Student Support Services- Skyline High School
The Student Support Services is a collaborative initiative dedicated to the inclusion and the success of all students. Our mission, is to provide and enhance educational opportunities driven by individual student needs and focusing on developing personal connections, creating access to the curriculum in the least restrictive environment, and designing genuine post-secondary plans.
The primary service model is inclusion in the least restrictive environment (LRE), we do provide students with cognitive impairments a self-contained program for their core academic classes and inclusion for their elective classes and extracurricular activities. Students at Skyline have access to all the specialized services necessary per their IEP, which includes, but is not limited to, case management, social work, speech and language therapy, educational psychological evaluation, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nurse services and specialized transportation. For students who need additional support, we offer Academic Support, Algebra I, Algebra II, Academic Literacy and Read 180 which provide small class size and meet the general education requirements.
Student Support Services utilizes a co-teaching model to meet the goal of inclusion for all students. Within this model a general education teacher and a special teacher share the responsibility for planning and delivering differentiated instruction, assessing student achievement and classroom management. The pairing of general and special education provides the opportunity to maximize strengths in curriculum, instruction, behavior management and discipline, and accommodation and modification. Co-teaching make take different forms depending on special education staffing (teacher consultant, teaching assistant, ancillary support) and individual student needs.
Students who are unable to participate in the Michigan Merit Curriculum may participate in a specialized self-contained program. Students in these programs participate in their core classes using the Essential Elements Curriculum, modified as necessary for individual student needs and per their IEP. Program components include: functional English, functional math, vocational skills, life skills, community-based activities and Adaptive Physical Education. Students participate with general education peers in Skytime, and other electives. Each program has a special education teacher and at least two teacher assistants. The following programs are available at Skyline:
Academic Support Class:
Academic Support is a one-term course where the student earns 0.5 elective credit. Each term of the school year a varied and differentiated curriculum is offered, so students can take the course all year if appropriate without repeating content. The Academic Support class is designed to provide assistance for students in their classes, as well as to develop the skills necessary for post-secondary vision, study skills for academic success, self-advocacy skills.
Algebra I Class:
This three-term course is a comprehensive first-year algebra course that follows the state’s high school content expectations, known as the HSCE’s. The course has a strong focus on the power standards in Algebra. Placement in this course is determined upon specific criteria. Class size is limited to 10 students. Students earn 1 credit, upon successful completion of this course, students typically elect Geometry 1/3, 2/3, 3/3.
Algebra II Class:
This three-term course is an advanced algebra course which that follows the state’s high school content expectations, known as the HSCE’s. The course has a strong focus on the power standards in Algebra. Placement in this course is determined upon specific criteria. Class size is limited to 10 students. Students earn 1.5 credits, upon successful completion of this course, students typically elect Analytical Thinking with Math.
Peer Connections Class:
This class provides a mechanism for training peer mentors to assist students with social skill development within the context of the classroom. General education peers take the Peer Connections class for academic credit. Each student in the class is assigned a peer for the trimester who they will mentor within academic and social contexts. Through the curriculum of the course, students will gain knowledge of the various support systems available at school for students with disabilities, learn how to use different communication styles to assist in problem-solving, develop critical thinking, writing, and collaborative problem-solving skills. Additionally, students will act as peer advocates and mentors as they work collaboratively with students with disabilities, under the supervision of Skyline Support Staff members and general education personnel.
The Skyline special education team is dedicated to designing genuine and individualized transition plans. Each student will revisit their goals and aspirations annually, and take part in activities and learning experiences geared toward their interests. Our focus is on assisting students in developing strong self-advocacy skills, good "soft" skills, and a variety of experiences in the community, in order to ensure our students are prepared and ready to make the transition to post-secondary life.
Evaluations are completed following the Student Achievement Team process to determine if students require support services to allow them to succeed academically. Additionally, re-evaluations are completed at least every three years as mandated by law. The evaluation team determines and administers the necessary and required assessment in accordance with best professional practices and federal and state law. The Evaluation Team includes the school psychologist, teacher consultant, school social worker, speech & language pathologist, occupational therapist and a general education teacher. Additionally, the school nurse , occupational therapist and physical therapist may be included as needed. Members involved in an evaluation vary depending on the needs of the student. Following an evaluation, a Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) Report is written and reviewed with the student and parents.
