Sanford MYP Inclusion (Special Needs) Policy 2014 Philosophy of Inclusion & Access All Sanford students, no matter their level of need, are a part of the MYP, and are exposed to the Learner Profile, MYP subject areas, and service opportunities to the extent possible. We believe that students with special needs benefit most when their needs can be addressed within the mainstream classroom. All students at Sanford, even with highest levels of need, have some experience outside of the Special Education classrooms. The orientation of the Special Education teachers is toward teaching students the skills needed to be successful in the mainstream, so we expect mainstreaming to increase for most students over the 3 years that a student is with us. Definitions: Citywide: Students whose IEP requires a more specialized setting may be assigned to a Citywide classroom. Our four Citywide classrooms serve DCD and ASD students. DCD: Developmentally/Cognitively Delayed. Developmental Cognitive Disability programs are for students K-12, who have needs that require more intensive special education services than can be provided in Federal Setting I or II. Students in this program must qualify for one of the following disability designations according to Minnesota State Criteria in: ● Developmental Cognitive Disability (DCD) ● Severely Multiply Impaired (SMI) Students perform below their peers in school, home and community and require greater adult supervision and support. DCD is a Federal Setting III program and is for students with cognitive disabilities in grades K-12. Students spend more than 60% of their day in special education programming. Students participate in general education/school community when appropriate. ASD: Autism Spectrum Disorder. The Autism program is designed to serve students who have been identified as having Autism Spectrum Disorders. Program components include highly structured, individualized programming; intensive communication and language training; social skills training; utilization of natural environments for instruction; positive behavioral programming; educationally based sensory activities as appropriate and inclusion with mainstream peers and activities when appropriate. Related services including speech/language, occupational therapy and adaptive physical education are also provided based on individual need. POHI: Physical or Other Health Impairment. Students in this program usually have physical but not mental impairments. Often use wheelchairs or other physical supports. Sanford is scheduled to receive a POHI classroom in 2016. We currently have one student in the mainstream who uses a wheelchair full time. We anticipate several more in the coming years. SERT: Special Education Resource Teacher. SERT’s at Sanford work in both pull-out and push-in contexts. Students are supported in small group Resource pull-out classes, in the areas of Reading, Math, and Social/School Skills. This year we are focusing the Social Skills classes around the Approaches to Learning (ATL). Co-Teaching: This model is used with some resource students who are being served with a Push-in model in which a SERT and a mainstream teacher (usually Math or English) work together to serve a class of students. The class includes some Special Ed students from the SERT’s case load, but has a majority of mainstream students. Mainstream: This term refers to classes and students who are not Special Education. Special needs students may take mainstream classes, which means they will be with a majority of non-Special Education students during that class period being taught by a non-Special Education teacher. Special Education Continuum 1. Some students have all of their classes in the mainstream, and just receive occasional support from a Special Ed teacher. This might include push-in classes (coteaching) but no pull-out. Other students are in regular education classes most of their day, but with intensive adult support for organization, behavior and curriculum modification. 2. Some students have most of their classes in the mainstream, but receive support for one or two classes a day from a Special Ed. teacher, usually in Math or Reading. We also have an Approaches to Learning (ATL) class which focuses on the ATL-defined skills for students who need more support with school skills. 3. Some students receive most of their instruction in the sheltered classroom, taught by Special Ed. teachers, and are mainstreamed for only one or two classes per day, usually Arts and PE/Health. Some students in citywide classrooms receive the majority of their academic instruction in a small group setting with functional academics and real world experiences planned throughout their day. 4. Students with the most need can be served in the Citywide classrooms all day, with a focus on functional behaviors like eating independently. We have a few profoundly disabled students who require this level of instruction. However, these students are included in lunch in the cafeteria with all the other students, and participate on field trips with mainstream students to the extent that they are physically able. Differentiation To accomplish inclusion to the extent possible, Sanford teachers differentiate for students in several ways: ● Materials & resources: Teachers select multiple texts of varying difficulty, present content in different forms so that text is not always required to access new content, and search out resources that will be high-interest for all students. ● Instructional strategies: Teachers utilize strategies such as cooperative learning to support students of varying needs in the classroom. Multiple opportunities and options are provided for students to show what they know and can do. ● Co-Teaching: Having two teachers in the classroom, one trained on content and one for special needs, provides an additional layer of support for all students. Commitment Sanford is committed to teaching the Learner Profile and Approaches to Learning (ATL) across every instructional space, including our students with the most need. We believe that it is our job to help all of our students grow in every area of the Learner Profile. We understand that students who have differing abilities do not benefit from marginalization, but from participation in the Sanford community, and we work hard to make this a reality for all students.