social, emotional and behavioral regulation and increase pro-social behavior.

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Transition Plus

The Transition Plus Program is a program for young adults ages 18-21 with special needs, who need assistance and support while pursuing transition goals and objectives. It is a community-based program emphasizing employment and independent living skills.