One in six Gary Community School Corporation students has a disability. To help every child succeed, our Office of Special Education and Student Services focuses on academic outcomes, aspirations for our students and regulatory compliance. Today, we are providing our students with more stability and continuity, new opportunities for inclusion and higher-quality programs that are aligned with district efforts to help all our students reach a high standard.
Gary Community School Corporation provides a continuum of services for students with disabilities, age 2 to 21 inclusive, who are found eligible to receive special education services. Special education services are provided in the least restrictive environment in the neighborhood school to the maximum extent appropriate for children with disabilities so they may be educated with children who are not disabled. City-wide special education services are provided in specific situations when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in general education classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
The Gary Community School Corporation Special Education department ensures that the identified needs of students with disabilities are met and that all appropriate guidelines and regulations are followed, in order to ensure higher achievement for students with disabilities.
Lisa Richardson, Administrative Assistant
1988 Polk Street
Gary, IN 46407
Secondary: Phone: 219-881-5405
Gary Community School Corporation seeks to build and strengthen home/school/community partnerships to enable students with special needs to become active, participating, contributing members of society.
“Provide visionary leadership that focuses on improved outcomes for students with special needs” recognizes the individual needs of each child and the belief that all children can learn and be contributing members of society.
Partnerships: School, family and community focused on continuous improvement
Leadership: Looking beyond what is, to what is possible
Collaboration: Working together to share knowledge
Lifelong learning: Engaged professional learning communities
Communication: Active process
All students can learn with appropriately defined learning objectives.
Curricula and instructional strategies reflective of best practice research that meet the diversity of individual student needs.
Learning is a shared responsibility among students, families, staff and community.
A positive, safe learning environment encourages and supports student and staff wellness, safety, diversity, creativity, and collaboration.
Clearly defined goals shared by all stakeholders.
Significantly, increased inclusion (least restrictive environment-LRE) opportunities. Last year 65% of students in self-contained, isolated classroom, This year only 40%. Students with increased general education opportunities when from 15% to 34%.
Significant reduction in suspensions and expulsions of student with special needs. Zero expulsions.
Revised procedures and processes to address areas of concern (LRE, discipline, timeliness of initial evaluations).
Employed special education case managers to oversee the special education processes and IEP meeting of all schools.
Instituted Response to Intervention (RTI) in all school to address students academic and behavioral needs without referring to special education as the only means of intervention.
Participation with Tri-City Special Games increasing student’s exposure to peers.
Increased professional development opportunities for special education staff, service personnel ( social workers, speech therapists, school psychologists), case managers and RTI facilitators to ensure best practice implementation.
Increased Child Find opportunities, especially for students ages 3-5 years, to ensure early interventions.
Instituted early intervention literacy development for K, 1st, 2nd grade students.
In the process of revising all district policies to reflect most recent IDEA re-authorization and best practice implementation.
The Gary Community School Corporation provides a comprehensive array of programs and services from pre-school through grades 12 designed to address the needs of identified students who have a disability and require specialized instruction. The Special Education Department is committed to providing a supportive environment in which our students with special education needs can develop academic, social, emotional, vocational and life skills. The department strives to assist each student to access a variety of learning opportunities by offering modified academic classes, support for general education classes and related services. Our staff assists students in their efforts to become self-aware, self-advocating and self-directed learners.
Gary Community School Corporation’s Special Education Program Vision:
“Building a promising future for all students” supports the following program goals:
Student Achievement: Increase student growth/progress in the areas of academics, social/emotional learning and independence
Continuous Improvement: Engage in a systemic process to enhance programs and services
Collaborative Partnerships: Influence change at the local, state, and federal levels through partnerships to improve student outcomes
Fiscal Responsibility: Support organizational goals through a fiscally responsible allocation of resources
Gary Community School Corporation provides an educational setting that permits students with special needs to be educated with students without disabilities. This notion is referred to as Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The chart below demonstrates a continuum of placements offered by GCSC beginning with the least restrictive environment (general education), to the most restrictive environment (residential placement).