IB MYP Special Education/Inclusion Policy ~ 2018-2019

Inclusion Policy

Policy of Nondiscrimination: Goshen International Middle School Handbook

Goshen Community Schools (GCS) is committed to equal opportunity and does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex, handicapping conditions, or national origin. No person is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or otherwise subject to, unlawful discrimination on such basis under any educational program or student activity.  Goshen Community School’s philosophy on inclusion aligns with the GCS Purpose Statement in that the corporation is committed to ensuring ALL students learn what is intended every day, and that equal opportunities are created for ALL student to realize the highest levels of achievement, so that they have NO limitations to their choices when they graduate from GHS. For further information, clarification, or complaint (grievance) procedures, please contact the principal’s or superintendent’s office.

Special Education Policy

Goshen International Middle School continues to adhere to state, federal, and IB mandates in making certain that students with Individualized Education Programs receive the services that they should.  We are also continually searching for best practice strategies to help our special needs students in all classes.    

Many of our students have special academic, social, physical, or social needs that must be addressed in order for them to be successful.  These special needs may include:

  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Emotional Impairments
  • Speech and Language Impairments
  • Visual Impairments
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Physical Impairments
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

In order for our students to be successful, they may need support or services. Types of support and services offered may include but not be limited to:

  • General Education Classes
  • Special Education Classes
  • English as a New Language Classes (ENL)
  • Hearing Impaired Program
  • Visual Impaired Program
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • School Social Worker
  • School Psychologist
  • Counselors
  • Summer School Classes
  • APEX (Online) Classes
  • Student Advisory Time xc
  • Individualized Education Programs
  • 504 Plans
  • Individualized Education Programs (IEP)
  • Individualized Language Plan (ILP)
  • Homebound Academic Support
  • School Nurse
  • Paraprofessionals: Group and 1:1

 

Interventions/Accommodations may include, but not be limited to:

 

  • Assistive Technology
  • Small-Group Instruction
  • Scribe
  • Reader
  • Extended Time
  • Prompting and Cueing
  • ENL Support
  • Behavioral Modifications
  • Alternate Testing Environments
  • Accommodated Materials and Assessments
  • Paraprofessionals

 

Communication

Communication is a critical component in the process of addressing what’s necessary for helping a student with an IEP, ILP, or 504 Plan to be successful.  It’s important that students, parents, and teachers all know what a student’s needs are so appropriate measures can be taken to ensure the student’s success.  All students with an IEP are assigned to a special education teacher. That teacher then becomes a primary resource in both providing support and coordinating services for the student.  In addition, students with IEPs have a case conference at least once a year in order to address their needs, how they may have changed, and to update the plan for support. The student, teachers, special education teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents all attend these meetings so an open dialogue can occur.  It possible that nurses, therapists or social works may also attend these conferences.

It’s important to note that all MYP students who need support in order to be successful at GIMS receive what they need according to the guidelines outlined in this document.      

Multi-Tiered Support System

GIMS uses the ​Multi-Tiered Support System (MTSS)​ model to identify and meet the needs of all learners. Evidence-based practices are utilized to address each student’s behavioral and academic needs and determine next steps to reduce potential barriers.

MTSS includes three levels, or tiers, of instruction. Each tier has a set of evidence-based practices to meet the instructional goals.

Tier 1

For MTSS, a school must first establish its tier 1, or universal, supports. Universal supports are the instructional practices that help all students in a school. Once the universal supports are in place, staff can use assessment data to determine which students need additional supports.

Tiers 2 and 3

The intensity and duration of supports increase for tiers 2 and 3. The appropriate level of support for each student is determined by assessment data from interim assessments, NWEA and ILearn. 

General Education Plans

504 Plans

Per Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 504 plans provide accommodations for students with disabilities who are generally working at grade-level but who need accommodations to access the curriculum and programs of the school. Accommodations are set up in a collaborative process to encourage independence for our students, and they are encouraged to be reflective about their learning style. Students on a Section 504 plan typically participate in all areas of the IB program; however, accommodations are given in order to help them access the curriculum.

High Ability Learning Plans

The High Ability Learning Plan (HALP) is a state-mandated plan developed for each student who is identified as High Ability (HA) by state guidelines. Students may be identified with a specific academic aptitude in reading, writing, and/or math.  They may also be identified with a general intellectual ability or with a specific talent aptitude in visual arts, performing arts, music, dance, psychomotor, creativity, and/or leadership. HALPs are strength-based documents; learning goals are developed annually by students in collaboration with their parents, teachers, and HA facilitator to provide a challenge in the student’s given area(s) of strength. Additionally, students develop social-emotional goals to help them remain healthy and well-adjusted.

Special Education Plans

IEP Plans

The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is federally mandated for students with disabilities who meet the eligibility criteria for special education services. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA) ensures that students with disabilities who require specialized instruction receive such instruction in the public school in the least restrictive environment. 

Special Education Needs, Individual Education Plans and the MYP

GIMS supports inclusive practices based on the individual needs of all students. All GIMS students are IB MYP students. Students participate in all aspects of the IB program based on their least restrictive environment (LRE). ​Furthermore, in order to increase access and engagement in learning for all students, general and special education teachers consult to facilitate differentiation of instructional learning and assessment opportunities.

