The Academic Center

Academic Center Program Description

Clyde F. Brown Elementary School

Millis Middle School

The Academic Center is a separate setting (designated classroom) where a special education program can be delivered to a student with a disability, either individually or in a small group.  It meets the needs of students who qualify for a specialized placement in a specific academic area (ELA and or Math), in an individualized or small group setting, for a portion of the day. Individual needs are supported in the Academic Center as defined by a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). In determining if the Academic Center at the Millis Elementary or Middle School is the appropriate setting for a student who has an IEP, the following information has been considered and investigated thoroughly:

1. IDEA requires that all children with disabilities must be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE) that is appropriate for the student. This requirement is to ensure that children are not unnecessarily removed from the regular classroom or isolated from other non-disabled children of their age. LRE decisions are made based on children's learning needs and vary from child to child. IDEA also requires that schools provide a full continuum of services ranging from regular education classrooms with supplementary aides and services to a substantially separate setting.

2. Curriculum: Factors that are considered in the decision to place a student in the Academic Center are the following; inability to make effective progress in the curriculum within an inclusion setting; the amount of direct instruction a student requires to meet the curriculum standards within the inclusion setting exceeds that of independent learning; students who struggle with connecting what they know through interpretation and analysis; students who may have difficulty with conceptual learning which impacts one or more of the following: effective communication, summarizing, comprehension, fluency, encoding, decoding, mathematical operations, mathematical problem solving and/or written expression. Students within this setting require direct instruction that is defined as a comprehensive curriculum, classroom management and teaching system. This includes teaching skills in small sequential steps, providing immediate feedback, and offering frequent student teacher interaction. For students who are fully integrated within the ELA and/or math curriculum, it is designed to be a comprehensive program to meet each learner’s individual needs. Students within this program require the use of a special education teacher and support staff who work in the Academic Center.

3. Data-Collection: Students serviced in the Academic Center will benefit from the use of data collection and analysis procedures to monitor academic progress. This will allow the teacher to monitor student progress, as well as adjust interventions and programs based on progress data.

4. Reintegration: The Academic Center acts as a learning environment which allows students to reach their individual potential in specific academic areas.  Students may remain in the Academic Center for English language arts and/or Math, as outlined in their IEP throughout the school year. Continuous data collection, staff observation and team collaboration will be utilized to determine reintegration into the inclusive or partially inclusive setting. All decisions regarding a student’s placement must be made by the student’s IEP Team.

The Academic Center is a specialized environment that meets the academic needs of special education students who have Individualized Educational Programs and require the above criteria to meet with overall success within a public school setting. 

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