Special Education

Joy Preparatory Academy identifies and evaluates all children in the school who may have special needs. We embrace the philosophy of personalized instruction and educate all students in the general education classroom when possible. Teachers accept responsibility for educating all students in their classroom, modifying and accommodating instruction as needed. Special education staff supports the regular classroom teacher with this process.

Our knowledgeable staff is able to provide the individualized attention that each child needs to perform to his or her fullest potential, academically, socially and developmentally.

Approach to Determination of Specific Learning Disabilities
The academy has adopted the Wayne County RESA Guidelines for determining eligibility for specific learning disabilities which combines the processes of Response to Intervention and Patterns of Strengths and Weakness. You may access these guidelines by going to the following link:

http://www.resa.net/services/spedcompliance/learningdisabilities/  

You can also obtain additional information by contacting the school. 

What is a Specific Learning Disability (SLD)?
  A specific learning disability is “a disorder in one or more of the basicpsychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken  or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia that adversely affects a   student’s educational performance. A SLD does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.” (34 CFR § 300.8(c)
(10)).
 
Determination of SLD

In accordance with the Wayne County Process and the  Michigan Department of Education (MDE), Joy Preparatory Academy uses
Response to Intervention (RtI) and Pattern of Strength and Weakness (PSW) to determine the existence of a specific learning disability (SLD): 
 
RtI:
A research-based instructional framework that promotes a well-integrated system connecting general, special, gifted and remedial education in providing high-quality, standards based instruction and intervention that is matched to students’ academic, social-emotional, and behavioral needs. This framework  focuses on continuous improvement by using learning rate over time and level of performance to make important educational decisions. RtI serves two primary purposes: (1) to improve the educational outcome for each and every student through a multi-tiered, data driven process that utilizes a structured problem-solving method and (2) to establish a process to assist in the identification of students with a specific learning disability. 
 
Pattern of Strength and Weakness:

Students who do not respond to scientifically validated and researched based instruction may need a full and individual evaluation of academic and cognitive/intellectual functioning. A balanced approach to the evaluation of a  specific learning disability within the context of a full and individual evaluation should incorporate not only historical performance data (e.g., teacher based, work samples, benchmark assessments), but also, standardized  cognitive and academic assessment. There are several “patterns of strength and weakness” models that have been developed to evaluate students for learning   disability. Each of these models follows four general principles: (1) a global IQ is deemphasized in favor of pattern of strengths and weaknesses, (2) a SLD pattern of cognitive and academic strengths and weaknesses should be seen within an otherwise normal ability profile, (3) academic deficits and cognitive deficits should be conceptually and/or empirically linked, and (4) most cognitive abilities that do not relate to the area of academic concern are  average or above.
 
Who Evaluates for Determination of  SLD?

In compliance with the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE), a Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) conducts a full and individual evaluation of a student suspected to have a SLD. The MET, based upon its evaluation of the student, then makes its commendation of eligibility to the Individualized Education Program Team (IEPT). The student’s IEPT then determines SLD eligibility.