Each of the elementary, middle and high schools in Talbot County provides special education and related services for students who are identified as eligible for service. The system provides a continuum of services ranging from consultation to general education personnel through placements in nonpublic schools.
Continuum of Services
The Talbot County Public School System, Department of Special Education, advocates for a continuum of special education services and placement considerations for all students with disabilities. Services and placements range from indirect services through residential services. All decisions regarding the placement of a child with a disability in a special education service delivery model will be made by an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team in consultation with the parents or guardians of the child and consistent with the Least Restrictive Environment requirements of the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Consultation or indirect service can accomplish the following:
- Provide the general educator with guidance from the special education teacher on appropriate strategies for instruction, behavior management, data collection, observation, and feedback in the general education setting.
- Facilitate service delivery through ongoing communication between general and special educators and related service providers.
- Assistance in completing functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and developing a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) to address areas of concern.
Some students may need more supports and services in order to access the general curriculum but are still able to learn in the general education setting. The direct service delivery model within the general education classroom can provide the following:
- Direct special education instruction within the least restrictive environment of the general education classroom through team teaching, co-teaching, and collaborative instructional models.
- Direct support for individual students by the special education teacher or instructional assistant by making adaptations or modifications to the general education curriculum and assessments.
- Individualized or small group instruction to meet the academic and behavior needs of the student, either within the general education classroom or with pull-aside resource services for specific skill developmental.
Description of Specific Programming in the County
Upon request, parents or guardians shall be provided a written copy of the information regarding the TCPS continuum of services and IEP decision making process described above.
Additional information regarding the continuum of services may be obtained from Special Education Department at the Talbot County Education Center (410-822-0330).
If the student's academic or emotional needs have a significant impact on his or her ability to learn in the general education environment, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team may determine that the student requires a more restrictive learning environment. Direct service outside the general classroom in the student's home school can provide the student with the following:
- Direct intensive or multi-sensory instruction utilizing specialized strategies and techniques in a small group, self-contained environment with an alternative curriculum when necessary.
- More specific skill training in remediating academic skill deficits or in the social, emotional, and behavioral areas.
- Supports that address behavioral difficulties that interfere with the student's learning or the learning of other students.
If the student's home school does not have the particular programming to meet the student's needs, the IEP team may determine the student must go to one of the other schools in the county in order to meet the student's needs and IEP.
For those students whose educational needs require services beyond those of the county's regional programs, TCPS utilizes Maryland State Department of Education approved nonpublic schools. The nature and severity of the student's disability which significantly impact on education performance may necessitate more intensive resources and may require a more therapeutic segregated setting in order for a student to receive an appropriate educational program.
- Currently TCPS serves all three and four year olds who are not yet old enough to enroll in the Pre-Kindergarten program, which is located at Easton Elementary School Dobson.
- There are classrooms for students which severe cognitive disabilities, autism and/or multiple disabilities in the following schools: Easton Elementary School, Easton Middle School, Easton High School, St Michaels Elementary School and St Michaels Middle High School.
- There are classrooms for students with social emotional disabilities in the following schools: Easton Middle School and Easton High School.