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High School

Overview: Summit High School Special Education

The special education department at SHS strives to provide the highest quality of education in the least restrictive environment for students that require special education and related services. The staff is dedicated to meeting each student’s social, emotional and educational needs as well as providing support and developing effective, ongoing communication between the school and family.

A full array of programs is available to students who have been evaluated by the Child Study Team and based on a series of assessments, eligibility criteria and educational needs, qualify for special education and related services. Once it is determined a student is eligible, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed detailing a unique program. The IEP is implemented upon written consent from the parent/guardian. A special education teacher is appointed as “contact teacher” who serves as the primary point person to establish and maintain effective communication between the student, family and school. Conferences are held regularly with students to monitor progress and identify obstacles. The contact teacher confers with teachers in all subject areas, child study team members, guidance counselors and administrators on a regular basis to support student achievement.

High school academic programs include general education classes with supports & services, replacement classes, and self-contained programs.

Replacement classes are taught by a special education teacher using curriculum content from the general education classroom. Instruction is provided in a small group environment while implementing techniques, strategies and modifications suited for individual student needs.

In-class support is a program that allows a student with special needs to learn in a general education classroom with the support of a special education teacher who works collaboratively with the content area teacher to develop strategies for effective delivery of curriculum for classified students.

There are two different self-contained offerings that offer a multi-faceted educational experience. One specialized class is designed based on ABA principles to best serve the needs of our students with autism. The other program addresses the individual needs of our Learning Language Disabled (LLD) students.

Courses of Study

Reading Strategies

This course is designed to improve the students’ reading skills. It is geared toward students who posses the word attack (decoding) skills to read, but have difficulty comprehending expository and informational text. A variety of reading materials, individualized at each students’ reading level, will be provided.

English 1, 2,3,4

This course is designed to strengthen comprehension skills, writing skills, and verbal output. Novels are selected from an age-appropriate list created by the English Department. Curriculum materials are supplemented with novels and resources commensurate with the students’ abilities, interests, IEP goals and objectives. The classes are structured to provide small group and individual instruction.

Math 1, 2

This course is designed to help students in grades 9 and 10 develop and strengthen basic mathematical skills, problem solving techniques, and the application of such skills. These classes are structured to provide small group and individual instruction. A variety of materials, including computers, are used to teach and reinforce the mathematical concepts presented in class.

Math 3, 4

This course is designed to help students in grades 11 and 12 develop and strengthen basic and consumer mathematical skills, problem solving techniques and the application of such skills. The classes are structured to provide small group instruction. A variety of materials, including computers, are used to teach and reinforce the mathematical concepts presented in class.

Conceptual Algebra

This course has been designed to make mathematics accessible and inviting to a wide range of students studying algebra. The goals of the course are: to involve students in exploring and discovering math concepts; to connect algebra to the real world and to other subjects and math topics; to build understanding of the concepts that provide a strong foundation for future courses and careers. Student progress will be assessed in a variety of formats, including cooperative learning activities, open-ended summative assessments, and journal writing.

World History

This one-year survey of world history traces the development and contributions of civilizations of different parts of the world. Primary emphasis is placed on cultures in Europe, the Near East, Africa and the Americas and the units taught mirror the curriculum taught in other World History courses. The classes are structured to provide small group and individual instruction, as well as project-based learning.

United States History I and II

This course covers our nation’s history. US History I covers units from discovery of the Americas through the conclusion of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Special emphasis is placed on geography, map reading, and comprehension of informational and primary source text.

US History II continues the survey of US History, beginning with the Progressive Era and concluding with an analysis of post-Watergate America. Current affairs are analyzed in relationship to these units of study.

Both classes are structured to provide small group and individual instruction.

Concepts in Biology

This course is designed for the student who wishes to learn and understand the different branches of science and to see how they are brought together. The goal of this class is to help students gain an appreciation for the role all sciences have in their lives and how they work together, with an emphasis on the units taught as part of the Biology curriculum. Students are assessed through homework and classwork performance, as well as laboratory reports, quizzes, tests and projects. Through teacher modeling and guided practice, students will develop skills to follow and implement the scientific method.

