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STEPS

STEPS serves students (ages 5-21) with severe and/or multiple disabilities, including intellectual disability, autism, orthopedic, traumatic brain injury, and medical health needs. The program is characterized by a low student:staff ratio, individualized special instruction, a modified curriculum, specialized equipment and materials, and a team of specialists providing additional instruction, therapy, and staff training and consultation to augment the variety of classroom-based services. Homebound services to STEPS-eligible students and extended school year services are  provided. Specialists include nurses, speech/language pathologists, Regional service providers, and vocation/program specialists as well as supervisors who provide training and technical assistance to ESD and building staff. Districts provide classroom space/facilities, school day transportation, building-level administrative support, and custodial services.

STEPS Program Differentiated Models
 
The STEPS Program is now serving students in four differentiated classroom models which will focus more specifically on the individualized needs of students:
 

  1. STEPS classes,
  2. SAFE classes,
  3. CARE classes, and
  4. Transition classes
 
The following model descriptions include the purpose of each model, focus (areas of need and development), staffing, and classroom design (including curriculum and instructional/behavioral strategies).  All STEPS, SAFE, and CARE classroom models will be organized in groupings of students in two class sites, co-lead by a special education teacher and other licensed specialist(s) and staffed by our highly trained and experienced Educational Assistants.  There is currently only one Transition site.
 
 
Model: STEPS
Purpose: To educate students with multiple/severe disabilities in order to support their independence, learning, communication, and social development
Focus: Functional/academic skills and communication
Co-Teachers Special Education Teacher and Speech/Language Pathologist
Specialists: Feeding and Swallowing Specialist, Augmentative Communication Specialist, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Nurses, Vision and Hearing Itinerant Teachers, and Autism Consultants
# Educational Assistants 3-4 Assistants per class
Curriculum Literacy and language rich environment; consistent use and application of visual supports and assistive technology to support student independence and academics
 
 
 
Model: SAFE (Structured And Functional Environment)
Purpose: To educate students with multiple/severe disabilities who have challenging behaviors in an environment that supports their independence in daily living, social, and motor activities
Focus: Social relationships, emotional control, appropriate behavior, and independence
Co-Teachers Special Education Teacher and Behavior Support Specialist
Specialists: School Psychologist, Autism Consultants, Speech Language Pathologists, Augmentative Communication Specialist, and Behavior Support Specialists
# Educational Assistants 3-4 Assistants per class
Curriculum Social training, tiered positive behavior systems, and individual behavior support plans; consistent use and application of visual supports and assistive technology to support student independence and behavior monitoring and support
 
 
 
Model: CARE (Comfort, Attention and Response to Emergencies)
Purpose: To educate students with multiple/severe disabilities who have medically involved conditions in an environment that supports their independence in daily living, social, and motor activities
Focus: Visual, motor, communicative, and intellectual development
Co-Teachers Special Education Teacher, Nurse, and Physical Therapist
Specialists: Feeding and Swallowing Specialist, Augmentative Communication Specialist, Speech/Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Nurses, Vision and Hearing Itinerant Teachers, and Autism Consultants
# Educational Assistants 3-4 Assistants per class
Curriculum Medically supportive environment with focus on regularly scheduled nursing procedures, emergency protocols, medication administration and feeding/swallowing protocols; consistent use and application of visual supports and assistive technology to support student independence in academics, social and vocational development
 
 
Model: Transition
Purpose: To educate post-high school age students with multiple/severe disabilities in order to support their education, employment, and independent living needs as they move into adulthood
Focus: Transition services
Co-Teachers Special Education Teacher and Transition Specialist
Specialists: YTP (Youth Transition Project) Specialist, Nurses, Occupational and Physical Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Feeding and Swallowing Specialist, Augmentative Communication Specialist, Vision and Hearing Itinerant Teachers, and Autism Consultants
# Educational Assistants 5 Assistants per class
Curriculum Focus on independence, functional life skills, and job experiences; consistent use and application of visual supports and assistive technology to support student independence; Person Centered Planning; integration with peers and community members to increase social, recreation, and leisure skills; collaboration with other service agencies; involvement of parents, family members, and other natural support systems

The STEPS vision of quality of life for students educated in the STEPS program is an adult who enjoys life, demonstrates effective skills and habits, and actively participates and contributes to the community. This requires administrative support; involvement of parents, districts, and community; professional relationships; a safe, nurturing environment; opportunities for reaching potential; and an individualized and functional curriculum.

For more information, email: steps@soesd.k12.or.us
or call: 541-776-8551.




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