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  • Writer's pictureSarah Tira


SAI is probably one of the most common services on an IEP, but it can be quite misunderstood. SAI stands for “specialized academic instruction” and is defined by the California Legislative Analysts Office as, “any kind of specific practice that adapts the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to help students with disabilities access the general curriculum.”

Contrary to popular belief, SAI is not a place. SAI is a service. This means it can happen anywhere! This is similar to how a speech therapist can provide speech and language services in an office, in the classroom, individually, or with a group. Some school districts still insist that SAI is a class on campus. They are partly right, but SAI can happen in the general education class, too. It’s important to remember that some students need a separate setting in order to make meaningful progress on their IEP goals, but others do not and should be learning with their general education peers. This is, of course, an IEP team decision. If you are unclear about what the SAI on your child’s IEP means for your child, be sure to ask your child’s IEP team for clarification!

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