Program Overview

Castleberry ISD

SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM OVERVIEW

 

The Castleberry ISD will strive to ensure that special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the general educational environment, occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in the general education classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.  CISD will provide a continuum of services ranging from full time placement in general education classrooms to self-contained classrooms.

 

The CISD will provide service with qualified special education personnel in order to meet the special needs of students with disabilities in accordance with Federal Regulations 34 CFR300.550-554.

 

Placement supports and services are based on the individual needs of the student and determined by the Admission, Review and Dismissal Committee (ARDC) in the Individual Education Plan (IEP).   Educational programming and placement decisions are always made on an individual basis as determined by appropriate assessment data. After a student’s IEP has been developed, the IEP Team considers where the required services can best be implemented. The general education classroom is the primary placement option that is always considered first. Students are removed only as far from this setting as their individual needs dictate.

 

A brief overview of some the district’s special education programming options follows. Since services are determined based on student need, this overview should not be considered exhaustive.

 

ACCOMMODATIONS/MODIFICATIONS:

In an effort to maintain student placement in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), the IEP Team (IEPT) may individually design instructional accommodations to assist students in learning required content in the general education setting.  Accommodations direct the learning process for an individual student, but do not change course content on TEKS. Please note that accommodations specified in an IEP are MANDATORY and are implemented by the general education teacher providing the instruction. However, Special Education staff is available to assist in implementing accommodations.

 

The IEP Team may individually design modifications to assist the student in accessing the general education curriculum.  Modifications are implemented in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) as set forth in the IEP.  Modifications change the course content and the TEKS.  Modifications result in modified grades for the course in which they are used.  Please note that modifications in an IEP are MANDATORY and are implanted collaboratively by the general education teacher and/or special education teacher providing instruction.  

 

MAINSTREAM:

This instructional arrangement/setting is for providing special education and related services to a student in the general classroom, in accordance with the student’s IEP.  Qualified special education personnel must be involved in the implementation of the student’s IEP through the provision of direct, indirect, and/or support services to the student, and/or student’s general education classroom teacher(s) necessary to enrich the general classroom and enable student success.  

 

The student’s IEP must specify the services that will be provided by qualified special education personnel to enable the student to appropriately progress in the general education curriculum and/or appropriately advance in achieving the goals set out in the student’s IEP.  Special education paraprofessionals may be utilized to provide these services under the supervision of a certified teacher.

 

Students’ level of support needed in the general education classroom varies according to the individual needs of the student.  A continuum of support services is provided within the general education classroom. 

 

CO-TEACHING CLASSROOMS:

Co-teaching is an instructional arrangement where a general education teacher and a special education teacher work in a partnership to teach a class.  The teachers plan, teach and evaluate students collaboratively in a general education setting.  This is a large group setting that includes special education students with peers.  

 

INCLUSION/IN-CLASS SUPPORT:  

Inclusion services are available to meet the individual needs of students in general education settings.  Students receive consultative, direct and indirect support from special education staff within the general education classroom.

 

RESOURCE:

Instruction in the resource setting is individualized based upon the student’s IEP goals and objectives and is linked to the student’s enrolled grade level TEKS.  Resource services are available for students who need more intensive, individualized instruction. The emphasis is on core academic areas with the focus directed towards skill acquisition, acceleration, and or remediation. Resource also provides behavior supports and social skills instruction. Students work toward mastery of individually developed IEP objectives in classes instructed by certified special education teachers.  Students served in the resource setting are typically two to three grade levels behind their grade-level peers and for whom the grade level curriculum is modified. 

 

Resource teachers should use general education materials, curriculum guides, text books and /or other approved research based materials modified to meet the student’s need.  Pacing and instructional strategies will vary based upon student need. 

 

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY SERVICES:

Intervention for speech/language disorders is provided by properly credentialed speech/language pathologists or licensed speech pathology assistants as determined by the evaluation.  Supervision of assistant speech pathologists is provided by ASHA-certified clinicians.  Individual instructional goals are developed by the Individualized Education Program Team based on evaluations conducted by licensed Speech Therapists or certified/licensed Speech-Language Pathologists.  Services may be direct, in either individual, small group, or integrated formats, or consultative, and are based upon individual student needs. 

