IB Special Education Needs Policy for Casimir Pulaski High School
The Special Educational Needs/ Inclusion Policy is a working document developed by the 9th Grade Leadership students, the Learning Team and staff of Pulaski High School. Consistent with the standards and practices of the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IB MYP), this document provides an overview of our school’s beliefs and practices as they relate to the special educational needs of our students. This policy outlines the processes implemented at Pulaski High School to ensure that all students have access to the MYP curriculum, so that they can fulfill the mission of both IB and Pulaski.
Mission: The Special Education Department of Pulaski High School supports the needs of students with disabilities, including the provision of behavioral and academic intervention services to students in need of support. Pulaski High School is dedicated to identifying, locating, and evaluating students with suspected special education needs. Eligible students with disabilities will be provided with a free and appropriate public education consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Philosophy: We think it is important, both morally and legally, that all students be offered the maximum possible participation in the IB curriculum. Students who are participating in an alternate curriculum can incorporate the IB philosophy, the learner profile, and the personal project. All students can succeed, and it is the philosophy of Pulaski High School that through support, specialized instruction, modifications and supplementary aids, that our students can reach their full potential in the the least restrictive environment possible.
Special Education Students
Our Special Educational Needs (SEN) population includes students who need accommodations or modifications to the curriculum in order to meet their learning needs and facilitate continued academic growth. These students may include, but are not limited to:
Special Education students who have an active Individualized Education Plan in place
Students with medical or health issues which require a 504 Plan
Rationale: To ensure that all students are provided the necessary support to allow them to achieve academic success and reach their fullest potential as they progress through the International Baccalaureate MYP while attending Pulaski High School.
The goals of Pulaski High School’s Special Educational Needs programs are:
To provide a positive and friendly environment to all learners with varying needs
To recognize and capitalize on differences and diversity
To provide all children access to curriculum through inclusion and differentiated teaching methods
To monitor student success as shown through data, and communicate with all stakeholders about students, their progress, and their changing needs
To guide all students to reach their unique intellectual capabilities
At Pulaski High School, every effort is made to provide the least restrictive learning environment that appropriately matches the needs of each student. Therefore, inclusion can be implemented differently for each student, depending on many factors such as, but not limited to:
the student’s skill level
the student’s previous learning experiences
the unit of study
At Pulaski, inclusion can take many forms including:
Students present in the General Education classroom
Access to common curriculum for all students
Support in the General Education classroom from Educational Assistants, Special Education teachers, and modifications from the General Education teacher
Additional time to work in another setting
“Differentiation can help learners access the content at an appropriate level through a variety of resources” (Special educational needs within the International Baccalaureate programmes 5). Differentiation is a system of strategies that appropriately structure the curriculum so that each learner can reach his/her true potential. Differentiation “puts students at the center of the planning” helping teachers “respond specifically to their needs” (Making Differentiation a Habit: How to Ensure Success in Academically Diverse Classrooms 57).
Teachers differentiate through various means including, but not limited to:
Content – Modifying resources and learning goals based on standards
Process – Providing variety or choice in how students will learn
Product – Capitalizing on students’ learning preferences and strengths by permitting them choice when demonstrating their learning
These forms can be suggested by the teacher for each learner based on readiness or on multiple intelligences. Methods of differentiation can also be determined by student interest and choice. Differentiation can take many forms and is closely tied with the Four Principles of Good Practice outlined by IB.
Roles in Support of SPED Students
Responsibilities of Leadership (School Administration, SPED Supervisor, SPED Department Chair, and Learning Team)
- To insure that all staff adhere to the expectation outlined by state and federal law as well as district and school policy with regards to students with special needs
- To insure that all SPED policies are aligned with IB requirements
- To assign all students identified as requiring an IEP to a case manager
- To provide professional development to staff to facilitate the success of students with special needs
Responsibilities of Educators
To know the academic levels of their students and differentiate instruction to facilitate growth
- SPED teachers will keep files (in locked cabinets) for each SPED student that contain an IEP, student schedule, service verification form, case manager schedule, attendance detail, and other IEP related documentation
- Provide SPED students with the services and accommodations specified in the IEP
- Special and Regular education teachers work together to plan and implement instruction that meets the individual needs of all students
- Pulaski Staff will conduct the various types of IEP meetings and evaluations that are required for all SPED students
To identify students suspected of needing special education services and notifying the student, the student’s parent/guardian and the SPED supervisor