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Office of Special Education Services

Services for students with disabilities
from birth through age 21


School Age: Elementary and Secondary Services

Resource

Resource services are available in all Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and provide students with disabilities with the support they need to be academically successful in the general education environment.

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Elementary Learning and Academic Disabilities (LAD)

Elementary Learning and Academic Disabilities (LAD) serves students who previously received considerable amounts of special education in the general education environment but require additional services in order to demonstrate progress toward Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and objectives. Selected elementary schools provide this service.

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Elementary Learning Center

Elementary Learning Center (ELC) serves students through a continuum of services in self-contained classes with opportunities to be included with nondisabled peers in the general education environment. The services address the goals and objectives in the student's IEP while ensuring access to the general education curriculum through assistive technology, reduced class-size, and differentiated instruction.

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Elementary Autism Services

The Elementary Autism classes are self-contained classrooms in comprehensive elementary school buildings. Students served by this model have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder and need significant learning and social supports as a result of their disability. The classrooms offer a highly-structured school day and individualized learning opportunities. Curriculum is modified as appropriate to support student strengths and needs. There is a continuing emphasis on the development of language, social skills, and student independence. The teaching procedures are based on Applied Behavior Analysis.  Students participate with non-disabled peers, as appropriate.

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Elementary Aspergers Services

The Elementary Aspergers classes are based in comprehensive elementary school buildings. Students served by this model have a diagnosis of Aspergers Disorder. The students function in the average to high average range of intellectual ability and receive instruction on the general education curriculum, with enrichment as appropriate. Students have documented social and behavioral needs that have significantly interfered with their ability to participate in other educational environments, despite a variety of special and individualized supports. Initially, students receive their academic and social-skill instruction within the Aspergers classroom with an eventual goal of the student being included for the academics in the general education classroom. Autism staff members, in collaboration with the transdisciplinary team and a school-based counselor, integrate social skills teaching and generalization opportunities throughout the instructional day. Social skill groups, class units, and direct individualized teaching are utilized to provide students with strategies for acceptable behavior. Individual and classroom motivation systems reinforce appropriate social behavior across the school day.

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Elementary Physical Disabilities Services

The Elementary Physical Disabilities services provides comprehensive supports to students with physical and health-related disabilities which cause a significant impact on educational performance in the general education class. These students exhibit needs in motor development and information processing.  Services provided to students include special education instruction, consultation with classroom teachers, and occupational and physical therapy services.

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Secondary Learning and Academic Disabilities (LAD)

Secondary Learning and Academic Disabilities (LAD) services are available in all secondary schools in MCPS. These services are provided in a continuum of settings that may include components of self-contained classes, co-taught general education classes, and other opportunities for participation with non-disabled peers.

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Gifted and Talented Learning Disabled (GT/LD)

 

Students receiving Gifted and Talented/Learning Disabled (GT/LD) services are intellectually gifted and demonstrate superior cognitive reasoning ability. They have an educational disability that impacts the academic area(s) of reading, writing, and/or mathematics. Often, students are impacted in the areas of organization/executive functioning, social emotional learning, and/or attention. They typically have significant production problems, particularly in the area of written expression. Students who require significant behavioral, emotional, or social supports in order to access the curriculum may require services in a setting specifically designed to address those needs.


 

GT/LD services provide students with specialized instruction, adaptations, and accommodations that facilitate appropriate access to accelerated and enriched instruction in the least restrictive environment. This includes substantive access to the acceleration and enrichment components in the MCPS instructional guidelines, and may include placement in Advanced, Honors, or Advanced Placement courses. While services can vary and are determined by the student’s IEP team, students within elementary GT/LD services typically receive instruction in a self-contained classroom setting for a majority of the academic day. Secondary students typically are scheduled into advanced general education courses as a cohort in English, math, science, and social studies, with special education support provided by a co-teacher or paraeducator. Many secondary students also receive services through a GT/LD resource class. 

