Special Education and English Language Learners
Welcome to Student Services.
Sahuarita Unified School District and the Student Services Department are committed to providing quality support programs and services to students and their families.
Student Services staff members consist of the following staff members:
- special education teachers,
- school psychologists,
- speech pathologists,
- occupational therapists,
- physical therapists,
- transition special education teacher,
- SEI classroom teachers for ELL students,
- the Student Services Director,
- Student Services Program Specialist
- and Student Services Assistants.
The Student Services department works collaboratively as a team with other district personnel, general education teachers, administrators and parents to provide academic and behavioral services that benefit students.
Student Services Programs and Services include:
Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education ACT (IDEA ’04) that requires Public Education Agencies to locate, identify, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth through 21, located within their geographical boundaries who are in need of early intervention or special education and related services. This includes all children with disabilities residing in the State, children who are homeless or wards of the State, children who are highly mobile, including migrant children, and children attending private schools or who are home schooled.
Concerns for children ages 2 years 10 ½ months through 21 years, contact your local school district.
Concerns for children aged birth through 2 years are referred to the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP). The direct link to Arizona Early Intervention Program is : http://www.ade.az.gov/ess/childfind
Special Education and Related Services
Sahuarita district identifies, locates and evaluates students who are in need of special education and related services. Referrals for evaluations are conducted by a multidisciplinary evaluation team, including the parent. Evaluations of children with suspected disabilities are completed within 60 calendar days after obtaining written consent from the parent/guardian. At the conclusion of the evaluation process, the MET team, including the parent, meets and determines if the student is identified as having a disability and in need of special education and related services. Please refer to the Special Education Process Flowchart for Screening and evaluation.
For eligible students, an individualized education plan (IEP) is developed by the IEP team, including the parent. Specific needs and services are outlined in the IEP. Related services such as OT, PT, Speech, etc. are also considered for each student. Consent for initial placement is obtained from the parent/guardian prior to a student receiving special education and related services. IEP’s are reviewed at least once a year and more frequently if circumstances warrant consideration be given to discussion and possible changes to the IEP.
Special Education Preschool (ages 3-5)
The district’s program for preschool special education students is an inclusion program where students are integrated with typical preschool peers in the general preschool setting. Some children may require specific and direct individual services in a separate location away from peers as outlined in an Individual Education Plan.
Preschool aged children referred to the school district participate in a Screening process that quickly probes all developmental areas of a child’s development in an attempt to identify those children that may need special education to be successful in school. Screening procedures include vision & hearing, cognitive or academic, communication, motor, social or behavioral, and adaptive development. Children who fail the screening in any area are referred to the Multidisciplinary evaluation team to begin the evaluation process. Please refer to the Special Education Process Flowchart for the Screening and evaluation of preschool children.
English Language Learners – SEI Program
Sahuarita Unified School District offers Structured English Immersion (SEI) programs for students who are English language learners in grades Kindergarten through twelve. The Home Language Survey completed by the parent upon enrollment determines the need for assessing a student’s English proficiency with the Arizona English Language Learner Assessment (AZELLA). A designated score other than “proficient” qualifies a student for services in the SEI program. The components of the SEI program model the requirements of Arizona’s laws that dictate the requirements of English language learner programs. The SEI classroom is an intensive English language program for English language learners (ELLs) and is designed to accelerate the learning of the English language. The structure of the SEI learning model varies depending on the number of ELL students in a grade level.
A typical SEI classroom is a minimum of four hours of daily English language development. The four hours consist of the following: one hour of vocabulary and oral language development, one hour of grammar, one hour of reading and one hour of writing. The instruction is guided by Arizona’s K-12 English Language Learner Proficiency Standards. During the four hours of SEI instruction, ELL students are not participating with non-ELL students and must be taught by highly qualified teachers.
When the ELL population is less than 20 students within in three grade span, Individual Language Learner Plans (ILLPs) are written and implemented. These plans are developed and written by the English language arts teacher after consultation with the parent and other mainstream teachers. A meeting is conducted to discuss the ILLP and those in attendance sign to signify their agreement with the plan. The English language arts teacher is responsible for the implementation and monitoring of the ILLP. The plan must contain English language learning goals in the four areas of instruction: oral language/vocabulary, grammar, reading and writing. The Arizona K-12 English Language Learner Proficiency Standards are also used to guide the development of goals and instruction.
ASL Interpreting services are provided to deaf parents of children enrolled in the district. Sahuarita district contracts services with an outside agency to provide interpreting services. A request for an ASL Interpreter is to be made by the parent who is requesting the service.
When submitting a request, the following information is required:
- Who (the requester) ,
- What (IEP meeting, parent conference, etc.),
- When (date and time, including the amount of time needed), and
- Where ( the location of the meeting, conference, or event).
Parents should submit their request to Joyce Blalock in the Student Services office by e-mail:[email protected]. A parent who does not have access to e-mail, may contact the Student Services office at (520) 625-3502 ext. 1011.
All requests need to be made at least 2 weeks in advance of the designated date of meeting/event to be able to ensure that the request can be accommodated. Every effort will be made to confirm an Interpreter; however, an occasion may arise where the district is unable to confirm an interpreter. Once confirmation is received, the parent will be contacted.
Forms, Documents, and Resources
Director of Student Services
[email protected]Joyce Blalock
Student Services Program Specialist