Individual Education Programs
ABOUT SPECIAL EDUCATION
History of Special Education
Special Education did not arrive on the scene until Congress passed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. However, the education of students with special needs and disabilities did not become federally mandated until the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (EAHCA), later known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), was enacted in 1975. Prior to this law, special needs students were not receiving a proper education on the basis of their disability. Today, special needs students across the United States are able to receive special education services without discrimination.
Special Education at Academia Avance
At Academia Avance, we believe that all students can learn regardless of their disability. We have a dedicated team of specialists and therapists who work collaboratively to provide a quality program for students with disabilities. We provide special education services through the Resource Specialist Program (RSP), and Designated Instruction Services (DIS), which include Speech/Language and Counseling programs.
The RSP program is for students with learning and emotional disabilities, and in some cases for students with other impairing conditions. The students have a regular class schedule and take general education courses; however, students are also pulled out in a small group of about four to six and given additional instruction in a resource room. The purpose of this additional support is two-fold; first, it helps students achieve the academic goals outlined in their Individual Education Plan (IEP); second, it reinforces what the students learn in the classroom.
The DIS - Speech and Language Program is for students with articulation and language disorders. The Speech Pathologist or Assistant works with students who have difficulty with stuttering, apraxia, receptive or expressive language or other disorders.
The DIS - Counseling Program is provided for students who are in need of social and emotional support. The School Psychologist assists students with social problems at school, or emotional issues resulting from internal state or external events. The School Psychologist may also help students develop social skills, behavior and/or anger management skills, or conflict resolution skills if he/she has difficulty with expressing appropriate behavior towards peers and/or adults.
What to Expect
As mandated by law, a child receiving special education services must have at least one IEP meeting per year to review the previous education plan, and discuss progress made towards previous goals. The team then creates a new plan based on the nature of disability, academic, social-emotional, behavioral, and/or speech and language needs. The service providers implement this plan based on the services and minutes outlined in the IEP.
Before a student's IEP due date, parents/legal guardians are first contacted by phone to verbally schedule a meeting. The Resource Specialist follows up with a written meeting invitation to the parent/guardian, which he/she signs and returns one copy and keeps the second copy for their records.
If a student has an upcoming triennial (a three-year evaluation), an Assessment Plan is sent home along with a copy of the Parent Rights and Procedural Safeguards (see PDF posted on Ms. Morgan's website). Parents/guardians must give written consent before any service provider assesses a student. Once consent is given, service providers have 60 calendar days to administer and complete assessments and hold an IEP meeting. During this meeting, the team discusses assessment results and decides if the student continues to qualify for services. If so, a new IEP is created and implemented.