Special Education Programming
The Montessori educational model is well-suited to children with different needs and learning styles. There is an emphasis for all children to work at their own pace, using an individualized program and multi-sensory materials.
At River Valley, the Special Education Coordinators will ensure the special education program is functioning according to an inclusion model, providing extra assistance in the classroom as defined by a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). River Valley ensures that, for the maximum extent appropriate, students with identified disabilities are educated with their peers in the general education classroom. This requires ongoing consultation and collaboration between classroom teachers and special education staff. When necessary and determined by the IEP Team, and when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in the general education classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily, services may be delivered in a “pull-out” model.
Special Education Services include Learning Specialists, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech and Language Services.
In accordance with state and federal regulations, our inclusion program ensures students are provided with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The IEP developed through the IEP Team always includes the parents, classroom teacher, and a special education teacher. Additional members of the team may include any related service providers, such as the occupational therapist, the speech and language pathologist, the psychologist, the school counselor, or a physical therapist and in some instances, the Assistant Director.
Special Education Advisory Council (SEPAC)
River Valley has a Special Education Parent Advisory Council, called SEPAC. The SEPAC is a group of parents who meet to discuss the special education services of the school. This group advises the Special Education Coordinators about services, education and the well-being of students with disabilities. It also serves as a resource for parents of River Valley children. All parents are welcome to attend SEPAC meetings whether they have a child with a disability or not. Meetings are advertised as appropriate to the entire RVCS community.
504 Accommodation Plans
If it is determined through evaluation, that a disability is present but the student is making effective progress in school, then a Section 504 Accommodation Plan could be warranted. This plan is a legal document that includes specific modifications and/or adaptations that will lead to student success. In order to be eligible for a 504 Plan, a student must have a disability which “substantially limits one or more major life activities” such as seeing, hearing, learning, etc. However, the student may still be making effective progress in the general education curriculum. The 504 Plan is sustained by the classroom teacher with the support and guidance of the 504 Coordinator. The plan is reviewed annually by the team.
The School Counselor is the RVCS 504 Corrdinator.