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Report: These are elements of positive special education programs

If your child has special needs in the classroom, then you likely go to great lengths to find academic options and programs that will not just meet your child needs, but also help him or her succeed.

This can be a difficult process, and parents often find quickly the solutions that do not work for their child, rather than the ones that are effective. However, a recent report could prove to be helpful to parents in this situation, as it reveals the philosophies and policies in California charter schools that serve as effective, positive ways to help students with disabilities.

The report, which can be read about in more detail in this eSchool News article, identified seven key elements of a successful special education program.

  1. Including -- and embracing -- students with disabilities in the school's culture.
  2. Focusing on inclusion and serving students with disabilities in the same general education classes as other students.
  3. Layering interventions by offering tiered support systems.
  4. Leveraging community and family relationships.
  5. Using data to support instruction.
  6. Having school-level autonomy regarding special education resources.
  7. Providing individualized, staff-driven professional development.

The report notes that these are the more valuable, effective solutions that schools can offer to best support students with disabilities.

However, not all schools have resources that enable them to utilize these strategies. Some lack the funding, others focus not on a student's individual experience but complying with regulations, which limits creative or non-traditional solutions. There are also schools that promise certain services but fail to deliver them.

All this can make it difficult for parents to find academic programs and settings that best serve their child. However, hopefully, reports like this one can provide some insight and direction to parents and administrators who are unsure of which solutions could be most beneficial for students with special needs and where to find them.

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