Special Services at Porters Point School
All children can learn. However, some children may need different instructional techniques and approaches. The student services at Porters Point focus on sequential instruction and design the pacing of skills to match the learning styles and rates of each student. Many students have benefited from multi-sensory instruction which builds skills through visual (seeing), auditory (listening), and kinesthetic (multi-sensory which may include movement, tactile, visual, auditory, and large motor integration) learning opportunities.
At Porters Point School, the special service providers include two consulting teachers, a speech language pathologist, and a Title One Reading Teacher.
Initially, all children are screened for services based on the results of school-wide assessments including the Primary Observation Assessment and the Everyday Math Assessments. Many kindergarten, first and second grade students are supported through Title One plans. Most plans focus on early literacy development and/or math concepts and skill acquisition.
However, some children do not make sufficient progress in their classroom academics, even with Title One services. A referral is then made by school personnel to the EST (Educational Support Team) where a recommendation may be made for additional classroom accommodations and modifications or a comprehensive special education evaluation to determine if a documented disability exists. The evaluation process will help to document the extent of the impact that the disability has on school-based achievement; special education guidelines require significant adverse effect.
Depending on the age of the child, the student may be evaluated under the Developmental Delay criteria (for children younger than six) or under the disability categories for school-age youngsters which include Learning Impairment, Speech Language Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Hard of Hearing, Deaf, Visual Impairment, Emotional Disturbance, Deaf-Blind, Multiple Disabilities, Traumatic Brain Injury, and/or Autism.
Children in need of specialized instruction receive educational services through an Individualized Education Plan. Based on student needs, services may occur in the regular classroom setting or in another location for more focused instruction. Parents are an integral part of the educational planning team for each child who is eligible for Special Education Services.
Below are some links for activities and articles to help parents with their own childísí literacy and math.
www.nccic.org (click on popular topics or good start)
www.rif.org (click on articles)
www.readwritethink.org (click on web resources)
Behavioral Management Techniques
Many youngsters who face challenges in learning may also exhibit some problematic behaviors. Typical behaviors may include anxiety, shyness and reluctance, and/or boasting that work is too easy when they truly are floundering without the basic skills to engage in the learning tasks.
Children need to know that the adults around then genuinely care about them emotionally, socially and academically. Positive interactions and encouragement often support children in taking small risks as learners.
Porters Point School uses the responsive classroom techniques and the all the special services staff is trained in Crisis Prevention Institute techniques.
Below are two useful sites for student management issues.
www.responsiveclassroom.org (click on the articles link)
www.allkindsofminds.org (click on the parentsí link)