Special Services » Special Education

Special Education

Inclusive Setting
Special Education Services in an Inclusive Environment
Special education services for the majority of our students who have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are provided within the general education setting. The individualized needs of the student are addressed through a continuum of service delivered within this setting. A certified special educator, called a Learning Support Coach (LSC), collaborates with the general education teacher to provide supports and accommodations. The LSC monitors student progress toward IEP goals, reinforces instruction, teaches executive functioning skills/self-determination, provides small group/individual instruction and collaborates with the general education teacher on how to best meet the needs of the student within the inclusive classroom. The expectation is that students will meet all district and state graduation requirements toward earning a diploma and career certificate.
Special Education Team Leader
The Special Education Team Leader at each school organizes the Individualized Educational Program (IEP), the annual IEP meeting, and the 3-year eligibility meeting.  The Team Leader’s main communication with parents occurs in 3 phases:
  • PRIOR to the IEP meeting, the Team Leader will arrange a date/time for the meeting and will send preliminary documents in order to prepare for the meeting  
  • DURING the IEP meeting, the Team Leader will guide the conversation, facilitate team participation, and guide consensus for the accommodations and supports that will appear in the final IEP
  • AFTER the IEP meeting, the Team Leader will send a finalized IEP document to the parent for signatures (usually done digitally). 
Beyond the annual IEP meeting, the Team Leader is available for parents regarding any questions about supports or services

Transition Support
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 1997, reauthorized in 2004, is a law that provides for the delivery of transition services for students who have an IEP or 504 plan. This law requires school districts to provide a coordinated set of activities that give students the tools to adjust to adult life after high school. Being a vocational/technical school district, transition activities drive our programs in order to prepare students to be ready for career and/or college. These experiences include career exploration classes, a career and technical education pathway that culminates in a cooperative employment program in their senior year. Additionally, our district’s Transition Coordinator will engage with students to guide the  transition process according to the student’s transition goals.  The Transition Coordinator will support families through the application process to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS) that will provide resources to students beyond graduation. 
Transition services include student access to agency support services. Students with an IEP or 504 Plan are given assistance in applying for eligibility to obtain Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) services. DVR is sponsored by the Department of Labor and provides assistance with various supports that lead to employment, including funding for education/training programs, apprenticeship, and job placement. In junior and senior year services begin through the development of a transition plan during regular consultations with a DVR counselor. Students are also made aware of additional state agency services they may be eligible for, i.e. Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDDS); Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD); Pathways to Employment.
Related Services
The NCCVT School District speech-language pathologists provide assessment and treatment for a variety of speech and language concerns including articulation, auditory processing, receptive/expressive language, fluency, voice, and pragmatic/social language. Based on student needs and IEP team input, individual sessions, group sessions, and/or consultation with teachers/staff may be implemented for service delivery.
A variety of related services are available based on student need. Typical related services include: Occupational and Physical Therapy, Speech/Language services, counseling/social skills training, orientation/mobility training, visual impairment and hearing impairment support. (For PT, a doctor’s note is required prior to an evaluation occurring. This doctor’s note should request that the therapist evaluate the student for school PT. Therapy is focused solely on school activities).
School Psychology Services 
Psychological services are provided to help our student population succeed academically, socially, behaviorally and emotionally. Each psychologist is highly trained in psychology and education, assessment, intervention, consultation and school law. Our School Psychologists are certified professionals who complete psychoeducational evaluations in order to assess eligibility for special education services and Section 504 Accommodation Plans. Evaluations completed by the School Psychologists are comprehensive and utilize a multi-modal assessment process that includes an array of data sources. Our School Psychologists consult with Learning Support Coaches, parents, building administrators, and school based teams to create positive outcomes for students with diverse needs.

Support for students who have autism 
A majority of students classified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) participate in the general education program at all schools, and others participate in the STEP Program at Delcastle. Some students may participate in a hybrid of these programs that allows students to continue to earn high school credits until age 21. Many students with ASD receive related services such as counseling and/or speech services. Teachers, both special and general, are aware of the accommodations that may be necessary to guide students toward successful next steps to the post-secondary world. Transition counselors partner with students to help identify the student’s strengths, leading toward independence. The school’s Special Education Team Leader will be able to discuss details about services that are specific to their school.

STEP Program and 18-22 Transition to Adult Life Program
Specialized Transition to Employment Pathway Program
The STEP program at Delcastle Technical High School is designed for students who are eligible to participate in the Delaware Alternate Assessment. Most students in this program are working toward a Diploma of Alternate Achievement Standards. The academic component of the program includes instruction in English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies. The academic program is designed to reflect individual student needs and expectations in communication skills, self-determination, social skills and self-advocacy. The program promotes life skills, independence and vocational skills that enable students to successfully transition into their post-secondary goals. Students also have opportunities to generalize their learning within the neighboring community by means of our Community Based Instruction program. The STEP Program focuses heavily on employability skills. All students participate daily in vocational training in the Production and Imagining career area, which models a  real-life work setting. This career program offers students opportunities to learn and apply the principles of employability skills that are common throughout all the vocational programs offered in our district. For more information, please contact STEP Program Team Leader Lisa Cave at [email protected] or (302) 995-8118. Please click here to apply to the STEP program (for incoming 9th grade students).
Transition to Adult Life Program / 18-21 Program
Following the completion of the STEP Program, students continue training on post-secondary goals through the district’s Transition to Adult Life Program. The program is organized by Service Source Delaware and occurs at their campus on Reads Way in New Castle. Students continue to receive individualized, comprehensive job readiness training through intensive paid and unpaid job exploration, community integration and work adjustment activities. Based on our employment training program and the commitment of our staff, our district is proud of its very high rate of students obtaining competitive employment upon completion of the program at age 21.  For more information on the 18-21 Program, please contact District Transition Coordinator Lynn Williams at [email protected] or (302) 683-3660.

504 Plan
A 504 Plan provides accommodations to students who have a disability but may not be eligible for special education services.  A student may be eligible for a 504 Plan if he/she has a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity” (US Dept of Education). 
Many students who have a 504 Plan enter our high schools having already obtained this plan in earlier grades; others receive their first 504 Plan in high school. The school psychologist oversees the 504 Plan process in each school and would be the person who would answer all questions about the 504 process.  If your child enters 9th grade with an existing 504 Plan from middle school, the school psychologist will communicate with you at the beginning of 9th grade in order to review the existing plan and to update it so that it is appropriate for the high school setting.  For students who are new to the 504 process, the school psychologist will be able to discuss the evaluation process and the typical types of supports that can be put in place. 

Instructional Support Team Process
New Castle County Vocational Technical School District is committed to meeting the needs of each child in partnership with parents and families.  To that end, each school in the district has an Instructional Support Team (IST) for purposes of reviewing student achievement to ensure a successful school experience for each child. 
The Instructional Support Team (IST) reviews individual student progress in the  general classroom, while at the same time serving as a screening process for students who may be in a need of special education services or 504 Plan accommodations.
Any student who experiences academic or other concerns may be a candidate for IST.  Students may be identified for the IST process by the classroom teacher, other educators, or parents. The IST process is led by the school counselor and may include various members, including the parent or guardian, teachers, specialists, administrators, school psychologist, and others who have the specific knowledge of your child and expertise in intervention.  For more information about the IST Process, please contact your child’s school counselor.