The Garrett County Public Schools is committed to the delivery of effective special education programs and services provided to students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. All students must have available to them a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for employment, post-secondary education and independent living.
The administration and staff of the Garrett County Public Schools believe:
- a free appropriate educational program in the least restrictive environment should be provided to all children and youth with disabilities.
- programs for children with disabilities should be planned and implemented as an integral part of programs for nondisabled students.
- education should provide an equal opportunity for all students to develop as individuals according to their physical, intellectual, and social potential.
- early intervention is a necessary part of an effective delivery system.
- that in order to provide effective educational programs and services to children and youth with educational disabilities, it is essential that personnel be qualified and required to advance their skills by participating in ongoing staff development.
- collaborative efforts with agencies, parents, school teams and community groups are necessary to ensure quality and consistency of services to children with disabilities.
- accountability is the foundation inherent to quality services for children with disabilities.
- Provide a free appropriate education to students with disabilities from birth through the end of the school year the student is 21 years old who reside in the Garrett County Public School jurisdiction, including students attending non-public programs regardless of the severity of the disability, who are in need of special education and related services, in accordance with federal and state statutes, regulations, and the State Plan for Special EducationIn accordance with the purpose and philosophy, the Garrett County Public Schools must accomplish the following objectives:
- Provide a continuous “child find” procedure designed to identify students who have a disability and are in need of special education and related services from age 3 through the end of the school year the student is 21 years old
- Develop and implement an IEP based upon assessed needs for each student who is identified as having an educational disability and who is in need of special education and related services
- Provide special education and related services in the student’s least restrictive environment
- Increase the percent of youth with IEP’s graduating from high school with a regular diploma and decrease the percent of youth with IEP’s dropping out of high school.
- Provide instruction of grade level curriculum to all students with IEP’s to meet the rigorous state standards to become college and career ready
- Work cooperatively with the parents of students who are identified as needing special education and related services
- Ensure that the confidentiality of information and all due process protections are maintained
- Provide for the successful transition of students with disabilities from school to appropriate postsecondary outcomes
- Provide for a smooth transition of children from Part C – Infants and Toddlers Program to Part B – Preschool Special Education.
- Provide ongoing staff development to enhance the instructional skills of special and general educators.
- Meet all state and federal timelines in regard to identification for special education services.
Heather Raybold, Director, Special Education