Specialized Instruction

The Office of Specialized Instruction encourages a collaborative relationship with parents/legal guardians, teachers, administrators and other staff members to support the academic, emotional and physical success of students with disabilities through a team concept focusing on the belief that all children can learn and achieve at high levels. This includes Honors and college level (AP and DE) classes. Specialized Instruction services provide support to students with varying disabilities. In order to meet the needs of all students with disabilities, a continuum of Specialized Instruction services is provided to students as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 2004). These services are primarily delivered in the general education classroom. Based on the individual needs of the student, specially designed instruction may be necessary through the delivery of services in a resource room or a special education classroom for part or all of the instructional day.

A transition plan plays a significant role as we prepare our students for post-secondary success. Beginning at age 14, a transition plan is developed as part of the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The focus areas of the plan include independent living, post-secondary education, post-secondary training and employment. This plan, in conjunction with the course of study, leads students to positive outcomes for life after high school.

The course of study for students with disabilities can take a variety of paths dependent upon student goals and interests. Students with disabilities have an opportunity to receive Specialized Instruction services at the high school up to age 22. Most students receiving Specialized Instruction services obtain standard 01; advanced studies high school diplomas. Other diploma options available to students with disabilities are an applied studies diploma. All decisions pertaining to a student's diploma. All decisions pertaining to a student’s diploma status are taken under consideration by the IEP team, which includes the student, parents/legal guardians and the school team.

Credit Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

A student who has an IEP or 504 plan with standards- based content goals is eligible for the consideration of credit accommodation. Informed written consent of the parent/legal guardian and the student to choose credit accommodations after a review of the student’s academic record and full disclosure of the student’s options is required. 

IEPs and 504 plans must specify which credit accommodations are allowed and under what circumstances. A student must have a disability that precludes him or her from meeting grade-level expectations on grade-level content. The student must need significant instructional supports, and based on multiple measure of past performance, might not be able to achieve the required units of credits within the standard time frame. 

Credit accommodations provide alternatives for students with disabilities in earning the standard and Verified Credits required to graduate with a Standard Diploma. Credit accommodations for students with disabilities or 504 plans may include the use of alternative courses, expanded use of locally awarded verified credits to include special permission locally awarded verified credits, and additional test options as approved by the local board of education. 

Applying for College Board Special Accommodations

A student with a documented disability may be eligible for accommodations on College Board tests (SAT, AP or PSAT/NMSQT). Most students seeking accommodations on College Board tests work with their school officials to ensure that the disability documentation required by the College Board eligibility guidelines is complete and substantiates the need for the accommodations being requested. Every student requesting accommodations must submit a Student Eligibility Form. It requests detailed information relating to the student’s name, address, disability, past testing and accommodations received at school.

Although students and parents/legal guardians can submit a request for accommodations without the involvement of the school, in most cases students will work with their school to submit a request for accommodations. The student/parent/legal guardian completes Section I of the Eligibility Form. The school test coordinator should ensure that the parent/legal guardian (or student, if 18 or older) signs it before the school forwards it to the College Board. In most cases, the school test coordinator completes Sections II and III of the form and forwards the form to the College Board.