Special Education Programs & Services
Fort Cherry School District provides support for students with a wide range of educational needs. The majority of students are educated in the general education classroom to the fullest extent possible with minor accommodations and modifications. Other students may need more extensive support offered through the Fort Cherry School District’s special education programs and services.
Special education consists of programs and services designed to meet the educational needs of students who meet state and federal eligibility criteria. To qualify for special education services, students must demonstrate the presence of a disability and also demonstrate the need for specially designed instruction. Regardless of the student’s disability, students are included in general education to the fullest extent appropriate for their level of need in order to be successful.
Special Education is a service, not a place. The Fort Cherry School District supports the implementation of inclusive practices, with the necessary supplementary aids and services to access the general education curriculum. These services are brought to the child, rather than sending the child out of the general education classroom to receive special education services. Students who need more intensive services access the special education programs.
Learning support services are provided to students who demonstrate a disability in understanding or in using language (spoken or written), reading, writing, and/or mathematics. Accommodations and modifications may be provided in the general education classroom. Students who need more intensive services may receive academic support within the learning support program.
Life Skills Support
The Life Skills Support Program provides specially designed instruction to students whose needs are functional academics, self-care, social skills, language development, communication, and perceptual motor skills. Students who participate in the life skills program are also included in the general education curriculum whenever appropriate, based upon their level of need. In addition, these students participate in community-based instruction activities.
Students who demonstrate a need in articulation, fluency, language and auditory processing development, and voice receive speech and language support. The Speech Teacher works closely with the classroom teachers to assist with any communication barriers that may be present. Students are scheduled for individual and/or small group sessions according to age as well as the type and severity of the disorder.
Therapeutic Emotional Support
The therapeutic emotional support program is designed to meet the needs of students with social, emotional, and behavioral needs that have an adverse impact on their learning. Direct instruction in social skills is provided according to individual student needs. This can be done through the emotional support classroom and/or through social work services. Additionally, academic support and/or direct instruction is provided as needed.
Secondary transition is the process of preparing students for life after graduating from high school, including participation in post-secondary education or training, employment, and community living. Transition planning begins at age 14, in middle school or early high school, as students explore what they want their post-school outcomes to be. This is done through career awareness exploration activities. Transition planning involves a partnership between the student, the family, school-age services, post-school services, and local community service providers.
Students must first qualify for special education before they can be assessed to determine if they would require related services to benefit from special education.
Occupational therapy focuses on the functional performance of the student in educationally relevant activities, such as self-help, sensory, fine motor and postural skills. Individual and/or small group therapy sessions as well as consultative services are provided according to student needs.
Physical therapy focuses on the natural opportunities for students to develop motor competence, balance and coordination in routine educational activities.
Speech/Language Therapy can also be provided as a related service. For a description of services, please see ‘Speech/Language Support’.
Intermediate Unit 1 Services
Hearing Support Program and Services
Hearing Support Services are provided to students who qualify for hearing services due to impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. A child who meets the criteria for deafness demonstrates a hearing impairment so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification. The Hearing Teacher works closely with the classroom teachers to best assist with accommodating each child’s needs. Hearing Support can also be provided as a related service.
Social Work Services
Social Work services are provided for students who are in need of social skill development. The Social Worker will meet with the student either individually or with a group. Sessions focus on the needs of the individual(s) and may include some of the following; role playing, appropriate social interaction, and /or discussion of topic(s) deemed necessary. This is provided as a related service.
Vision Support Program and Services
A visual impairment, including blindness, indicates the impairment, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational progress and performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. The Vision Teacher works closely with the classroom teachers to best assist with developing the necessary visual accommodations in all aspects of the child’s educational environment. Vision Support can also be provided as a related service.