A resource class, taught by a special education teacher, may be offered to students with learning difficulties when they are unable to achieve satisfactorily in general education classes. Resource classes may be offered in the areas of reading, language arts, mathematics, science or social studies. These classes should emphasize functional academics, as well as skills needed for school success, such as organization, study skills and social skills.
Resource classes should:
- Provide research-based specialized instruction based on individual student needs in grade-level TEKS, as identified by the student's IEPs. This specialized instruction shall not duplicate general education classroom instruction, but shall reflect grade level curriculum standards;
- Provide instruction to students on ways to compensate for learning problems that interfere with the way they process, retrieve and give back information;
- Provide a flexible learning environment commensurate with student learning styles and needs;
- Allow the opportunity for general education and special education teachers to plan together and monitor student progress.
Inclusion/Classroom SupportClassroom support is provided when a special education teacher and/or a special education paraprofessional under the direction of a special education teacher work with special education students in their general education classrooms. The supports provided may include:
- Re-teaching a previously taught concept;
- Providing practice on a skill to facilitate mastery;
- Clarifying information for the students;
- Reviewing information previously learned;
- Breaking tasks into smaller steps to facilitate mastery.
Special education paraprofessionals who provide classroom support may review previously taught information, but may not be asked to plan or to deliver initial instruction.
The goals of classroom support are:
- To provide individual support to special education students so they may be able to successfully participate in a mainstream setting;
- To monitor the progress of students toward mastery of general education concepts;
- To assist the classroom teacher in meeting the individual needs of students
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
Children who are 3, 4 and 5 years of age, and who have been identified through formal evaluations as having special education eligibilities may be considered for placement in the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). ECSE classrooms are designed to provide early learning experiences to children, at their levels of ability.
The ECSE curriculum reflects both developmentally appropriate activities in the areas of communication, cognition, fine motor, gross motor, self-help and social skills. All students will be actively engaged, following a classroom schedule in rigorous lessons that change to meet the developing needs of the children. The activities are functional and focus on developing skills needed now and in the future. Each classroom will have clearly defined instructional areas for large and small group work, as well as areas dedicated to interacting with household items, blocks, technology, science/sensory experiences and motor activities.
ECSE students have access to all activities available to their non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible. Such activities include age-appropriate field trips, assemblies, lunch, etc.
Life Skills Class
Life Skills (LS) classes are designed to meet the needs of students whose intellectual, developmental and academic levels are so delayed that participation in the general education program, even with modifications and accommodations is unfeasible. The focus of the LS program is to teach functional skills in academics, daily living, vocational, recreation/leisure and community participation for students of all ages, at their individual ability levels.
Instructional lessons in the classroom will be rigorous and reflect appropriate grade-level TEKS through the use of essence statements and prerequisite skills, as well as skills needed for life after public school. The students will be actively engaged in learning throughout the school day and the teacher will collect data on each student’s progress. The data will be used to plan lessons, to create the next IEP, and to determine the need for Extended Year Services. The classroom activities will be functional and age-appropriate, and will change to meet the needs of the student. Classroom instruction will include individual, small group and community-based experiences.
Students who participate in Life Skills classes will also have access to all activities available to non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible. Such activities include grade level field trips, assemblies, lunch, etc. All elementary LS students will have one general education, age-appropriate classroom for a period of the day, and secondary students may participate in general education classes, such as electives, if appropriate
Behavior Academic Classroom
A Behavior Academic Classroom (BAC) is a classroom for special education students who have severe behavior challenges that have not been able to be met in other instructional settings. Placement in the BAC classroom may be for all or for part of the day, with other classes in any other setting (general education, resource, co-teach, classroom support, etc.). The goal of the behavior program for every student should be to improve acceptable and appropriate behaviors, to develop self-awareness, self-monitoring and self-control, to make progress in academic achievement, and to participate in general education whenever possible. When a student is placed into BAC, the primary goal of the program is to move him/her out into less restrictive placements as the behavior improves.
A Behavior Academic Classes has:
- a positive, organized, orderly climate;
- consistently high quality academic instruction with access to the general curriculum;
- flexible instructional arrangements for individual, small group and large group learning opportunities;
- daily social skills instruction;
- a classroom management system based on positive behavioral supports;
- attention to the implementation of each studentâ€™s Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP);
- accurate and consistent data collection and record keeping on all student objectives;
- visible evidence of rules, procedures, routines, schedules, reinforcement menus and other positive behavioral supports;
- regular contact with parents to keep them involved in their childâ€™s education;
- a crisis management plan.
Autism Programming for Positive Learning Experiences (APPLE)
The Judson Independent School District (JISD) provides special education services for students with disabilities. The APPLE program is part of the continuum of services available to students with autism and special needs in Judson ISD. Like all students receiving an individualized education program under the services of the special education department, some students with autism require specialized services in a highly structured and intensive behavioral support setting. Some students with autism may require an intensive and more restrictive environment in order to develop foundation skills may receive services under the Autism Programming for Positive Learning Experiences (APPLE) program. This specialized program includes the use of research supported strategies and methods for children with autism to address individualized needs and skills. The APPLE teachers receive specialized training and materials to implement these research based strategies. The APPLE program is specifically designed to meet the needs of students on the autism spectrum that require comprehensive behavior, academic, social and communication training. Students in the APPLE program access the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) through instruction in pre-requisite skills with extensive modifications to the standard curriculum. A placement into the APPLE program is the most restrictive setting on a general education campus due to the small staff to student ratio, the high level of intensive supports required, and the limited availability of the classes throughout the district.
Co-teaching is a form of collaborative teaching in which the general education teacher and the special education teacher work together to provide instruction to students in a general education classroom. The general and special educators work as a cooperative and collaborative team to jointly teach heterogeneous groups of students. Special needs students are assisted to integrate successfully into general education while receiving modifications and accommodations identified by the ARD/IEP committee.
Co-teaching may assume any of several models of service delivery during a single lesson or on subsequent days. Some arrangements include:
- The general education teacher maintains responsibility for the instruction and for the grading of all students in the class. The special education teacher develops and implements modifications/ accommodations for those students who have IEPs.
- The teachers take turns instructing the students and take turns facilitating learning for individual students.
- The teachers each provide instruction at a station, while the students rotate between stations.
- The teachers simultaneously conduct a lesson, dividing the students into two groups.
- The teachers share the responsibility for instruction, working together to present information, answer questions, and supervise activities.
The goals of co-teaching are:
- To provide accommodations to grade-level TEKS-based instruction in general education classes so that individual needs can be met in an inclusive setting;
- To provide on-going training for staff who are involved;
- To create a school climate of acceptance, understanding and respect for all students;
- To provide an opportunity for special education and general education teachers to work cooperatively for student success.
Student participation in a co-teaching setting must be determined by the ARD/IEP committee and the IEP must be implemented
Co-Teach/Resource/Inclusion 2nd & 3rd
Co-Teach/Resource/Inclusion K, 1st & 4th
Life Skills Class
Jared Salcedo, SLP
Ashleigh Pena, SLP
Jessie Delgado, SLPA