Special Education Programs

“Regular Special Education”

These services are provided in settings other than a regional program setting. There is a range of regular special education services offered at each building to meet students’ individual educational needs. These services include the following:

Monitoring or Consultation

No direct services are provided to the student. A review of the student’s performance in general education classes is done by special educators and/or related service personnel usually on a quarterly basis. The provider of the consultative service also consults with the IEP team and general education staff who work with the student to discuss strategies that support the student’s continued progress.

Instructional Support

A student(s) goals and objectives and/or accommodations may require direct monitoring by an adult in a general education classroom, but not specialized instruction. In this case, an instructional assistant can provide that support, redirection, and data collection.

Co-Taught Classrooms

A student(s) IEP goals and objectives and accommodations may require specialized instruction in a co-taught setting. In this setting, there are two certificated teachers assigned to the entire class:  a special educator, often considered more of a "strategy specialist", and a general educator, often considered more of a "content specialist". The key to this successful collaboration is two teachers who are co-responsible for the instruction, grades, discipline, planning, and success of all learners in the class.

Resource or “Pull-Out”

A special educator provides students individual or small group instruction and services in a setting outside of the general education classroom. Often referred to as "pull out”, these services can address a given subject or skill area(s), and can last a half-hour to several hours of the school day. Secondary schools sometimes refer to these services as “resource hours”. Resource hours are designed to provide students with short periods of support to address goals that are organizational/executive functioning in nature or to address minimal academic skill deficits.


Secondary schools usually use this term to refer to the setting in which students receive all their instruction for a certain subject area. This setting is for students whose goals and objectives require more direct, intense and explicit instruction and remediation. The general education "core" curriculum is usually addressed in these classes as well as instruction for individual IEP goals and objectives.

Elementary schools usually refer to this setting as “pull-out”. Service for a student may range from a small amount of time to the majority of the student’s day. In Elementary, the “self-contained” term is often reserved for classes in which the student receives his/her instruction with a single teacher, and often the same students, for the majority of the day.

Regional Programs

Regional programs are specialized programs that are located in various parts of the county, rather than at every school location. These programs are designed to address the needs of low incidence populations of students who share similar learning, language, social, and behavioral characteristics. They are staffed with higher adult-to-student ratios. Regional programs include the following:

Behavior Development Program (BDP)

The BDP is designed to provide support to students with behavior and/or social/emotional deficits that negatively impact their academic performance and overall ability to function in the general education classroom or school setting. IEP goals and objectives generally address social, emotional, safety, and/or academic skills. Students may be provided regular access to individual and/or group counseling by a school psychologist and a data-driven behavior intervention plan. The ultimate goal of the program is to provide an environment in which students can develop the social/emotional/behavioral skills necessary to succeed in the educational mainstream and society in general.

Functional Skills Program

The focus of this program is to develop skills for independent functioning in family, community and vocational environments for students from kindergarten to 21 years of age. Adaptive skills related to personal management, communication, decision-making, interpersonal skills, career/vocational, community, and functional academics are developed according to the individual’s IEP goals and objectives. Students earn a Maryland State Certificate of Completion when they exit the program between ages 18 and 21.

Intensive Structured Learning Environment -1 (ISLE- 1)

This program is a multi-grade, self-contained environment designed primarily for students who have been diagnosed with autism or autistic-like characteristics and whose IEPs require a highly structured program emphasizing routine, clarity and consistency. Its programming incorporates eclectic approaches and methodology as well as visual supports, language development and social skills, and moves the student to increased independence. There are currently programs at all levels, including pre-kindergarten.

Learning for Independence Program (LFI)

The goal of LFI is to offer students between the ages of 18-21 special education services within an educational environment that focus on their educational, vocational and emotional/social growth. Students spend part of their day in the classroom for direct instruction on functional academics. The other part of the day is spent in job placements based on students’ interests and abilities. The goal of the program is to have students leave at age 21 with the skills to make a successful and seamless transition to meet their identified post-secondary outcomes. The LFI program is currently located at the Career and Technology Academy.

Structured Learning Environment (SLE)

The SLE is a multi-grade, self-contained classroom setting designed for students who have demonstrated significant and pervasive difficulties in language, executive functioning and social skills. These students have typically not responded to less frequent or less intensive intervention supports provided in less restrictive settings. In the SLE setting, students are provided integrated instruction with a strong emphasis on language, including the social use of language, including the social use of language (pragmatics). In addition to the general academic curriculum instruction, the SLE program strives to provide a consistent and predictable environment for students throughout the school day by implementing individualized scheduling and work tasks, visual supports for instruction, strategies for organization and clarity, and both direct and embedded instruction in the area of social skills. There are currently programs at the elementary and middle school levels.

Birth to Kindergarten Programs

Inclusive Special Pre-K

All Inclusive Special Pre-Ks are half-day programs. The morning class is designed for 3-year-olds with Extended IFSPs or IEPs; children attend 2 to 4 days a week depending on their IEP/IFSP. In addition to providing exposure to the CCPS Pre-K themes, instruction is provided for individual goals and objectives. Oral language, motor, social skills and pre-readiness skills are emphasized. Teachers offer parent training, home visit, and parent conference opportunities on Friday mornings. These classes include several typical peers. Transportation is provided for three-year old children with IFSPs and IEPs. There are currently seven morning programs in the county, including one special Pre-K at Calvert Country School.

The afternoon class is designed for 4-year-olds with IEPs, with a few openings for typical peers in each class. Children attend 5 days a week. Instruction is provided using the Pre-K curriculum and individual IEP goals and objectives are addressed. Oral language, motor, social skills and pre-readiness skills are emphasized. Transportation is provided to children with IEPs and transportation home is available to typical peers. There are currently seven afternoon programs in the county, including one inclusive Special Pre-K at Calvert Country School.

Special Kindergarten

Students in Special K programs usually require fewer transitions, more visual/verbal supports, and intensive, explicit instruction in multiple ways to gain mastery of language and basic Kindergarten concepts. The program is structured to allow for developmentally appropriate centers, and instruction on individual needs and the Kindergarten standards. There are currently four Special K classes in CCPS, including one at Calvert Country School.

Calvert County Public Schools is required to provide a written copy of this information, upon request [Education Article § 8-418]

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