SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES AND PROGRAMS
Under Pennsylvania and federal laws, a student who meets the eligibility requirements for special education has the right to participate in the general education curriculum in the regular education classroom in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The program of support and services is described in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). Providing a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for a student with a disability begins with the consideration of services in the LRE. The organization and delivery of special education services are planned in a flexible and responsive manner to accommodate the student’s special needs of eligibility without removing the student, unnecessarily, from the general education curriculum in the regular education classroom. Supplementary aids and services received by the student are dependent on his/her individual needs. The Bethlehem Area School District promotes inclusive opportunities for all students.
The students shall participate in the general education curriculum in the regular education classroom to the maximum extent appropriate, which may be accommodated, adapted, or modified. The district does provide a full continuum of services and programs. Eligible students may be provided instruction through supplemental curricula. Service/program options may be considered when the program of study needs to be intensified in order to meet the student’s overall needs.
Transition planning begins at age 14. The IEP team will decide what kinds of courses will prepare the student for life after high school through the transition planning process. The IEP team, including the student and parent, will plan transition activities to prepare the student for post-high school experiences. Discussions during transition planning include: college or post-high school planning; employment exploration; and independent living, including recreation or leisure activities. The transition planning includes consideration of the types of courses the student will take during high school. Early planning encourages a coordinated effort between the present and future goals of the student. Students are encouraged to prepare for a post-high school education, whether it is college or a trade/technical school. Students who are considering college are encouraged to take the PSAT and SAT assessments, with or without accommodations. Some students may elect a vocational curriculum and attend the Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical School (BAVTS), which offers a range of programs.
All students receiving special education services are guaranteed the right for the opportunity to earn a high school diploma. The IEP Team determines how a student will be awarded a diploma, the eligible student must successfully complete all required courses and credits, as well as meet performance standards on assessments or through the IEP transition goals.
Co-teaching is a research-based strategy for helping students in need of academic intervention and designed to assist students in meeting the increased literacy demands required for career and college readiness. Co-taught classes have two teachers who work with the class: a content area certified teacher, for example in English or mathematics, and a special education certified teacher.
The purpose of BASD High School Co-Teaching is to provide quality instruction to academically at-risk students (those not currently showing proficiency) in a high expectations-high supports environment. The program is designed to deliver standards-based instruction aligned to the PA graduation requirements, with high levels of support in place to meet those requirements. High levels of support include adaptations such as a concept-oriented focus, alternative methods of instruction and assessment, and more intensive student/teacher contact time.
With the BASD Roadmap to Educational Excellence as a guide, students will be supported in their Core Learning while developing personal skills in an engaging setting. Classroom roles and responsibilities are defined, targeted individualized support is provided to students, curriculum is delivered on grade level with appropriate adaptations, and modifications and the belief that effort produces achievement is pervasive.
As aforementioned, there are two teachers in the co-taught classes. Each teacher has a different but equally important role, and they work together with each other and with the students to promote academic growth and success. These teachers have equal responsibility for teaching, and students are held to high expectations and are given high levels of support from both teachers.