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At the core of these statements is the goal of developing a family-centered approach to the support and education of students with disabilities.
 
Philosophy of Service
The OCDE Special Education program strongly believes in the collaborative service model. This model emphasizes the provision of instruction by both classroom staff and support service specialists within the classroom settings to the greatest extent possible.  We strongly believe that this model provides positive and ongoing training opportunities for classroom staff, which translates to a more consistent provision of instruction throughout each student’s school day. We know that the benefits of collaborative instruction are supported by research and benefit:
  • Improved professional and problem-solving skills for teachers,
  • Modified teacher attitudes regarding student’s problems,
  • Greater understanding of student’s problems by teachers,
  • Generalization of consultation effects to other students in the same classroom,
  • Reduced referral rates, and
  • Gains in Long-term academic performance
 
(See appendix for research sightings)
 
 We believe that educational programs for students with disabilities need to be delivered by knowledgeable staff that meet and exceed established State Teaching and Professional Standards.  We believe that staff must consistently demonstrate the skills necessary to provide an integrated, functionally based instructional model that addresses academic, communication, sensory, psychomotor, independent living, community, social and behavioral needs.
 
 We believe that effective educational interventions for individuals with disabilities must include a variety of teaching methodologies and strategies based on current research and effective methods provided through a full range of services, assessment, core curricula and appropriate adaptations.
 
 We believe that instructional programs for students with disabilities must include access to the general education curriculum and state standards and should be developmentally appropriate for each individual.  We believe that functional skill training is necessary to address generalization and transition of skill acquisition to promote communication, social skills and independence.
 
 We believe that ongoing communication and a collaborative relationship with parents includes sharing of expertise and resources. We believe that the exchange of information regarding present levels of performance, current educational issues and parent involvement in the student's educational program promotes success.
 
 We believe that ongoing evaluation of student progress and the collection and analysis of data are essential to maintain instructional effectiveness and to determine progress towards IEP goals and objectives. 
 
 We believe a comprehensive assessment of student progress may include formal and informal methods such as standardized tests, alternate assessment and /or behavior assessment/analysis.  We believe students with developmental disabilities are entitled access to the full continuum of placement options to meet their specific and unique educational needs.
 
We believe that educational programming for all individuals with disabilities must be determined, implemented and supervised by multi-disciplinary teams in collaboration with families.  Services must be educationally relevant and support specific individual student needs.
 
 We believe that learning environments for individuals with disabilities need to be safe, age-appropriate, structured, predictable, visually well defined and supportive of each student’s learning and behavioral needs.