Jeff Cyganiak, Director of Special Education
Rebecca Cook, Special Education Secretary
The School District of Shorewood offers a wide array of special education programming to meet the needs of all students in the least restrictive environment. There are eleven areas of special education that address a broad range of needs such as: autism, cognitive disabilities, speech and language, emotional behavioral disability, specific learning disabilities, hearing impairment, visual impairment, significant developmental delay, orthopedically impaired, traumatic brain injury and other health impairments.
The School District of Shorewood consistently hires highly qualified instructors and personnel to staff our special education program. Our program offers a variety of educational support services to our students with special needs such as: hearing itinerant services, occupational and physical therapy, speech and language therapy, vision iterant teachers, and orientation and mobility.
The School District of Shorewood currently serves 281 students with special needs ranging from pre-Kindergarten through age 21. The District assists these students with an assortment of accommodations and modifications that are based on individual student needs. Some students benefit from additional one-on-one support while others may simply need enlarged text or assistive technology to reach their maximum potential. Other students may require a completely different curriculum to address their social and emotional needs and remedial materials may substitute general education curriculum. Often times, with the modifications and accommodations such as those listed, most student needs are met in the regular classroom setting. However, some students have unique needs that require further accommodations and modifications to ensure their learning needs can be met.
SPECIAL EDUCATION PROCESS
In an effort to assist all students in finding success as they move ahead on their educational path, regular education teachers are expected to assess their students and identify any who may require additional support, or those who exhibit signs of learning problems. The School District is dedicated to working closely with all of our parents, but this is especially true in the case of a child with special needs. When a student is suspected of requiring special education services, we contact their parents/guardians and provide information regarding special education procedures. Parents and guardians have the right to accept or refuse a special education evaluation or a special education placement. If an evaluation is accepted, a group comprised of District professionals’ and the child’s parents/guardians is formed and is known as the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team. The IEP team follows very specific procedures under state and federal education law in considering if the child qualifies for special education. If a child meets criteria, the team drafts an Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP clearly states the child’s present level of performance and includes a series of goals that educators will work on with the student. Special education teachers and aides are informed of the specially designed instruction and receive implementation support through ongoing staff development sessions and regularly scheduled meetings. Special education teachers also collaborate with regular education teachers to support the student’s learning within the regular education classes that the student attends.
A SENSITIVELY DESIGNED PROGRAM
Each child has his or her own unique set of gifts and talents and because we recognize the individual needs of each of our students, we have designed a program that ignites the minds of students with special needs to awaken learning and explore possibilities. Shorewood’s special education program focuses on:
- Low student-to-teacher-ratio.
- Strong collaboration between special education and regular education teachers.
- Specialized programming for students who need assistance outside of the classroom.
- Classrooms outfitted to best meet occupational and physical therapy needs.
- Assistive technology.
- Educating students in the least restrictive environment.
- Partnerships with various community groups/settings to experience real-life lessons.
- Participation in Best Buddies and Special Olympic programs.
- Adaptive Physical Education so that students can benefit from physical education no matter their limitations.
For more information about the district's Special Education transition program, click here.
Click here for additional Special Education resources.