Special Education, Counseling and Other Special Services
Problem Solving Teams
- Each school in Chambers County has a Problem SolvingTeam (PST). These teams have been created to provide support to students who are at risk, either academically, behaviorally, socially, or emotionally. The PST is comprised of the building level administrator (principal or asst. principal), the school guidance counselor, and various teachers with expertise not only in their particular area, but in teaching strategies and behavioral interventions.
- When it is determined that a student is at risk of not experiencing school success and is in danger of failure and/or noncompletion, the student's teacher refers the student to the PST. The PST will then recommend specific interventions to be implemented by the student's teacher(s) or other specialists in the school. The student's progress is monitored weekly during the time these interventions are being implemented and is reviewed by the PST weekly or bi-weekly. The intervention period lasts a minimum of 8 weeks, but interventions can continue throughout the entire year and into the next school year, if needed. The interventions can be can be modified throughout the intervention period. Interventions that are successful can continue to be implemented beyond the 8 week period, until the student is no longer in need of them. For further information about the PST, please contact your school principal or guidance counselor or call Sharon Weldon at 334-864-9343 X 232 or 706-586-1985 X 232 or Diane Sherriff at 334-864-9343 X 203 or 706-586-2280 X 203 or through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
English as a Second Language
Los Estudiantes Quienes Son Limitados con la Habilidad de Ingles
- Las escuelas del Condado de Chambers mantienen servicios apropiados del idioma para los estudiantes quienes son limitados con la habilidad de ingles. Por favor, avise al director de escuela o a Diane Sherriff (334-864-9466 X 203, area de Lafayette; 706-586-1985 X 203, area de Valley) para mas informacion.
- For students who have English as a Second Language, we do have supports in place to help those students master both the English language and the content standards of the curriculum. When any child enrolls in school, the parents are asked to complete a Home Language Survey. Any child who has a language other than English indicated on that form, will be assessed to determine his/her proficiency in the areas of speaking, listening to, reading and writing the English language. Students who are less than proficient in any of the four areas are identified as English Learners (ELs).
- Each EL will have a team who will develop an Individual English Learner Plan (I-ELP) to help the child acquire both English proficiency and achieve grade level academic standards. This team is comprised of the parent, the student's teacher(s), the school principal or asst. principal, the school counselor, and the reading coach, when appropriate. These written plans are updated annually. Additionally, each spring these same areas (speaking, listening to, reading and writing) are measured again so that we may monitor the student's progress toward English proficiency. Services continue to be provided until the student tests fluent in all four areas as measured by the ACCESS test After achieving that level of success, students are monitored for two additional years.
- Students who have English as a second language are served in the general education environment. The classroom teachers work with these students to help them acquire both language skills and academic skills. Modifications can be made, if needed, to the way these students are graded initially.
- For additional information, please contact Diane Sherriff at 334-864-9343 X 203, 706-586-2280 X 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
CCATS (Chambers County Accelerated and Talented Students)
- Students in need of gifted services are those students known or suspected to be performing at high levels in academic or creative fields when compared to others their age, experience or environment and require services not ordinarily provided by the regular school program. Students possessing these abilities can be found in all populations, across all economic strata and in all areas of human endeavor.
- All students in the second grade are considered as potentially gifted students. Second grade students are presented with activities that are designed to give them the opportunity to display gifted behaviors. After Christmas, second grade teachers make referrals to the Gifted program. In addition to the second grade teachers, anyone with knowledge of the student's abilities may refer a student for consideration. Parental consent is required prior to us proceeding any further. Once consent is received, a screening team reviews information in the areas of intelligence or creativity, gifted characteristics and performance (work samples, achievement scores, portfolios, etc.). This team determines if there is enough evidence to proceed with an evaluation for the Gifted program.
- The state of Alabama uses a matrix to determine eligibility. Students who achieve the minimum required score on the matrix (aptitude, characteristics and performance indicators are rated and scored) are considered eligible for gifted services. A Gifted Education Plan (GEP) is developed for these students. Written parental consent is required prior to us providing services.
- Services vary according to the age/grade of the student. Students identified as gifted in grades K-2 are served through the collaborative efforts of the general education classroom teacher and the teacher of the Gifted. We provide pull-out/resource services, one day a week, every other week for students in grades 3-5. In grades six and seven, gifted students are provided two hours of pull-out services one day a week, every other week. The general education program meets the needs of gifted students in grades 8-12 by utilizing college preparatory classes, dual enrollment in local colleges and expansion of existing curriculum. Services are only available to students enrolled in our public schools; students attending private schools are not eligible for services.
