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Special Populations Department

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WELCOME

One in six Gary Community School Corporation students has a disability. To help every child succeed, our Special Populations Department 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 Populations 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.

 

INTERIM DIRECTOR OF SPECIAL POPULATIONS

Thorrie Graham
E: tgraham@garycsc.k12.in.us
(219) 886-6400 ext. 91403 

SUPPORT STAFF

ELL-HIGH ABILITY COORDINATOR
Katie Chayhitz
E: kchayhitz@garycsc.k12.in.us
219-886-6400 Ext. 91402

 

PRESCHOOL COORDINATOR
Jennifer Rogers
E: jrogers@garycsc.k12.in.us
219-886-6542

Lisa Richardson, Administrative Assistant – Grant Specialist
E: lrichardson@garycsc.k12.in.us

ADDRESS

900 Gerry Street
Gary, IN 46406

TELEPHONE

Phone: 219-881-5404
Secondary: Phone: 219-881-5405

To continue to improve the education, social-emotional growth, and post-secondary success of students with special needs. 

· All students are entitled to a quality education.

· All students are entitled to learn in a positive and safe environment.

· Parents are an essential member of their child’s educational process.

· Learning is a shared responsibility among students, families, and staff.

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%.

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.

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.

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 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 services offered by GCSC beginning with the least restrictive environment (general education), to the most restrictive environment (residential services).

General Education

Resource

Part-Time

Full Time

Alternative Education

Residential