The ECK Special Education Cooperative employs over 40 interrelated special education teachers throughout the eight participating districts. The interrelated teachers work with students identified as mentally challenged, learning disabled, and those with professionally diagnosed health impairments to learning. Students are helped in a variety of ways: a pullout setting to read tests or remediate basic skills, providing services within the regular education classroom setting, and teaching study skills classes in a contained special education setting. Also, students may receive individualized instruction in the core academic areas (English, math, science, and social sciences) in order to meet local graduation requirements.
The ECK Special Education Cooperative has five certified occupational therapists on staff. Occupational therapy in the schools is a related service for children on an IEP. The Occupational Therapist (OT) works to assist students, parents and educators in facilitating a successful learning environment by helping them to adapt, compensate, and function within the school setting. While there may be orthopedic, neurological, or vision problems that occur in some children that need to be addressed by medical or private agencies, it is the school OT’s responsibility to intervene only when these problems interfere with their education. Areas addressed by the OT include: fine motor skills, gross motor skills, visual-perceptual/motor skills, sensory issues, and consultation services to provided adaptations of equipment or the classroom/school environment.
The ECK Special Education Cooperative has two certified physical therapists. Students receive physical therapy at their attending school. Children who qualify for physical therapy receive their services either in the classroom or as a pull-out service. The goal of physical therapy is to ensure the child’s physical mobility is at the maximum level according to his/her physical limitations.
The ECK Special Education Cooperative has fifteen licensed speech therapists throughout the eight participating districts. The SLPs use a series of tests to determine if the child qualifies for speech services. The services include: articulation therapy-working on sounds that are not spoken correctly; language therapy – working on language structures that are delayed; stuttering therapy – working on fluent speech; voice therapy – working with medically diagnosed voice problems.
The Cooperative currently provides speech and language services to over 800 students.
The ECK Special Education Cooperative is responsible for maintaining all records for 1,600 students with special needs. The records clerk inputs each child’s information into the MIS program. The MIS program is supported by the Kansas State Board of Education and generates the mandatory reports for the Board of Education. Student records are kept at the Cooperative for a maximum of 5 years. After the 5th year, a notification is published and the special education records are destroyed.
The ECK Special Education Cooperative has over 200 paraeducators throughout the eight participating districts. The paraeducators assist classroom teachers who work with children with disabilities. Paraeducators provide direct support to students with special needs in and out of the classroom by working with children one-one-one or in small groups. They also provide assistance and relative information to special education personnel as well as the individual students.
The ECK Special Education Cooperative has five gifted education teachers throughout the eight participating districts. Gifted education instruction is for students from 1st grade through 12th. The gifted program is based on the belief that education should provide each child with the opportunity to develop his or her own potential. Gifted students possess talents and abilities to such a degree that they must be provided access to learning opportunities that will challenge and inspire them to fully develop their potential. The program provides these opportunities through a variety of enrichment activities and classroom lessons.
EARLY CHILDHOOD ED.
The ECK Special Education Cooperative has ten early childhood programs throughout the eight participating districts. The Early Childhood program is designed to meet the needs of children 3 to 5 years of age. The program provides children opportunities to develop skills in the areas of social skills, cognitive needs, communication concerns, physical needs and the arts of including visual, musical and creative drama. Children are encouraged to learn by doing and achieve learning goals through play. At the preschool age, a child’s work is a child’s play.
VISUALLY IMPAIRED SERVICES
The ECK Special Education Cooperative works with the Kansas State School for the Blind (KSSB) to incorporate services for students who have been determined as vision impaired. The KSSB representatives work with the classroom teachers on techniques for integrating the disabled child in the classroom. Additional resources for the visually impaired child are contracted through KSSB.
HEARING IMPAIRED SERVICES
The ECK Special Education Cooperative works with the Kansas State School for the Deaf (KSSD) to incorporate services for students who have been determined as hearing impaired. The KSSD representatives work with the classroom teachers on techniques for integrating the disabled child in the classroom. Additional resources for the hearing impaired child are contraacted through KSSD. The ECK Special Education Cooperative contracts interpreting services on an as needed basis.
The ECK Special Education Cooperative employs 10 certified school psychologists throughout the eight participating districts. School psychologists work directly and indirectly with students, teachers, parents, and administrators. In addition to evaluation and testing, school psychologists provide consultation on behavioral and academic problems as well as ensuring appropriate provision of special education services.
Each personalized education program at Lakemary School is designed to meet the specific needs of children with intellectual disabilities, behavior disorders, and other developmental disabilities, including autism and severe multiple disabilities.