As defined by California Education Code (section 56031), special education is:
Specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of individuals with exceptional needs, whose educational needs cannot be met with modification of the general instruction program; and Related Services that help individuals with special needs to benefit from specially designed instruction. Special Education is an integral part of the total public education system. Other features of Special Education are:
- Services are provided in a way that promotes maximum interaction between students with and without disabilities in a manner which is appropriate to the needs of both;
- Services are provided at no cost to parents;
- Services include a full range of program options to meet the educational and service requirements of individuals with exceptional needs in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The LRE is generally the setting that is most similar to those attended by general education students.
For more information:
- All schools in TUHSD have their own websites: https://www.tamdistrict.org/. While schools are not offering tours, there will be an informational parent night; please check the school websites for the date.
- For questions about the transition process for your child, please contact your child’s current 8th grade Special Education Teacher.
- If your child is currently in a private school or an MCOE program and you have questions regarding the transition process, please contact: Carolyn Boyce, School Psychologist: firstname.lastname@example.org.
DISTRICT OFFICE STAFF
Senior Director of Special Education: Amira Mostafa, Ed.D.
Phone: (415) 945-1011
Program Specialist/School Psychologist: Carolyn Boyce
Phone: (415) 945-3623
Administrative Assistant: Kaley Cloney
Phone: (415) 945-1011
SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
TRANSITION FROM 8TH TO 9TH GRADE
- The majority of transitions occur through a student’s 8th grade Case Manager (i.e. Special Education Teacher) and involve scheduling the transition IEP meeting and inviting a special ed teacher (and other specialists, as needed) from the receiving high school. This meeting will occur during the spring of 8th grade and you’ll be notified of this meeting by your child’s current Special Education Teacher.
- In addition, for students whose needs and services are more complex, and for students who are coming from non-public (private) schools, coordination of the transition process also involves the School Psychologist assigned to the District Office.
- Accommodations allow access to the curriculum (preferential seating, breaks, extended time, alternate setting, audio books, etc). Students stay on the same “road” as general education students, but need to get around an obstacle in order to remain on the same road.
- Modifications change the content standards (breadth or depth of the subject covered). Students take an alternate road because the main road is not accessible enough to them by simply removing a few obstacles. For example, a student in 9th grade who is working at a 5th grade level in math will need a modified math program. In this example, on the student’s schedule and transcript it will indicate MODF Math.
- On high school transcripts, modified (designated as MODF__) courses may not be accepted by some universities as college preparatory. This is true for UCs/ most CSUs (A-G requirements). All community colleges and many private universities accept modified courses. Also, the high school diploma is not impacted by modified courses.
SPECIALIZED ACADEMIC INSTRUCTION (SAI) AND SERVICES
- There are different terms used to describe Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI) in TUHSD schools. For example, different settings where SAI is delivered in K-8 schools may include the Learning Center, Resource Specialist Program, and Special Day Class. In TUHSD, SAI is delivered in Academic Workshop (AW) classes, Modified courses (e.g. MODF English), the Bridge Program and CEC programs which are all taught by Special Education Teachers.
- All IEP services that are determined necessary at the time of a student’s Transition IEP will continue into high school. This includes Speech & Language services, DIS Counseling, and Occupational Therapy.
REMEDIATION VS. COMPENSATORY STRATEGIES
- In high school the goal is to prepare students to become functioning members of our society at the highest level possible.
- We spend 4 years preparing them for post-high school.
- We strive to prepare students for independent academics or jobs to the maximum extent possible despite their disability.
- We move from a remediation approach to a compensatory strategy approach and within this approach, the goals are for students to learn:
- To function at the highest level despite their disability
- To independently complete post high school education using accommodations
- To self-advocate
- To make mistakes and recover in a safe academic environment.
DIPLOMA V. CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION:
- Diploma: Students who complete all required coursework with passing grades will earn a diploma. Diploma requirements include: 220 units: 160 required units, 60 elective units. TUHSD diploma requirements are different than the UC/CSU A-G requirements. Please refer to the TUHSD website for info about A-G reqs.
- Certificate of Completion: Students who complete an individualized, alternate course of study and satisfactorily meet IEP goals as determined by the IEP Team will earn a Certificate of Completion and will fully participate in graduation activities.
- Whether a student earns a diploma or a certificate of completion, everyone receives an empty folder at graduation!
AVAILABLE COUNSELING SUPPORT
- General School Counseling: All students will be assigned a counselor with whom they can consult for academic or situational concerns.
- TUHSD Wellness: We offer a full continuum of services at each comprehensive school (counseling, drug treatment, reproductive health services, support and empowerment groups, and more) available to all students. This is very different than most middle schools.
- For some students who need more intensive, on-going support, and whose emotional challenges are determined to impact their ability to access their IEP services, Designated Instruction & Services (DIS-Counseling), an IEP service, may be considered.