The Elementary and Secondary Departments of Special Education are
committed to assuring that all students K-12 with special needs meet
academic and social success within the least restrictive
focus is on equipping school staff with the skills, materials and
tools to teach all students the standards of the state
curriculum with appropriate modifications and accommodations and to
ensure that all students reach their greatest potential
academically, socially and vocationally.
Train and provide support to teachers in the use of
research-based interventions and strategies that support
implementation of differentiated instruction to meet the needs
of all students.
Provide a continuum of special education services to the
greatest extent possible in schools in order to support home
Provide continuous targeted professional development to increase
Team Teaching and utilization of social skills strategies to
foster student engagement and greater access to the Least
Equip schools with the Materials of Instruction and
instructional technology tools to meet individual student needs
and to engage small and large groups of students in instruction.
Focus on transition planning for students age 14 and up to place emphasis on student driven goals and the pathways needed to
accomplish these goals.
Referral and Eligibility
If a student is suspected of having a disability he/she will be
referred to the school IEP team and the Special Education process
will begin. This process will determine if a student meets the
eligibility criteria for one of 14 Federal disabilities and if
special education and related services is needed. Refer to Special
Education Overview/Process on the website.
Services for Students K-12
Special Education and related services are provided to ensure that
students with disabilities ages 5-21 achieve academic success to the
maximum extent possible with non-disabled peers in the general
education classroom. A continuum of services is provided in
comprehensive schools, specialty sites regional programs and
developmental centers which allow students to receive identified
services within their home school or in a school as close to their
home community as possible.
Resource Support Staff
Elementary Special Education Instructional Coaches
are assigned to specific elementary schools as part of a collaborative Curriculum & Instruction network team.
They work very closely with special educators and instructional staff to provide guidance in delivering quality services for students. The SBRT works with schools and families to resolve differences, train instructional staff in specific strategies and initiatives, advise administration regarding services and compliance, act as a liaison between the schools and central office staff, and act as a general special education consultant to schools.
Secondary School Based Resource Teachers (SBRT)
aare assigned as generalists to a specific feeder system to support the delivery of special education services at the school level. They work very closely with special educators and instructional staff to provide guidance in delivering quality services for students. The SBRT works with schools and families to resolve differences, train instructional staff in specific strategies and initiatives, advise administration regarding services and compliance, act as a liaison between the schools and central office staff, and act as a general special education consultant to schools.
New Teacher Induction Program
supports the needs of elementary and secondary special education
teachers new to the field of special education. While they benefit
from mentors that are assigned directly to their schools, new
special educators require the specific support and input from a
mentor who is an expert in the specialized instructional and
compliance skills needed to be a master special educator. The
Induction Facilitator coordinates training sessions for new teachers
that provide learning opportunities in topics like IEP writing,
specialized instruction strategies, data collection and
documentation, delivery of specialized assessments, classroom
management and differentiated instruction.
Least Restrictive Environment
work with schools to assure that students with special needs are
receiving their instruction within the general education classroom
to the greatest extent possible. The specialists assist teachers
and instructional assistants in accessing training that is needed to
best support their students. Remaining informed about best
practices, research based interventions and instructional strategies
are an important facet of the LRE Specialistís responsibilities. If
the studentís home school cannot successfully serve a student, the
LRE Specialist works with families to assure that appropriate
placements are determined to meet student needs. The LRE specialists
also coordinate the implementation, training and use of
instructional technology tools as well as assisting in monitoring
the implementation of multiple grants.
Behavior Specialists support school staff in
serving students with emotional disabilities and related issues. The
specialists and their technicians work diligently with schools to
provide strategies and techniques to successfully educate
challenging students in their home school.
In addition, they work closely with the instructional staff
in the self-contained ED regional classrooms and specialized
programs to assure that best practices, instructional technology and
exposure to the voluntary state curriculum are in place. They strive
to make certain that all students benefit from their education
regardless of their emotional challenges.
Low Incidence Specialists
provide support to schools who work with students with Autism,
Intellectual Disability and Multiple Disabilities. A technician provides
follow up support and direct assistance to school teams and
students. The Low Incidence Specialist and technician work
diligently with schools to provide successful strategies and
techniques in order to educate students with low incidence
disabilities in their home school. In addition, they work closely
with the instructional staff in the self-contained Autism and
Multiple Intensive Needs Classes (MINC) classrooms to assure that
best practices, instructional technology and exposure to the
voluntary state curriculum are in place. They strive to make
certain that all students benefit from their education regardless of
their academic or behavioral challenges.
provide support to
all schools. They work closely with the Reading and English
Departments. At the elementary level, the Literary Specialist along
with her technicians assist school teams to determine appropriate
reading interventions for students who have not made progress in the
core reading program. Direct support and training is provided to
school teams. In addition, assistance is provided to specialty
sites for students who require alternative reading programs. In the
secondary schools the literary specialist assists schools in
determining and putting specialized reading interventions in place
for those students with disabilities who have not made adequate
progress with less intense reading interventions.
A Social Skills Specialist for High
Functioning Autism (HFA)
provides support and direct service to school teams K-12 as they
work with students with autism who require social skills support and
strategies. Building Bridges, a social skills guide developed
through AACPS is a tool that is frequently used with students. In
addition, the Social Skills Specialist provides assistance to school
teams who need parent or student community resources.
A Transition Specialist assists middle and
high schools in developing meaningful and student driven transition
plans for students age 14 and up. Transition services for students
moving into the 8th grade are critical to transition to
adult life. This specialist works very closely with 5 transition
facilitators and their job coaches as well as technicians in
preparing and supporting enclave training and supported employment
within the community. The Transition Specialist also supports the
Anne Arundel Community College program which serves students with
significant disabilities on the college campus.
An Alt-MSA Specialist supports the efforts of the elementary and secondary special education
teachers in designing and implementing the Alternative Maryland Assessment (Alt-MSA) for students who are identified to take this form of assessment. The Alt-MSA specialist works with
special educators in grades K-12, as student need indicates, and in the three developmental centers to assure that studentsí skills are appropriately assessed and accurately reported to the Maryland State Department of Education.