|Special Education Information|
The Oregon City Schools Special Education Department is a part of Student Services. We have 36 Intervention Specialists, three school psychologists and three related service personnel as full time staff members who work with our students with special needs. The related services are speech and language therapy (SLP) and adapted physical education (APE).
The district also contracts with North Point Educational Service Center for additional services such as: Preschool Services, and Occupational, Physical and Speech/Language Therapy.
Most of the special education units in Oregon City Schools are cross-categorical units, meaning they provide services to students regardless of their type of disability. The students receive educational services in the resource room as well as the general education classroom. There are a couple of exceptions to that rule: The Multiple Disabilities (MD) and Emotional Disturbance (ED) classrooms are self-contained units that allow for more structure for the students in order to meet their individual needs. The elementary MD unit is located in Coy; the intermediate MD unit is located in Fassett MS; and we have two high school MD units located in Clay HS. There is one elementary ED unit at Coy, one intermediate ED unit in Eisenhower Middle School and the high school ED unit is located in Clay HS. There are also two ED classrooms located at the Wynn Center for all grade levels.
Special Education Staff are as follows
Special Education services are offered to students who qualify under the Individual with Disabilities Educational Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA) and also under the Operating Standards for Ohio Educational Agencies Serving Children with Disabilities. When a student demonstrates difficulties with academics and/or behaviors in the general education classroom, a teacher may request a meeting with the building Intervention Assistance Team (IAT). This team will help the classroom teacher by suggesting intervention strategies that are designed to assist with the difficulties the student is having in school. If, after several interventions have been tried and documentation shows the student is not responding to the interventions, the team may suggest a multi-factored evaluation be done by the building psychologist to help assist with finding the underlying causes of the difficulties. Permission from the parent(s) or guardian is required in order to do the testing. Once the school psychologist has all the information needed to complete the Evaluation Team Report (ETR), a meeting is set up with the parent to go over the results. The results of the ETR determine if the student qualifies for special education services under one of the 14 categories (see list under Special Education General Information). Should the student qualify, the Intervention Specialist will write an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This plan explains the student’s strengths and difficulties and what he or she needs to be successful in school. It also describes the student’s Least Restrictive Environment (LRE); where the student will have the best access to the general education curriculum, yet still have the Specially Designed Instruction they need to succeed in school. This plan is reviewed annually and the IEP team can meet any time to discuss the student’s progress on his/her goals.
There are some students who have a disability, but the disability affects their access to the general education curriculum, not necessarily the learning of the material. These students may qualify for a Section 504 Plan. This plan is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibits discrimination based upon disability. Effective January 1, 2009, there were new revisions made which broaden the qualifications for disabilities. Anyone can refer a child for evaluation under Section 504. However, The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has stated: “the school district must also have reason to believe that the child is in need of services under Section 504 due to a disability.” Therefore, a school district does not have to refer or evaluate a child under Section 504 solely upon parental demand. A variety of sources are used to determine the need for a Section 504 Plan. Some of these sources are grades from the past several years, teacher reports, parent information, state assessment scores, observations, discipline reports, attendance records, health records, social and cultural background, and adaptive behavior information. Once the team has made the determination of a disability, a plan is written and a meeting will take place to go over the results and the proposed plan. The plan is reviewed annually to make sure it is still needed and/or appropriate for the student as they proceed through their school years.
The website, http://www.edresourcesohio.org gives access to Whose Idea Is This? A Parent’s Guide to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA). After opening the link, look to the left side of the page for the guide title and click in the box.
In accordance with Senate Bill 316, Oregon City Schools is notifying all parents of students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) of the availability of the Autism Scholarship Program and the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program. Per section 3310.41 and 3310.51 to 3310.64 of the Revised code:
“Your child may be eligible for a scholarship under the Autism Scholarship Program or the Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship Program to attend a special education program that implements the child’s individualized education program and that is operated by an alternative public provider or by a registered provider.”
If you have any questions in regard to either scholarship, please contact the Students Services Department of Oregon City Schools at 419.698.6000.