 

SELF-CONTAINED PROGRAMS:

Self-Contained programs are designed to provide a structured instructional program for students whose functional and academic skills cannot be met in other settings.  Due to the severity of their disability, some students may require instruction utilizing alternate curriculum standards or specialized behavioral supports within a self-contained setting.  Students may also require instruction in a classroom setting with a lower teacher pupil ratio. The Director must be notified prior to consideration for any self-contained program.

 

Students will participate in the general education classroom or in general education activities to the maximum extent possible to meet their academic, social/emotional and vocational needs.  

 

PRESCHOOL PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES (PPCD): School-based early intervention services for children age three through five (PPCD) are provided beginning no later than a child’s third birthday.  PPCD is a continuum of services and not a specific program, place or classroom. Appropriately credentialed teachers and paraprofessionals provide these services. These services are provided on partnership campuses with the student attending the campus as close to his/her home as possible.

 

The following is a description of the variety of service options that have been developed to meet the needs of this age group.  Additional programming option descriptions can be found under Speech and Language Therapy Services.

 

PRESCHOOL PROGRAM FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES SELF-CONTAINED CLASSROOM (PPCD): The PPCD self-contained classroom provides instruction for the moderate to severely disabled child in a structured environment in the areas of social emotional, language, gross and fine motor, cognitive concepts and self-help skills.  Services are individualized and set forth in the student’s Individualized Education Program.  Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) are utilized as noted in the students IEP.  As this is a centralized program, the Special Education Director must be notified prior to program consideration.

 

The district also provides services in conjunction with Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) programs for children age birth to three years old that have vision or hearing disabilities.  The district works closely with ECI providers to facilitate smooth transition to public school services for all children with disabilities who are nearing their third birthday.

 

LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMS:

School Based Instruction (SBI): SBI is a centralized self-contained life skills program designed for students who demonstrate mild to moderate to profound cognitive impairments. The emphasis of the SBI program at the elementary level is on early academics.  At the secondary level, the focus shifts to functional academics and vocational opportunities.  The Director must be notified prior to program consideration. Students may have multiple disabilities involving medical needs that require a small teacher pupil ratio to monitor.  For some students the focus may be on maintaining physical needs, developing communication skills, and providing cognitive stimulation. Students are eligible for SBI when they are 5 years old by September 1st.  

 

The programs focus is:

  1. The establishment of skills in tolerating environments, choice making, visual and/or auditory stimulation, and the use of appropriate forms of communication.
  2. The building of independence in daily living skills, social interactions, emotional development and recreation/leisure activities.
  3. The building of tolerance in fine and gross motor development and environmental awareness.
  4. The provision of assistive technology as necessary related service/accommodation for students in order to meet individual educational goals.
  5. The provision of positive behavioral supports and interventions when needed.  
  6. Training in vocational/pre-vocational skill areas when determined by the IEP to be appropriate for secondary students.

 

An IEP is developed for every student based on the student’s academic abilities, cognitive skills, social and behavior needs and functional skills needed to increase independence.  Students in this program may receive modifications to grade level TEKS or require an alternative curriculum Instruction is provided in both individual and small group settings.  Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) are utilized as noted in the students’ IEP.  

 

SBI it is not designed for students with disabilities who may be at or near grade level academically.  

 

Community Based Instruction (CBI):

The Community Based Instruction class is a special education vocational program for students in high school.  This instructional arrangement is designed for student with disabilities who desire vocational training and are unable to make progress in general education vocational classes.  The CBI program provides students with support in acquiring vocational skills by providing both classroom and on-the-job instruction in order to develop marketable skills. Components of this program include full-time or part-time employment as well as job coaching classes.  Employment opportunities and training are based on vocational evaluation, student needs and abilities, teacher recommendations and parental preference.  Admission to the CBI is determined by the IEP committee. 

