Department of Special Services

525 Oxford Road
Mansfield, Louisiana 71052

Phone: 318-872-6550
Fax: 318-872-2259

Special Education Continuum of Services

Section 1: Purpose

In recognizing that the needs of all students vary, Desoto Parish School District offers a continuum of support for students under a model of Least Restrictive Educational Environment (LRE) in which a student will make effective progress and derive educational benefit. Programming and district resources focus on providing Special Education Teams the resources and flexibility to create and implement individualized student programming with ongoing parental involvement that focus on long-term goals for student achievement and independence.

Section 2: Academic Support Programs

DeSoto Parish students who are supported by Special Education do so in the district’s Academic Support Programs. Special education consultation, pull out services, co-taught classes, in-class supports, self-contained classrooms, and community based programs are readily available and designed to assist students in accessing the Tier 1 curricula, making effective progress and developing the skills needed to become independent learners.

1. Consultation

The general education teacher is the primary individual to present instruction, while the special education service provider consults regularly in regard to facilitation of student learning and mastery of IEP goals. Communication is the key to making the consultation model beneficial to students. Recommended for students identified Tier 1. 

2. Pull Out Services
a. WIN: Curriculum, Instruction, and Student Learning (CISL)

During this daily; 45-minute minimum block of academic time, special education teachers will pre-teach Tier 1 curricula to students who have been determined to be Tier 2 and Tier 3. 

Pre-teaching is the teaching of vocabulary, language, or content knowledge, to students in preparation of academic activities.As a teaching strategy, it enhances overall understanding of  the concepts as well as supporting the mastery of content. Any student who may potentially struggle with a concept can benefit from seeing a preview of the lesson regardless of the subject.

ELA and MAth info

b. Direct and Related Services

Speech, occupational, physical, behavioral, and assistive technology services provide students with the tools they need to access high-quality instruction. Given the complexity of providing appropriate direct and related services, students with disabilities can be served in a pullout or inclusive model. School systems and leaders are encouraged to examine how placement decisions are made and the extent to which services outlined in the IEP are coordinated to protect a student’s time in core instruction.

3. Co-Teaching

The Co-Teaching Model is designed for students who are receiving services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in grades K-12.  Marilyn Friend and Lynne Cook identify co-teaching as “a specific service delivery option that is based on collaboration”. As a service delivery option, co-teaching is designed to meet the educational needs of students with diverse learning options. 

Co-teaching allows for more intense and individualized instruction in the general education setting increasing access to the general education curriculum while decreasing stigma for students with special needs. Students have an opportunity to increase their understanding and respect for students with special needs. Students with special needs have a greater opportunity for continuity of instruction as the teachers benefit from the professional support and exchange of teaching practices as they work collaboratively. 

Types of Co-teaching 

  1. One Teach, One Support. One person is primarily responsible for teaching while the other professional circulates through the room providing unobtrusive assistance to students as needed. Little planning required for this model. 

  2. Parallel Teaching. In parallel teaching, the teachers are both covering the same information, but they divide the class into two groups and teach simultaneously. Joint planning is required. 

  3. Station Teaching. Teachers divide content and students. Each teacher then teaches the content to one group and subsequently repeats the instruction for the other group.  Joint planning is required.

  4. Alternative Teaching: One teacher takes responsibility for the large group while the other works with a smaller group. Small group pre-teaches, reinforces, or re-teaches. Joint planning is required. 

  5. Team Teaching: Teachers are delivering the same instruction at the same time. Some teachers refer to this as having one brain in two bodies. Joint planning is required. 

4. In-Class Supports
a. Technology

technology

b. Pareducator

The roles and responsibilities for paraeducators consist of assisting with the planning of activities, preparing for student accommodated and modified tasks, reinforcing instruction as needed, and  providing behavioral intervention assistance. The paraeducator is to be used for students with the most significant needs.

5. Self-Contained Classroom

DeSoto Parish currently addresses the needs of students who present with greater cognitive delays and a slower rate of learning by focusing on a highly specialized and individualized program design required to address each student’s individual needs. This is the most restrictive school-based setting for students with an IEP. 

Students complete some or most of their academic content in a smaller learning environment and enjoy social experiences within the larger school community. 

6. Community Based Program

The Desoto Occupation/Vocation Educational (DOVE) program currently serves students 16 and older with a range of special needs. DOVE facilitators work in conjunction with the high schools to offer pre-vocational and vocational education.  Students balance their time in the school and participate in a work-based learning program within the community.  Focus is placed on the pre-employment training skills (Pre-ETS). Pre-ETS include job exploration, work-based learning, transition/post-secondary counseling, workplace readiness, and self advocacy. 

Section 3: Early Childhood

DeSoto Parish School District offers early childhood services to students ages 3-5 through a natural environment instructional model, through supporting students in general education preschool classes, and in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) classes at 3 campuses. 
1. Natural Environment

A natural environment is any place your child and family live, learn, and play. Natural environments make every moment of your child’s day an opportunity for inclusion and for developing new skills. Services are provided by specialized staff in the natural environment.

2. General Education

General education and special education staff work collaboratively to provide individualized programs for each child and to maintain consistency in goals and approach in the general setting.

3. ECSE

Individualized programs and direct instruction focus on pre-academics, communication, self-care, adaptive behavior, fine and gross motor skill development using systematic approaches and structure. As designed by a child ‘s educational team, children have opportunities for inclusion and reverse integration for social skills as well as generalization of previously taught skills.