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Special Education Continuum


Continuum of Special Education Programs

The following description of special education services represents programs currently available in the LCSD. Federal and State regulations, as well as best practice, require that students are educated in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) that will meet their individual needs. The LRE is determined by the Committee on Special Education and includes a variety of settings.

Lakeland Central School District Provides for the broad majority of our students with disabilities in district-operated school settings using district staff, consultants and contractors to meet student IEP needs.  The following are descriptions of the related and direct educational services and classroom structures that we use to serve those students.Not all programs are available in all school buildings and students will be provided to another district school should the necessary program not be available in their zoned school.  Should an appropriate program not be available in the district, students may be placed in a BOCES program, another local school district with an appropriate program, a state-approved private school or state-approved residential program.

Related Services

This is the lowest level of special education services on the least restrictive environment continuum. Related services are developmental, corrective, and other supportive services that are required to assist the student with a disability. The related services of speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling are available to both students receiving academic intervention services and students with disabilities.

Consultant Teacher Services

The District provides direct and/or in-direct Consultant Teacher Services to students with disabilities in general education classrooms K-12. Special education consultant teachers collaborate with general education teachers to plan instructional accommodations and modifications for students with disabilities in general education settings. Direct services involve the special educator working directly with the student to provide specially designed and/or supplemental instruction in the general education setting.  Indirect services allow a special educator to collaborate with the general education teacher to appropriately adjust the learning environment and/or modify and adapt instructional techniques and methods to meet a student’s needs.  Consultant teacher services, when recommended, must be provided for a minimum of 2 hours per week.

Resource Room

This program is for students with disabilities who need specialized supplementary instruction in a small group setting for a specific subject area such as math or reading. A resource room program provides a small group of special education students an opportunity to receive direct and specialized instruction commensurate with their recommended goals. 

No more than 5 students may be placed in a resource room at any one time.

Students are assigned to a resource room program for not less than three hours per week (3 hours can be achieved in combination with Consultant Teaching).

Students are assigned to a resource room based on similarity of individual needs according to levels of academic achievement, learning characteristics, social and physical development, and management needs.

The resource room supports general education through a combination of small group review, reinforcement of skills, remediation of learning deficits, pre-teaching new concepts, and supplementing reading and/or math instruction.

Integrated Co-Teaching Program

An integrated co-teaching class (ICT) is one in which special education students are educated in a classroom containing both students with IEPs and general education students, as well as both a general education teacher and special education teacher.  In each integrated co-teaching class, there are no more than 12 students with an IEP.  At the early elementary level (K-2), a classroom aide provides support with management and transitions.  At all levels, integrated co-teaching classes provide support in English/language arts, math, science, and/or social studies.  Support is provided through specially designed instruction, differentiation, and/or modification of grade level expectations.  Students in an integrated co-teaching class are expected to participate in the same state and local assessments as their grade level peers with the appropriately recommended testing accommodations. 

Special Class Program

The special class program is one in which special education students are educated in a separate special education environment at a ratio of 15:1 or 15:1:1. Special class students receive instruction commensurate with a prioritized curriculum.  With the prioritized curriculum the majority of instruction targets only the essential elements of the corresponding grade level curriculum; this provides additional instructional time and practice of these essential elements.  At all levels, special classes provide support in English/language arts, math, science, humanities, and/or social studies.  Students in a special class program are expected to participate in the same state and local assessments as their grade level peers with the appropriately recommended testing accommodations.

Basic Skills Program

The Basic Skills program is a unique special class program at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School in which recommended special education students are educated in a separate 12:1:2 special education environment.  Basic Skills students receive instruction using a prioritized curriculum.  With the prioritized curriculum the majority of instruction targets only the essential elements of the corresponding grade level curriculum; this provides additional instructional time and practice of these essential elements.   Additionally, the Basic Skills program provides double the typically allotted instructional time for English/language arts and math--this means that there is more instructional time for students to progress through the same prioritized curriculum.  Students in a special class program are expected to participate in the same state and local assessments as their grade level peers with the appropriately recommended testing accommodations.

 

OASIS Program

The OASIS program is a specially designed 12:1:2 therapeutic support program at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School and Walter Panas High School in which recommended special education students are educated in a separate special education environment.  Each classroom contains no more than 12 students, a teacher, and two classroom aides.  Students in the OASIS program are students who require a greater level of social/emotional support, and as such, the program also employs a full-time school psychologist to meet ongoing counseling needs.  As the needs of the students in this program are largely social/emotional, the academic expectations and curriculum are commensurate with each grade level.  Students in the OASIS program are expected to participate in the same state and local assessments as their grade level peers with the appropriately recommended testing accommodations.  Both Oasis programs are run collaboratively with Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES.

Life Skills Program

The Life Skills program at Lakeland High School is specially designed to meet the needs of students with severe cognitive disabilities, significant deficits in communication/language, and significant deficits in adaptive behavior.  Life Skills students require a highly specialized educational program through the age of 21 that facilitates the acquisition, application, and transfer of skills across natural environments (home, school, community, and/or workplace).  As such, students are educated in a separate educational environment; each classroom contains no more than 12 students, a teacher, and two classroom aides.  The Life Skills curriculum is specially designed and commensurate with alternate achievement standards for English/language arts, math, and science.  Additionally, the curriculum addresses community based and adaptive skill sets.  As students approach the graduation age of 21, students participate in the STRIVE program, which provides real-world and community-based work experience with the support of teachers, aides, and related service providers. 

Aspire

The Aspire program is housed at Van Cortlandtville Elementary School, Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School, and Lakeland High School.  Aspire is a self-contained 12:1:2/12:1:3/12:1:4 program.  Aspire services students in grades K-12 with various classifications including, but not limited to: Autism, Speech/Language Impairment, Multiple Disabilities, and Down syndrome.

Instruction in the Aspire program is based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis.  Student IEP goals are progress monitored and driven by daily data collection.  Students in the program are assessed using either the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) or the ELA, Math, and Science state assessments.  

Special Class Plus (SC+) Program @ Lakeland High School and Walter Panas High School

The Special Class Plus program, housed at Lakeland High School (9th and 11th grade) and Walter Panas High School (10th grade), is designed to provide students with disabilities with a modified special class program geared for learners with instructional needs that are considered to be highly intensive. Students who are served by the Special Class Plus program are found to not be eligible for the New York State Alternate Assessment (exempt from participation in the New York State assessment program), and have been recommended to receive more supports than are afforded by a traditional special class program. Accordingly, the Special Class Plus program is:

  • A special class ratio of a maximum of 15 students to 1 teacher (15:1)
  • Designed to address the needs of students who may qualify for a Regents or Local Diploma
  • A 4-5 year course of study which allows for the supplementation of special class instruction with additional class periods of support in one or more core academic subjects, allowing students more time with a more diverse cohort while also receiving the additional support they individually require.
  • Designed to allow students to complete the requirements for a Regents or local diploma in 4 years -or- complete a two year Career and Technical Education (CTE) sequence and the requirements for a Regents or local diploma in 5 years