Improving K-12 education for students on the autism spectrum in Montgomery County, MD

Certificate-Bound Secondary Services (Grades 6-12)

For a directory of locations for each program, download MCPS Programs and Services Locations for Special Education Students 2018-2019

Learning for Independence (LFI)

Locations: Download MCPS Programs and Services Locations for Special Education Students, 2018-19

Learning for Independence (LFI) services are designed for students with complex learning and cognitive needs, including mild to moderate intellectual disabilities. Services support the implementation of Alternate Academic Learning Outcomes aligned with Curriculum 2.0. Students are provided with many opportunities for interaction with general education peers, including inclusion in general education classes as appropriate, peer tutoring, and extracurricular activities. Community-based instruction and vocational training are emphasized at the secondary level so that students are prepared for the transition to post-secondary opportunities upon graduating with a certificate from the school system.

School Community–based Program (SCB)

Locations: Download MCPS Programs and Services Locations for Special Education Students, 2018-19

School Community-based Program (SCB) services are designed for students with severe or profound intellectual disabilities and/or multiple disabilities. SCB services include the following components: age-appropriate classes, heterogeneous groups, peer interactions, individualized instruction, community instruction, and transition. Students typically have significant needs in the areas of communication, personal management, behavior management, and socialization. The program emphasizes individualized instruction in comprehensive schools and related community and work environments. The SCB model includes the following components: age-appropriate classes, heterogeneous groupings, peer interactions, individualized instruction, and transition.

Secondary Autism Services

Locations: Earle B. Wood M.S., Montgomery Village M.S.; Winston Churchill H.S., Col. Zadoc Magruder H.S., Rockville H.S., Thomas S. Wootton H.S.

Students receiving the Secondary Autism Services have a diagnosis of autism and need significant modifications and accommodations to access the curriculum, as well as direct, systematic instruction in all academic, functional, and social skill areas. These services are offered in self-contained classrooms in comprehensive middle and high school buildings with additional instruction in community and vocational settings. Classrooms and community instruction provide a highly structured environment that incorporates consistent routines, transition warnings, visual supports, and motivational systems, with an emphasis on the development of language, social skills, and student independence. Instructional and behavioral supports are based on best practices from the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, and focus on skill repetition and generalization to prepare students to be as independent as possible when they transition to adult services. Data collection provides the basis for instructional decisions. Related services (occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech/language therapy) are usually provided within the context of the classroom. In addition, students are provided with community-based instruction and in-school prevocational tasks (middle school) or community based vocational tasks (high school) in order to prepare them for their transition to adult services. Students may have the opportunity to participate with non-disabled peers in social opportunities such as Best Buddies, Unified Sports, and/or Peer Interns. Classes have a small staff to student ratio of 1 teacher : 2 paraeducators : 6 students, with the majority of instruction occurring in dyads (1:2) and small groups (1:6).

Extensions Program

Locations: Col. E. Brooke Lee M.S., Lakelands Park M.S.; Albert Einstein H.S., Quince Orchard H.S.

The Extensions Program serves middle and high school students who have the most significant cognitive disabilities, multiple disabilities, and/or autism. These are students with a prolonged history of requiring systematic behavioral supports and services to reduce self-injurious and/or disruptive behaviors. The goal of the program is to provide intensive educational programming to enable students to acquire appropriate social and communicative skills and prepare them for post-secondary opportunities.

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