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Amanecer Preschool | Resource | COPE/ESAP/iBIP | GPS PDA | SCILLS | MD SCILLS | SPICE | Transition Programs
 
Gilbert Public Schools Special Education Mission and Vision
The Gilbert Public Schools Special Education Department Mission mirrors the district mission: Ensure exemplary special education programs and services that inspire excellence and success within every learner. In GPS, we pride ourselves in providing superior special education supports and services. Our vision for the Gilbert Special Education Department is to meet the academic, physical, social, and emotional needs of all our students in special education. Our primary goal is to accelerate student learning, closing the achievement gap between students in special education and their nondisabled peers and/or providing the services, tools, and supports necessary for them to be successful both in the school and community settings. Every student in special education in Gilbert Public Schools is educated to the maximum extent appropriate with nondisabled peers. Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from the general education environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability warrants such services outside of the general education classroom. These decisions are made on an individualized basis, with input from the entire team, including the parent. Parent participation and input is highly valued in Gilbert Public Schools, and is considered a crucial part of all special education decisions.

Amanecer Preschool
Coordinator: Julie Stockton
Amanecer is an integrated language-based preschool of 3 to 5 year olds (5 after September 1st) having special education needs. Sixty to seventy percent of each class are children that have been identified as having special education needs. The remaining thirty to forty percent of the children served have no handicapping condition and participate on a tuition basis.

Services for our special education children include: Speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and individual educational programming in the cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional areas, designed to meet individual needs. To be eligible as a special education student, the child must have comprehensive evaluations in suspected areas of delay by certified personnel and meet state eligibility guidelines. Our "special needs" children attend Monday through Thursday. Bus transportation is provided, and tuition is not required. Tuition students attend either three or five days per week. Amanecer preschool staff includes: Early childhood special education teachers, speech / language pathologists, paraprofessionals, occupational therapists, physical therapists, teachers of visually and/or hearing impaired students, and psychologists.

In some cases, a child eligible for special education services requires a program with fewer students, more staff, and a teaching style and approach more specific to their unique needs. Special preschool programs are available if that is determined educationally necessary by the student's Individual Education Plan team.

Children who turn 3 by June 1 of the year school starts, and are typical in their development, may enroll in the Amanecer Preschool on a tuition basis. Application may be picked up in Educational Services, Gilbert Public Schools District Offices, 140 South Gilbert Road, Gilbert, AZ.

Amanecer preschool strives to offer children an opportunity to develop in an environment planned with their physical, mental, social, and emotional needs in mind. The program provides experiences planned to meet the needs of all attending preschoolers. Children needing special services have an opportunity to interact with non-handicapped students, giving them a role model to follow. Planned creative experiences provide an environment which:
  1. Encourages self-esteem
  2. Develops creativity and an interest and joy in learning
  3. Increases receptive/expressive language skills
  4. Develops self-control and responsibility
  5. Develops fine and gross motor skills
  6. Introduces pre-academic skills
  7. Encourages appropriate interaction with other children and adults
  8. Teachers problem-solving and decision-making skills

Applications are available online or for further information, please call the preschool office at 480-497-3461.

Resource 
Coordinator:  Kshama Rosales and Sara Word
Resource programs exist on all campuses within Gilbert Public Schools. All resource programs are cross-categorical, serving students with many different disabilities. The resource program is designed to target specific skill deficits, and provide intensive instruction using research-based curriculum. This instruction could target deficits in the areas of academics, behavior, communication, executive functioning, or social-emotional development. The goal is to remediate deficits as quickly as possible so students can fully access and participate in the general education curriculum. Services provided are dictated by each child’s Individualized Education Plan and can include support, modifications and accommodations within the general education classroom as well as small group instruction within the resource room. The special education and general education staff work in close collaboration to ensure that the instruction provided in both settings meets the unique needs of all students.

COPE / ESAP / iBIP
Coordinator: Diane Brennan 
The Gilbert COPE (Children Overcoming Problems through Education), ESAP (Emotional-Social Adjustment Program) and iBIP (Intensive Behavior Intervention Program) believe that socially and emotionally disabled students benefit from a highly structured, supportive, therapeutic learning environment, which remediates academic, behavioral and social difficulties, based on an individualized educational plan. This service is developed and provided by a multidisciplinary team. The COPE/ESAP/iBIP curriculum and instructional approach is designed to enhance self-esteem, develop prosocial skills, and develop more effective social and emotional problem-solving skills within the educational setting.
 


