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  • Special Education and Intervention Services

    We're All Included: Special Education and Intervention Services


    What is Special Education?

    We are committed to CMSD's Learning Vision for a Post-Pandemic World:  In pursuit of a more fair, just, and good system of education, we want each of our learners, both each of our scholars and each of their educators, to be individually and collectively presented with academically/intellectually complex tasks that are worthy of their productive struggle and that allow them authentic opportunities to demonstrate their work and their learning of academic content and transferable skills in a joyful and adventurous environment.
    This learning vision is for EVERY student in EVERY classroom in CMSD.
    In order to realize this vision for EVERY student in EVERY classroom in CMSD, we need to provide students with disabilities with a free, appropriate public education that gives them ACCESS to the learning vision, ensures that they are INCLUDED in the learning vision, and paves a PATHWAY TO SUCCESS for every child, from identification to graduation.  All learners are unique, and each learner has the right to an individualized education program (IEP) that accounts for how their disability might affect how they learn and thrive in school. 
    To that end, it is the mission of Special Education and Intervention Services to ensure the provision of inclusive, learner-centered services and supports to all children with special needs and their families, in every school, so that all students graduate from high school prepared for college, careers, and fulfilling independent lives.

    CMSD's Approach to Special Education - Learner-Centered Services and Supports for All

    In CMSD, ALL students receive their education and prescribed services in their Least Restrictive Environment.
    In CMSD, ALL schools provide Specially Designed Instruction, core instruction with supports, and related services.
    In CMSD, there is a seat for every child, regardless of the nature and severity of their disability.
    • All CMSD schools provide access to special education services. 
    • A student's IEP team determines the settings in which the child will receive those services, with a focus on the Least Restrictive Environment - educated with non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible.
      • No student will be segregated or excluded from regular classes solely based on their disability.
    • Specially Designed Instruction and core content education may take place in the regular education classroom with accommodations and supports, or in a small-group resource room setting, or in a single classroom environment (separate classroom) for one or all core subjects. These decisions are made by the IEP team and are based on the needs of the student as well as the type of instruction and services identified. 
      • For example, a student in seventh grade who requires specially designed instruction in basic reading may receive some of that instruction in a resource room setting with an Intervention Specialist because the seventh grade curriculum does not include phonics instruction for all students.
      • As another example, a student with multiple disabilities may receive instruction that is significantly modified to address functional and life skills, and they may be grouped with students who require similar modifications.
    • To meet the needs of students in their LRE, all CMSD schools have access to related services, including but not limited to:
      • psychological services
      • nursing services
      • speech and language therapy
      • augmentative and assistive communication
      • occupational therapy
      • physical therapy
      • audiology
      • itinerant Teacher of the Deaf services
      • sign language interpreter services
      • itinerant Teacher of the Visually Impaired services
      • orientation & mobility services for visually impaired students
      • secondary transition services
    • CMSD also offers specialized classes within schools in every region of the city for specific and/or significant needs.  Models include:
      • Special Education Preschool - integrated and self-contained models
      • Intensive Academic Support (adapted grade-level curriculum)
      • Low Incidence (significantly modified, functional curriculum)
      • Intensive Behavior Intervention (grade level curriculum with enhanced support for social-emotional and behavioral needs)
      • Medically Fragile (significantly modified, functional curriculum with additional help with daily living)
      • Self-contained classes with a Teacher of the Deaf or Teacher of the Visually Impaired
    • In the event that a child's neighborhood school cannot provide the services outlined by the IEP, transportation is provided to a school that can meet their needs, taking distance into account.


    The IEP as a Pathway to Success, From Identification to Graduation

    Regardless of a student's disability or placement, their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is designed to map out their unique pathway to postsecondary education, competitive integrated employment, and a fulfilling, independent adult life.

    An IEP provides supports and accommodations so that students can access CMSD's Learning Vision.
    An IEP provides for Specially Designed Instruction and Related Services that will enable the student to make meaningful educational progress.
    An IEP addresses the preferences, interests, strengths, and needs of the child, and parents'/caregivers' goals for them.
    Please feel free to explore our pages for more information on specific special education topics.

    Important notice for Parents and Caregivers of students with disabilities:
    The Ohio Department of Education has requested that we share this Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement with you as part of a proposed settlement of a lawsuit involving the Ohio Department of Education. Although CMSD is not named in the lawsuit, the goal of the Settlement Agreement is to improve the overall quality of special education and related services given to students with disabilities across the State, and, in particular, in 11 Districts of which CMSD is one, and to improve results for students with disabilities. It includes additional support by ODE so that school districts, particularly the 11 Districts identified, meet the requirements of federal law. Additional information about this lawsuit is available on DRO’s website. If you have any questions about this Notice or the proposed Settlement Agreement, you can contact Disability Rights Ohio at (614) 466-7264 or (800) 282-9181.

    Jessica Baldwin, Interim Deputy Chief of Student Services


    Yvonne Larkins, Office Assistant