University Prep Science & Math (UPSM) Special Education
Opportunities and Services
General and special education opportunities and services are available to any and all students enrolled in the UPSM school district including students who are homeless, wards of the state, students living in residential facilities, and students of migrant workers.
Definition of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
A specific learning disability is “a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, writing, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. A SLD does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; mental retardation; emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.” (34 CFR § 300.8(c)(10).
Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Determination
According to the Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services memorandum of April 14, 2010 from Eleanor White, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) allows a district to use a “Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses Process” for the determination of a Specific Learning Disability and includes the following:
- The student does not achieve adequately for the student’s age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified at 34 CFR §300.309(a)(1)(i) when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the student’s age or State-approved grade-level standards; and
- The student exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the Multi-disciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) to be relevant to the identification of a SLD, using appropriate assessments, consistent with the IDEA evaluation procedures and additional requirements for evaluations and reevaluations.
The University Prep Science & Math school district is in the process of implementing Response to Intervention (RtI) for reading, writing, math and behavior. Due to partial implementation of RtI throughout all grades and all buildings, the UPSM school district uses a “Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses Process” for the determination of a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) throughout the school district.