Armstrong School District

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SPECIAL EDUCATION OVERVIEW

ASD provides a full continuum of appropriate programs and services for students with disabilities by facilitating collaborative efforts among parents, teachers, students, therapists, administrators, and other members of the school community. Levels of intervention, goals, accommodations, modifications and specially designed instruction are based on individual student need and are determined by the IEP team. Special education in the ASD has been organized around the premise that special education provides comprehensive supports and services to eligible students in the least restrictive environment. Teachers, therapists, and paraprofessionals deliver these services in typical settings with non-disabled peers to the greatest extent appropriate.

 

ASD special education staff are comprised of highly qualified teachers, support personnel, and paraprofessionals who are committed to ongoing professional development so that instruction may meet the unique needs of students across a wide range of disability categories.  Reading and math skills are taught in small group settings based on instructional needs rather than eligibility for special education.  Elementary and secondary core content classes are co-taught with special education and content area teachers. Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) is currently in place in the elementary schools. Students receive reading, language arts, math, social/emotional, and behavioral interventions based on need, regardless of disability. 

 

ASD has delivered a wide range of in-service programs to staff members and parents, and implements research-based reading, language arts and math programs.  In order to promote independence and gain meaningful access to the general education curriculum, ASD supports the use of all types of supportive tools and equipment.  Assistive technology is a vital part of the special education support system.

 

Data from a wide range of assessments are analyzed and used by school teams, including special education teachers, to assist in the development or revision of IEP goals. In addition to addressing academic needs, the district offers a range of individual and group counseling, and school-based mental health services. 

 

For students who have significant disabilities, ASD supports special education programs and services that allow for highly specialized intensive teaching and opportunities for inclusion with same-aged, general education peers and are supported by related services including occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and/or language therapy.

 

Programs and services exist at both the elementary and secondary levels and may range from supportive, inclusive services to self-contained classrooms for students who exhibit intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical disabilities, orthopedic impairment, traumatic brain injury and other health impairments. Special education programs and services in the ASD aim to provide students with as much help and targeted intervention as needed in the least restrictive environment.  

 

To assure that all students are college and/or career ready, ASD has made a commitment to supporting successful post secondary transitions for special education students.  Special education teams including the transition coordinator work with families and students in order to ensure that options are presented and explored.