At the elementary level, special education teachers follow the district general education curriculum and utilize general education reading and math materials. Supplemental research based materials are used to meet the needs of students requiring additional support. Special education teachers are members of grade level teams. Co-teaching has been an effective practice resulting in many students with disabilities being served in the regular education classes. Learning support teachers analyze data from district assessments in order to identify students’ strengths and needs and progress monitor each student’s response to interventions.
The direct instruction learning support program at the secondary level uses a variety of programs and resources to help provide our students with best practices for a positive learning environment. Direct instruction English students are exposed to both contemporary and classic works of literature. We also use specialized reading programs, such as: Read Naturally, Corrective Reading, Fast Track and Rewards. Each of these programs is leveled to incorporate decoding, fluency and comprehension improvement over various grade levels. Written expression needs are addressed with Project Read Language Circle and generalized step-by-step intensive writing process instruction. Direct instruction science follows the general education curriculum in a small group setting. The courses focus on main topics and vocabulary. The curriculum is modified to meet the needs of students. Direct instruction math is designed for students to be functional in society and closely follows the curriculum for various grade levels with modifications set in place for student success. The courses taught by secondary staff are all of highly qualified status and certified in designated subject areas.
The secondary co-teaching model in the Lower Dauphin School district has proven successful. The percentage of students in the Least Restrictive Environment has increased. The students are exposed to the same curriculum as their same aged peers. At Lower Dauphin we have seen an increase in test scores and a decrease in negative behaviors throught he use of the co-teaching model. This model allows for all students to meet the higher expectations of the regular education classroom. Students also benefit from a higher student to teacher ratio allowing for flexible grouping and differentiated instruction. The co-teaching model at Lower Dauphin allows for greater access to 21st century learning skills throughthe use of integrated technology, student collaboration, and diverse classroom settings.
The high school resource room program serves students from a variety of levels. Students attend resource either every day, every other day, or on an as-needed basis. In resource, students receive previewing instruction and remediation. They also receive assistance with class and homework, test preparation, and organizational skills. The resource instructor collaborates with mainstream teachers on a weekly basis to ensure the implementation of each student’s specially designed instruction and to monitor student progress. The resource teacher often serves as a liaison between parents and mainstream teachers.