The Special Education Department provides individual and small group instruction that emphasizes the development of cognition, language, social, behavioral, self-help and academic skills to individuals ages 0 to 22 years who have various forms of abilities. Needs are addressed within a framework of developmentally appropriate curriculum aligned with state standards. An important goal of our program is to enable students to become independent, valued citizens of their communities. Services are provided in a variety of settings including: home, preschool, school, and community.
Resource Specialist Programs
The Resource Specialist program provides direct instruction and services for those students identified by the IEP team as having a disability and who are assigned to a general education classroom for a majority of the school day (50% or more). FCOE Resource Specialists provide services to Alvina Elementary, Burrel Union Elementary, Clay Joint Elementary, Monroe Elementary, Pine Ridge Elementary and FCOE Court and Community Schools.
Speech and Language Pathology
The Speech and Language program provides services to eligible children from birth to 22 years who exhibit a communicative disorder (articulation, language, voice or fluency) that adversely affects the student’s educational progress. Services are provided by professionals who have received specialized training in assessment and remediation of communicative disorders and who hold the appropriate credential or license to provide speech therapy in the public schools.
The E.D./Intervention program provides services to students from Kindergarten through 12th grade with serious emotional problems after all program options and resources have been attempted in their home school or district. The E.D./Intervention Program serves all districts within the Fresno County Special Education Local Planning Area (SELPA). The program’s educational team consists of credentialed special education teachers, nurse, speech and language pathologist, school psychologist as well as Fresno County Mental Health Services counselors with MFCC certification. Regionalized classrooms are provided on Elementary, Middle School and High School campuses within the districts in the Fresno County SELPA.
Adapted Physical Education
The Adapted Physical Education program provides assessment and intervention for students who have disabilities in gross motor, fine motor, perceptual motor, performance and/or physical fitness. Intervention may be in the form of direct service (individual or group sessions), collaboration with the classroom and/or parent, or through consultation with other professionals by developing curricular materials or through training/workshops. In addition, a Skills Challenge Specially Designed P.E. Program is provided to those students in the FCOE Program for Severely Disabled students.
The Fresno County Office of Education provides audiological services and support for all children, infant through age 21. A licensed and credentialed audiologist provides the following services: Hearing evaluations, including pure tone and speech thresholds, speech discrimination, acoustic immittance evaluation and otoscopic examination, Electroacoustic analysis of hearing aids and FM systems, Ordering, setting and maintaining individual and group FM systems, Custom earmolds for FM systems, Classroom acoustics analysis, Hearing Conservation, Referrals to other professionals and/or agencies.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Program
The program for students who are deaf or hard of hearing provides assessments, instruction, consultation and support services for all children, infants through age 21. Credentialed teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing serve in the role of resource teachers to provide help as needed in the following areas: Academic instruction, Remediation of Language Development, Trouble-shooting Hearing Aids and FM Systems, Auditory Training, Speech Reading Skills, Clarifying Concepts, Classroom modifications or Accommodation. Teachers also work closely with the audiologist, parents, classroom teachers, and other professionals and agencies to meet the needs of the student who is deaf or hard of hearing. Teachers of the deaf and hard of hearing provide direct service to children, consultation service to classroom teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students and staffing services to schools to provide interpretation and support.
The program for students who have visual impairment provides assessments, instruction, consultation and support services for all children, infants through age 21. Credentialed teachers of the visually impaired serve in the role of resource teachers to provide help as needed in the following areas: Academic instruction, Communication, Braille instruction, Social/Emotional skills, Sensory Motor skills, Daily living skills, Vocational planning, Operation of specialized equipment. Teachers also work closely with parents, classroom teachers, and other professionals and agencies to meet the needs of the student with visual impairment. Teachers of the visually impaired provide direct service to children, consultation service to classroom teachers, and staffing services to schools to provide support.
Orientation and Mobility
The Orientation and Mobility Instruction program provides assessments, instruction, consultation and support services for all eligible children and infants through age 21. A credentialed orientation and mobility specialist provides the following services: Instruction in skills and knowledge that enable independent travel, including: concept development, body imagery, laterality, directionality, environmental concepts, fine and gross motor skills, sensory awareness, sighted guide and protective techniques, use of residual vision, cane travel, methods of traveling a route, mapping skills, use of public transportation, emergency procedures, self help skills and appropriate behavior; Instruction and incorporation of terminology for O & M; Environmental modifications and adaptations for the home and school. The orientation and mobility specialist works closely with teachers of the visually impaired, parents, classroom teachers, and other professionals and agencies to meet the needs of the student with visual impairment. The O & M specialist can provide direct service to children, consultation service to classroom teachers of visually impaired students and staffing services to schools to provide support.
