Belmont Public Schools Special Education Programs

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1 Belmont Public Schools Special Education Programs Preschool Program School: Belmont system wide Population Served: Special Education Students Aged 3 5 Grade: Pre K Program Description: This program is designed to provide support to Belmont residents aged 3 5 years old found to have deficits in any developmental area of one year or more. This support is delivered along a continuum of in district services to out of district placements. In district service provisions may consist of consultation and related services only, an inclusion classroom, or a combination of inclusion and self contained classroom models. Out of district placements are typically self contained models with a focus on significant and multiple areas of deficits. Students are referred to Belmont Preschool for evaluation through area Early Intervention Programs, area community preschools, local pediatricians, and parents. The referrals are based on reports, interviews, observations, and screening tools. Children are evaluated in all areas of need by the Belmont staff consisting of Speech/Language Pathologists trained in Early Language Development, an Occupational Therapist trained in sensory integration, and a Physical Therapist trained in mobility assessment. Also available are the School Psychologist and Early Childhood Special Educators and specialists. Students may be evaluated in the following areas: Speech/Language, Fine and Gross Motor, Sensory Integration, Play Skills, Functional and Pragmatic Language, Social/Emotional Development, Cognitive Development, and Behavioral Assessments. As a result of the evaluations, children are referred for services based on the significance of their delay and the number of areas of delay. Related services only models are recommended if a child demonstrates a one year delay in a single area of development or a one year delay in multiple areas, but has demonstrated continued progress in all other areas. Related services are provided in a therapeutic environment individually or in small groups and dyads, based on need. If children are found to have a delay of at least one year in multiple areas, and sufficient progress is considered improbable without special accommodations and modifications even with related services, and a child is considered able to benefit from peer modeling and small group instruction, a slot in an inclusion classroom may be recommended. If a student is not developmentally able to benefit from peer models or is not developmentally able to participate in small group instruction, a self contained out of district placement may be recommended. Length of the classroom day, week, and year is flexible and dependent on the needs of the student. A typical preschool classroom slot is 2.5 hours per day. Full day classroom programs run 5 hours per day. Classrooms are scheduled on a continuum of three to five days and range from inclusion 1

2 to self contained. Each inclusion classroom consists of a highly structured environment servicing a small group of up to 15 students including eight tuition paying students and seven children on IEPs. Self contained classrooms service up to seven children on IEPs. Classroom accommodations are in place in all rooms including supportive schedule visuals, visual task analysis, behavioral supports, transition tools, adult and peer modeling, and frequent opportunities for small group and dyad teaching. In addition, the instructional material is modified individually for pace and volume as needed although it is drawn directly from the early childhood education standards. Students are typically scheduled along the continuum depending on level of need. Classroom placements include placement in an inclusion classroom or a combination of self contained and inclusion sessions. Each class has a low teacher/student ratio and is taught by a teacher with Special Education certification with the assistance of two classroom assistants. Consulting to each classroom is a Speech/Language Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist, and a Physical Therapist. Also available are the School Psychologist and the Early Childhood Liaison. Additional Professional Aides, Specialists, or Health Aides are added as needed to support students with significant mobility, vision, hearing, medical, or behavioral issues in order to allow them to access the curriculum and maintain safety. 2

3 Socio Emotional Support Programs Elementary, Opportunity, Campus, Campus PM School: All Elementary, CMS, BHS Population Served: Special Education Students with Social/Emotional Disabilities Grade: K 12 Program Description; These programs are designed to provide support to students whose behavioral and emotional disabilities prevent them from being successful in the regular classroom environment. This support is delivered along a continuum of full inclusion to fully self contained, and by a variety of associated service providers including special education teachers, social workers, adjustment counselors, guidance counselors and school psychologists. The program at the elementary level is more individually student centered, with students receiving supports from providers within the scope of the regular daily environments. At CMS and BHS, students have access to those types of supports also, as well as more structured separately based programs. In those buildings, each program is based in a classroom that consists of a highly structured environment, small group setting, low teacher/student ratio and flexible scheduling. In addition, the instructional material is typically modified for pace and volume although it is drawn directly from the regular education curriculum and environment the child would normally be in if not for the disability. All students are typically scheduled along the continuum of inclusion with added supports, or within these programs, and in conjunction with their regular education classrooms. Depending on level of need, students may spend part of the day in the program and/or part of the day in regular education classes, or up to their entire day in the program (CMS and BHS) if that level of support is needed. This continuum can be varied daily, weekly, or for longer periods if warranted. The program is multi graded and individually tailored to provide each student with his/her appropriate level of instruction and assignments. Decisions about classes and scheduling are made in conjunction with the student s IEP Team and implemented as needed to best support the specific emotional and behavioral constraints each student presents. The programs at the middle and high school level also contain an extended day option for students with the provision of services extending beyond the regular school day. This option is utilized for students who need added academic assistance, more flexible scheduling options, and/or increased staff contact time in order to make effective progress in their academic program. Program Staff at each level consists of Special Education teachers, at least one or more Program Assistants, and a Counselor/School Psychologist to provide consultation to staff and parents, as well as counseling for students as needed. These staff members provide ongoing emotional support and classroom instruction. 3

