Special Education Programs & Services
Special education consists of services and programs designed to meet the educational needs of students who meet state and federal eligibility criteria. To qualify for special education services, students must demonstrate the presence of a disability and the need for specially designed instruction. Students who are in the special education program are included in the least restrictive environment to the fullest extent appropriate.
Special Education is a service, not a place. Upper St. Clair School District supports the implementation of inclusive practices with supplementary aids and services needed to access the general education curriculum. Students who need more intensive services access direct instruction through the special education programs.
Learning support services are provided to students who demonstrate a disorder in understanding or in using language (spoken or written), reading, writing, and/or mathematics. Accommodations and modifications may be provided in the general education classroom. Students who need more intensive services may receive academic support and/or direct instruction in reading, math and writing through the learning support program.
The emotional support program is designed to meet the needs of students with social, emotional, and behavioral needs that have an adverse impact on their learning. An Intervention Specialist provides a therapeutic level to the program. Academic support is provided as needed.
Life Skills Support
The Life Skills Support Program provides specially designed instruction to students whose needs include functional academics, self-care, social skills, language development, communication, and perceptual motor skills. The program offers community-based instruction as well as vocational training experiences. Students who participate in the life skills program are included in the least restrictive environment to the fullest extent appropriate.
Students who demonstrate a need in articulation, fluency, language and auditory processing development receive speech and language support. Students are scheduled for individual and/or small group sessions according to age as well as the type and severity of the disorder.
Occupational therapy focuses on the functional performance of the student to assist in making progress in the general education curriculum. Areas covered by occupational therapy may include self-help, sensory, fine motor and postural skills Individual and/or small group therapy sessions as well as consultative services are provided according to student need.
Physical therapy focuses on the natural opportunities for students to develop motor competence, balance and coordination in routine educational activities.
Hearing Support Program and Services
Hearing Support Services are provided to students who have an identified impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. A child who meets criteria for deafness demonstrates a hearing impairment so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification.
Vision Support Program and Services
A visual impairment, including blindness, indicates the impairment adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.