Special Education Program Information

  • SUSD offers a full continuum of placements for those students who are eligible for special education services and supports. The programs listed below do not reflect what special education services or placements will be offered to any individual student but are specialized instructional program types available to support the needs of a variety of eligible students within the district. Special Education Program Placement decisions are made by the individual education program(IEP) team comprised of both school staff and parents. SUSD is required to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to students who are eligible for special education services. What constitutes a free and appropriate education is based upon the needs of the student and what the student requires to make progress in light of their individual circumstances.  The IEP team must legally consider the least restrictive environment (LRE) in which the student will receive services. Please note that special education is not a specific location or classroom. The amount of time that a student spends outside of a general education classroom receiving services and supports is determined by the individual needs of the student as outlined in the IEP not by the location of services.  They are individually tailored to the needs of each exceptional student.

    For a list of which of the following programs are at each school, download the PDF

Life Skills Center (LSC)

  • The Life Skills Center is an instructional program. Programming focuses on individual strengths and needs of identified students. The purpose of the program is to provide appropriate support to enable the students to function as independently as possible throughout their school years and transition to adult life.

Social Communication Academic (SCA)

  • The Social Communication Academic class is a cross categorical instructional program.  Programming focuses on individual strengths and needs of identified students.  This program is based upon a structured teaching model, a highly organized and visual approach.  It incorporates daily integrated language development, integrated sensory stimulation, academic skill development and social skill development.

Academic Learning Center (ALC)

  • The Academic Learning Center is a cross categorical instructional program.  Programming focuses on individual strengths and needs of identified students. Students have primary difficulty with all academic skills and minimal deficits in behavior, social skills, and communication skills.  Instruction provided to improve student’s success in academic, interpersonal, and daily living skills. 

Learning Resource Center (LRC)

  • This program is a cross-categorical program for eligible students.  Services are provided on each campus throughout the district.  Students in the LRC program are able to make progress in the regular education classroom with the help of Special Education services.  The purpose of the LRC program is to provide additional support in specially designed instruction to enable the learners success.

Students Utilizing Comprehensive Coping Education Strategies (SUCCESS)

  • SUCCESS is a cross categorical instructional program.  Programming focuses on individual strengths and needs of identified students. Students with social and emotional needs benefit from a highly structured, supportive learning environment. Based on each student’s individualized educational plan (IEP) this environment supports academic, behavioral and social interventions. Students may spend a majority of the day in the classroom, or only receive periodic monitoring by staff, based upon student needs and progression through the program. The social skills aspect of the curriculum as well as the instructional approaches are designed to enhance self-esteem, develop pro-social skills, and develop more effective social and emotional problem-solving and conflict resolution skills within the educational setting.

ContentPreschool Assessed Needs in Developmental Areas (PANDA)

  • PANDA is a cross categorical Programming focused on individual strengths and needs of identified students.  PANDA provides preschool intervention services for 3-5 year old children with special needs and is designed to facilitate the growth and development of young students with special needs through early intervention. PANDA is designed to meet the diverse needs of students as they participate in a holistic approach to a play-based classroom environment. Curriculum is child-centered and developmentally appropriate. 

    For more information, visit www.susd.org/Panda 

Students Holistically Integrated Nursing Experiences (SHINE)

  • SHINE is designed to provide a range of integrated services to meet the student’s needs as indicated in the IEP as well as the medical plan of care.  It is a cross categorical program with a multi-disciplinary team consisting of educational specialists, and therapists.  SHINE provides skilled nursing services as needed for students who have complex medical needs and special education needs.

Scottsdale Community Opportunity for Real-world Education (SCORE)

  • The Transition School to Work (TSW) Program, in partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation, assists students in the transition process from school into competitive or supportive employment through post-secondary training and education.  The purpose of this program is to help students develop skills they can utilize beyond their high school experience. 

    A variety of activities are offered to guide the students toward becoming employed through training services, community outreach, job related instruction, independent living skills training, assistance with transition planning through self-advocacy engagement.

Kindergarten - Academic, Behavior, Communication (K-ABC)

  • The Kindergarten - Academic, Behavior, Communication (K-ABC) is a program for Kindergarten students who are demonstrating or are approaching pre-academic skills. This is a one-year program intended to be a transition from PANDA to first grade.  This program prepares children by independently mainstreaming students into a general education Kindergarten class during the school year.

Model Classroom Initiative (MCI)

  • The Model Classroom Initiative (MCI) is an instructional elementary program with a concentration on social, functional communication, behavior, and academics. The model classroom heavily focuses on 10 components of classroom design: functional communication, physical structure, ability appropriate schedules, IEP driven tasks, behavior specific praise, IEP goal data books, thick reinforcement schedules, work systems, calming corner, and social skills.