Services and Supports at GIMS

  • Read 180/System 44 ​- General education intervention class addressing academic deficits mainly around reading and writing while addressing specific IB criteria. Students are selected using quantitative data, teacher recommendations and parent input.
  • Honors Classes/High Ability Classes- ​English Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science classes are offered for students demonstrating a need for advanced-level programming. These classes offer appropriate pacing, depth, and complexity to challenge gifted and talented learners. Students are selected using CogAT assessment results, specific criteria, teacher recommendations and parent input.
  • Goshen Community Schools identification process begins in Kindergarten and continues through 5th Grade.  There are different assessments done throughout the year per grade. Below is a monthly timeline showing what assessments are given per grade.
  • Goshen Community Schools identifies High Ability learners through the use of multiple layers of data sources.

Timeline for High Ability Identification

    • Mid-November:  Students scoring in the 80th percentile or better on the Fall NWEA are given the opportunity to participate in the CogAT screener in grades 1, 3, 5 and 7.
    • First Friday in December: All parent and school requests for testing are due. Paperwork must be submitted to school counselor prior to consideration for testing.  
    • Mid-December: Part two of the CogAT test is administered to those who have scored at or above the 80th percentile on the CogAT screener.
    • Early February: Administration of CogAT testing for school and parent requests.
    • Early February: Kindergarten students (selected based on January NWEA) are offered the opportunity to take screener.
    • February: Results from all testing will be evaluated by a multi-faceted corporation level identification team.  (Teachers, Administrators, EL Director)
    • April: Parents will be notified of the identification results.
    • April: Appeals process initiated with completion by May.
  • Counseling/Mental Health – ​Counselors are typically part of MTSS and intervention for both social/emotional and academic needs. Counselors gather and evaluate data for informed social, emotional, and academic decisions with students and parents.

Special Education Tiered Programming and Services Offered

A variety of services exist at GIMS in order to meet the individual needs of students on an IEP. Students are assigned a case manager who works with teams in order to help ensure the needs identified in the IEP are being addressed. All Special Education classes are taught/co-taught by a certified teacher of record. Services we provide are as follows:

  • General Education with Indirect Support ​- Students on an IEP are in the general education classroom with the learning specialist consulting with the general education teacher on the best way for the student to access the curriculum.
  • General Education with Direct Support – ​These classrooms are taught by both a general education teacher and a teacher of record. The teachers collaborate to design and implement differentiation within IB units to allow access to the curriculum, as well as to meet the accommodations of the students.
  • Strategies Classes – ​Provided by a certified learning specialist for students who require more intensive differentiated instruction in math, reading and/or writing, along with specialized instruction to target significant skill gaps. These classes address individual IEP goals while incorporating IB aims and objectives.

Center-Based Programs

  • STRIVE (ED) ​- Taught by STRIVE teachers who incorporate IB principles and learner profiles. Teachers follow the least restrictive environment guidelines under IDEA when making decisions for students. Whenever possible, students push into general education core and elective classes, with or without support as appropriate to their fluid needs. Time spent inside the Affective Needs Classroom is based on individual student needs and emotional regulation.
  • Functional Skills ​- Taught by Functional Skills teachers who incorporate IB guidelines and assess criterion based on the modified curriculum. Teachers follow the least restrictive environment guidelines under IDEA when making decisions for students. Whenever possible, students push into general education elective classes, PE, and Performing Arts. Math and Language & Literature are taught primarily in the SSN Classroom based on individual student needs.
  • Speech-Language Services ​- Provided by a certified Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) who addresses IEP goals and focuses on fostering the skills needed to access IB units. The SLP provides direct and consultative services in the classroom, small group and/or one on one setting. Speech-language disabilities include but are not limited to: receptive language impairments; expressive language impairments; articulation delays; fluency impairments, voice impairments, pragmatic (social) language impairments; and augmentative communication needs.
  • Mental Health Services ​- Provided by School Social Worker and School Psychologist. The services are to help identify and problem-solve around the barriers that prevent students from learning and being successful in school and with IB philosophy. Social/emotional instruction may be provided through consultation, assessment, whole-class instruction, small group instruction or individual instruction with a child.
  • Occupational Therapy Services ​- Itinerant services provided by an Occupational Therapist to provide world-class occupational therapy support that is student-focused and educationally-relevant. These services maximize the student’s functional independence and participation with in the educational environment and increase their ability to benefit from their individualized education plan (IEP).
  • Other Health Impairments – Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment that:
  • Is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and 
  • Adversely affects a student’s educational performance

Identification and eligibility for special education are determined by the case conference committee using the required assessment components. Special Education Teachers would be the Teacher of Record.

  • SWAAC (​Statewide Alternative Augmentative Assistive Communication) ​Services​ – Itinerant services that provide support and recommendations for Assistive Technology services to students with disabilities to enhance equal access to the curriculum and full participation in the education and classroom.
  • Other itinerant services may include but are not limited to services provided by the district behavior support team, autism assessment and training team, physical therapist, assistive technology, vision, deaf hard of hearing, and/or audiology.

Confidentiality of Student Records: FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”

  • Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
  • Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
  • Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    • Other schools to which a student is transferring;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; 
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.

Source: https://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html