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Student Progression Plan

Exceptional Student Education

Program Placement

Placement of a student into an exceptional student education (ESE) program must comply with procedures established in the Exceptional Student Education Policies and Procedures (SP&P) document.

  1. A student will only be placed in an ESE program when a staffing committee determines that the student meets eligibility and a parent or guardian consents to Exceptional Student Education.
  2. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) team will use the IEP document to make appropriate placement decisions based on the student’s individual needs. The IEP team consists of the parent or guardian, general education teacher(s), special education provider(s), school psychologist or other specialist, Local Education Agency (LEA) representative, and when appropriate, the student.
  3. The IEP team determines Extended School Year (ESY) services for SWD.

The general education setting is the first consideration when determining placement for students with disabilities (SWD). Core instruction should be delivered in the general education classroom to the maximum extent appropriate.

The district will make available a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to a SWD through the end of the school year in which the student turns 22, provided the student is age 21 at the start of the school year and has not graduated with a standard diploma.

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Any student who has been evaluated and determined to have a disability under IDEA or Section 504 may receive accommodations based on the individual needs of the student, as documented on the IEP or Section 504 plan. Accommodations are changes that are made in how the student accesses information and demonstrates performance. Students use accommodations to increase, maintain or improve academic performance. Accommodations do not alter course content or expectations for achievement of grade level state standards. ((Rule 6A-6.03411(1)(a), F.A.C.), F.A.C.)

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Grade Reporting

A specialized report card is utilized for students in grades K-5 with significant cognitive disabilities who are provided instruction through Florida Standards and Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (FS/NGSSS) Access Points. Grades reflect the student’s academic progress based on the FS/NGSSS Access Points for the grade level/courses in which the student is enrolled.

The general education report card is utilized for all other SWD.

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Grade Level Placement

The district general education promotion requirements apply to SWD. If a student does not meet the promotion requirements, the School Placement Committee determines (with input from the IEP team and the ELL committee, when applicable) the grade level placement. The committee includes the principal and/or assistant principal, school counselors, and teachers.

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SWD participate in the state and district assessments. The IEP team determines the appropriate accommodations and the extent of participation, which must be documented on the IEP. Accommodations in the administration of state and district assessments are allowable as specified in the test administration manuals. (Rule 6A-1.0943, F.A.C.).

The decision that a student with a significant cognitive disability will participate in the Florida Standards Alternate Assessment (FSAA) as defined in state board rule is made by the IEP team and recorded on the IEP. Parental consent procedures for participation in the Florida Standards Alternate Assessment must be followed. (Rule 6A-6.0331(10), F.A.C.)

The Exceptional Student Education Policies and Procedures (SP&P) provides additional guidance on the participation of students with disabilities in state and district assessments.

SWD may be eligible for an extraordinary exemption in accordance with SWD may be eligible for an extraordinary exemption in accordance with F.S. 1008.212.

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Waiver of Assessment Results/Scores

A student with a disability for whom the IEP team determines that the statewide, standardized assessments cannot accurately measure the student’s abilities, taking into consideration all allowable accommodations, shall have assessment results waived for the purpose of receiving a course grade and a standard high school diploma. A waiver of the statewide, standardized assessment results by the IEP team must be approved by the parents and is subject to verification for appropriateness by an independent reviewer selected by the parents. (F.S. 1008.22, F.S. 1003.572)

A graduation portfolio of quantifiable evidence of achievement is required for students alternately assessed whose performance on standardized assessments is waived. The portfolio must include a listing of courses the student has taken, grades received, student work samples and other materials that demonstrate growth, improvement and mastery of required course standards. Multi-media portfolios that contain electronic evidence of progress, including videos and audio recordings, are permissible. Community-based instruction, modified occupational completion points, work experience, internships, community service, and postsecondary credit must be documented in the portfolio, when applicable.

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Graduation Options for SWD

Standard Diploma

The high school section of this document provides graduation options for all students. Refer to the district website for specific graduation requirements.

