Waterford Public Schools is committed to providing a free and appropriate public education for all students with disabilities. The mission of the Department of Special Services is to ensure that students with disabilities receive quality instruction that is tailored to meet their individual needs while maintaining high standards of achievement.
The Department of Special Services provides programming for student's ages three to twenty-one based on the students individual goals and objectives outlined by the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in the least restrictive environment.
When recommended by the Planning and Placement Team, special education instruction and related services are provided to all identified Waterford students, at all grade levels, by certified and or licensed staff members. Personnel includes the Director of Special Services, special education teachers, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, school psychologists, physical therapists, and social workers.
Parents are valued partners in the Planning and Placement Team process. They are encouraged to attend all meetings and participated fully in the development of the Individualized Education Plan which will help students achieve there personal best.
At the elementary level, specialized instruction is offered by special education teachers at all schools. Programs are based on individual student needs. Instruction is offered both in the regular classroom through the inclusion model with additional individualized support, as per each child's IEP. Speech and language services, occupational therapy, counseling, nursing support and physical therapy are provided at each building.
The content and sequence of services at Clark Lane Middle School and Waterford High School are designed to support the progress of students while referencing their special needs within their IEPs and the general curriculum. The Planning and Placement Team (PPT) process governs all special education decisions. A continuum of services available include: cooperative classes, resource room support, differentiated instruction, and collaboration between the special education teachers and the content area teachers.
- Cooperative classes involve both the content area teacher and the special education teacher teaching together in the regular education classroom setting. Co-teaching is a service delivery system in which two professionally certified staff share the instructional responsibility to teach the required curriculum with mutual ownership, pooled resources, and joint accountability. This type of service delivery embraces the philosophy of an inclusive education.
- Resource room support is a service provided to students who meet the criteria defined by the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This support service is very individualized for each learner's educational needs. Learning strategies, repetition, multi sensory techniques, memory enhancing skills, and compensatory skills are utilized to enhance each student's capacity to achieve his/her goals.
- Related services, as per the IEP, are designed to assist the student in benefiting from their special education program.