On behalf of local school districts, The Marin County Office of Education (MCOE) Special Education Department operates a variety of special day classes (SDC) for severely disabled students, ages 5-22, who have physical, emotional, cognitive, or developmental disabilities. Over 250 special education students are served in MCOE classrooms which are located on 16 local school or community college campuses in order to provide students with access to the general education setting and non-disabled peers. Marin County school districts may refer students to the Kindergarten through Transition Program as described in the Marin County SELPA policy and procedures for IEP team referrals to SDC placements. Referrals made to student programs with mental health services follow the process described in the Marin County SELPA Interagency Agreement with Community Mental Health (include link to Marin SELPA).
Autism Specialty Programs: These SDC programs are typically comprised of approximately 6-8 students and provide a 1:2 staff-to-student ratio utilizing appropriately credentialed and trained teachers and paraeducators. Although it is not required, most students in these classes are eligible for special education services due to autism. These students typically have needs in the areas of language, sensory regulation, academics, and social relationships, which are addressed using a variety of structured approaches and methodologies, including Discrete Trial, TEAACH, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (SCERTS Model), Links to Language, etc. Speech and language therapy as well as occupational therapy and psychological/behavioral services are provided as determined by the
Contact: 415.491-6612 | 415.491.6621 (fax)
Day Treatment or Blended Class Programs: These SDC programs were collaboratively developed by MCOE and the county’s mental health department to meet the needs of students between the ages of 5 and 22 who struggle with emotional and behavioral challenges. The program is dedicated to helping students manage significant emotional reactions, learn to behave responsibly, increase positive social interactions, increase resilience, and improve academic progress. The programs consist of a continuum of SDC options designed to give students access to the core curriculum in a setting that allows them to benefit from individual, small group, and family counseling. Classes are located on local school campuses for integrated access to mainstream general education classes and mental health services, or on an isolated site with both integrated mental health services as well as a significant therapeutic component as part of the daily program.
Skills Development Academy (SDA): These SDC programs are typically comprised of approximately 8-10 students with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities who have demonstrated an ability to learn basic skills in reading, math, and written language. These students also receive direct instruction in other areas of development, including communication, self-help, social-emotional, and fine and gross motor skills. Students are mainstreamed into nonacademic or academic classes, as appropriate, and are involved to the maximum extent possible in the host school sites’ activities. Staffing for these programs includes one credentialed teacher with 2 paraeducators.
Severely Disabled Program: These SDC programs are typically comprised of approximately 8-10 students with moderate to severe, including profound, intellectual disabilities who receive direct instruction in all areas of development including communication, pre-academic, self-help/adaptive behavior, fine and gross motor skills, and social-emotional development. The programs are staffed with a credentialed teacher and at least 2 classroom paraeducators in order to provide the necessary support to teach functional skill goals and objectives (i.e., reading signs in the community, use of calculator, identification of coins and bills, reading digital time, reading and following recipes, etc.) that are aligned to a standards-based core curriculum, utilizing the SEACO Curriculum Guide. Students are mainstreamed into nonacademic classes on the host school campus and also receive community based instruction in order to explore age appropriate recreation as well as prevocational activities. Students in these programs frequently have physical and medical challenges which require the addition of specialized health care or nurse services.
Transition Program: The Transition or post secondary program is designed to ‘teach work’ to special education students aged 18-22 and support their growth into adulthood. Program activities take place both in the classroom and in the community – at work sites and other locations- with the goal of helping students acquire the skills to secure and maintain support employment after they leave school. The daily living, academic, and domestic skills that are an integral part of working and the adult world are also emphasized. Transition students learn to ride public transportation, budget earnings, behave appropriately in public, follow directions, and more. Students also have the opportunity to work with a Transition Partnership Program (TPP) job coach to determine job preferences, learn work-related skills, and learn to work with growing independence.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program: The DHH program serves deaf and hard of hearing students from 3-22 years old, whose hearing loss range from mild to profound. Students with these low incidence disabilities are provided with specialized support in district schools, special education classrooms, and other community settings. The program currently includes a deaf/hard of hearing special day class for preschool-aged children, as well as itinerant services for students with hearing loss. Services may be provided as ‘pull-out’ activities, where students are taken out of their classroom for specialized support during the school day, or as direct assistance provided within the context of the classroom.
Visual Impairment Program: The VI program provides services and learning resources for students from 3 to 22 years old who meet the eligibility criteria for Visual Impairment (VI). VI support may range from daily intervention for students with intense needs – Braille users or very low vision students, for example – to monthly consultation for students who require less assistance. These itinerant services are provided in a manner similar to those described above for students with hearing impairments.
Janelle Campbell, Director of Special Education
Contact: 415.491-6612 | 415.491.6621 (fax)