Student Support Systems at Dorothy Fox
It is our mission to help every child be successful in school, ensuring a bright future ahead for all. For some students, this can mean receiving more individual services in order to address significant issues that impact a student’s academic success. Like all schools in America, there are students with disabilities, students with varied socio-economic backgrounds, and students with different cultural and languages experiences in every classroom. We believe such diversity is an asset to the students of Camas as they learn to be accepting and respectful of all people.
These services are often delivered in a way that is discreet, but it is important for families to understand how Dorothy Fox ensures that every student has a Free and Appropriate Education as provided for by federal law.
What does it mean to have an IEP?
An IEP or Individual Educational Plan is designed to meet the unique educational needs of one child, who may have a disability, as defined by federal regulations. The IEP is intended to help children reach educational goals more easily than they otherwise would. Students on an IEP have been tested by the school system and have been found that a student’s disability is having a significant impact on their education and that the student would benefit from a specially designed instruction.
Dorothy Fox works to support all students in our school. Some of our students have been diagnosed with learning disabilities, health impairments such as ADHD, visual or hearing impairments, forms of autism, and other mild to moderate disabilities. Some of these students receive services on an IEP that requires them to be pulled out of their regular classroom to be serviced in reading, writing, math, or social skills in another room during the day.
Some students at Dorothy Fox may be on an IEP for a communication disorder where they receive services every week with a trained speech pathologist for support with articulation or expressive/reception language.
Additionally, a few students are served in the school by trained Occupational and/or Physical Therapists. These students work on gross and fine motor skills that help the student with needed skills to access their education.
These services are only available to those that qualify. In all cases the IEP must be tailored to the individual student’s needs as identified by the IEP evaluation process, and must especially help teachers and related service providers (such as paraprofessional educators) understand the student’s disability and how the disability affects the learning process.
If you have questions about the needs of your student or a suspected disability, please contact your child’s teacher, the school psychologist, or the school principal at any point throughout the school year.
What Special Education Program are at Fox?
At Dorothy Fox, we have two programs that provide services for special education students on IEPs . One is the resource room where students leave their general education classroom to come and receive math, reading, writing, and social skill support from a Special Education teacher and educational paraprofessionals at their individual levels. A second program at Dorothy Fox is a district program called SIS or Structured Inclusion. This is a program for students with more significant disabilities who need more customized support. Students may come from other Camas schools to attend SIS. These students spend time in a self-contained program to help them with life skills, behavior, and basic academics. When possible, these students push into a general education home room for specialist classes, art, science, and social studies. Other elementary schools in Camas have different district special education programs to support moderate to more severe students on IEPs for behavior, Life Skills, and High Functioning Autism.
What does it mean to have a 504 Plan?
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act provides opportunities for children with disabilities reasonable accommodations that can be delivered in the general classroom setting. These are students who need extra assistance due to a disability but are not on an IEP. These students have a plan that explains to the teacher what special accommodations the student needs in the general classroom and it passes from grade to grade to support a student’s disability.
English Language Learner Programs:
Every year a number of students at Dorothy Fox qualify for the ELL or English Language Learner program. These students come from homes that do not speak English as their native language. These students receive special services from a para educator in Camas that helps with their reading, math, and writing. Students in ELL are tested every year to monitor their progress. Students are exited from the program when they meet a certain level of English proficiency.
Support at Fox that is available to all students:
Dorothy Fox Elementary is very lucky to have a full time school counselor to help all students be successful in school. Our school counselor, Mr. Baxter, manages the School Counseling program at Dorothy Fox. He is available to children, parents/caregivers, teachers and community members to help with the social, emotional, and academic success of the students at Dorothy Fox. The program consists of three areas of service, Prevention, Responsive Services, and Crisis Support.
LAP Reading (Learning Assistance Program)
After reviewing student performance in reading on various assessments, some students are invited to get extra pull out support in reading in the LAP Program. These students fall within the bottom 25% of the students in the grade level. Students are provided support in early literacy skills, reading fluency, vocabulary building, and reading comprehension. Older students are invited to receive services before school to avoid being pulled out of the classroom in the day for additional time with reading as needed.
Building Intervention Team
When a student is struggling to meet academic expectations, a teacher can bring a student to our BIT or Building Intervention Team. This is a “think tank” of Fox personnel that can give a teacher and parent ideas for how to better intervene with students in need. The team can include parents, general education teachers, special education teachers, counselor, psychologist, principal, nurse, reading specialist, and others as needed.
Dorothy Fox understands that students have different learning styles and needs. In response, each classroom is equipped with a sensory kit to help all students meet their individual needs. These kits include head phones for students who need a more quiet work environment. It also has fidgets, special pencil grips, and “wiggle” seats to support a student who may have trouble staying focused and needs to be active while working. Visual timers, colored overlays, reading trackers, chewy sticks and a variety of other items are provided for general education teachers to help provide individual support to students with sensory needs.
Tiered Behavior Support
Through our school-wide positive behavior support program, Dorothy Fox has been working to monitor data about student behavior with the goal on intervening early for students that are having trouble follow the school rules.
Students that are considered Tier II are placed in a school level Check-In/Check-Out program that is meant to focus on the positive decisions that a student makes and provides extra individualized attention to each student. Student in this program meet with a special staff member in the morning and keep a point sheet throughout the day to monitoring how they are doing. They bring the point sheet to check out with this same adult at the end of the day with the hopes of meeting a goal of 80%.
Teachers may also select to implement a classroom-level daily point sheet for students who struggle with behavior. This is done in collaboration with the parents on an individual basis.