Study Skills

This is a five credit, pass/fail course that is offered to help teach organizational skills, additional learning strategies, and study habits to facilitate academic success. This class is taught by a special education teacher.

Transition Program

Summit High School Program


Overview

The special education department at SHS strives to provide the highest quality of education in the least restrictive environment for students that require special education and related services. The staff is dedicated to meeting each student’s social, emotional and educational needs as well as providing support and developing effective, ongoing communication between the school and family.

A full array of programs is available to students who have been evaluated by the Child Study Team and based on a series of assessments, eligibility criteria and educational needs, qualify for special education and related services. Once it is determined a student is eligible, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed detailing a unique program. The IEP is implemented upon written consent from the parent/guardian. A special education teacher is appointed as “contact teacher” who serves as the primary point person to establish and maintain effective communication between the student, family and school. Conferences are held regularly with students to monitor progress and identify obstacles. The contact teacher confers with teachers in all subject areas, child study team members, guidance counselors and administrators on a regular basis to support student achievement.

High school academic programs include general education classes with supports & services, replacement classes, and self-contained programs.

Replacement classes are taught by a special education teacher using curriculum content from the general education classroom. Instruction is provided in a small group environment while implementing techniques, strategies and modifications suited for individual student needs.

In-class support is a program that allows a student with special needs to learn in a general education classroom with the support of a special education teacher who works collaboratively with the content area teacher to develop strategies for effective delivery of curriculum for classified students.

There are two different self-contained offerings that offer a multi-faceted educational experience. One specialized class is designed based on ABA principles to best serve the needs of our students with autism. The other program addresses the individual needs of our Learning Language Disabled (LLD) students.


Related Services


Related services, such as speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling are provided to students who require them to position them to fully benefit from their educational program.

Child Study Team


The child study team plays a major role in overseeing the implementation of the IEP. Child study team members are comprised of a school psychologist, school social worker and learning disabilities teacher-consultant. One of these professionals serves as the case manager for each student with an IEP.

Pat Walsh, Transition Coordinator

Goal of the Program:

The ultimate goal of the program is to assist all classified students 14 years of age and older in the development of skills they will need to meet the world after school. To accomplish this, students participate in transitions classes in their freshman through senior years.

Skills that are Addressed:

  • Understanding the nature of their disability
  • Understanding the classification and IEP process
  • Understanding and identifying the information that is included in their IEP and encouraging students to take a more active role in their Annual Reviews and Reevaluations
  • Awareness of their rights/responsibilities according to state/federal law
  • Self-advocacy Skills
  • Determining and accepting their individual learning styles, strengths, weaknesses, interests, preferences and abilities
  • Enhancing self-esteem
  • Developing better social and communication skills
  • Career awareness
  • Exploring various post secondary options that are available

How the Program is Implemented

The transition coordinator meets with students either on an individual or small group basis to review the above indicated skills. Activities serve to further enhance students’ exposure to the options that are available to them upon graduating from high school.

Community-Based Instruction

Activities/Events

Classroom activities

Field trip experiences

Guest Speakers

Student Advocacy Speakers Bureau

Parent/Student conferences

Presentations on topics related to Transition

Structured Learning Experiences (SLEs)

Transition Coordinator’s Other Responsibilities

  • Involvement with outside agencies such as the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Involvement with classified students that are placed out of district
  • Establishing relationships with businesses, professionals, and related groups for transition purposes
  • Attendance at a variety of conferences, workshops, and meeting of organization as they relate to transition

Partnership: SHS and Union County Educational Services Commission

SHS partners with UCESC to provide job coaching training and employability skills acquisition through carefully selected job sites. Each student benefits from training by an individual job coach who shadows them on location(s) that include Barnes and Noble, Summit Medical Group and Sports Authority.

Related Services

Related services, such as speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling are provided to students who require them to position them to fully benefit from their educational program.

Child Study Team

The child study team plays a major role in overseeing the implementation of the IEP. Child study team members are comprised of a school psychologist, school social worker and learning disabilities teacher-consultant. One of these professionals serves as the case manager for each student with an IEP.

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