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  Functional Skills Curriculum  

VCOE special education programs for students ages 3 - 22 with moderate to severe disabilities utilizes a functional skills curriculum that fosters independence in seven curricular domains.

These domains are:  

Depending  on the  program  in  which a student is enrolled, the student may be participating in a standards-based functional skills curriculum or a standards-based general education curriculum, such as the Phoenix School, with accommodations & modifications.

This curriculum has been aligned to the Essential Learning Standards for students with Moderate/Severe Disabilities established by the California Department of Education in 2002 as follows:  

Communication

These skills are related to the ability to comprehend and express information in a variety of ways, which may include the development of receptive and expressive language skills, including non-verbal and gestural communication, the use of augmentative communication systems, and the ability to comprehend and express emotions. 

Community Access, Motor Skills
These skills are related to gross motor development and ambulation, including strength, balance, and coordination and are related to physical activities and increase independence and physical access to both the school campus and the community.

Functional Academics

These skills are related to academics that also have direct application in one's life. The program focuses on the acquisition of academic skills that are functional in terms of independent living.  Core curriculum material is modified to meet the cognitive levels of the students within the special education classroom and through attendance within general classrooms/activities as appropriate.  Many academic areas require the development of prerequisite skills, including fine motor development, cognitive skills and pre-operational activities.
Recreation, Leisure
These skills are related to pursuing hobbies, interests, sports activities, or other appropriate activities undertaken in free time.  They may include activities done alone or with others.

Self-Care, Independent Living

These skills are related to toileting, eating, dressing, hygiene and grooming. Additionally, skills are taught that are related to functioning within a home, maintenance of one's health, and purchasing or obtaining goods and services

Social, Emotional
These skills are related to regulating behavior, social exchange, coping with demands and controlling impulses.  It may include the development of social skills, responding to situational cues and making choices.


These skills are related to procuring and holding a job in the community and the development of specific work skills.  The instruction may include task completion, self-management, and job-related interactions with peers and adults.

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