Drafted March This special needs policy will help to ensure that: This policy addresses students in the following categories:

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1 Peebles Elementary Special Needs Policy Drafted March 2014 Philosophy We believe that all learners have unique needs. We believe that all stakeholders share a responsibility to intervene with effective strategies to assist students so that they may achieve success. Purpose This special needs policy will help to ensure that: Access to the Primary Years Program is open to all students The needs of ALL learners are addressed effectively in a timely manner Resources are aligned to best assist students Identity This policy addresses students in the following categories: Gifted/Talented (GT) Section 504/Dyslexia English Language Learners (ELL) Bilingual (BL) Special Education Response to Intervention Process (RTI) RTI meetings are held twice each month (Fridays). The meetings are divided by primary and intermediate grade levels. The RTI coordinator provides teachers with a list of students already in the RTI process and asks for new referrals. The coordinator also organizes the meeting schedules for teachers and arranges for a substitute teacher to cover classes so that teachers may attend the RTI meetings. The RTI committee includes the classroom teacher, the campus instructional specialist and/or a campus administrator, the RTI coordinator, and other professional staff members who have knowledge of the student. When there are concerns about a student, teachers bring those concerns to the attention of the RTI Committee. The teacher keeps documentation on each student using a Tier I data sheet. The RTI committee meets to discuss academic progress in the areas of ELAR and/or math, as well as behavioral concerns.

2 If the student continues to be unsuccessful after four to six weeks, then Tier II interventions are begun. The teacher fills out a Tier II initial form, the clinic fills out a health information form, and a support staff member conducts an observation. Parents are notified by letter of Tier II interventions and the RTI meeting. Observations are conducted and recorded for each student served by Tier II and Tier III interventions between RTI meetings by assigned support staff. o Pre- K & Kindergarten (counselor) o 1 st Grade & 2 nd Grade (CIS) o 3 rd Grade (CIS) o 4 th Grade & 5 th Grade (counselor) The RTI Coordinator ensures that students with Tier II and III interventions receive an observation between RTI meetings. Teachers record students progress and interventions weekly and input results into the eschool database. If the increased interventions are not successful, the RTI Committee discusses possible referrals to Section 504 or special education. Gifted/Talented Students identified as gifted and talented may be gifted in specific areas. Special talents are encouraged, nurtured, and extended through differentiated instruction by G/T certified teachers in grades 1-5. Students are challenged to think about complex ideas, issues, and situations, even if a student is receiving learning support in other areas. Creating opportunities for extension involves seeking out and working with local universities, local community organizations, and/or online providers. Curriculum and learning choices are made in collaboration with identified students. G/T students utilize multiple resources to enhance their learning and challenge their thinking. These include: TEKS Resource System (1-5) The Texas Performance Standards Project (K- 4) Exhibition Project (5) Safari Montage, PebbleGo, World Book, etc. Learning extensions in area of strength identified by choice boards. The identification of G/T students is accomplished through a comprehensive identification process consisting of three steps (nomination, screening, and selection). Students may be nominated at any time by teachers, counselors, parents, or other interested persons. Written parental permission is required before screening/ testing can begin. G/T screening is on going throughout the school year for students in grades K- 5. Qualitative and quantitative data are collected through three or more measures and used to determine whether or not a student needs G/T services. The following assessments are used:

3 The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test 2 nd Edition- NNAT 2 is an age normed test that uses visual analogies to provide information about students information processing abilities. The Stanford Achievement Test, 3 rd Edition- The SAT is a nationally- normed standardized test of student achievement, is aligned to both state and national standards. A student interview- The interview is designed to provide insight into student interests, skills, vocabulary, and task commitment. A district GT selection committee, composed of at least three district and campus educators trained in the nature and needs of gifted learners, reviews the student assessment/screening profiles. Using an established student profile criteria, students who qualify to receive GT services are identified. The Campus GT Coordinator then informs the parent of the results of the identification process. Bilingual/ESL When a child is enrolled in school for the first time, the parents complete a home language survey. If a second language is marked, a trained bilingual staff member assesses the child using a standardized oral assessment in English and Spanish. The Spanish version of the assessment is only for those students whose second language is Spanish. A student with a second language other than Spanish is only given the English version. A child in second grade or above is tested using a standardized reading comprehension and vocabulary assessment. All assessments and an LPAC meeting must be completed within 20 school days. The LPAC determines if the student is eligible for the program. If the child qualifies, we offer a program: bilingual if Spanish is the second language or ESL if the language is a second language other than Spanish. Parents have the right to deny the bilingual program. If they deny the bilingual program, we offer the ESL. If both programs are denied students will not receive bilingual or ESL services however, students are included in the TELPAS assessments. Bilingual teachers teach students in both languages, English and Spanish. We have two bilingual classrooms per grade level with an average of 18 students per classroom. Spanish is used more in the lower grades than the upper grades. Teachers use a variety of strategies to help students with the transition from one language to the other. Our district follows the late exit model, which means that most of our bilingual students will not exit the program until they are in the upper grades. Since middle school does not have a bilingual program, our students make a transition from bilingual to ESL. English as a Second Language (ESL) We have one ESL teacher in our school who provides services for students in grades PK- 5. She provides inclusion services and uses multiple strategies to support ELL students. Strategies include: visual representations, graphic organizers, concept maps, multi- sensory teaching

4 strategies, prior knowledge, scaffolding, vocabulary emphasis, summaries, role- play, and technology support. Section 504/Dyslexia Students diagnosed with a physical or mental impairment that may impact school functioning may be eligible to receive 504 services. Students can qualify even if their condition doesn t affect academic performance or overall learning. The impairment must substantially limit at least one major life activity. The 504 committee convenes to determine initial eligibility. The committee may have a variety of attendees, such as 504 Coordinator, Counselor, Administrator, RICA Teacher, General Education Teacher, Parent, the Student and in special cases attorneys and specialists. If the student does meet the criteria to receive 504 services, then a plan is drawn up to service that student s specific needs. 504 services may be temporary, such as home- bound, surgery or broken bone, or they may recur year after year, with annual reviews of disability and accommodations needed. Students may receive accommodations in the classroom for testing, note- taking assistance, preferential seating, check for understanding, assignment notebook, shortened assignments, etc. Students may also need a behavior plan to be created and implemented. Once the plan has been created and agreed upon by the committee, it is implemented in the classroom and open for review and adjustment throughout the year. Special Education Peebles has three special education (sped) teachers for resource and inclusion, and two special education instructional aides to work with special education students with deficits in reading and math. Peebles has one speech teacher, a diagnostician, and an occupational therapist shared with other campuses. Students are identified for special education assessment through the RTI process. Parents sometimes request testing for Other Health Impairment (OHI) if students do not meet qualification criteria for academics. Confidentiality is of utmost importance. When sped employees assist students in classrooms, they often work with regular education students, too. In this way, it is difficult to recognized special education students from regular education students. Parents become familiar with procedures and implementation through Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) meetings. Parents receive procedural guidelines at each ARD meeting and have the right to call an ARD meeting at any time. Special education students are included in all school activities/events and participate in the same curriculum/assessments/programs offered to regular education students. Though accommodations are offered as specified in Individual Education Plans (IEP) for each student,

5 special education students are held to grade level standards according to state and federal guidelines.

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