Special Classes for Students with Severe Disabilities

Program Overview

The determination for enrollment in classes operated by the Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) Special Schools is a collaborative effort on the part of parents, local district representatives and OCDE staff. The educational needs and services for students referred to OCDE are determined through and Individualized Education Program (IEP) process. OCDE's Special Schools classes are designed to provide instruction for students requiring intensive educational services. Many students require medical services as well. It is the goal of the Special Schools program and services to emphasize the teaching of skills that are functional and critical to the present and future needs of the students.

Philosophy and Goal Statement

All students have the ability as well as the right to learn and to progress. It is the goal of the Orange County Department of Education Special Schools to provide the most meaningful education program to meet each student's individual needs.

Each student's educational program shall be identified through the IEP process utilizing a team approach to develop and implement functional goals and objectives.

The development of each student's educational program shall focus toward maximizing student independence.

Students shall participate in instructional activities which are positive, safe and age-appropriate in inclusive settings whenever possible.

Instructional opportunities shall assist students to participate as fully as possible in their present and future environments.

The Special Classes serve students whose primary disabilities include severe to profound cognitive and/or physical disabilities as well as students who manifest severe language and behavior disabilities requiring a small student/staff ratio in a structured class setting. Specialized physical health care is available for those students whose medical conditions warrant such services. Students are enrolled from ages three(3) through twenty-one (21) years.

Annual goals and short-term objectives are established in eight curricular domains: Community, Domestic, Functional Academics, Mobility, Personal, Recreation/Leisure, Vocational and Communication. Whenever appropriate, interaction with non-disabled peers is promoted.