A student who is suspected of having a disability is referred to the IEP team. The IEP team meets to review the referral and existing data, information from the parent, previously implemented instructional interventions and strategies, current classroom-based assessments/curriculum measures and observations. Based on this information, the IEP team shall determine the need for assessment.
If assessments are recommended, the school staff obtains permission and the recommended assessments are conducted by the school-based staff and reviewed by the IEP team at an IEP team meeting. For those children eligible for services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed. The IEP team reviews the IEP, identifies services needed to implement the IEP, and considers options for the provision of services in the least restrictive environment.
Each of the elementary, middle, and high schools in Carroll County provides special education and related services for eligible students. The system provides a continuum of services ranging from consultation services through placements in nonpublic schools.
Consultation or indirect service can accomplish the following:
- Provide the general educator with guidance from the special education teacher on appropriate strategies for instruction, behavior management, data collection, observation, and feedback in the general education setting.
- Facilitate service delivery through ongoing communication between general and special educators and related service providers.
Some students may need more supports and services in order to access the general curriculum but are still able to learn in the general education setting. The direct service delivery model within the general education classroom can provide the following:
- Direct special education instruction within the least restrictive environment of the general education classroom through team teaching, co-teaching, and collaborative instructional models.
- Individualized or small group instruction to meet the academic and behavior needs of the student, either within the general education classroom or with pull-aside resource services for specific skill development.
If the student's academic or emotional needs have a significant impact on his or her ability to learn in the general education environment, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team may determine that the student requires a more restrictive learning environment. Direct service outside the general education classroom in the student's home school can provide the student with the following:
- Direct intensive or multi-sensory instruction utilizing specialized strategies and techniques in a small group, pull-out environment with an alternative curriculum when necessary.
- More specific skill training in remediating academic skill deficits or in the social, emotional, and behavioral areas.
- Supports that address behavioral difficulties that interfere with the student's learning or the learning of other students.
CCPS also has regional programs at the elementary, middle, and high school level to service populations of students whose needs are more significant than can be met at a comprehensive school. Decisions regarding placement at a regional program are made by an IEP team along with Central Office personnel.
For those students whose educational needs require services beyond those of the county's regional or separate day facilities, the CCPS utilizes Maryland State Department of Education approved nonpublic schools. The nature and severity of the student's disability which significantly impact on education performance may necessitate more intensive resources and may require a more therapeutic segregated setting in order for a student to receive an appropriate educational program.
Upon request, the CCPS will provide parents or guardians with a written copy of the continuum of special education service delivery models.