GPS Private Day Academy (GPS PDA)
Coordinator:  Diane Brennan
GPS PDA is a district program designed to serve students in a private day setting within the school district. GPS PDA employs district-approved curriculum to meet the academic needs of its students. The GPS PDA behavioral program will reflect a positive behavioral supports approach designed to facilitate stabilization of behavior and promote healthy, adaptive problem solving leading to behavior conducive to learning and the development of positive peer and adult relationships.
 

 
SCILLS
Coordinator: Kshama Rosales and Sara Word
There are four types of SCILLS (Structured Classroom for Intensive Learning of Language Skills) programs in the Gilbert Public School District. Three of these programs are offered at the elementary and secondary level.

The Life SCILLS program is designed to focus on the development of a basic communication system, provide a stimulating sensory environment to enhance learning through all senses, and to increase each child’s independence through learning appropriate self-help skills.
Functional Academic SCILLS emphasizes the expansion of an already established communication system through curriculum that is designed to meet each child’s individual needs. Children in this setting participate in activities designed to develop pre-academic and early literacy skills, self-help skills, and socialization skills.

Academic SCILLS provides students with a hands-on, concrete approach to reading, math, written expression, and content areas. The academics are based off of the Arizona Common Core Standards, but alternative curriculum and methods are used to focus on the most important concepts and skills. When appropriate, children are given opportunities to “pre-learn” lesson material from the general education classroom to increase their success levels in that setting.

The Communication Delay (CD) SCILLS
program is only offered at the elementary level. This class is designed for students with typical cognition and severe language delays. The purpose of this setting is to provide intensive remediation in the areas of language and academics so that the students can learn the skills needed to access the general education curriculum and environment.

All of our SCILLS programs allow for ample opportunities to participate meaningfully with nondisabled peers. These opportunities often include recess, lunch, specials, field trips, assemblies, and other subjects/times as determined appropriate by the IEP team. 


MD SCILLS (MDSSI – Multiple Disabilities with Severe Sensory Impairment)
Coordinator: Kshama Rosales and Sara Word
This program serves students with multiple disabilities, including, but not limited to, students with physical disabilities and cognitive impairments. Many of the students in this class have medical needs that need to be met, as well as sensory and functional needs. Many of the activities in these classrooms focus on life skills, sensory integration, pre-academics, and fine and gross motor development. These students are included with their nondisabled peers to the greatest extent possible, always with support from special education staff to ensure safety and maximum benefit.
 

SPICE (Social, Pragmatics, Independence, Communication, and Emotional Regulation)
Coordinator: Heather Schlemmer
For children with autism that have more intensive needs, self-contained classes are offered at the preschool, elementary and secondary level. Methodology within these self-contained classes would be driven by each child’s individualized needs and could include a variety of techniques which have demonstrated proven effectiveness for children with autism (e.g. Structured Teaching, Applied Behavior Analysis, Sensory Integration, and Picture Exchange Communication System, etc.

SPICE I
Students in this class are working on developing skills in a variety of areas. Functional academics are a focus in the classroom. Small group or one-on-one learning sessions are utilized to address communication goals. Needs regarding sensory diets, visual systems, social stories, and environmental manipulation are addressed in the SPICE classroom. Opportunities are utilized to bring in peers from the general education setting to participate in shared learning activities.

SPICE II
Students in this classroom are close to grade level in academics, use communication independently, have adaptive skills that are close to age appropriate, and model and show an interest in peer activities. Inclusion experiences are prevalent with minimal adult support required. Instruction and support for group learning of social skills, language concepts, emotional regulation, and academics is available in the SPICE classroom.

I-ART
Itinerant Autism Resource (I-ART) is an additional layer of specialized social/behavioral supports provided to students with autism eligibility who receive all or most of their instruction in the general education classroom at their home school. These students receive weekly pullout social skills instruction and may also participate in structured activities with typical peers (e.g. recess games, lunch groups, etc.). The I-ART teachers may also assist with the development and implementation of interventions to support executive-functioning skills such as organization, classroom independence, and self-regulation, etc.

 
Transition Programs
Coordinator: Kshama Rosales
ABLE
Achievement through Basic Life Experiences (ABLE) is a full-day transition program (periods 2-6), located at Highland High School. This course is intended for students with more involved special needs who require a higher level of support and supervision during life skills instruction. The ABLE program is designed to assist students in acquiring skills necessary to take a more independent and active role in completing daily living tasks and prepare them for transition from the school system into supported post-secondary adult life. Young adults in the program will participate in intensive life skills instruction in real life settings. On campus lessons are facilitated in an apartment like setting where the students are provided with hands-on activities designed to promote skill development and increased independence. Classroom lessons are also presented to provide focused task analysis instruction covering a variety of adult life skills concepts. In addition, community based instruction is provided through regular community outings. During these outings the young adults gain experience in accessing and utilizing various community sites while practicing concepts learned in class.