 

TRANSITION PROGRAM:

This program is designed for Community Based Instruction students who have completed 4 years of high school and who are eligible to participate in the district’s Community Based Vocational Instruction (CBVI) program.  The student must be graduating based upon meeting their IEP goals and be able to complete sheltered work skill activities (repetitive assembly, stocking, filing, etc. 




BEHAVIOR SUPPORT PROGRAMS:

Social Emotional Adjustment Support (SEAS): is a program that provides support to students in the general education setting to develop understanding, strategies and skills that support a positive sense of self, promote respectful relationships and build student capacity to recognize and manage their own emotions and make responsible decisions. CISD uses a PBIS approach that involves everyone from the district and school leaders to community partnership such as family members to ensure that students receive the support they need.

 

Structured Teach and Transition (STAT) CLASS: Students whose primary deficit area is appropriate behavior may access services through the STAT classes. The goals of this program are to assist the student in transitioning back into less restrictive placement options with the behavioral and academic skills necessary to be successful. These classrooms focus on behavior skills training, have a low student: teacher ratio (6-8 student per classroom) and are carefully structured. A special education teacher and one or more paraprofessionals staff each classroom. Behavior support classes are available K-12.  Services are based on student need and fall along a continuum from fully self-contained to incident-specific crisis intervention.  After all behavioral interventions have been exhausted at the campus level, the Special Education Director must be notified prior to program consideration.

HOMEBOUND:

Homebound is a setting for providing special education and related services to eligible students whose educational needs can only be met in a home or hospital setting. This is a very restrictive environment and should be considered only to the extent and for the duration necessary for the students’ benefit.  The students are expected to be confined for a minimum of four consecutive weeks as documented by a physician licensed to practice in the state of Texas.  Homebound instruction may also be provided to chronically ill students who are expected to be confined for any period of time totaling a minimum of at least four weeks throughout the school year.  The IEP team determines the amount of services to be provided in accordance with state and federal laws. 

 

Homebound students are ineligible to participate in extracurricular and co-curricular activities, work programs, outside jobs and other activities away from the home under normal circumstances.  A responsible adult must be present in the home while a homebound teacher or service provider is delivering instruction.

 

VI SERVICES:

Services for students with visual impairments are provided by itinerant teachers who are certified to provide a wide range of services for students with visual impairments.  Support may be provided to the classroom teacher and other staff that serves the student or paired with direct instruction from the itinerant teacher to the student with accordance with the student’s individualized education plan.

 

RELATED SERVICES:

Related services are services identified through assessment and planned by an Individualized Education Program Team that are necessary to enable a student to benefit from special education services. These services are a support to the student’s special education program and are not provided in isolation.  For example, a student must be receiving special education services in order to receive occupational therapy.  Related services may include counseling, transportation, art therapy, music therapy, orientation and mobility, school health services, vision, auditory, occupational and physical therapies, parent counseling and therapy, psychological services, in-home/parent training, and/or recreation therapy.  In Texas, Speech Therapy is not considered a related service but is treated as an instructional service.   According to state and federal statutes, this list is not exhaustive.  The pivotal issue in the provision of a related service is the determination that the service provided supports and enhances a student’s educational program.  An evaluation is conducted and a report completed by the appropriately qualified service providers.  Eligibility is based on this evaluation and determined by the IEP team.

 

This information is reviewed by the Individualized Education Program Committee to determine the need for services. When determined by the IEP Committee as necessary, related services, except transportation, require IEP goals and objectives.

 

EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR (ESY):

 

Extended school year services means special education and related services that are provided to a child with a disability beyond the normal school year in accordance with the child’s IEP at no cost to the parents and meet the standards of the SEA. ESY is considered by the IEP Team when, in one or more critical areas of the current Individualized Education Program (IEP), documentation exists showing that the student has exhibited or reasonably may be expected to exhibit severe or substantial regression in the absence of ESY services; and/or when recoupment of critical skills does not occur within 8 weeks of the next regular school year or if immediate physical harm to the student or others could occur without ESY.