Special Education Services
Special education services can be provided in a number of ways. These include:
Consultative Services: Special education staff consult with general education staff to plan educational interventions and assist them with understanding student needs. Special education staff also assist with modifying/adapting classroom instruction, curriculum, materials, and tests.
Direct Special Education Services In A Special Education Setting: Special education staff provide direct instruction and/or other services in a special education classroom or other setting outside of the general education programs. This model is frequently used for either:
“Learning Strategies:” These courses follow specific curricula to teach studying, writing, note taking, outlining, test preparation, test taking, and other skills designed to meet students’ individual goals. Students will usually receive a grade (letter grade or pass/fail) for such courses.
Individualized Instruction: These IEP determined areas of instruction and support could include:
“Learning Support:” support to students in content area course work through remediation, review, and opportunities to apply "Learning Strategies" skills to daily classroom assignments - will include an asterisk (*) on grade reports and transcript to reflect the modified curriculum.
“Alternative...” (e.g., Alt. Math, Alt. Eng.): direct instruction in content areas (e.g., math, reading, writing, English, science) that is tailored specifically to student needs - will include an asterisk (*) on grade reports and transcript when curriculum is modified.
“Individualized Instruction” (Ind. Instr.): a curriculum which is individualized for a student by the IEP team (for example, to address IEP goal(s)/objectives), does not relate to a specific content area or Parkway course, and is based on materials and/or activities adapted by the special education teacher or on an established curriculum (does NOT mean 1-to-1 instruction) - will include an asterisk (*) on grade reports and transcript to reflect the modified curriculum.
“Community Access” (Comm. Acc.): special education supervised work or community experiences as determined by a student’s IEP team at specific work or community sites - will include an asterisk (*) on grade reports and transcript to reflect the modified curriculum.
Direct Special Education Services In A General Education Setting: Special education staff provide instructional support and/or other services in a general education classroom/setting. A frequently employed model for doing so is:
Collaborative Instruction (i.e., Class-Within-A-Class [CWC]): Special education services are provided through collaborative planning and teaching involving a Parkway content area teacher and a special education teacher. Collaboratively taught courses are not offered in all content areas and may vary according to building needs and resources, as well as on student needs identified through the IEP process.
NOTE: Students may attend general education classes but work on course requirements, objectives, and competencies that are significantly reduced and/or altered. The student’s record (i.e., grade reports, transcript) will document such modifications with an asterisk (*), but a traditional grade will usually be given. See below for additional information about modified curriculum.
Related Services: A student may need related services in order to benefit from his/her special education program. These include, but are not limited to social work, counseling, speech-language services, occupational therapy (OT), physical therapy (PT), and adaptive physical education (APE). The types and amounts of such services are determined by a student’s IEP team and generally are delivered during normally scheduled class periods.
Levels of Special Education Services
A student’s level of service is determined by the total amount of time (calculated as a percentage [%] of their total instructional week) they are removed from general education settings/activities and students without disabilities for their special education and related services. Regardless of their level of service, some students with certain disability related needs may require specialized special education programs, services, and/or expertise which may be located only at certain middle schools. The levels of service offered in Parkway schools are:
outside regular classrooms less than 21 percent (0% to 20.9%) of the school day
outside regular classrooms at least 21 percent but no more than 60 percent (21% - 60%) of the school day
outside regular classrooms more than 60 percent (60.1% or more) of the school day
The opportunity to participate in a Parkway content area classroom and earn credit for their work is available to all students, regardless of the nature and severity of their disabilities. With appropriate adaptations and support, most students are able to meet curriculum objectives, be graded on the same expectations as other students, and receive credit. Modified curricula/courses are intended for use when, despite adaptations and support, students are unable to achieve the minimal outcomes defined for a course and therefore require the essence of the Parkway course to be changed (modified) to accommodate their needs.
When curriculum is modified, a course title will include an asterisk (*) and, possibly, a different course number. The following notation will appear on Parkway transcripts: "* or IEP = Modified Curriculum.” Use of an asterisk (*) on progress reports and transcripts to indicate that curriculum has been modified is determined by the content and nature of the work attempted by the student and NOT by who teaches the student (course) or in what setting (i.e., general or special education) the student spends a given period.
An asterisk (*) will appear next to “courses” when:
For students working on significantly modified content/competencies in Parkway general education classrooms, Parkway instructors are able to give such students appropriate grades and credit without compromising those for students working on traditional course work.
No asterisk (*) will be used when the essence of a Parkway course’s content, curriculum, objectives and competencies is maintained. This is true even when a student is in a general education classroom setting involving collaborative instruction, direct support from special education staff (i.e., teacher, interpreter, assistant), and/or adaptations to instruction, testing, or materials. When a student is in a special education setting, but is working on the traditional or established content, requirements, and competencies for an approved general education Parkway course, no asterisk (*) will appear if his/her curriculum is the same as for other students taking the same Parkway course.
For students receiving special education services, their IEP team must determine and document all adaptations, curricular modifications, and how grades will be determined when there are differences from those provided for students without disabilities. For students with Section 504 disabilities, the Individualized Accommodation Plan (IAP) team must determine and document changes from what is comparable for students without disabilities. For students who do not have disabilities, the student’s parent(s)/guardian(s) must agree to modifications and how the modification will be documented in the student’s record.
Grades for students whose course/program is modified will be based on the same criteria used to grade other students. Therefore, grades are to be based on the extent to which the modified requirements, expectations, and competencies/skills are met, not met, or exceeded by the student, as well as other variables (i.e., class participation, homework completion and performance) used by teachers to determine grades. The teacher(s) responsible for a student’s primary instruction in a given area is to determine the student’s grade. Grading can also be modified by switching to a pass/fail criterion or determining that no grade will be given (i.e., audit). PSD - June 2004