What is our current special education enrollment? As of September 2019, the special education enrollment was 435. This number includes students who are placed in out-of-district programs, but does not include students who receive speech services only.
How many out-of-district placements does Summit have? Summit has 21 special education students in the current 2019-2020 budget, whose special needs require their placement at schools outside the district. Total out-of-district tuition costs are approximately $2.8M.
What is the average cost of an out-of-district placement, not including transportation? The average cost of an out-of-district placement is $77,000 per year.
What does “inclusion” mean as it relates to special education? Under state law, school districts are required to provide education to each student in the “least restrictive environment." This has been determined to require that special education students, to the degree possible, be educated or “included” in the same classroom setting as regular education students.
Special Education in Summit...
A full continuum of special education programs is available to students three to 21 years of age who have been evaluated by the child study team and found eligible for special education and related services. When a student is determined eligible, an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is developed. The IEP describes, in detail, the student’s special education program and is implemented after parents have given written consent.
The goal of special education is to provide students who have been evaluated by the Child Study Team and found eligible for special education and related services with the opportunity for academic as well as personal growth and development. Each student is encouraged to seek the highest level of excellence in the least restrictive environment.
When a student is determined eligible for special education and related services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed by the IEP team. The IEP team, including the teachers, parents, case manager, and the student, when appropriate, determines the program that meets the student’s learning needs.
The IEP describes, in detail, the student’s special education program and is implemented after the parents have given written consent.
To the extent possible, classified students are scheduled in general education classes in all areas of the curriculum. Some students may be scheduled part of the day in classes taught or supported by special education teachers, while others receive all instruction in the general education setting with the appropriate supplementary aids and services.
Resource center instruction offers individual or small group instruction that replaces or supplements instruction in the regular class. This program can be provided in the student’s regular education class or in a designated resource center. Some students receive their special education programs through resource center intervention. However, other placement options, including self-contained classes, are available when determined appropriate.
Currently, there are thirteen self-contained classes in the district, Language Learning Disabilities (LLD) or Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) based. These programs have allowed many Summit students the opportunity to be educated in the least restrictive environment.
In addition to teachers and instructional assistants, speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and behavior analysts provide related services and/or consultation in accordance with the IEPs of classified students.
Summit High School’s Play Unified basketball season opened in January 2019 and the community has wholeheartedly embraced its mission. Sponsored by Special Olympics of New Jersey, Unified Sports provide valuable opportunities for students with and without disabilities to train and compete on the same team. The Unified team promotes teamwork, sportsmanship, school spirit, friendship, respect, and empathy in an inclusive environment which has spread well beyond the basketball court. Pizza lunches organized by coaches and team dinners hosted by parents have provided invaluable opportunities off the court for friendships to flourish and for everyone to feel as if they are part of something great. Unified Soccer will have its first season in the fall of 2019.