OCSD uses direct instruction when working with our special education students. Sometimes referred to as systematic, explicit, or active teaching, this is a skills-oriented approach that emphasizes small groups with face-to-face instruction. Teachers and aides utilize lessons that break down cognitive skills into small units. These units are deliberately sequenced and taught explicitly. Using a model of “I do, we do, you do,” we teach students in small steps with guidance during the initial attempt and time for practice after each step. This approach ensures that all students experience success. OCSD approved curriculum includes programs such as LLI, Touch Math, Read 180, Attainment, and SCDOE provided curriculum resources.
For special education students in grades K-12, our special education teachers work collaboratively with general education teachers to provide SDI or specially designed instruction. This allows special needs students to participate in the general education environment while still receiving content appropriate for their needs. The benefits of this approach include enhanced exchanges of strategy and instruction technique between teaching professionals, improved understanding of students’ needs, improved programs for students with special needs grounded in general education content, and increased peer acceptance of students with disabilities.
At OCSD, we understand that school is a stepping-stone to life, and our obligation doesn’t end with academic curriculum. Our secondary transition program prepares students for adult life after they leave the halls of OCSD high schools. The planning for this transition generally begins when students are age 13. As these students begin to consider their career and life goals, our IEP team works with them through exploration activities. Through high school, their academics and community experiences will help them to clarify some of their goals. The transition process takes into consideration each student’s interests, preferences, strengths, and needs to create a bridge between school and adult life. Whether that includes skill-based training, higher education, or employment, our goal is to facilitate the transition from OCSD to life beyond.
At Orangeburg County School District, we want all of our students to succeed and thrive in school and in life. We designed our special education department to provide our special needs students with the resources that will take them from kindergarten through high school and into adult life. We want to ensure they will have the education and resources they need to move on to higher education, independent living, and community involvement for themselves and their families.