Learning Diversity Policy

Update: learning diversity/SEN (18/04/2013)
The usage of the term "special education needs" (SEN) which has stayed with the IB for many years has been due for a change. "Inclusive education" and "learning diversity" is our new terminology which indicates and reflects the IB's commitment to inclusive approaches to education. To bridge the gap while we wait for document reviews both terms will be used, reflected in updated documents, Learning diversity in the IB programmes: Special educational needs within the IB programmes

Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary believes that all students, to reach their fullest potential – mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially, should have the necessary support to develop a sound mind and body. Our learning diversity philosophy supports the school mission statement: The mission of Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary is to strive to make a difference in the world by utilizing strong academic standards to create a community of learners who draw on critical thinking and curiosity to meet their potential in developing leadership skills and global mindedness. Check that this statement is correct

Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary’s primary mission is to meet the needs of all students by providing the appropriate support when making educational decisions on individual student response to instruction. Our goal is to create a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention that will provide students with the vehicle to transition successfully from the public school setting to the community.

Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary implements an instructional approach, Response to Intervention (RtI), that applies the Primary Years Programme (PYP) utilizing teaching techniques, which provides all students with the instruction they need for learning success. The goal of RtI is to intervene early – when students begin to struggle with learning – to prevent them from falling behind and developing learning difficulties. Teachers design the optimal learning experiences for students, including all those who have special educational needs, so that the PYP framework is experienced by all students. Differentiated instruction shapes the curriculum and instruction to maximize learning potential for all students in different ways.

Our RtI is a framework for providing high-quality instruction built on these essential components with fidelity and in a rigorous manner:

· High-quality, scientifically based classroom instruction: All students receive high-quality, research-based instruction in the classroom.

· Ongoing student assessment: All students’ progress is monitored frequently to examine student achievement and gauge the effectiveness of the curriculum.

· Tiered instruction: A multi-tiered approach is used to efficiently differentiate instruction for all students. The model incorporates increasing intensities of instruction offering specific, research-based interventions matched to the individual student needs. Our school response to RtI is a multi-tiered approach that creates a well-balanced system of support for diverse student learners.

Ø Tier 1: High-quality classroom instruction, screening and group interventions
Within Tier 1, all students receive high quality, scientifically based instruction by highly qualified personnel to ensure their difficulties are not due to inadequate instruction or curriculum. All students are screened on a periodic basis to establish both academic and behavioral baselines and to identify struggling learners.

Ø Tier 2: Targeted interventions
Students not making adequate progress in the classroom are provided with increasingly intensive instruction matched to their needs on the basis of levels of performance and rates of progress. Intensity varies across group size, frequency and duration of intervention, and level of training of the professionals providing instruction or intervention.

Ø Tier 3: Intensive interventions
At this level, students receive individualized interventions that target the student’s skill deficits. Intensive, individualized interventions through Tier 3 are usually implemented for a period of approximately 9 weeks with evidence of regularly scheduled curriculum based monitoring.

Ø Tier 4: Special education
At any point in the RtI process, to meet the needs of students with disabilities, a federal law, Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), is designed to protect the rights of students with disabilities and to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). State and federal laws must be adhered to and the appropriate accommodations must be made. The United States government guarantees each preschool and school age child an education in the least restrictive environment, which aligns to the IB philosophy. Special education services address the individual needs of students with disabilities that may include individual or small group instruction, curriculum or teaching modifications/accommodations, and physical/occupational/speech therapy, regular classroom, instruction through special teaching, or instruction through approved contracts. Instruction shall be supplemented by the provision of related services when appropriate. Education Code 29.003(a)

· Parent Involvement: Information about their child’s progress, the instruction, and interventions used is provided to parents.

We, the staff at Dr. Pablo Perez Elementary, believe in the philosophy and tenets of the International Baccalaureate Programme. We provide for differentiated instruction and learning environments to provide an inclusive experience for students.