Student Support Services
Students-Teacher Assistance Team
Center City PCS provides supports to ensure we meet the diverse needs of all students. This support begins with the Student-Teacher Assistance Team (STAT)– a form of prevention and early intervention for students with identified needs that may prevent them from accessing the learning experience. The STAT provides a targeted plan of support to students with academic and behavioral difficulties. Students in this process are provided with targeted interventions and are monitored closely.
An interventionist at each school chairs the STAT and it also includes teachers, an administrator, and if relevant a counselor, occupational therapist, and a speech-language pathologist. Students are referred to the STAT based on a variety of screening tools, including beginning-of-year benchmarks, curriculum-based assessments, observation, and a review of student work samples. Parents may also refer students to the STAT by contacting their child’s classroom teacher. Students may be referred for special education services if a careful review of data indicates they have not made adequate progress and the team suspects an underlying disability. Students may also be referred for special education services without completing the STAT process if there is reason to suspect a disability before the STAT process is completed.
Students with Disabilities
Students eligible for special education services receive supports as outlined in their Individualized Education Program (IEP), which may include specialized instruction in reading, math, or writing. Students with IEPs may also require related services such as speech, occupational therapy, or counseling, as well as supplemental aids that are designed to promote their development as learners.
Our goal at Center City is to educate students with disabilities in the general education classroom as much as possible. To meet our goal of inclusion, special and general education teachers work closely to ensure lesson delivery and materials are designed to meet students’ individual needs. Students who require intensive remediation may receive part of their instruction outside the classroom in a small group or in a one-to-one setting as determined by their IEP. Students’ progress is monitored continuously to ensure students are demonstrating growth and to inform necessary changes to a student’s IEP.
At Center City, students are typically referred to the special education process through the STAT process. Parents, school personnel, and outside agencies may also request special education evaluation in person or in writing, after which the parent will be invited to attend a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) meeting to review data and determine whether special education evaluation is necessary. Parental consent is required prior to the evaluation, and as required, formal assessments will be conducted at no cost to the parent in all areas of concern. Eligibility decisions for special education are determined through a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) decision and require careful consideration of student data and IDEA eligibility criteria.
Students with documented disabilities or medical conditions who are not eligible for special education services may be eligible for a 504 Accommodation Plan under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A 504 Plan designates specific accommodations that a student may need to alleviate impairments that impact their ability to access the learning environment. At the campus level, the school counselor acts as the 504 Team Chair and leads meetings to determine eligibility, create, and update 504 Accommodations Plans.
Center City has an affirmative obligation to identify, locate and evaluate students who may be in need of special education services. A parent is not required to request an evaluation in order for Center City to refer a student for an evaluation. If there is reason to suspect that a student has a disability and requires special education, Center City will refer that student for an evaluation to determine if he or she needs an IEP or 504 plan.
Parents can also learn more about their rights under IDEA by referring to the Part B Procedural Safeguards located on OSSE’s website https://osse.dc.gov/publication/rights-parents-students-disabilities-idea-part-b-notice-procedural-safeguards or by contacting Miakoda Atkins-Mose (contact information above) to obtain a copy of their Procedural Safeguards.