The Program for the Orthopedically Impaired program provides interventions and related services to eligible students ages birth through 21 years. Credentialed teachers of the orthopedically impaired provide services to students with severe orthopedic impairment that affects educational performance. Services for infants and toddlers are provided in the child’s natural environment. Services for school-aged children are provided at their school site.
Assistive Technology Services
Assistive Technology (AT) is any piece of equipment or product that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functions and capabilities of children with disabilities. Assistive Technology may be used to help students access the educational curriculum through: positioning, environmental controls, computer adaptations, assistive listening devices, visual aids, mobility equipment, augmentative communication systems, computer based instruction, recreation and self-care.
Infant and Toddler Services
The Fresno Regional Infant Educators Nurturing Developmental Services (FRIENDS) program provides services to infants and toddlers ages birth to 36 months and who live within the Fresno County SELPA, have a significant delay in at least one area of development, high risk of having a developmental delay, and a condition with a known probability of causing a developmental delay. The focus of the program is to help parents and other significant care providers become the child’s primary and most effective teacher.
Preschool Assessment Team
The Preschool Assessment Team (PSAT) serves children and school districts throughout the Fresno County SELPA. The team uses a play based transdisciplinary format in naturalistic environments as the foundation for assessing and identifying children with education needs. The team includes a psychologist, speech therapist, and nurse who evaluate children 2.6-5.11 years of age in areas of suspected disability.
The Autism program provides assistance to LEAs in the Fresno County SELPA. Information, modeling, and suggestions are provided to assist staff and families in developing effective and quality programming for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In-service and training opportunities related to ASD are available throughout the school year. Assistance with assessment of students with or suspected of having ASD is available.
Comprehensive Instruction Reinforcing Collaborative Learning Environments (CIRCLE)
The Comprehensive Instruction Reinforcing Collaborative Learning Environment’s (CIRCLE) program is designed to meet the educational needs of children on the autism spectrum who have significant language, social, and behavioral needs. These needs are addressed within a framework of a developmentally appropriate curriculum and the use of empirically based instructional methodologies. The goals of the program are for the students to develop strong foundational skills to achieve academic and social success and to become independent, valued members of their communities.
Parent Education and Involvement
Preschool staff provide parent support and education through the use of two formal vehicles. The CIRCLE’s preschool staff facilitate a monthly parent support and education SPA (School, Parent, and Agency collaborative) Night which includes parent and sibling training. Outside agencies are invited to attend all meetings. In addition, periodically, the Hanen More Than Words workshop is offered to parents who live within the Fresno County SELPA and have a child with autism who is under the age of 6. The Hanen program is a 12 week program and includes group and individual parent interactions.
FCOE provides educational services for students ages 3-22 through regional programs including Beth Ramacher Educational Complex in Fresno, the Monte Vista Program in Reedley and Sutherland in Kerman. All three of these programs operated by FCOE include a main school site as well as satellite classes located on various general education school campuses. As students reach adulthood the FCOE Adult Transition Program is available. Major emphasis of the program for students with moderate/severe disabilities is to teach students in the areas of pre-academics, functional academics, vocational, self-help, social and recreation/leisure. Our services include a community-based program designed to teach those skills necessary for each student to actively participate in home and community settings. Each student has an individualized educational program developed collaboratively with staff, family, and involved agencies. All of our programs incorporate the use of the SEACO Alternate Curriculum Guide. This guide aligns the prior life-skills areas and domains to the general education core areas and CAPA Blueprints. We are devoted to offering a positive, challenging and functional education to all of our students in the least restrictive environment. At the heart of our educational philosophy are encouragement, compassion, and respect, which enable each student to become as independent as possible.
Adult Transition Program
As a service provider to the districts within Fresno County, the Adult Transition Program serves as a link between the public school system and the world of post-school adult services. Instruction is provided at over twenty different sites throughout the regional area, including utilization of community college campuses, university campuses, adult school and community-based settings.
Major instructional emphasis is placed upon preparing each student for the transition to adult life. Key program components include utilization of a team approach incorporating student and parent input, as well as interagency collaboration, in order to develop an individualized program that maximizes each student’s abilities and level of independence. A large part of the instructional program utilizes community-based natural environments. Curricular components emphasize skill acquisition in functional academics, vocational, recreation and leisure, community, domestic and self-help, social and behavioral, communication, and mobility domains to facilitate personal growth and self-advocacy. Services for students with moderate to severe developmental delays, as well as other disabling conditions, is provided to assist students transitioning from high school to adult life. Emphasis is also placed upon utilization of neighborhood resources and familiar natural settings. The ultimate goal or outcome for each student varies. For one individual, it might be the successful transition to paid employment and an independent or supported living situation in the community. For another, successful transition might mean the positive adjustment to an adult service day program of choice and more independence in participating in home and family life. For all students, the opportunity to make choices and to become active participants in community life is of paramount importance.