Special Education Programs

“Generic Special Education”

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


Consultation is defined as a special education teacher or related service provider providing a consultation service to a general education teacher who has the primary responsibility for instruction. No direct services are provided to the student. The special education teacher or related service provider provides this service to staff who work with the student and discuss strategies that support the student’s continued progress.


Co‚ÄźTeaching is defined as two certified teachers with joint and equal responsibility for classroom instruction who are physically present in a heterogeneous, general education classroom. The special education and/or general education teacher provides specially designed instruction to students with IEPs, which includes: assessing student performance and responsiveness to instruction, teaching skills in the context of a class lesson, identifying strategies that are effective, and gathering information for progress monitoring. Co-Teachers are equally accountable for the learning of all students in the class and for selecting or designing the co-teaching structures that best fit the student group and topic of lessons. The frequency of in-class support is based on the IEP team’s consideration of the complexity of student instructional needs; the services may be delivered on a flexible schedule to allow for collaboration and consultation with the general education teacher.

Self-Contained or “Pull Out”

A special educator provides students individual or small group instruction in a setting outside of the general education class, with no access to nondisabled peers. This setting is for students whose goals and objectives cannot be addressed in the general education setting and typically require more direct, intense and explicit instruction and remediation. The general education “core” curriculum may be addressed in these classes as well as instruction for individual IEP goals and objectives. Service for a student may range from a small amount of time to the majority of the student’s day. Secondary schools typically use the term “self-contained” and Elementary schools typically use the term “pull out.”

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)

Elementary and Middle School SLE

The Structured Learning Environment (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. 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.

High School SLE

The Structured Learning Environment (SLE) program at the high school level has been restructured to provide differentiated learning supports for students who have significant and pervasive difficulties with executive functioning, social communication, and social interaction skills. To help these students acquire skills necessary to become college or career ready upon graduation, their instructional program will be differentiated to embed the teaching of independent living, social-emotional, and vocational skills throughout the instructional day. Instruction for all graduation required courses will be provided primarily from dedicated content teachers with individualized and differentiated support from the SLE teacher and/or instructional assistant. Specific instruction in the areas of social skills, independent living, and vocational skills will be provided through dedicated courses taught by the SLE staff. IEP teams will proactively consider the years needed for each student’s graduation plan (most likely extending to 5 or 6 years) based on the student’s individual needs. The amount of time needed for the graduation plan must be individualized to include considerations of the time needed to provide the student with the necessary specific and differentiated instruction in the above mentioned areas, in addition to what is needed to meet graduation requirements. The SLE teacher will provide intensive case management which will include ongoing consultation and planning with the student, the student’s teachers and related service providers, and parents to ensure continuous and effective instructional programming throughout the student’s time in high school. There are currently programs at two high schools.

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 two Special Kindergarten classes in CCPS.

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

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