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Special Education Overview

By federal and state law, school districts are required to identify children who are suspected of having a disability that adversely affects the child’s educational performance and then to provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) for all children with disabilities. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) requires states to establish procedures to ensure, "that to the maximum extent appropriate," students with disabilities are educated with children who are not disabled. Programs serving children with learning challenges as well as those with speech/language and other related services needs are available in all schools.

Independence Local Schools offers a continuum of services for students who have been determined eligible for specially designed instruction. This continuum includes:

· Regular Education Classes/Inclusion
Collaboration/consultation/co-teaching services focus on special educators (Intervention Specialists) and general educators working together to best meet the needs of students with disabilities as well as children who may be "at risk". Each school operates Response to Intervention Teams to promote data driven instruction, to individualize learning experiences and to effectively integrate resources which would positively impact the child's educational program.

· Individual/Small Group Setting (Tutoring)
The Individual/Small Group Instruction program provides students with disabilities support that helps to increase their opportunity to benefit from regular class placement. This is supplemental instruction which focuses on targeted IEP goals and objectives. Depending upon each student’s individual needs, this instruction could include academic support , as well as assisting students in becoming independent in the "process" of learning through the use of compensatory strategies, and study/organizational techniques.

· Resource Room
The Resource Room serves children whose disabilities require intensive programming. Continued participation in the child's regular class activities is encouraged. The Resource Rooms offer an alternative/modified curriculum in a small group setting, which provides personalized options that are not offered in the general education program. These placements are considered cross-categorical, meaning students with a variety of disabilities are served in the same special class.

· Separate Facility
Separate facilities are, typically, schools outside of the district that are designed specifically for students with disabilities.

· Home Instruction
Home instruction is an individualized education program provided at home to a child with a disability which prevents the child from attending a regular or special program even with the aid of special transportation.

· Institutions and Hospitals.

Related Services
Related Services are support services needed to allow children with disabilities to benefit from special education and other services, as determined by the individual student’s needs.

These may include:

  • Adapted Physical Education Services
  • Aide Services
  • Audiological Services
  • Behavior Consultant
  • Braillist
  • Interpreter Services
  • Occupational Therapy Services
  • Orientation & Mobility Services
  • Physical Therapy Services
  • School Psychological Services
  • Speech and Language Services
  • Transportation
  • Vision Specialist
  • Work-Study/Transition Services

The law also requires public schools to provide services to preschool age students (ages three to five) with disabilities if they are at least three years of age and not age six, have a disability demonstrated by a documented deficit in one or more areas of development, which has an adverse effect upon normal development and functioning.

Services provided to school-aged students with disabilities ages five through twenty-one may include instruction in regular and/or special edication classrooms, school psychology services, speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and work study/transition services.

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Education Administration Center  |  7733 Stone Road  |  Independence, OH 44131
P: (216) 642-5850  |  F: (216) 642-3482 | Hours: Mon-Fri 7:30 AM - 4:00 PM
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