Inclusion Policy - Sanford Middle School!

Sanford MYP Inclusion (Special Needs) Policy
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.