We teachers at AIS in general, and in the Special Education Division in particular, affect the lives of children in profound ways. We know and believe that what we do and say encourages or discourages our students. So, we need to model acceptance and caring for all our students and build their self-esteem. By doing so we manage to create the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for all students’ growth and development.
“Learning disabilities describes those children who have disorders in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write spell, or to do mathematical calculations.”
Vaughn, Bos, &Schumm, (2003).
The Special Education department at AIS seeks to create a learning environment that nurtures and develops students with special educational needs to reach their potential and succeed in life through appropriate and relevant instruction that allows for individual differences and learning styles. It promotes a safe, orderly, caring, and supportive educational environment. Each student’s self-esteem is fostered by positive relationships with students and trained staff. The department strives to actively involve parents, teachers, and community members in the learning and development of students with special educational needs.
The special education department at AIS gives its service in three formats that comprise of; inclusion, special education class and reverse inclusion. At the moment we have 26 students with different disabilities who range in age from early childhood to senior high school. The department also gives educational services to gifted students. There are also a number of students at a child study level who are getting necessary support and assistance under the supervision of the department.
The following steps from child study to special education support are the necessary steps we follow in the department when determining individual eligibility and needs.
- Data will be collected via a child study team when concerns about a child’s learning reach the department from parents, teachers, administrators and assistant teachers.
- When a child is identified as possibly needing special education and related services, the following process takes place:
- The child is evaluated.
- Eligibility is decided.
- The child is found eligible for services.
- An Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting is scheduled.
- The IEP meeting is held and the IEP is written.
- After the IEP is written, signed services are provided.
- Progress is measured and reported to parents.
- The IEP is reviewed.
- The child is reevaluated.
* Special assistants must be hired for each student and trained by the school’s special education expert.