Options for Students with Disabilities

Options for Students with Disabilities

SWD overlay 012213One in five BPS students has a disability and requires services and settings that are tailored to meet their specific needs. Those services and settings are not offered in every school. For all three models (10 Zone, Home-Based: A & Home-Based: B), BPS proposes this “Students With Disabilities (SWD) Overlay.” It would ensure that these students always have access to an appropriate program as close to home as possible. The overlay boundaries are based on where students live, allowing BPS to put specific programs where students need them.

The SWD Overlay creates geographic clusters across the city. At least one school in the cluster the family lives in would have an appropriate program ready to meet that student’s specific needs. For students with disabilities, placement in a school is determined by their IEP team based on the students’ individual needs and the availability of an appropriate seat. To the extent possible, students/families would be able to indicate their preferred choice of school through the regular student assignment process, though the ultimate placement decision is made by the IEP team. Students with low level of need (e.g., needing only speech services, or currently known as “resource”) can have their needs met in any district school, and therefore can choose from the same set of schools as general education students.

The overlay will help provide families with a nearby school that has the right teachers and tools to help their child succeed.

Students with a common (high-incidence) disability and a moderate or high level of need have access to any program within their cluster.

Each cluster will offer at least one inclusive and one substantially-separate option for students with commonly-occurring disabilities and moderate or high levels of need. These disabilities include autism, emotional impairment, mild/moderate intellectual impairment and specific learning disabilities. Inclusive options are being expanded, prioritizing Learning Disabilities and intellectual impairment by Fall 2014, others by 2017.

Programs serving less-common disabilities will remain citywide.

For additional information on options for students with disabilities, read here.

The ELL and SWD boundaries are the same (except in the southwest portion of the city) to minimize complexity for families and better serve any English Language Learners who have disabilities.