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K-8 Special Education Programs

K-8 Special Education Programs

Children are provided special education services when they come to school with an existing IEP, as a result of a preschool program or because of a transfer in from another school district. However, children also can be identified as having a special education disability while they are at a District 6 school. Whenever a parent or a teacher has a concern about a child, a referral is made directly to the team at school. The formal assessment may be conducted after a series of academic interventions have been implemented (e.g. a reading intervention) or a child may be eligible under a Response to Intervention model. The assessed skill areas may include: general intelligence, motor, health, social/emotional, communication status and academic performance.

Students who qualify for one of 13 disability categories, receive services in accordance with their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The child’s IEP is developed by her/his IEP team. There is a legal requirement for educating children in the least restrictive environment. This means that children with special education needs are programmed for, as much as possible, in their home school in a general education classroom. Services are provided in accordance with the IEPs of individual students.

Below is a brief description of the program options available for school aged children.

  • Inclusion support - The special needs staff in each of the primary buildings attempts to teach students within the general education environments. This is done utilizing a team-teaching approach. In collaboration with classroom teachers, the special educator may co-teach for a period of the day, where differentiated instruction is emphasized to address the needs of children with IEPs.

  • Skill Mastery Center/Instructional Classes - Certain children may need a specialized method of instruction for remediation of an identified deficit. When this is the case, the special education teacher will pull small groups of children with similar learning profiles from the classroom to receive highly specialized instruction in reading, writing or math. Student may also participate in the Skill MasteryCenter to receive organizational and study skill support.  This program is available at all schools.

  • Learning Appropriate Behaviors Program - Some children need more structured instruction. When this is required, the Learning Appropriate Behaviors (LAB) program is an option. The LAB program is designed for children who have more intense learning needs that require more intense emotional support away from the general education classroom. These programs are housed at Zion Central Middle and West Schools.

  • Life Skills Program - The Life Skills Program provides support for children who require a parallel academic program.   This classroom handles the needs for life skill development (functional reading, writing and math). These programs are housed at Zion Central Middle and ShilohPark Schools.

  • External Placements - On a rare occasion, children have more severe and profound educational needs. The district relies on the Special Education District of Lake County and private placement options for special education programming for children with severe and profound needs.