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Life skills
Life skills


Life Skills is a cross-categorical program for high school students, grades 9-12, whose needs require more intensive special education services than can be provided in federal settings I or II. Typically, the students served in this program have special education disability designations of Students Needing Alternative Programming (SNAP), Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) or Mild Developmental Cognitive Disability (Mild DCD). Some students may also have behavior needs in addition to their primary academic disabilities. Many of these students have a history of placement in special programs, while some students are referred in their middle school years, when the team determines the student will need a more intensive program for high school. Generally, students in this program are significantly discrepant from peers academically. Often, these students academic skills are below grade level in multiple areas.

The Life Skills programs are tailored to meet individual student needs, and they generally include a focus on basic academic skills with a shift toward more functional programming and preparing students for independent living and working. After age 16, students may spend a portion of their school day at a supervised job site.

Students IEP goals typically include functional academic as well as life skills areas. The goal is to prepare students for independent adult life. Vocational/transition planning is a focus for students. Many students also need assistance in improving their social and problem-solving skills.

Life Skills is a federal setting III program where students receive more than 60% of their school day in special education programming Whenever appropriate, students receive instruction in the general education setting. Students may have vocational/transition services delivered off campus at a supervised job site.

For every 15 students in the program, there is a teacher, a special education assistant and social work time. Teachers must have an SLD or DCD license; multiple licenses are preferred. Other related services are available depending upon the needs of an individual student.

Students are referred to Life Skills by a school team that follows the Special Education Placement Policy (SEPP), including consultation with a District Program Facilitator (DPF). When students arrive from other states or districts with IEPs specifying a setting III academic program, the IEP team may consider Life Skills as an option for placement.

Edison, Henry, Roosevelt, South, Southwest

Pari Beyzavi, DPF 

Marty Amundson, Director Special Education Programs