Every student learns at their own pace. Adapting instruction to meet them where they are is key when it comes to helping them succeed. Special education services and 504 plans are two of the most common options for helping students that may struggle to learn at grade level with no extra assistance.
Here is an overview of how these programs work and how The Tenney School’s one-to-one learning model naturally incorporates some of the most important aspects of both types of individualized education.
What Is Special Education?
In a public school, it’s expected that each student will learn in their least restrictive environment (LRE). This is the learning environment with the fewest modifications that they are capable of succeeding in. For most students, this is a typical general education classroom.
However, some students with more significant learning disabilities are unable to keep up with their grade level in a regular classroom without extra assistance. These students often benefit from learning in a special education classroom designed to adapt to their unique needs.
Some students are able to receive an adequate level of extra help by spending a short time each day in a special education classroom. However, others may spend their full days receiving special education.
Special Education Services Available to Students
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a government program that outlines the types of special education services that public schools must provide for students that need them.
Some of these services include:
- special education classrooms,
- teachers specifically trained to work with students that require special education, speech therapy, and occupational therapy, and
- other programs that adapt instruction to meet students’ individual needs.
Many private schools also follow the guidelines outlined by IDEA. However, they are not required to adhere to the same standards as public schools.
Individualized Education Plans, or IEPs, are another important part of special education programs. In an IEP, an individual student’s parents, teachers, and administrators discuss the student’s unique situation. Then, they create a plan for specific special education services the student will receive, as well as other modifications they will be eligible for to help them learn to the best of their ability.
Some of these modifications may include:
- receiving extra time to take tests,
- having questions read to them,
- tutoring sessions that are set up through the school, and
- spending part of their day in a general education classroom with one-on-one assistance from a teacher’s aide.
What Is a 504 Plan?
Students with more significant disabilities may benefit greatly from special education. However, not all students with physical or learning disabilities require this level of specialized learning.
Many students with less severe disabilities are capable of thriving in a general education classroom. They may also benefit from a one-to-one approach, where they learn the same level of material with certain modifications to the ways in which they are allowed to consume new content and complete assignments and tests.
These accommodations, which are defined in a student’s 504 plan, allow them to learn the same curriculum as their peers and make it possible to stay at their grade level.
The accommodations included in a 504 plan may look similar to those that make up an IEP. However, this service is designed for students that are not receiving special education services.
This program, which is part of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), allows students to:
- receive extra time on tests in the general education classroom,
- sit in specific parts of the classroom that make it easier for them to learn,
- use certain types of technology that other students do not need, and
- finally, modify their general classroom experience to allow them to succeed in this environment.
Choose The Tenney School for Quality Individualized Instruction
At The Tenney School, our one-to-one approach to providing individualized learning for every student naturally incorporates many of the elements that students with an IEP or 504 plan may receive.
Our commitment to allowing each student to work closely with one instructor provides a built-in ability to
- adjust the speed of instruction to match the best pace for the student,
- spend as much time as the student needs on assignments and tests,
- provide additional technology, and
- review material more frequently than classroom teachers can.
Contact us today to learn more about how our individualized approach to learning can benefit a wide range of students in the Houston area, including those that might qualify for special education services or a 504 plan, or to schedule a tour!