ABLE also provides the young adults with opportunities to explore agencies that provide post secondary services such as social activities, training and education, day programming, volunteering, vocational placement and supported living options. Self-advocacy, communication, problem solving and social/behavioral skills will be an underlying focus in all program activities. Participation in the ABLE program will provide students with instruction and preparation needed to establish a supported level of independence in their post-secondary lives and become active and contributing members within their homes and the community.
 
Areas of focus include:
  • Communication Skills
  • Self –Advocacy
  • Social / Behavioral Skills
  • Meal Planning
  • Food Preparation
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Home Care and Cleaning
  • Community Participation
  • Safety Skills
  • Health Advocacy
  • Fitness and Healthy Living
  • Personal Hygiene and Self Care
  • Leisure/ Recreation Skills
  • Basic Banking and Money Management
  • Post Secondary Option Exploration
  • Volunteering/ Community Service

 

DIALS
Daily Independent Adult Living Skills (DIALS) is a full-day transition program (periods 2-6), located at Highland High School. This course is designed to assist students with special needs in acquiring important life skills necessary for transitioning from the school system into post-secondary adult life. Young adults in the program will participate in intensive life skills instruction in real life settings. On campus lessons are facilitated in an apartment like setting where the students are provided with hands-on activities designed to promote skill development and increased independence. Classroom lessons are also presented to provide focused instruction covering a variety of adult life skills concepts. In addition, community based instruction is provided through regular community outings. During these outings the young adults gain experience in accessing and utilizing local community sites while practicing concepts learned in class.

DIALS also provides the young adults with opportunities to explore agencies that provide post secondary services such as social activities, training and education, day programming, volunteering, vocational placement and independent living options. Communication, self-advocacy, responsibility, problem solving and flexibility are underlying areas of focus in all DIALS activities. Participation in the DIALS program will provide students with instruction and preparation needed to establish a functional level of independence in their post-secondary lives and become active and contributing members within  their homes and the community.
Areas of focus include:
  • Self – Advocacy
  • Meal Planning
  • Food Preparation
  • Home Care and Cleaning
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Community Participation
  • Leisure/ Recreation Skills
  • Fitness and Healthy Living
  • Responsibility
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Laundry
  • Banking and Money Management
  • Health Advocacy
  • Safety Skills
  • Post Secondary Option Exploration
  • Volunteering/ Community Service
 
STRIVE
Students Transitioning into Real world Independence/Vocational Exploration (STRIVE) is a full day program (periods 2-6), located at Highland High School, 4301 E. Guadalupe Rd, Gilbert, 85234. This course provides special needs students with an effective cooperative of daily living and vocational experiences/activities. Students engage with such activities through intensive labs incorporating direct instruction, assessment, hands-on participation, and real world/community based instructional opportunities. The dual focus of the program (daily living & vocational) allows students to develop increased independence in areas critical to post-secondary success, preparing for a future of active engagement within their families and communities.
Career Related Activities:
  • Career Investigation and Skills Inventories
  • Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
  • Finding, Getting and Keeping a Job
  • Job-Specific Skills and Task Analysis
  • Basic Employment Words, Forms and Laws
  • Personal Responsibility and Accountability
  • Applying for a Job, Cover Letters and Resumes
  • Job Interviews
  • Appropriate Workplace Conduct
  • Time Management and Organizational Skills
  • Dressing, Grooming and Hygiene Etiquette
  • Cooperating with a Team
  • Work Signs and Safety
  • Career-related Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking Skills
  • Disability Awareness
     
Daily Living Activities
  • Food Preparation
  • Financial Management
  • Housekeeping
  • Healthy Living
  • Community Participation
  • Utilization of Resources
  • Self-determination
  • Personal Safety
  • Personal independence
  • Participation in Leisure Activities
  • Personal Responsibility
  • Self-Advocacy
 
JOBS
Job Opportunities In Business Settings (JOBS) is a full-day program (periods 2-6), located at Highland High School, and designed for students with an IEP who are determine to need work-based experiences. Students are required to participate in supervised community and volunteer work experiences for a minimum of 15 hours per week, which includes job shadowing, cooperative work placements, service learning, and possible competitive employment. The locations and type of experiences will vary based on the student’s individual needs, abilities, and community options. The focus of this program is on work habits, responsibilities, communication, transportation, self-advocacy, problem solving, and team work.
The JOBS program is highlighted in this 3 minute video.
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