Special Services Department Update
Parents, Guardians, Grandparents and Community Members,
Welcome back to a new school year. We are very excited about getting started.
Our Special Services staff includes a director and a secretary, three school psychologists, four speech/language pathologists and a work-study coordinator. The special education instructional staff is comprised of twenty-four teachers, eight individual/small group instructors (tutors), and two teachers for preschool-age children with disabilities, an ESL teacher, and twenty special education instructional aides. Special education related services are contracted and provided by an occupational and physical therapy team. Should you need to contact them, you can reach them through me, your teacher or the building principals.
Child Find is the process of identifying, locating, and evaluating children with disabilities who may be in need of special education and related services. Both State and local educational agencies are given the responsibility by federal and state laws to conduct child find activities so that children who need special services have the opportunity to receive those services.
For age Birth to 3 – An established condition known to result in delay, or documented developmental delay.
For ages 3 through 21 – Identification of one or more of the following conditions: autism, developmental disability, deaf-blindness, hearing impairment, including deafness, metal retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and/or visual impairment including blindness.
If a need is identified, the child can begin receiving the appropriate special education and related services. In addition, though a child may not be eligible for special education or related services under IDEIA he or she may qualify for Section 504 services, accommodations, and/or modifications if he or she has a physical, or mental impairment that currently substantially limits some major life activity which causes the student’s ability to access the school environment or school activities to be substantially limited. Free assessments are available to families to determine whether or not a disability exists.Springfield is increasing the number of students involved in co-teaching. With co-teaching on the rise, teachers are sharing classrooms more than ever. A co-teaching team typically includes a general and a special educator who teaches the general education curriculum to all students as well as implement Individual Education Programs (IEPs) for students with disabilities. Both educators on the co-teaching team are responsible for differentiating the instructional planning and delivery, assessment of student achievement, and classroom management. The State Support Team (SST) has been working with Springfield developing co-teaching strategies with the PEP program.
The PEP program promotes co-teaching. Springfield schools have entered into its second year of participation with the State Support Team (SST) on the Participation, Engagement and Progress Initiative (PEP). The SST consultants are working with our staff developing strategies. We have forty team members this school year.
English as a second language (ESL), refers to the use or study of English by speakers with different native languages. At this time we have sixteen students that speak one of five different native languages other than English at home. Our ESL teacher meets with these students daily to help them acquire fluency in English, both spoken and written.
This year, Springfield Sparkles has eight cheerleaders. There are six girls and two boys on the team. Over the summer they participated in the Akron Autism Walk and cheered for the walkers and runners. If you would like to see our Sparkle Special Needs Cheerleading Team cheer, they will be performing at the following home football games and events:
September 29, 2012 JV Home Football Game 10:00 am
October 6, 2012 JV Home Football Game 10:00 am
October 12, 2012 Varsity Home Football Game 7:00 pm
October 20, 2012 Loc 3 Park Performance Mitochondrial Disease Foundation Energy for Life Walkathon 8:00-11:00 am
For more information about Springfield Sparkles, please contact cheerleading coaches, Terry Kyser or Kelly Warner.
Springfield's developmental preschool program includes children with disabilities ages three through five. Services include classroom instruction, school psychology, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and transition to school-age programs. Two preschool classrooms are located at Young Elementary School. For purposes of inclusion, typically developing children are also enrolled in the program. Typically developing children are selected in the spring and there is a fee to attend. Currently there are twenty-five preschool aged children with disabilities enrolled and eighteen typically developing children.
Thank you for choosing Springfield as the place to raise your family and as always if you have questions, please feel free to contact me at 330-798-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Special Services