The Office of Pupil Personnel Services is responsible for providing special education, academic intervention services (AIS/RTI), and English as a New Language (ENL) instruction to students in the Florida Union Free School District.
Table of Contents
Special Education | Section 504 | Academic Intervention Services | Response to Intervention | Additional Services: School Psychologist | Speech Services | School Social Worker | Occupational/Speech Therapy | School Counseling Guidance Plan
Special Education means specially designed individualized or group instruction or special services or programs provided at no cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. Special education programs and services are designed to assure that children with disabilities receive appropriate and equal opportunities for educational growth.
The Pupil Personnel Services (PPS) department is responsible for the evaluation, placement and service provision of and for students with disabilities as defined by the Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations and IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). This act mandates a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. Special Education services are available through the Committee on Preschool Special Education for preschool-age students (ages 3-5) and the Committee on Special Education for school-age students (ages 5-21) as prescribed under the Commissioner’s Regulations Section 200.6.
The function of these committees is to determine if handicapping conditions exist, and to make recommendations to the Florida Union Free School District Board of Education regarding special education placement and/or related services. All information is kept confidential and is accessible only with parental permission.
Section 504 is a civil rights statute that requires schools, public or private, who receive federal financial assistance for educational purposes, not discriminate against children with disabilities. Schools must provide these students with reasonable accommodations comparable to those provided to their peers under the rulings of Section 504. Students with a disability that substantially limits a major life function may be eligible for accommodations under a Section 504 plan.
Academic Intervention Services (AIS) in the Florida UFSD includes differentiated, supplemental instruction to assist students in meeting the New York State Learning standards in English Language Arts (grades 3-12), Mathematics (grades 3-12), Social Studies (grades 9-12) and/ or Science (grades 4-12), or who are at risk of not gaining the knowledge and skills needed to meet or exceed designated performance levels on NYS assessments. AIS services are provided by certified teachers within the core program and during the school day and/or in supplemental programs that may occur after the school day – with transportation provided. Read the District’s AIS Plan.
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a three-tiered problem-solving model characterized by high-quality, research-based instruction and interventions that are matched to students’ learning and behavioral needs. In other words, when a student experiences difficulty in the classroom, the teacher targets and addresses areas of the weakness with sound teaching practices, followed by the frequent monitoring of progress frequently and adjustments to instruction as needed. Read the District’s RTI Plan.
School Psychologists play a major role in prevention, intervention and remediation of school problems. They help identify and evaluate children with emotional, social, behavioral and learning disorders; provide short-term or group counseling, and serve as a resource to staff and parents in working with children with special needs.
Speech therapists help students with speech and language disorders, including articulation. Therapists serve students classified by the CSE and other who have a need for this support.
A school social worker is responsible for supporting students and advocating for their emotional, mental and physical well-being. Their duties include counseling students, connecting at-risk youth with helpful resources and conducting home visits to provide additional support.
Occupational and Physical Therapists support students’ ability to participate fully in their educational setting. They help develop fine motor, gross motor and sensory skills in order for students to be able to participate and learn to their greatest potential.
For a print copy of the School Counseling Guidance Plan, please contact the district office at (845) 651-3095.