Special Education

Special Education Department

 Kate Festa, Supervisor
[email protected]
(203) 797-4840

All Danbury special education students are educated in the least restrictive environment. Planning and Placement Teams determine individual educational plans. Most graduation requirements are offered in the co-teaching model. Post high school transition is an important focus for all special education students. The continuum of special education programs is described on the following pages.

The Basic Academic Skills (BAS) Program is designed to meet the needs of high school students who are cognitively challenged and/or developmentally delayed. Basic and practical life skills essential to independent living in both the community and at home are the focus of this program. Major units of study include pre-vocational training, basic communication, functional reading, English, mathematics, social studies, and science. Through Individualized Education Programs, students are given the opportunity to take classes in the least restrictive environment.

Algebra I, Algebra II, Earth and Space Systems, Biology, Chemistry, Civics, English I, English II, English III, English IV, Geometry, Modern World Studies, Physical Education, Science and the Environment, U.S. History, and World Studies.

Co-teaching utilizes the expertise of a special education teacher and a regular education teacher in the delivery of instruction to students. The emphasis in co-taught classes is on the development of study skills and learning strategies within the general curriculum. Both regular education and special education students benefit from this method of instruction.

The Resource/Study Skills Program provides direct and indirect academic, social and emotional support to students needing assistance in mainstream classes. Academic support includes remediation, supplemental instruction, applied learning skills, and compensatory techniques. An important function of the Resource/Study Skills Program is to prepare students for mainstream class success. The amount of time a student is scheduled in Resource is determined by the Planning and Placement Team. Study skills are an integral part of the Resource/Study Skills Program. Grades and credit will be awarded through active participation in the Study Skills Program.

The Instructional Behavior Management (IBM) Program provides small group and/or individualized instruction to students who struggle to succeed in the mainstream due to behavioral and/or social/emotional issues. It is a credit incentive program which immediately rewards “on task” positive academic behavior. Social work support is an integral component of the program. Students are encouraged to move to mainstream classes when appropriate. In mainstream classes students continue to be supported and monitored by the IBM team.

The Academy of Western Connecticut is a community-based program, which prepares young adult learners with disabilities for a successful adjustment to adulthood. This includes mastery of selected skills essential for assuming responsible productive roles in their communities. Students work with program staff and community resources to refine and achieve transition goals related to employment, independent living, social/recreational, and functional academic skills. Student schedules are based on their individual employment, social, academic, and community goals. The ultimate goal for participating students will be personal independence, community inclusion, and fulfillment of one’s life ambitions.

The Western Connection is a regional program that is located on the campus of Western Connecticut State University. The program prepares students with severe disabilities between the ages of 19-21 for successful adjustment to adulthood. Students are provided with hands-on work experiences, social/recreational experiences, and life-skills instruction to assist in the development of the vocational and social skills necessary for competitive employment and independent community living.

The Vocational Training Program provides special education students with occupational exploration and vocational training ranging from highly supervised enclave programs, individualized work sites, individualized placements with job coaching to “On-the-Job Training” with a minimal stipend for up to seven hours per week.