Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 8. Education
Agency 20. State Board of Education
Chapter 543. Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia

8VAC20-543-460. Special education adapted curriculum K-12.

A. The program in special education is designed to ensure through coursework and field experiences in a variety of settings that the candidate has demonstrated the core competencies in this section to prepare children and youth for participation in the general education curriculum and within the community to the maximum extent possible. The candidate also shall complete the competencies in at least one of the endorsement areas of Special Education Adapted Curriculum K-12, in addition to those required under professional studies, including reading and language acquisition. The program shall ensure that the candidate has demonstrated the following competencies:

1. Foundations. Characteristics, legal, and medical aspects.

a. Knowledge of the foundation for educating students with disabilities, including:

(1) Historical perspectives, models, theories, philosophies, and trends that provide the basis for special education practice;

(2) Characteristics of children and youth with disabilities relative to age, varying levels of severity, and developmental differences manifested in cognitive, linguistic, physical, psychomotor, social, or emotional functioning;

(3) Normal patterns of development, such as physical, psychomotor, cognitive, linguistic, social, and emotional development and their relationship to the various disabilities;

(4) Medical aspects of disabilities;

(5) The dynamic influence of the family system and cultural and environmental milieu and related issues pertinent to the education of students with disabilities;

(6) Educational implications of the various disabilities; and

(7) Understanding of ethical issues and the practice of accepted standards of professional behavior.

b. An understanding and application of the legal aspects, regulatory requirements, and expectations associated with identification, education, and evaluation of students with disabilities, including:

(1) Legislative and judicial mandates related to education and special education, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, etc.;

(2) Current regulations governing special education, including individualized education program (IEP) development; disciplinary practices, policies, and procedures; and alternative placements and programs in schools; and

(3) Rights and responsibilities of parents, students, teachers, and schools as they relate to individuals with disabilities and disability issues.

2. Assessments and evaluation.

An understanding and application of the foundation of assessment and evaluation related to best special education practice, including:

a. Ethical issues and responsibilities in the assessment of individuals with disabilities;

b. Procedures for screening, prereferral, referral, and eligibility determinations;

c. Factors that may influence assessment findings such as cultural, behavioral, and learning diversity;

d. A general knowledge of measurement theory and practice, including validity, reliability, norming, bias, sensitivity, and specificity;

e. Administration, scoring, and interpretation of commonly used individual and group instruments, including norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, and curriculum-based measures, as well as task analysis, observation, portfolio, and environmental assessments;

f. Synthesis and interpretation of assessment findings for eligibility, program planning, and program evaluation decisions; and

g. Knowledge of the Virginia Accountability System, assessment options, and procedures for participation for students with disabilities.

3. Management of instruction and behavior.

An understanding and application of classroom and behavior management techniques and individual interventions, including techniques that:

a. Promote emotional well-being and teach and maintain behavioral conduct and skills consistent with norms, standards, and rules of the educational environment;

b. Address diverse approaches and classroom organization based upon culturally responsive behavioral, cognitive, affective, social, and ecological theory and practice;

c. Provide positive behavioral supports; and

d. Are based on functional assessment of behavior.

4. Collaboration.

a. Skills in consultation, case management, and collaboration, including:

Coordination of service delivery with related service providers, general educators, and other professions in collaborative work environments to include:

(1) Understanding the Virginia Standards of Learning, structure of the curriculum, and accountability systems across K-12;

(2) Understanding and assessing the organization and environment of general education classrooms across the K-12 setting;

(3) Implementation of collaborative models, including collaborative consultation, co-teaching with co-planning, and student intervention teams;

(4) Procedures to collaboratively develop, provide, and evaluate instructional and behavioral plans consistent with students' individual needs;

(5) Understanding of the roles and responsibilities of each member of the collaborative team; and

(6) Knowledge and application of effective communication strategies and culturally responsive strategies with a variety of stakeholders in the collaborative environment;

b. Training, managing, and monitoring paraprofessionals;

c. Involving of families in the education of their children with disabilities;

d. Understanding the standards of professionalism;

e. Cooperating with community agencies and other resource providers; and

f. Models and strategies for promoting students' self-advocacy skills.

