Special Education at Summit Academy is based upon an inclusion model. That is, all regular education and special education scholars take the same core academic classes. Within these classes, all scholars are held to the same behavioral and academic expectations (as expressed in their IEP goals). Scholars with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) are given additional support in-class support, out-of-class support, accommodations, and/or modifications to enable them to better meet these expectations. This model is considered by many educators to be the ultimate manifestation of a commitment to educating each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom that he or she would otherwise attend.
Special Education scholars at Summit Academy are supported in the following ways:
1. Accommodations and Modifications. A scholar’s IEP will list accommodations that need to be made in the general education classroom that all teachers must, by law, implement on a daily basis. In the most literal sense, the accommodations that are made to adjust for a scholar’s special needs are simply an extension of differentiating instruction techniques that good teachers implement on a regular basis.
2. Classroom Support from Learning Strategists. At the beginning of the school year, the school will identify all scholars who need to be supported in the general education classroom by a Learning Strategist. After determining the need, the Learning Strategists’ weekly schedule will be determined. Following this schedule, each Learning Strategist will be present in, on average, two classes per day. Learning Strategists will work with a select number of scholars in these classes to better enable them to access the class curriculum.
3. Instructional Support from Learning Strategists. Special Education scholars receive additional out-of-class support from Learning Strategists in Instructional Support. Scholars will occasionally be pulled from core academic subjects to receive Instructional Support.