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Whittier School's Educational Programs

Whittier School is a separate school option for students who are in the moderate to severe range of disability and are non-diploma bound in grades K-12+. The students are significantly impacted by behavioral, communication, academic, sensory, and/or social needs. Whittier School provides a highly structured educational environment to assist students in acquiring academic, social, independent living, and vocational skills through alternate standards-based instruction. We implement a variety of positive behavior systems including school wide positive behavioral intervention support, behavior intervention plans, and a "caught you being good" reward system.

Students with moderate to severe disabilities and have an active Individualized Education Program (IEP) attend Whittier School, therefore opportunities for inclusive opportunities into the general education classrooms and access to general education peers cannot is not available.

Program Model: Whittier School's mission is to develop a partnership between students, parents, staff, and community to prepare students on their pathway to their post-secondary goals. We are dedicated to develop a focused, long-term plan for student success. We also support the district's dedication in graduating students who are self-starters, technology competent workers, life-long learners, responsible citizens and effective communicators. For our students, we are dedicated in ensuring each student receives access to modified grade level standards-based curriculum aligned to research-based instruction.

Whittier is a non-diploma program. Students at Whittier receive a certificate of completion and participate in transition activities which support their post-secondary goals. For students receiving a certificate of completion, the district's goal is to assist the development of functional academic and vocational skills that can transfer to an adult work programs or adult day activity programs. We want all students to complete 12th grade with the skills, motivation, curiosity and resilience to succeed and be prepared for their post-secondary goals in the area of Education/Training, Employment, and Independent Living. These skills will enable them to participate in their daily living as independently as possible.

  • Elementary K-5:

Students are enrolled in a highly structured classroom with integrated Units of Study aligned to the California Alternative Assessment. Curriculum incorporates differentiated materials and activity-based learning. There is a strong emphasis on developing communication and social skills.

  • Middle School Gr. 6-7:

Students enrolled in the middle school program incorporates standards aligned to meet the California Alternative Assessment. Units of Study are aligned to modified grade level curriculum and materials which are differentiated to meet the diverse needs of the student population. By 8th grade, students are introduced to project-based learning, campus jobs, student-run project-based learning, student-run businesses, and community-based instruction.

  • High School Gr 8-11:

By 8th grade, students are introduced to project-based learning, campus jobs, student-run project-based learning, student-run businesses, and community-based instruction. Students enrolled in the high school program receive a certificate of completion in lieu of a school diploma. Students follow a block schedule with Functional English, Functional Math, Functional Health/Science, Transition Skills, and Physical Education. Units of study reflect the standards aligned with the California Alternative Assessment through hands-on, project-based learning. Additionally, the high school curriculum promotes self-advocacy, community-based instruction, campus/community jobs, and student run business to prepare them to reach their post-secondary goals.

  • High School Gr 12+:

The Whittier Transition classrooms prepare students in their transition from school environment into an adult day program or work experience. The students participate in community-based instruction and work experience training on and off campus. The amount of time the student spends in the community varies will vary depending on their need for adult support. The transition plan driving the student activities involves students, school services, and post-school services to work together to prepare students to work and live independently. The Whittier Transition classroom works collaboratively with the staff at TRACE. TRACE is a an educational support network to assist young adult students with disabilities as they transition from high school to adult life. The student and his/her IEP team will determine if and when a student will transition to TRACE.

Target Population: Students with moderate-to-severe disabilities in grades K-12+, participating in a modified, alternative standards-based classroom.

LRE Considerations: IEP Implementation with current assessment to include: functional behavior assessment and behavior intervention plan (FBA and BIP), related services (speech and language, occupational therapy, etc.), behavior intervention services (BSR), consideration of supplemental supports, and all supports implemented for at least six to eight weeks with fidelity and data to monitor progress.

  • The students at Whittier require maximum support, time and staff resources (the 1% of the the population that takes up 90% of the resources) from their entire team if they were to remain their comprehensive school site. These students make up 100% of Whittier's student population

The quality, intensity, and complexity of the students' needs at Whittier are unique to any other school. The students require much more; the intensity, frequency, and duration of services must look different in order to meet the students' needs

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