Secondary Program Services (Middle and High Schools)

  • The Special Education Program at the secondary level includes a continuum of services to meet the unique needs of special education students. Like the elementary schools, placement decisions are based on the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and in accordance with state and federal regulations. Each student is assigned a special education case manager who monitors student progress in classes and ensures the appropriateness and delivery of the IEP. Specific program offerings may vary by school and from year to year depending on the specific needs of current students.

    Resource Program

    The Resource Program offers special education classes or “Resource Classes” in the areas of Reading, Written Language, and Mathematics. These classes generally range from five to fifteen students and are taught by a special education teacher. These classes provide specially designed instruction in areas indicated on the student’s IEP. The curriculum used generally parallels the content of general education classes in order to ensure access and exposure to grade level Essential Academic Learning Requirements and Grade Level Expectations.

    In some cases, students are provided special education services in the general education setting. This is done through co-teaching models where there are two teachers (both general education and special education teachers) in the same class. Students in these classes benefit from lower teacher-to-student ratios and have the opportunity to receive small-group pull-out support, reteaching, and modifications. Additional support in general education classes may include Instructional Assistants (Paraprofessional Educators) working with students directly in the classroom.

    In some settings, additional “Enrichment” classes may be offered to meet students' individual goals listed on IEPs.

    Life Skills Program

    Students with significant disabilities that impact daily functioning and adaptive skills receive services in the Life Skills Program. This program blends instruction, problem solving, communication, social skills, and pre-vocational activities and hands-on projects, while meeting the goals and objectives of each student's IEP. These classes generally range from five to ten students and are taught by a special education teacher. Additional Instructional Assistants may be available to provide assistance.

    Students receive individualized instruction in reading, writing, and math according to their needs. The emphasis is on learning real-life and pre-vocational skills, such as reading schedules, directions, and recipes; measuring and calculating with the use of money, etc. Students also learn communication, problem solving, and social skills through role playing, games, social stories, and real-life scenarios. Hands-on activities such as cooking and gardening are also used to practice application of academic skills. Additional communication and occupational therapy may be provided in the student’s setting as need arises.