Special Education

Special Education Department Information

The Special Education Department of Greenville High School provides a free appropriate public education to all children with disabilities in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

A student comes into the program once meeting the state of South Carolina and Greenville County criteria for a disability.

The special education department at GHS serves an average of 160 students on a daily basis, 60 in self-contained classes, and 100 in regular class with support services and/or through the resource program. Eight certified teachers and five teacher aides provide services that cover a wide spectrum. This does not include the speech itinerant teacher that comes on a weekly basis.

All students in special education have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is developed yearly. Many areas are addressed including student achievement levels, strengths and weaknesses, participation in statewide testing, justification for removal from regular class, documentation for interventions to achieve the least restrictive environment, yearly goals, short term objectives, and others. Special education teachers are required to administer alternate testing for those who do not take part in state testing. The IEP is put into effect after a committee comprised of teachers, student, parent/guardian, counselor, school administrator, and any other interested party reach consensus that the document is appropriate. The IEP is a federal requirement that insures the due process rights of the individual with a disability.

The main purpose of the department is to provide these students with the learning experiences they require to become informed and productive citizens.

Philosophy, goals and expectations of the total GHS Special Education program

  • All disabled students should be served within a free, appropriate, educational environment
  • Needs of disabled students are met through a continuum of services
  • Education of a disabled student is cooperative effort on part of the school, involving parent and child
  • Community should be actively informed about and involved in programs for disabled student
  • Students' learning styles should be accommodated through adapted learning environments, curricula and methodology
  • Ongoing teacher training and state certification requirements are necessary to provide an appropriate educational experience for the student
  • Programs and services are for the benefit of students based on their individual needs
  • Special education program at GHS is a part of the total educational program

Definitions of Specific Special Education Classifications:

Specific Learning Disability:

The term "specific learning disability" means 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 an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or perform mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not apply to students who have learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, mental retardation, emotional disturbance, or environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Mental Disability:

The term "mental disability" means mental retardation, which is significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning and levels of achievement, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period.

Emotional Disability:

The term "emotional disability" means an emotional disturbance exhibited by one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to such a marked degree that it adversely affects the student's educational performance:

  • an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
  • an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
  • inappropriate types of behavior or feelings in normal circumstances;
  • a general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression;
  • a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problem. The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have a serious emotional disturbance.

Other Health Impairment:

The term "other health impairment" means a limitation in strength and vitality that can include a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, and that adversely affects a student's educational performance. This limitation is generally due to such chronic or acute health problems as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, and sickle cell anemia.

Self - Contained Programs and Models at GHS

  • Learning Disabled (Certificate and Occupational Credential)
  • Intellectually Disabled (Mild) (Certificate and Occupational Credential)
  • Educable Intellectually Disabled (Moderate) (Certificate )
  • Emotionally Disabled (Certificate and Occupational Credential)

In self-contained classes, the following disability areas divide students. Students in a functional program are not eligible for state diplomas at graduation. The District has adopted an Occupational Credential which will afford top achieving students to earn more than a certificate if they complete a more rigorous academic program along with work experience in competitive employment. The Supported Employment and Training program gives students the opportunity to train in job settings with guidance from a transition specialist. Students may also be employed and allowed to work during school hours while receiving credit. The Special Education teachers teach all core academic courses, as well as functional daily living classes. All special education students are included in elective classes with non-disabled peers with individual accommodations as needed.

Itinerant (Regular class with Support Services)

  • Learning Disabled
  • Educable Disabled (Mild)
  • Emotional Disabled
  • Other Health Impaired
  • Visual Impaired (Resource only)
  • Speech (Itinerant only)

Individual accommodations are at the heart of the resource model. Tutorial resource teachers work in conjunction with the regular education teacher so students with disabilities can receive a combined effort that will maximize their learning. Students are served one period daily in the resource setting. The tutorial resource program focuses on individual student needs as well as literacy and math skills. They also assist in preparing students for taking EOC exams and the HSAP. These students will earn one elective unit of credit if they meet the class goals and objectives. Students may also receive Support Services through consultative services. This is determined on an individual basis and is an IEP team decision.