Two additional options are available only to students with disabilities. Both require 24 credits and allow students to substitute a career and technical education (CTE) course with related content for one credit in ELA 4, mathematics, science and social studies (excluding Algebra 1, Geometry, Biology 1 and U.S. History). The two options are as follows:

  1. Students with significant cognitive disabilities may earn credits through access courses and be assessed with an alternate assessment.
  2. Students who choose the academic and employment option must earn a semester credit in an employment-based course paid at a minimum wage or above in compliance with the requirements of the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The student’s employment transition plan specifies the required number of hours per week for the equivalent of at least one semester and documents the successful completion of required components. Students may earn additional, elective credits in employment-based courses.

The diploma option for a SWD will be documented on the IEP prior to the student’s14th birthday and reviewed annually by the IEP Team.

A student will be exempted from the online course graduation requirement when the IEP indicates that an online or blended learning course is inappropriate.

Special Diploma

SWD instructed through access points and alternately assessed who entered grade 9 before the 2014-2015 school year with an IEP, as of June 30, 2014, containing a statement of intent to receive a special diploma may remain on a special diploma (option one or two). The decision must be reviewed annually by the IEP Team. A student may change from a special diploma to a standard diploma option; however, once that determination has been made, the student may not revert to the special diploma option. (Rule 6A-1.09963, F.A.C.)

Certificate of Completion

SWD who have earned the 24-credit, the 18-credit ACCEL option, or the Career and Technical Education Pathway option but who have not met the required state assessments and/or 2.0 GPA requirement are eligible for a Certificate of Completion.

Refer to the High School, Certificate of Completion section for more information.

Deferral of Receipt of a Standard Diploma

SWD who meet the standard high school diploma requirements and the criteria specified in F.S.1002.4282(3)(c) may defer the receipt of the diploma and continue to receive services. The decision to accept or defer the standard high school diploma must be made during the school year in which the student is expected to meet all requirements for a standard high school diploma. The decision must be noted on the IEP and the parent or guardian, or the student over the age of 18 for whom rights have transferred must sign a separate document stating the decision. (Rule 6A-6.03311(8), F.A.C.) The IEP Team must review the benefits of deferring the standard high school diploma, including continuation of educational and related services.

The parent and the student must be informed by the district, in writing, by January 30 of the year in which the student is expected to meet graduation requirements. Failure to defer receipt of a standard high school diploma after all requirements are met releases the school district from the obligation to provide a FAPE. This communication must state that the deadline for acceptance or deferral of the diploma is May 15 of the year in which the student is expected to meet graduation requirements, and that failure to attend a graduation ceremony does not constitute a deferral. A student with a disability who receives a certificate of completion may continue to receive FAPE until their 22nd birthday, or, at the discretion of the school district, until the end of the school semester or year in which the student turns 22. (Rule 6A-6.0328(1), F.A.C.), (F.S. 1001.02(1), F.S. 1003.4282, F.S. 1008.22)

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504 Educational Plans

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination based on disability in any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance. Section 504 guarantees the right to full participation and access to FAPE.

The district is committed to identifying, evaluating, and providing FAPE to students who are disabled, within the definition of Section 504, regardless of the nature or severity of their disabilities. The district recognizes and acknowledges that students may be disabled and eligible for services under Section 504, even when they do not qualify for or require special education and/or related services pursuant the IDEA.

If a student has a physical or mental impairment that significantly limits the student's learning but does not require specially designed instruction, the student will be eligible for reasonable, but more than standard, accommodations and/or modifications of the regular classroom or curriculum to have the same access to an education as students without disabilities. Such accommodations and/or modifications will be provided, pursuant to a Section 504 Accommodation Plan.

Refer to the for additional information.

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Gifted Education

Exceptional student education includes students who are identified as gifted. A continuum of services and specially designed instruction is available for students who qualify for gifted services, including differentiated curriculum, acceleration, and enrichment.

At the secondary level, the course of study may include Honors, Advanced Placement courses; International Baccalaureate Program; Advanced International Certificate of Education Program (AICE); academic and career dual enrollment; and career education courses, including career-themed courses, pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, and course sequences that lead to an industry certification.

The Education Plan (EP) document is used by the EP team in making appropriate placement decisions based on the student’s goals, strengths, and needs. The EP team includes the parent or guardian, general education teacher(s), special education provider(s), LEA representative, and when appropriate, the student. If a student is eligible for an additional ESE program, then the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) will include their gifted eligibility and goals.

Refer to Rule 6A-6.030191 F.C.A. for additional information.

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