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Special Education

A continuum of Special Education services is provided to eligible students ages three to twenty-two. Specialized Academic Instruction may be provided as determined by the student's Individual Education Plan by a credentialed Special Education teacher.     

Presently, specialized instruction may be provided within the general education Learning Studio in a co-teaching/collaborative model, in consultation with general education teachers, and/or in a pull-out model in a Learning Center, or Special Day Learning Studio in response to a student's individual needs. Special Day Learning Studios are already integrated at CCUSD campuses. The campuses currently need larger learning studios to be able to have the students with special needs feel included by giving them the space they need both indoors and outdoors.  Locating the Special Day Learning Studios which are the same size as Learning Studios, next to mainstream Learning Studios gives all students access to spaces such as the Outdoor Learning environments or Indoor Learning Commons where they can mix.

The Why

The district is moving to a Learning Center model with students in the Special Ed program in a more inclusionary “push-in” model than past “pull out” models. The “push-in” model uses a combination of a Learning Center where students can go for additional academic support and having Resource Specialists come to help them directly in their Learning Studio or in an adjacent Small Huddle Room to integrate students with special needs or students who need Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI) into the mainstream better with the support of the right spaces and staff resources.


Individualized Learning

Most special education activities should be integrated within the Small Learning Communities to provide the least restrictive environment. Flexibly furnished Learning Studios will support individualized learning with active learning stations or technology-based stations. Huddle Rooms, Indoor Learning Commons and Outdoor Learning should support push-in activities, from one-on-one to small group learning with resource specialists.

Support Services

Services not normally provided by regular classes, resource specialist programs or special day classes may include psychology and counseling, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and/or adaptive physical education depending on the specific campus and grade level. 

Special Day Class (SDC)

Depending on the campus and grade level, provide self-contained special education Learning Studios for students with intensive needs that cannot be met by the general education program, resource specialist program, or designated instruction services and spend at least half of their school day in the SDC environment.

Key Concepts




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Storage and Special Equipment

Provide adequate storage for manipulatives and support equipment.  

Stimulation Balance

Provide acoustic separation between learning spaces both to reduce learner distractions from outside and to provide privacy for individual learner expression. Discuss appropriate level of transparency to balance privacy and stimulation.

Outdoor Spaces

Students with special needs must have their outdoor spaces somewhat enclosed to feel more comfortable and not get distracted by adjacent activities and high stimulation. The outdoor learning space for this population should be calming and left for the students and teachers to decorate to fit their needs. This type of enclosure can be done with low walls.  

Multi-Purpose Studios

All studio spaces will be designed in a multi-purpose fashion to support the ability of a teacher to facilitate multiple learning modalities and subject matter simultaneously. Certain time periods may support use by learners with specialized learning needs and others time periods will be allocated to standard courses. Shared use of learning studios helps break down the stigma of grouping learners with special needs, while also facilitating quick and easy access to specialized support within the everyday learning environment. 

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