Purpose and Philosophy
PurposeThe Garrett County Public Schools is committed to the delivery of effective special education programs and services provided for 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.
PhilosophyThe administration and staff of the Garrett County Public Schools believe:
- A free, appropriate educational program in the least restrictive environment should be provided for 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 for 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 the quality and consistency of services for children with disabilities.
- Accountability is the foundation inherent to quality services for children with disabilities.
- Provide free appropriate education for students with disabilities from birth through the end of the school year. The student is 21 years old and resides 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 education in 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 the assessed needs of 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 IEPs graduating from high school with a regular diploma and decrease the percent of youth with IEPs dropping out of high school.
- Provide instruction of grade-level curriculum to all students with IEPs 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 the information and all due process protection is 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 the identification of special education services.
Dr. Chelsie Manges, Director of Special Education
301.334.7657 (phone)301.334.7642 (fax)