Special Education

The Special Education Department supports each student’s efforts to become a self-advocating, self-directed, strategic learner by providing a supportive environment. Students are assisted in reaching academic, social, and emotional goals through services provided both inside and outside of the classroom.

Eligibility for special education is determined by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals including the student, parents, and staff. The identification, placement, and provision of special education programs and services are governed by both state and federal regulations. Each eligible student has a written Individualized Education Program (IEP) that specifies annual goals, short-term objectives, desired post-high school outcomes, and instructional and related services. Any parent, staff member, or student may request a referral to identify potential eligibility for special education. Requests should be directed to the student’s counselor.

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House Bill 5770, which became law on August 28, 2018, requires that, beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, a school board posts on its internet website and incorporates into its student handbook or newsletter notice that students with disabilities who do not qualify for an IEP may qualify for services under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 if the child: (i) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (ii) has a record of a physical or mental impairment; or (iii) is regarded as having a physical or mental impairment.

Read more about Notice Regarding Students with Disabilities

Special Education Programs

SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM

Special Education courses provide specialized special education instruction and support to eligible students. Eligibility is determined by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals including the student, parents and staff. The identification, placement and provision of special education programs and services are governed by both state and federal regulation. Courses are designed to meet individual learner needs and address any exceptional characteristics which interfere with learning. Each eligible student has a written Individual Education Plan (IEP) that specifies goals and short term objectives and their instructional and related services. Any parent, staff member or student may request a referral for identifying potential special education needs. Requests should be directed to the student’s counselor

Behavioral/Social Emotional Coach

The Behavior Coach designs, coordinates, implements, and evaluates a comprehensive behavior support program in order to support the social emotional well being of students with disabilities who exhibit both internalizing and externalizing behaviors in the school setting. The Behavior Specialist works directly with identified students to adapt behaviors that substantially increase their academic performance and social emotional functioning. Also, the Behavior Specialist assists teachers with tracking and monitoring behavior, understanding the principles of reinforcement, and implementing strategies for decreasing behaviors.

Assistive Technology Specialist/Consultant

The Assistive Technology Specialist assists students in the use of augmentative communication devices including the process used in selecting, locating, and using communication devices. The Assistive Technology Specialist trains teachers and students on how to use various types of devices including low tech, high tech, static displays, dynamic displays, devices that use photos, symbols and/or words. In addition, the Assistive Technology Specialist suggests software that may increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities.

Learning Strategies

The Learning Strategies course is taught by a special education teacher who provides students intensive intervention to accelerate academic skills (i.e., reading, writing, and math) that are identified as needs in a student’s Individual Educational Plan (IEP). During Learning Strategies, a special education teacher provides support in the identified areas, facilitates accommodations in general education courses, and serves as a liaison between the home and school for students eligible for Special Education services. Students learn specific strategies to compensate for the deficit areas identified in their IEP. Depending on the level of support needed, the Learning Strategies course meets either 3 days or 5 days a week.


Co-Facilitation

In a co-facilitation, a special education teaching assistant helps the general education teacher by taking an active role in meeting the needs of students with disabilities experiencing academic and social emotional challenges. The teaching assistant extends the support of the special education teacher to multiple general education settings increasing access and support in the least restrictive environment.


Collaborative Scheduling Co-Teaching

In Collaborative Scheduling of Co-Teachers, the special education teacher divides their teaching time between two different classrooms in one or more periods of the school day. Collaborative Scheduling of Co-Teachers enables students with disabilities to access a broader range of general education classrooms and ensures direct support from the special education teacher for critical parts of the instruction.
  1. English
  2. Math
  3. Social Studies

Co-teaching

In Co-teaching, a licensed general education teacher and a special education teacher share responsibility for teaching the core graduation requirements of one or more sections of a general education course for students performing below grade level academically.

1. English

  • a. Freshman English

2. Science

  • a. Biology
  • b. Environmental Science

3. Math

  • a. Essentials of Algebra
  • b. Algebra
  • c. Geometry
  • d. Algebra 2

4. Strategic Reading

Instructional (Self-Contained) Special Education Courses

A special education course aligned to the common core standards for students functioning significantly below grade level than their same age peers. A special education teacher teaches the core graduation requirements as well as instructional strategies while differentiating the learning activities and individualizing the curriculum to close the achievement gap. Some courses are offered on a rotating schedule.

  1. English
  2. Reading
  3. Math
  4. Social Studies: World Civ 1, US History
  5. Science: Biology

Educational Life Skills (ELS)

The ELS program is a cross categorical, instructional program serving students with intellectual disabilities, autism, and other disabilities who benefit from applied academic courses and functional life skill courses. The students and their families collaborate to develop a greater knowledge base regarding post high school transition, as students work toward becoming independent and contributing members of society.
Private Day and Residential Placements: Following unsuccessful interventions within the school district, Private Day and Residential schools offer students with severe academic, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities a modified curricula, intensive therapeutic supports, smaller class size and building, and individualized goal setting to help students develop new skills to return to their home school district.

Private Day and Residential Placements

Following unsuccessful interventions within the school district, Private Day and Residential schools offer students with severe academic, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities a modified curricula, intensive therapeutic supports, smaller class size and building, and individualized goal setting to help students develop new skills to return to their home school district.

TRANSITION PROGRAM

The Transition Program provides a combination of classroom and community‐based instruction for students with cognitive challenges. Students participate in group and individualized activities designed to meet their transition goals which include practical opportunities to learn social, vocational and personal management skills. Students have opportunities to develop independence while being involved in vocational training, coursework, volunteerism, fitness and recreational experiences. Participants are encouraged to utilize peer, school and community resources toward the ultimate goal of being an active, working, contributing member of their community.

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