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Learning Resource Center

The South High School Learning Center is designed to provide both direct instruction and support to students with disabilities. These students may be enrolled in any of South‘s Programs—Liberal Arts, Open, or All Nations. The Learning Center provides cross-categorical service to students who have disabilities that interfere with their school success. The Learning Center Program incorporates the following citywide programs: Autism Program, Life Skills Program, and Physically Handicapped and Other Health Impaired (POHI) Program. The Resource program provides special education services to students with IEPs who are not in any citywide program. The district special education office determines placement in a citywide program.

This program provides individualized programming and support for students with Autism Spectrum and/or other neuro-biological disorders. The goal is to utilize best practices, research-supported interventions, and a multidisciplinary approach to address behavioral, cognitive, social-emotional and sensory difficulties associated with neurobiological disorders. The program has a high staff-to-student ratio as recommended by federal guidelines for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Students are provided with specialized instruction including communication therapy, occupational therapy, adaptive physical education, and services from a school psychologist based on individual needs. Each student is provided such instruction in the least restrictive environment, ranging from full inclusion in the mainstream educational setting to skill development in a self-contained setting, addressing all five transition areas: Post-Secondary Education & Training, Employment, Community Participation, Recreation/Leisure, Home Living/Daily Living Skills, with emphasis on social skills, functional communication and independence. A focus of this program is to teach and encourage school and community independence.

The Life Skills program is a district-wide program for students that require special education service for the majority of the school day. Students are provided a functional curriculum that emphasizes academic and social skill building in the transition areas of Independent Living, Employment and Post Secondary Education and Training. Students will be exposed to career exploration, curriculum based work experiences, and other on the job training experiences. The Life Skills program is staffed by two special education teachers and 4 special education assistants. Students have access to classroom assistants throughout their school day in both special education and regular education courses when needed. Opportunities for students to be mainstreamed are made on an individual basis.

The POHI program is a support program designed for students with Physical Health Disabilities (P/HD) or Other Health Disabilities (O/HD). The students are enrolled in any of South‘s SLCs and receive support services based on the Individual Education Plan. POHI students are assigned a case manager who works with the student and family for four years providing academic and transition services. The emphasis of the program is developing independent and effective learners with access to vocational and transition services both during and after high school.

The POHI program is staffed with three P/HD teachers, Speech and Language Pathologists, Adapted Physical Education teachers, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, a Licensed Practical Nurse, and Special Education Assistants. The staff works closely with the general education teachers to address the academic, social, and behavioral needs of students. Students are encouraged to become active participants in a variety of South High activities. The POHI program offers three adapted sports teams (soccer, floor hockey, and softball), and vocational training opportunities.

South High School provides specially designed instruction based on students‘ identified Special Education needs, which are specified on Individual Education Plans (IEP) in the areas of reading, math and other areas. The five transition areas are also included with the IEP to develop independent living skills.

Specific services available to these students are: Direct instruction classes in English, Social Studies, Study Skills, Math and other classes depending on the needs of individual students; Prevocational and vocational readiness classes, assessment, guidance and programming, and independent living skills; Transition planning, post-high school support, and follow-up involving other agencies (Hennepin County Rehabilitation Services, LDA, support services within the community college or technical college systems); Curriculum adaptations, consultation with regular education teachers, team teaching and curriculum modifications; Weekly monitoring of academic progress, attendance, and behavior systems to help ensure student success; Development of behavior plans, behavior interventions, and support systems to help ensure student success; Individual case management of students with Individual Education Plans and continued communication with parent/guardian.