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
7/5/2020

8VAC20-543-500. Special Education General Curriculum K-12.

A. The program in special education is designed to ensure through course work 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 required under professional studies in 8VAC40-543-140, including reading and language acquisition.

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, including physical, psychomotor, cognitive, linguistic, social, or 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 (e.g., 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, pre-referral, 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 to classroom organization and set-up 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 Standards of Learning, the 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 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. Involvement 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 general curriculum K-12 shall ensure through coursework and field experiences in a variety of settings that the candidate seeking endorsement in special education general curriculum K-12 has the special education core competencies and the specific competency requirements specified in this section.

1. Characteristics.

a. Demonstrate knowledge of definitions, characteristics, and learning and behavioral support needs of students with disabilities whose cognitive and functional skills are not significantly different from typically developing peers and therefore require access to the general education curriculum for an appropriate education, including students with:

(1) Autism spectrum disorder;

(2) Deaf-blindness;

(3) Developmental delay;

(4) Emotional disability;

(5) Hearing impairment, including deaf and hard of hearing;

(6) Intellectual disability;

(7) Learning disability;

(8) Multiple disabilities;

(9) Orthopedic impairment;

(10) Other health impairment;

(11) Speech-language impairment;

(12) Traumatic brain injury; and

(13) Visual impairment, including blindness.

b. Knowledge of characteristics shall include:

(1) Age-span and developmental issues;

(2) Levels of severity;

(3) Cognitive functioning;

(4) Language development;

(5) Emotional and behavioral adjustment;

(6) Social development;

(7) Medical aspects; and

(8) Cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic factors.

2. Individualized education program 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, accommodations, placement, teaching methodology, and transition services and activities for students with disabilities who are accessing the general education curriculum and the Virginia Standards of Learning; and

(3) Develop an individualized education program (IEP) that addresses the academic and functional needs of the student with disabilities in the general education curriculum and meets regulatory requirements.

3. Instructional strategies for reading and writing.

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 the general education curriculum Virginia Standards of Learning at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels;

b. Foundational knowledge of reading and writing that includes an understanding of the complex nature of language acquisition and reading, such as reading competencies found in the professional studies requirements. Skills in this area include: phonemic 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, vocabulary, and writing strategies, as well as the ability to foster appreciation of a variety of literature, independent reading, and reading and writing across content areas;

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

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

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

f. Use of technology to promote student learning;

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

h. Demonstrate the ability to implement individual educational planning and group instruction with students with disabilities who are accessing the general education 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, study skills, diverse learning styles, and technology use;

(2) Teach skills and remediate deficits in academic areas at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels;

(3) Provide explicit instruction of reading and writing at appropriate developmental and grade level in a systematic and cumulative manner to students with disabilities who are accessing the general education curriculum;

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

(5) Design alternative ways to teach content material including modifying curriculum in both directive and nondirective methodologies;

(6) Use assistive and instructional technology in order to access the general education curriculum;

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

(8) Implement and monitor IEP specified accommodations within the general education classroom.

4. Instructional strategies for mathematics.

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 the general education curriculum Virginia Standards of Learning at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels;

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

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

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

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

f. Use of technology to promote student learning;

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

h. Demonstrate the ability to implement individual educational planning and group instruction with students with disabilities who are accessing the general education 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, study skills, diverse learning styles, and technology use;

(2) Teach skills and remediate deficits in academic areas at the elementary, middle, and secondary levels;

(3) Provide explicit instruction in mathematics at appropriate developmental and grade level in a systematic and cumulative manner to students with disabilities who are accessing the general education curriculum;

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

(5) Design alternative ways to teach content material including modifying curriculum in both directive and nondirective methodologies;

(6) Use assistive and instructional technology in order to access the general education curriculum;

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

(8) Implement and monitor IEP specified accommodations within the general education classroom.

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, transition assessments, career development, life skills, community experiences and resources, self-advocacy, and self-determination, guardianship, and legal considerations.

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

(1) Coordinate service delivery with general educators, related service 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.

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, and community independent living.

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:

(1) Knowledge of person-centered planning strategies to promote student involvement in planning; and

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

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

(1) Assess social skill strengths and needs; and

(2) Plan and use specialized social skills strategies.

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

g. 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 the general curriculum K-12.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

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

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