Education Specialist (EdS)
Semester of Degree Completion
Gerhard C. Matzner
In February, 1977 Supportive Services (SS) was designed as a special education program for the elementary schools in Community Unit District #3, Georgetown, Illinois. Georgetown has 900 students in grades kindergarten through eight.
Three special education teachers developed the supportive services program with input from other district specialists who work with exceptional children. Following study sessions and writing the program, approval was sought from the director of the special education district, the school principal, and the school district superintendent. Upon request of the superintendent, the teachers presented the program to the school board for approval. After approval was received from the board of education, programs and workshops were planned by the special education teachers and the administrators to present the program to classroom teachers and parents to gain their cooperation in the implementation of the SS program.
The program is cross-categorical and includes students labeled educable mentally handicapped, learning disabled, and behavioral disordered. Special education students are based in a regular classroom and spend at least 51 percent of the school day in that classroom joining in activities with their peers. The portion of the school day the child spends in the SS classroom is programmed to fit each child's educational plan. The child's work may be either instructional or supportive. Supportive Services utilizes an academic approach to work with the child's perceptual deficiencies.
Transitional kindergarten is a part of the SS program as well as a part of the kindergarten program. At the end of the kindergarten year, children, who have not accomplished the academic requirements for the first grade, are provisionally placed in special education for one year on the basis of minimal testing. This appraisal is based on pre and post testing of the kindergartners. These students attend school a full day, half of the day is spent in repeating kindergarten and half the day is spent in SS. Special education remediation techniques are utilized with perceptual and academic deficiencies. At the end of the year all transitional kindergarten children return to the first grade classroom. If serious special education problems are suspected, the child is referred for full psychological evaluation and a placement conference.
Opinion surveys of the regular classroom teachers were made in 1978 and 1981. The teachers had positive attitudes toward the social and academic progress that the special education students had made. They approved of the increased cooperation between special education teachers and classroom teachers. Some teachers noted that problems existed in grading and scheduling. In general, the teachers and administrators feel that the positive aspects of the SS program help to better serve the needs of the students.
Thompson, Nancy B., "An Elementary Special Education Program, Community Unit District #3, Georgetown, Illinois" (1982). Masters Theses. 2936.