Special Educational Needs Policy

  • Introduction

    This policy sets out the ways in which the school will support students with special educational needs in participating in a learning community that allows every student to be challenged academically, enhance positive self-esteem, develop respect and concern for others and become responsible independent global thinkers.


    To provide students in both PYP and MYP, with access to a rich and balanced global curriculum that encourages inquiry and is relevant to their needs and interests.

    To identify, assess and provide for students with special educational needs.

    To support all staff in working with students with special educational needs.

    To encourage cooperation and coordination between students, classroom teachers, families, administrators with Special Education teachers and staff to create a positive learning experience for students with special educational needs.

    To follow Portland Public Schools, Oregon State and US Federal Guidelines and Laws governing Special Education.

    To use Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) tools and techniques to better support all students, regardless of whether they are identified as having Special Educational Needs.

    Portland Public Schools' Special Education Mission

    The Special Education Department offers the right supports at the right time, solving challenges and celebrating successes. We enrich the lives of all students Pre-K through High School by providing programs and services that address the needs of the whole child: academic instruction, vocational services/training, social/emotional skills training, behavioral interventions, mental health services and family supports.

    Definition of Special Educational Needs

    Children with Special Educational Needs are defined by the Oregon Administrative Rules for Special Education as: “children or students who require special education because of: autism, communication disorders, deaf, blindness, emotional disturbances, hearing impairments including deafness, intellectual disability, orthopedic impairments, other health impairments, specific learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, or visual impairments including blindness.”

    Assessment and Identification of Needs

    Students who might have Special Educational Needs are referred by either a teacher or parent to be evaluated consisting of teachers, specialists and family meets to determine a student's eligibility for services and what, if any, additional screenings need to be performed. Additional meetings are held yearly to modify Individual Education Programs or 504 plans as needed or to exit the student.

    Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plans

    An Individual Education Program (IEP) is a written statement of an educational program that is developed, reviewed, revised and implemented for a school-aged child with a disability.

    The Section 504 Student Accommodation Plan documents the specific accommodations or supports the student needs to ensure that the individual needs of the student with a disability are met as adequately as the needs of non‐disabled students. The comparison is to an average student in the general population. The Section 504 plan is designed to provide appropriate support, not necessarily all of the supports that would “maximize the student’s potential” or “the best supports”.

    The Vernon Learning Center Provides:

    Push-in services to support learning across the curriculum in the least restrictive environment.

    Pull-out services to support the acquisition of basic academic skills as needed.

    Modification of assessment to create tasks that allow students with Special Educational Needs the possibility of demonstrating their learning at the highest achievement levels as laid out in the International Baccalaureate Assessment Criteria and Vernon School's Interim Objectives.

    Monitoring and Evaluating this Policy

    The Special Educational Needs Policy will be reviewed once during each school year by the entire staff and modified as needed by the Vernon School Leadership Team.