Special Program Descriptions
Special Education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings, and instruction in physical education.
(20 U.S.C. 1401(25); 34 CFR 300.26 OVERVIEW OF SPECIAL EDUCATION INSTRUCTIONAL OPTIONS)
In the Stafford Municipal School District, numerous instructional options are available under the direction of the Federal Programs Department to meet the needs of students with disabilities. Please view the following basic description for each program:
Inclusion support is offered in designated academic areas. Inclusion support consists of a special education teacher and/or paraprofessional consulting with the general education teacher to assist in the implementation of individualized education programs and/or modifications within the general education classroom. Based on the needs of the student, this support may be indirect, through consultation with the general education teacher, and/or direct, with the teacher or paraprofessional working directly with the student in the classroom.
Often students who require inclusion support have demonstrated difficulty with organization, motivation, attention, and basic study skills. Inclusion support provides the ongoing support that these students require to be successful, while allowing them to benefit from participation in the general education curriculum. Supplementary aids and services or assistive technology devices or services may be made available for the special needs learner in the general setting, according to the IEP.
Content mastery assistance may be offered in all academic and non-academic areas. Content mastery is a service delivery model that supports students assigned to general education classes. In this program, students utilize the content mastery classroom for one-on-one assistance, for test adaptations, for specialized materials, for instruction in test taking and study skills, for reteaching concepts, and for support in other instructional modifications or accommodations as indicated in the student’s IEP.
Itinerant Teacher Services
An itinerant teacher provides both direct and/or indirect services for students with disabilities by providing consultation to school personnel, training for families, and direct instruction when required for teaching unique skills. Students with visual or auditory impairments may receive services of itinerant teachers who are specially trained.
Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD)
This program is for eligible students’ ages 3 through 5, who have been determined by the ARD/IEP committee to require early academic intervention. Students three and four years of age by September 1st are in a half-day program unless otherwise recommended by an individual student’s ARD/IEP committee. Students five years of age by September 1st are in a full-day program unless otherwise recommended by an individual student’s ARD/IEP committee.
Speech/ Language Therapy
Speech/language therapy is provided for the intervention or correction of communication disorders of articulation, language, fluency, and voice. It is provided for eligible students whose communication skills adversely affect their developmental and/or academic skills. The program is conducted in individual or group therapy sessions. Some services may be provided through consultation or collaboration with the student’s general and/or special education teacher(s).
Resource is a ‘pullout’ service delivery model offered in the student’s area of educational need. Students placed in resource classes are working on specific individualized and measurable educational goals and objectives developed by the ARD/IEP committee. Usually students in these classes are unable to successfully participate in general education curriculum at grade level due to severe learning difficulties. Resource classes allow these students to progress through the curriculum at their own level and pace with specialized instruction.
Behavior Support Services Program
The Behavior Support Services Program provides a continuum of services for students identified with emotional and behavioral difficulties. Students in need of these services are identified through a child-centered process and the appropriate services are determined by an ARD committee. An individual education plan (IEP) is developed by the ARD committee and appropriate behavioral and academic supports are identified that will enable the student to experience success.
Life Skills Classes
LIFE (Learning in Functional Environments) Skills classes are designed for those students who would benefit from instruction in functional academics in a structured, consistent, small group setting with emphasis on self-help, communication and motor development. LIFE Skills classes are designed to provide students with disabilities the concepts and skills necessary to perform meaningful activities in a variety of domestic, vocational, recreational, and community environments.
The Homebound Instructional Arrangement/Setting can be provided for any eligible General or Special Education student who is expected to be confined at home or hospital and unable to attend a classroom program for a minimum of four weeks due to a serious illness, injury, surgery, pregnancy complications, childbirth or certain other medical conditions as documented by a physician licensed to practice in the United States. The weeks need not be consecutive. In making eligibility and placement decisions the ARD committee must consider the physician’s information, but it is not the sole determining factor in the committee’s decision making process.
Regional Day School Program for the Deaf
In conjunction with other area school districts, Stafford MSD participates in a shared services arrangement (SSA) regional day school program for deaf and hearing-impaired children. The District is a member of the Brazoria-Fort Bend County Cooperative.
Dyslexia classes are offered for student’s identified with dyslexia, either through special education or through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The dyslexia instructional program utilizes individualized, intensive, multisensory methods that contain reading, writing, and spelling components.