Special Education Policy

Philosophy
Summit Ridge provides an equal opportunity to include all students in a rigorous education. We aim to provide appropriate levels of support and intervention to allow students to maximize their abilities and achieve academic success. Our goal is to provide students with the most academically appropriate classes based on student learning needs.

Teachers provide all students with opportunities to achieve these goals by carefully constructed differentiated teaching strategies. Differentiated teaching attempts to maximize students’ potential, and also allows the student to demonstrate their learning in different ways.

Leadership in rigorous education

We acknowledge that in order for students to reach their greatest personal potential, both as leaders and learners they need to be provided with the least restrictive environment possible. This means ensuring that students receive meaningful and equitable access to the curriculum, while safeguarding their interests and removing barriers, so they can find success.

Inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring citizens

To help our students develop their true potential as citizens of our world, we recognize the need to enhance their motivation to learn. By providing a curriculum that is accessible and appropriately challenging for all students, we can foster inquiry and offer students opportunities to build upon their knowledge so they can become caring and active members of our communities.

Intercultural understanding and respect
Nurturing intercultural understanding and respect among students happens when educators understand and respect the needs of all learners. Being cognizant of the unique personal and educational needs of each student, we recognize and appreciate that not every individual can have the same educational experience. We see diversity of our learning community as a positive resource that can enrich learning, provide opportunities for students and staff to heighten their awareness and expand their thinking.

Special Education
Special education services are individualized to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. Special education may include individual or small group instruction, curriculum, or teaching strategies, specialized services such as physical, occupational, and speech-language. These services are provided in accordance with the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which is specifically tailored to the unique needs of each student. A study hall has been established for all students along with extra tutorial instruction available after school on designated days.

Program Goals
The goals of Summit Ridge Middle School Special Education Program are:

  • To provide a positive and friendly environment for all learners with varying needs, recognizing and capitalizing on differences and diversity
  • To provide all students 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


Support

  • Classroom support: Support for students with special education needs and abilities may include curriculum accommodations, enrichment activities, classroom accommodations, small group instruction, or one-on-one support.
  • Other Services: When it is determined that a student would benefit from additional support outside of the classroom, pull-out services are provided to meet academic, social, or behavioral needs. Additionally, paraprofessionals may provide further support to some students.


Inclusion
At Summit Ridge Middle 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 Summit Ridge Middle School, 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 paraprofessionals, special education paraprofessionals, special education teachers, collaborative co-teachers, and accommodations from the general education teacher
  • Additional time to work in another setting


Documentation
When students change schools or move from one IB program to another, all cumulative folders will be transferred. For students with IEPs, the special education staff will help to ensure a smooth transition from one program to another. The special education teacher will make sure that all IEP goal progress monitoring is completed.

Differentiation and Accommodations
As each student’s educational needs are different, our school uses a differentiated approach to allow for each student to receive the best academic setting possible, based on their individual needs. Our school works to provide all teachers with ongoing professional development including differentiated instruction strategies.

Accommodation provided for each student depends on the nature of their educational needs as defined under state, local and national guidelines. Below is a sample of some accommodations that have been approved by the Colorado Department of Education. As a school we are open to using accommodations as needed to provide an appropriate and challenging education for all students as determined by their educational needs as defined by supported educational documents.

  • Extended time
  • Preferential seating
  • Extended time on testing
  • Text to speech/read aloud on tests and texts
  • Graphic organizers
  • Small groups
  • Verbal responses
  • Ability level text/ Audio versions of text
  • Technology when appropriate
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