- For more information, please contact Diane Sherriff at 334-864-9343 X 203, 706-586-2280 X 203 or email@example.com.
- Section 504 is a section in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities. To qualify for protection under Section 504, a student must have a documented disability that substantially limits his/her learning or other major life activity (e.g., walking, talking, breathing).
- Under Section 504, we are able to provide accommodations that "level the playing field" for a student with disabilities. These services are typically different from special education services. We can offer accommodations in the way we present material to a student or in the way a student is asked to respond, but if the student requires specially designed instruction, then the student would need to be evaluated for special education services. Examples of accommodations are: having a lengthy assignment presented in smaller segments (e.g., instead of giving all 20 problems to the student at once, present the student with five problems; when those are complete, present the student with five more, until all are complete), giving additional time to complete a test, allowing a student with a visual impairment to copy from notes on his/her desk rather than from the board, or redirecting a student to task who has an attention deficit disorder. The accommodations that are put in place must be directly related to the disability. Under Section 504, we do not modify or change the curriculum or standards being taught, nor do we provide pull-out service to a special education resource room.
- There is a referral and eligibility process for Section 504. Depending on the documentation available, additional testing to confirm the disability and it's impact on learning may be needed. If the student is eligible, a 504 Plan, if needed, is developed. The 504 Plan will specify the accommodations this student needs. 504 Plans are updated annually.
- For further information, please contact Diane Sherriff at 334-864-9343 X 203 or 706-586-2280 X 203 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special Education Services
- Chambers County Schools are committed to teaching ALL students. The special education program is designed to offer services and support to students who have been identified as having a disability according to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). If you know of a child with a disability, or suspect that a child has a disability, please contact the special education department (334-864-9343X 203; 706-586-2280 X 203;email@example.com). We offer evaluations and services for students ages 3-21.
- The special education process begins with a referral. Anyone with knowledge or suspicion of a child having a disability can make the referral. Once the referral is made, the parents are contacted to come to the school for a meeting. In this meeting, the parents' rights will be explained, as well as the special education process. We will discuss your and our concerns regarding the child and will make recommendations on whether or not to proceed with testing. If the decision is made to continue with the evaluation, we will obtain the parent's/guardian's written consent for testing.
- Testing is completed by the psychometrists, diagnostician or special education teacher. The type of testing to be completed is determined by the areas of concern expressed. The testing is completed at school. Once the testing is completed, the parents/guardians are called back to school to discuss the results and determine whether or not the child is eligible for special education services. If it is determined that the child meets the criteria for one of the areas of disabilities and that the child requires specially designed instruction because of this disability, then an Individual Education Program (IEP) is written for the student. The IEP is written by the IEP team, including the parents, general ed. teacher, special ed. teacher and an administrator or other school system representative. This IEP spells out the specific services that are being offered to the child. At this point, the parent/guardian has the right to accept or decline these services. If accepted, the parent is asked to sign a consent form, giving us permission to provide services to the student.
- Each year, usually in the spring, the IEP is rewritten for the next year. In those annual meetings, we will discuss the progress made by the student over the past year and propose a new IEP for the upcoming year. Again, we ask for input from the entire IEP team (parents, general educators, special educators, school administrators). Anyone on the IEP team can request a meeting more often than once a year. If the IEP is not working well for some reason, any IEP team member can ask that we reconvene.
- Once every three years, and more often if necessary, we will completely re-evaluate the student to measure progress and to make sure that the student still qualifies for services. The parent is involved in the reevaluation process as well. The IEP team determines how many new evaluations are needed.
- There are 13 areas of disability for which services are offered: autism, deaf-blind, developmentally delayed, emotional disability, hearing impaired, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, other health impaired, orthopedically impaired, speech/language impaired, specific learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, and visually impaired. We also provide services to students who are gifted.
- Special education services are provided in a variety of locations. We go to Head Start Centers, daycares and homes for preschool-aged students. Within the school setting, services may be provided in the general education classroom, a special education resource room or a combination of both. We also offer services to eligible students who attend a private school within our attendance zone, regardless of where the child lives. Those services are more limited than they are for public school students and are governed by the private school agreement that Chambers County Schools has with each private school..
- Please feel free to contact us for more information (334-864-9343 X 203; 706-586-2280 X 203; or firstname.lastname@example.org).