B. The program in special education adapted curriculum K-12 shall ensure through coursework and field experiences in a variety of settings that the candidate seeking endorsement in special education adapted curriculum has the special education core competencies and the specific competency requirements specified in this section. The candidate shall demonstrate the following competencies to prepare children and youth to acquire the functional, academic, and community living skills necessary to reach an appropriate level of independence and be assessed in progress toward an aligned curriculum while participating in programs with nondisabled peers to the fullest extent possible:

1. Characteristics.

a. Demonstrate knowledge of the definitions; characteristics, including medical and health conditions; and learning and behavioral support needs of students with disabilities (K-12) whose cognitive impairments or adaptive skills require adaptations to the general curriculum and whose functional skills are significantly different from typically developing peers, and therefore require adaptations to the general curriculum for an appropriate education, including students with:

(1) Autism spectrum disorders;

(2) Developmental delay;

(3) Intellectual disability;

(4) Traumatic brain injury; and

(5) Multiple disabilities, including sensory, deaf-blindness, speech-language, orthopedic and other health impairments as an additional disability to those referenced in subdivision 1 a of this subsection.

b. Knowledge of characteristics shall include:

(1) Medical needs, sensory needs, and position and handling needs of children with multiple disabilities;

(2) Speech and language development and communication and impact on educational, behavioral, and social interactions;

(3) Impact of disability on self-determination and self-advocacy skills; and

(4) Historical and legal perspectives, models, theories, philosophies, and trends related to specific student populations.

2. Individualized education program (IEP) development and implementation.

a. Demonstrate knowledge of the eligibility process and legal and regulatory requirements for IEP development including timelines, components, team composition, roles, and responsibilities.

b. Apply knowledge of content standards, assessment, and evaluation throughout the K-12 grade levels to:

(1) Construct, use, and interpret a variety of standardized and nonstandardized data collection techniques, such as task analysis, observation, portfolio assessment, and other curriculum-based measures;

(2) Make decisions about student progress, instruction, program, modifications, adaptations, placement, teaching methodology, and transitional services and activities for students with disabilities who are accessing the general education curriculum and the Virginia Standards of Learning through an aligned curriculum;

(3) Be able to write educationally relevant IEP goals and objectives that address self-care and self-management of student physical, sensory, and medical needs that also enhance academic success in the adapted curriculum.

3. Instructional methods and strategies for the adapted curriculum.

An understanding and application of service delivery, curriculum, and instruction of students with disabilities, including:

a. Curriculum development that includes a scope and sequence, lesson plans, instructional methods, and assessments that are based on grade level content standards;

b. Foundational knowledge of reading and writing that includes an understanding of the complex nature of language acquisition and reading, such as those found in the professional studies requirements in 8VAC40-543-140. Skills in this area include phonemic and other phonological awareness, an understanding of sound and symbol relationships, explicit phonics instruction, syllables, phonemes, morphemes, decoding skills, word attack skills, and knowledge of how phonics, syntax, and semantics interact. Additional skills shall include proficiency in a wide variety of comprehension strategies and writing, as well as the ability to foster appreciation of a variety of literature and independent reading; and reading and writing across the content areas;

c. Foundational knowledge of the complex nature of numeracy acquisition and the sequential nature of mathematics including mathematical concepts, mathematical thinking, calculation, and problem-solving;

d. Alternative ways to teach content material including curriculum adaptation and curriculum modifications;

e. Procedures to develop, provide, and evaluate instruction consistent with students' individual needs;

f. Strategies to promote successful integration of students with disabilities with their nondisabled peers;

g. Use of technology to promote student learning;

h. Structure and organization of general education classrooms and other instructional settings representing the continuum of special education services, to include field experiences;

i. Demonstrate the ability to implement individual educational planning and group instruction with students with disabilities who are accessing the general education curriculum and Virginia Standards of Learning through an aligned curriculum across the K-12 grade levels, including the ability to:

(1) Identify and apply differentiated instructional methodologies including systematic instruction, multisensory approaches, learning cognitive strategies, diverse learning styles, and technology use;

(2) Implement a blended curriculum that includes teaching academic skills using the aligned Virginia Standards of Learning and incorporating functional and essential life skills into instruction;

(3) Provide explicit instruction of reading, writing and mathematics at appropriate developmental and grade level in a cumulative manner to students with disabilities accessing the general education curriculum through an aligned curriculum;