4 ASD/Intensive Inclusion Support Program Students with Autism Spectrum and Other Related Disorders School: District Wide Population Served: Special Education Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Other Related Disorders Grade: K 12 Program Description: This program supports students whose profiles of development prevent them from accessing general education curriculum independently across the content areas. Furthermore, these students have difficulties when interacting with school staff and students due to the challenges that they face in demonstrating appropriate social behavior. As a result, different types of supports are provided both in and out of the classroom. Students receive services in groups ranging from 1 3 students outside of the classroom. When students are integrated in the classroom, they participate in both large and small group activities. Students are integrated in classrooms that provide consistent structure and routine in order to facilitate their learning as well as their successful interactions with school staff and students. Students receive instruction from the classroom teacher, classroom assistant, professional aide, speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, guidance counselor, and school psychologist based on their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Students receive services along a continuum of classroom inclusion, ranging from fully included to completely separate. Depending on the level of support that a student needs, he/she may spend part of the day in the regular education classroom and part of the day in another classroom in which he receives 1:1 and/or small group instruction. The program addresses the academic, social, and emotional development of the students. The components include a highly structured learning environment, individualized instruction, and utilization of natural day to day activities and interactions for social skills guidance and instruction. The environment and lessons are modified on an on going basis to meet the diverse learning needs of this population of students. Positive behavioral supports are incorporated in the classroom to meet the unique needs of each student using best practices including applied behavioral techniques. The sensory needs of the students are addressed across school settings as well. Each student's Team identifies whether a student needs extended year programming. Parents are an integral part of the program. The student's team identifies ways to make connections between school and home to ensure the development of students. Each student receives the appropriate level of support across developmental domains as well as settings. The student s IEP Team assesses and analyzes the growth of the student on an on going basis and modifications are made to programming to ensure success across school settings. The program incorporates on going professional development, consultation to the staff servicing the students. Collaboration across disciplines is a key component of this program. 4

5 Two district wide inclusion specialists provide full time support to the students in this program. In addition, a school based classroom teacher, classroom assistant, professional aide, speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, guidance counselor and school psychologist deliver the services outlined in the IEPs of the students. 5

6 Academic Support/Learning Center Program Schools: All Population Served: Special Education Students Needing Pull Out Academic Support Grade: K 12 Program Description: These programs are designed to provide services to students whose academic needs warrant a level of support not readily available within the regular education classroom. Each Academic Support/Learning Center section is based in a classroom that consists of a highly structured environment, small group setting, low teacher/student ratio, and flexible scheduling. Students are typically scheduled along the continuum of partial to full inclusion within these programs and in conjunction with their regular education classrooms. Depending on level of need, students may spend less than an hour a week or up to a full class period a day in a program. Some students may be scheduled for more than this as determined by their level of need and IEP Team. This continuum can be varied daily, weekly, or for longer periods if warranted. The program is typically grade based, but can be multi graded depending on student needs and appropriateness of service grouping. Services are always tailored to provide each student with their appropriate level of instruction, as well as required intensity and amount of service. As the program is based on a Resource Room model, services provided include academic remediation, modification of classroom curriculum, reinforcement of concepts and information from academic courses, academic coaching, instruction in study skills and test taking strategies, and monitoring of academic and organizational progress. In addition, Program teachers consult with regular education staff on the needs of their students and work with teachers to modify and adapt curriculum as warranted. Decisions about classes and scheduling are made in conjunction with the student s IEP Team and implemented as needed to best support the specific requirements for each student. Program Staff at all levels consists of one Special Education teacher and at least one or more Paraprofessional for each section that goes above eight enrolled students. 6

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