Student Services—Special Education
Individuals with Disabilities
Services for students with disabilities in the Englewood Schools are viewed as the responsibility of parents, regular, and special education staff. The Board of Education believes that quality education can be more readily achieved through an integrated rather than segregated educational environment, and, therefore, encourages activities, planning, and implementation of programs which promote the establishment of this kind of learning environment. The District is committed to the basic premise that the purpose of a public school education is to help each individual student develop to the limit of his/her own capacity in order that he/she may have a useful life lived in dignity and freedom. Our goal is to provide full educational opportunities to all students with disabilities. Each individual student shall be offered an educational program which promotes intellectual, physical, social, emotional, and aesthetic growth and well-being.
Because of the unique needs of disabled students, the District recognizes the importance of individual educational programming, which provides the direction, establishes the requirements, and sets the goals for their education. With the recognition of the extreme variability in needs and resulting outcomes for students with disability, the District
- strives to assist each student with a disability in attaining a level of satisfactory growth in performance while meeting the school's requirements and seeks to foster a feeling of self-worth within the child
- strives to develop an adult who has acceptable skills for work and independent living including:
- attainment of fundamental skills in reading, language arts, and math
- attainment of fundamental knowledge (science, social studies) for participating in society and as a citizen
- adequate adaptive behaviors (skills) for coping with daily demands of living
- acquisition of vocational skills adequate for employment or attainment of skills necessary for post-secondary training or educational programs
- strives to graduate each student with disabilities.
We believe that
- One purpose of public education is to help each individual develop to the limit of his/her own capacity in order that he/she may have a useful life lived in dignity and freedom.
- Public schools are responsible for promoting the intellectual, physical, and emotional development of each child in a way that emphasizes the values of a free, democratic society. Heterogeneous grouping of students with varied backgrounds and abilities is the best vehicle for emphasizing these values and emulating the society in which students will live.
- All children can learn if given enough time and opportunity. All children should have equal access to learning.
- Students with disabilities are more normal than different and most will live and work in the same settings as the non-disabled. In most cases, the child's best educational placement is in the regular classroom with his/her peers.
- Disabled students who can attain at least a minimum level of academic success and who can interact emotionally and socially with non-disabled peers are best educated in a regular class setting in which they are exposed to the same information as those peers and through which they can learn the skills, behaviors, and values necessary for successful, productive living in our society.
- Students without disabilities learn to appreciate and accept individual differences and to appreciate the abilities and strengths of their classmates with disabilities. They gain values that contribute to our society—acceptance of individual differences; knowledge about disabilities; tolerance; the worth of all individuals.
- The education of students with disabilities is the joint responsibilities of parents, regular, and special education staff.
- Teachers can and do make a difference in the educational growth and achievement of students. Teachers can teach in a way that most students will learn well, including students with disabilities.
- Teachers have varying levels of skills and confidence to teach disabled students. Instructional support to assist teachers in attaining these skills and confidence is extremely important. This support can be provided by special education and related services personnel through collaboration with teachers, modeling, and inservice education.
- The integration of disabled children into regular class settings requires detailed planning and collaboration on the part of teachers and instructional support staff. In addition to inservice education, teachers must be provided time for effective planning and collaboration with instructional support personnel in order to maximize the benefit of placing students with disabilities in regular class settings.