Section 1. The following words as used in this chapter shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“Department”, the department of education.
“Free appropriate public education”, special education and related services as consistent with the provisions set for in the 20 U.S.C. 1400 et seq., its accompanying regulations, and which meet the education standards established by statute or established by regulations promulgated by the board of education.
“Least restrictive environment”, the educational placement that assures that, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
“Regular education”, the school program and pupil assignment which normally leads to college preparatory or technical education or to a career.
“School age child”, any person of ages three through twenty-one who has not attained a high school diploma or its equivalent.
“School age child with a disability”, a school age child in a public or non-public school setting who, because of a disability consisting of a developmental delay or any intellectual, sensory, neurological, emotional, communication, physical, specific learning or health impairment or combination thereof, is unable to progress effectively in regular education and requires special education services, including a school age child who requires only a related service or related services if said service or services are required to ensure access of the child with a disability to the general education curriculum. The term “specific learning impairment” shall be defined pursuant to 24 CFR 300.7(c)(10), the definition of specific learning disability contained in federal regulations implementing the Individual with Disabilities Education Act in effect on January 1, 2000. The term “emotional impairment” shall be defined pursuant to 34 CFR 300.7(c)(4), the definition of “emotional disturbance” contained in federal regulations implementing the Individual with Disabilities Education Act in effect on January 1, 2000. No child shall be determined to be a student with a disability solely because such child’s behavior violates the school’s disciplinary code and no child shall be determined to be a student with a disability solely because such child shall have failed the statewide assessment tests authorized pursuant to section 1I of chapter 69. The use of the word disability in this section shall not be used to provide a basis for labeling or stigmatizing the child or defining the needs of the child and shall in no way limit the services, programs, and integration opportunities provided to such child.
“School age child requiring special education”, a child with a disability who requires special education as determined in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the regulations set forth by the board.
“Special education”, educational programs and assignments including, special classes and programs or services designed to develop the educational potential of children with disabilities including, but not limited to, educational placements of children by school committees, the departments of public health, mental health, developmental services, youth services and children and families in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the regulations set forth by the board.