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Learning for Independence (LFI)

Learning for Independence (LFI) services are designed for students with complex learning and cognitive needs, including mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Services support the implementation of Alternate Academic Learning Outcomes aligned with Curriculum 2.0.

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School Community-based Program (SCB)

School Community-based Program (SCB) services are designed for students with severe or profound intellectual disabilities and/or multiple disabilities. SCB services include the following components: age-appropriate classes, heterogeneous groups, peer interactions, individualized instruction, community instruction, and transition.

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Extensions Program

 

Extensions Program serves students of middle and high school age with the most significant cognitive disabilities, multiple disabilities, and/or autism. These are students with a prolonged history of requiring systematic behavioral supports and services to reduce self-injurious and/or disruptive behaviors. The goal of the program is to provide intensive educational programming to enable students to acquire appropriate social and communicative skills and prepare them for  post-secondary opportunities. 

 

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Behavioral and Emotional Support Services

Behavioral and Emotional Support Services are provided to students who demonstrate significant social, emotional, learning, and/or behavioral difficulties that adversely impact their success in school.  Students are served in a continuum of settings that may include self-contained classes and opportunities for participation in general education classes with nondisabled peers as appropriate.

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Bridge Services

Bridge services are provided to students who demonstrate significant social, emotional, learning, and/or behavioral challenges that make it difficult to succeed in a large school environment. Many students require social and emotional supports in order to access their academic program. Comprehensive behavior management is utilized that includes proactive teaching and rehearsal of social skills, as well as the use of structured and consistent reinforcement systems.

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Middle School Autism Resource Services

The Middle School Autism Resource Services are based in comprehensive middle school buildings. Students served by this model have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. These students are accessing the general education curriculum and are participating in Mod-MSA; specifically, these students are approximately two to three years below grade level. Students have documented social and behavioral needs that have significantly interfered with their ability to participate in other educational environments, despite a variety of special and individualized supports. Students are included in all academic classes in the general education environment with accommodations for reduced work load and altered pacing of instruction, as appropriate.

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Secondary Autism Services

The Secondary Autism Program classes are self-contained classrooms in comprehensive middle and high school buildings. Students served by this model have a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder and need significant learning and social supports as a result of their disability.  Curriculum is modified as appropriate to support student strengths and needs. There is a continuing emphasis on the development of language, social skills, and student independence. In addition, the students are provided with community-based instruction and in-school prevocational tasks (middle school) or community based vocational tasks (high school) in order to prepare them their eventual transition to adult services.

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Secondary Aspergers Classes

The Secondary Aspergers classes are based in comprehensive middle and high school buildings. Students served by this model have a diagnosis of Aspergers Disorder. The students function in the average to high average range of intellectual ability and receive instruction on the general education curriculum, with enrichment as appropriate. Students have documented social and behavior needs which have significantly interfered with their ability to participate in other educational environments, despite a variety of special and individualized supports. Students are included in all academic classes in the general education with supports for their social, behavioral, and organization needs. In addition to their academic classes, students participate in a pupil enrichment class daily that focuses on the direct teaching of social skills.

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Deaf/Hard of Hearing Services (DHOH)

DHOH services are provided to students who are deaf and hard of hearing, ages 5–21. Comprehensive center-based programs are located in the Rockville cluster and provide the most intensive services addressing critical language and communication needs through the use of Total Communication, Cued Speech, or Auditory/Oral approaches. Itinerant services are available in all MCPS instructional settings and provide direct instruction to students as well as consultation to school staff members. Interpreting services, and audiological services and equipment, may be provided to meet students’ individual needs.

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Vision

Vision services provide services to students who are blind and visually impaired ages 5–21 in all MCPS instructional settings. Teachers of the Visually Impaired deliver a range of services to these students including: consultation to school staff members regarding students’ vision needs; direct instruction in the expanded core curriculum (i.e. Braille, compensatory skills, technology, utilization of functional vision, Orientation and Mobility); provision of adapted materials and specialized equipment.

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