(4) Conduct and analyze results of functional behavior assessment;

(5) Implement behavioral intervention plans incorporating positive behavioral supports;

(6) Promote the potential and capacity of individual students to meet high functional, academic, behavioral, and social expectations;

(7) Design alternative ways to teach content material including modifying and adapting the general education curriculum;

(8) Develop appropriate transition between grade levels, setting, and environments;

(9) Use assistive and instructional technology, including augmentative and alternative communication methods and systems;

(10) Implement and evaluate group management technique and individual interventions that teach and maintain emotional, behavioral, and social skills;

(11) Implement and monitor IEP specified modifications and adaptations within the general education classroom; and

(12) Integrate students in the community through collaboration with community service systems.

4. Individualized supports and specialized care of students with significant disabilities.

a. An understanding and application of service delivery for students with significant disabilities and their unique care needs, including the ability to identify the physical, sensory, and health and medical needs of students with significant disabilities and understand how these needs impact the educational program including:

(1) Understanding of typical physical development of children and application of this knowledge in developing learning experiences for students with significant disabilities;

(2) Basic understanding of the most common medical diagnoses associated with students with significant disabilities and the impact on their functioning in school and community settings;

(3) Understanding of the role muscle tone plays in the positioning and handling of students and familiarity with common positioning equipment used in the classroom; and

(4) Understanding of alternative and augmentative communication systems and the ability to identify an appropriate communication system based on the needs of the student.

b. Understanding of the roles and responsibilities of related and support staff working in a collaborative setting and the process and procedures related to initiating a related service request.

c. Ability to develop lesson plans that blend and incorporate the academic, functional, and behavioral goals and objectives, while integrating positioning, self-help, feeding, grooming, sensory, and toileting programs into the instructional delivery.

5. Transitioning.

Demonstrate the ability to prepare students and work with families to provide successful student transitions throughout the educational experience to include postsecondary education, training, employment, and independent living that addresses an understanding of long-term planning, age-appropriate transition assessments, career development, life skills, community experiences and resources, and self-determination to include goal setting, decision-making, problem-solving, self-awareness and self-advocacy, guardianship, and other legal considerations.

a. Skills in consultation, case management, and collaboration for students with varying degrees of disability severity, including.

(1) Coordinate service delivery with general educators including career and technical educators and school counselors, related services providers, and other providers;

(2) Awareness of community resources agencies and strategies to interface with community agencies when developing and planning IEPs;

(3) Knowledge of related services and accommodations that pertain to postsecondary transitions that increase student access to postsecondary education and community resources; and

(4) Ability to coordinate and facilitate meetings involving parents, students, outside agencies, and administrators to include the understanding of consent to share information, including confidentiality and disability disclosure.

b. Understand the difference between entitlement and eligibility for agency services as students move to the adult world, including a basic understanding of Social Security Income benefits planning, work incentive, Medicaid, community independent living, and waivers.

c. Recognize uses of technology and seek out technology at postsecondary settings that shall aid the student in their education, work, and independent living.

d. Recognize and plan for individual student potential and their capacity to meet high academic, behavioral, and social expectations and the impact of academic and social success on personal development.

e. Knowledge of person-centered planning strategies to promote student involvement in planning.

f. Knowledge of generic skills that lead to success in school, work, and community, including time management, preparedness, social interactions, and communication skills.

g. Understand social skill development and the unique social skills deficits and challenges associated with disabilities:

(1) Assesses social skill strengths and needs; and

(2) Plans and uses specialized social skills strategies.

h. Knowledge of use and implementation of vocational assessments to encourage and support students' advocacy and self-determination skills.

i. Knowledge of legal issues surrounding age of majority and guardianship.

j. Knowledge of graduation requirements, diploma options and legal issues surrounding age of majority, and guardianship.

6. Understanding of and proficiency in grammar, usage, and mechanics and their integration in writing.

7. Understanding of and proficiency in pedagogy to incorporate writing as an instructional and assessment tool for candidates to generate, gather, plan, organize, and present ideas in writing to communicate for a variety of purposes.

C. Completion of supervised classroom experiences with students with disabilities and an adapted curriculum K-12.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16 and 22.1-298.2 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 34, Issue 24, eff. August 23, 2018.

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