Autism Program - Students with an Autism Spectrum disorder are offered a continuum of services in Spotsylvania County Public Schools. Student programming reflects the individual needs of the student to experience educational success. Students benefit from a wide range of service delivery options, such as: general education, autism resource, autism self-contained, the support of autism specialists and other service delivery models used across the county to meet the needs of all students with disabilities in Spotsylvania County.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program - Spotsylvania County Public Schools provides programs to meet the needs of deaf or hard of hearing students. Instruction in three communication modalities is offered at specific sites throughout the county. The communication modalities include American Sign Language, Cued Speech and Total Communication. A continuum of services is available for all students. Educational services range from itinerant services delivered in base schools to self-contained classes at site-based programs.
Speech and Language Impairments - The focus of speech-language pathologists in our schools is to facilitate the development of effective and efficient communication skills so that students may participate as fully as possible in educational, social, and vocational interactions. Working as members of school-based teams, the speech-language pathologist participates in the prevention, identification, assessment, evaluation, eligibility determination, treatment plan development, and treatment management of those students with disorders in the areas of speech and/or language. All elementary schools have a speech-language pathologist assigned to provide speech and language services that are designed and delivered in a variety of ways across multiple settings to best meet the individual student’s needs. Middle and high schools also are assigned an itinerant therapist to serve students who require speech therapy as a primary or related service. Decisions regarding particular service delivery models are based on a variety of factors including the type and/or severity of the weakness, its impact on the student’s ability to access the curriculum and/or effectively navigate through meaningful social interactions, and integration of services with educational experiences. A speech-language pathologist and the team with which he/she consults strive to provide services that are:
- Curriculum based
- Outcome oriented
- Integrated with educational activities
- Diagnostic in nature, dynamic and changing as the student’s needs change
- Based on research-proven strategies, and
- Designed to ensure access to the student’s curriculum
Visual Impairment - Parents are an important part of the IEP team, which determines the child’s educational needs that are impacted by vision impairment. The student’s educational needs are assessed on a regular basis and at the student’s annual IEP. Parents are encouraged to be an active participant in that process. Teachers and professionals working with blind/vision impaired students are committed to providing ongoing education for parents to assist them in their crucial role as the primary educator for their child.
A continuum of services is available for all students. Students who are able to participate in general education classrooms receive support from an itinerant teacher of the vision impaired in their neighborhood schools. Itinerant teachers also provide services for students who are vision impaired in other special education programs countywide.
Physical and Occupational Therapies - Physical and occupational therapists in Spotsylvania County Public Schools work to assure that students in special education benefit from their special education program. PT and OT are only available to students who have a primary disability under IDEA or Section 504. Therapists work closely with teachers, identifying and establishing solutions and/or adaptations that help students with motor or sensory issues to assist them to participate in their school settings. The expertise of therapists in child development and task performance provides a unique perspective within the educational environment. As team members, therapists share their information and integrate their specialized skills with the expertise of other team members to provide for the needs of students.
Intellectual Disabilities - Spotsylvania County Public Schools provides a variety of experiences for students with intellectual disabilities to become as independent as possible. At the elementary level, the emphasis for students with mild and moderate intellectual disabilities focuses on academic and social skills. The students with severe or profound intellectual disabilities are provided instruction in the Aligned Standards of Learning that are rich in socialization, functional skills, choice-making (through the integration of assistive technology) and self help skills.
As the students progress to middle school, a greater emphasis is placed on community awareness, community based instruction, and social skills. Students at high school age focus on functional skills training in the community. The community is used as a classroom for hands-on learning experiences. Eventually students may have an opportunity to work in the community with a job coach, if necessary, and become gainfully employed. SCS also works with community based agencies that provide on-site work training experiences for students. The agencies provide work training with eventual job placement in the community, if appropriate.
Orthopedic Impairment - Students in Spotsylvania County Public Schools who have an orthopedic impairment receive educational services in whatever setting is appropriate for them based upon their physical and intellectual abilities. These settings range from self contained classrooms to general education classrooms with assistance and are available to students in grades Pre- K - 12. Many schools are now equipped so that students with physical impairments can readily access the curriculum and educational environment with minimal assistance, and with current adaptive and resources.
Early Childhood Special Education - Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) programs provide instruction to students who have a developmental delay, or any of the other federally defined disabilities. ECSE classes are language-based with an emphasis on problem-solving, social engagement, language development, multi-sensory stimulation, literacy, prewriting and math activities, and behavior management. Currently, ECSE programs are available up to 4 hours daily. The programs are individualized to address the uniqueness of each child. In addition, each class provides family education and support through home visits to carry over learning into the home.
Preschool Speech/Language program provides instruction to students who have a mild to moderate speech and language impairment. The service delivery model offers therapy sessions for fluency, voice, intelligibility, and language.
ECSE for Autism program is a service delivery model that affords a classroom program for preschool children with autism, or with characteristics of an autistic learner. Utilizing nationally-recognized, evidence-based practices developed for preschool children with autism, this program is based on the principles of applied behavioral analysis. The program uses structured teaching methods including: visual schedules, data-based procedures, individually selected motivators, augmentative communication systems (ex: Picture Exchange Communication System - PECS), and a variety of prompting procedures.
Preschool Total Communication program provides instruction or consultative services to students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing at the preschool level. Aural / oral education or total communication is provided depending on each child’s individual needs. Services are provided either through in-home services or through individual, small group, or class instruction in a school. Program components include: family education, receptive and expressive language development, hearing aid utilization, sign language instruction (when appropriate), cognitive and pre-academic development, school readiness preparation, social skills, and behavior management.