The Special Education Department at Dobyns-Bennett consists of thirteen teachers, seventeen support staff members and one fearless secretary. We help to provide programming and support for students eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA). Special Education services are provided in the least restrictive environment for students (ages 3-22) through a continuum of options. Our teachers work collaboratively with other school staff and families to develop individualized educational programs that provide support ensuring students can successfully access the academic, social, and emotional opportunities available at school. Special education teachers serve two main roles - classroom teaching and special education case management.
Special Education services vary depending on the unique needs of each student. For instance, a student with a significant disability may need intensive instruction and support throughout the school day in a Specialized Learning Environment (SLE), whereas another student with a mild learning disability may attend all general education classes with accommodations and receive consultative services from a Special Ed. case manager.
For the purposes of this newsletter we will focus on Co-Teaching, one of our many services for students with disabilities. Co-teaching is defined as “two professionals (usually a special education teacher and a general educator) working together to share in the planning, instructing, and ongoing assessment of a group of students” (Perez 3). The Dobyns-Bennett English and Special Needs departments are partnering together to bring the best of both worlds to our students who require additional support in order to experience classroom success. This semester is an intense focus on reading and writing remediation in an effort to help students better access the general curriculum. Data gathered from programs such as Read 180, Membean and Easy CBM is allowing teachers to differentiate the instruction based on the students’ present educational levels. Students have demonstrated tremendous growth in this first nine weeks; some have made years worth of progress in this first grading period due to a concentrated practice of basic, foundational skills rather than a mastery of grade level standards. DB offers co-teaching instruction in English, Math, and Science.