Intervention needs are determined based on the evaluation process and are outlined in an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP). Interventions are intended to build upon a student’s skills to allow them to access the general education curriculum and maximize their potential for success. The following service providers may be included to support student growth: speech and language pathologist, school social worker, psychologist, teacher consultant/resource teacher.
Support Services Roles and Responsibilities- Skyline High School
Special Education Content Lead/Teacher Consultant
Content Lead provides consultative services to students and staff, co-teach in core content areas, manage a caseload of students including documentation and meetings and monitor student progress, collaborate with counselors on student schedule, and coordinate transition planning for students on their caseload.
Additionally, the content lead participates on the Evaluation and Achievement Teams, functions as liaison to middle schools during Change of Level process, attending COL IEPs, serves as the Testing Accommodations Coordinator for PSAT and SAT, acts as resource to staff, manages teacher assistants, works with administration for staff scheduling and facilitates department meetings.
School psychologists are uniquely qualified members of school teams that support students' ability to learn and teachers' ability to teach. They apply expertise in mental health, learning, and behavior, to help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. Additionally the psychologist is responsible for leading all student evaluations, facilitating the Evaluation Team and participating on the Achievement Team and Building & District Crisis Teams.
Speech Language Pathologist
The Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) provides services to students to optimize their use of spoken and written language within academic and social contexts. Intervention goals may include developing grammatical structures, building vocabulary, using language meaningfully, language comprehension and building social language skills. Although not as common in high school, SLP’s also work with students on improving their speech relative to intelligibility and fluency. Intervention may be provided by pushing into a classroom, pulling a student out of class or through consultation with a student or staff. The SLP also participates in the Evaluation Team and Achievement Team as needed.
School Social Worker
The Social Worker provides intervention to assist students in managing emotional, social and behavioral difficulties and developing strategies to build independence. Additionally, the social worker generates behavior intervention plans, consults with teachers and staff to develop strategies, measures and documents progress, ensures the safety and success of students within the school setting and provides resources to students and families to find support outside of the school setting. The social worker also participates in the Evaluation Team, Achievement Team and Building & District Crisis Teams.
The Occupational Therapist provides support to students with fine motor difficulties, including writing/typing and sensory processing difficulties. In high school most typically, services are consultative and include developing strategies with students to successfully meet the demands of the academic environment. OT’s also provide information on specialized tools and resources and work with students to develop sensory activities. The OT participates in the Evaluation Team as needed.
The Physical Therapist provides supports to students with gross motor difficulties, including mobility and access across the school environments. In high school most typically, services are consultative and include developing strategies with students to successfully meet the demands of the academic environment. PT’s also provide information on specialized tools and resources and work with students to them navigate the environment. The PT participates in the Evaluation Team as needed.
Teacher Consultant/Resource Teacher
Both Teacher Consultants and Resource Teachers provide consultative services to students and staff, co-teach in core content areas, manage a caseload of students including documentation and meetings and monitor student progress, collaborate with counselors on student schedule, and coordinate transition planning for students on their caseload. Additionally, Teacher Consultants participate in Evaluation Team and complete appropriate academic achievement assessment while Resource Teachers teach Academic Support classes.
Self-Contained Teachers (MICI, CI, ASD and DHH)
Self-Contained Teachers are special education teachers with an endorsement in their program area. They provide instruction in core classes using the Essential Elements Curriculum, modified as necessary for individual student needs and per student IEP’s. Program components include: functional English, functional math, vocational skills, life skills, community-based activities and Adaptive Physical Education. Self Contained teachers also manage a caseload of students including documentation and meetings, modify curriculum for elective classes per individual student needs, monitor student progress, provide consultative services to students and staff, collaborate with counselors on schedule students, and coordinate transition planning for students on caseload.
Teacher Assistants provide support to students in core academic classes by utilizing IEP accommodations, implement behavior plans developed by the case manager/team and facilitate testing accommodations rooms. They also support teachers with class activities, engaging students, assisting students with independent projects/assignments, implementing school/classroom policies and procedures, implementing strategies that support inclusive environments, preparing learning materials, and modifying instructional strategies. Teacher Assistants are assigned to support students in various roles.