At Douglas Penfield School the Ventura County Office of Education operates nine special education programs serving students from preschool through 5th grade.
Students participate in a Functional Skills Curriculum that is supported by standards-based state adopted core curricular materials. The Functional Skills Curriculum focuses on the development of skills in the areas of functional academics, communication, mobility and social/emotional development. These skills are taught within the environmental domains of self-care /independent living recreation/leisure, vocational, and community access through Community Based Instruction.
Academics are standards based and taught within these domains so students learn functional skills that maximize their independence. A strong emphasis is placed on teaching the student appropriate behaviors and on improving communication skills. Instruction is designed to meet individual needs of each student throughout the school day, including recess and lunch periods.
2nd – 5th grade students participate in the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)
Students have opportunities for interaction with their typically developing peers during assemblies, lunch, recess, physical education and with peer tutors who work in the classrooms. Additionally, some students may integrate into regular education classrooms for academic and social education opportunities.
A functional mobility component to the curriculum (M.O.V.E.) is available for students with physical disabilities to develop skills of sitting, standing, and walking while participating in their school activities.
One of the elementary classes is located on the Saticoy campus.
One of the preschool classes incorporates a developmentally appropriate curriculum where students have the opportunity to explore and learn through play and direct guided instruction. A functional mobility component to the curriculum is available for students with physical disabilities to develop the skills of sitting, standing, and walking while participating in their school activities.
The other preschool class serves the needs of students with autism and/or developmental delays. This class provides intensive, specialized supports and instruction designed to meet the unique needs of these students. Services include speech and language support, occupational therapy, intensive behavioral intervention, and access to non-disabled peers in natural environments. Specific instructional strategies include: TEACCH, PECS, integrated play groups, discrete trial instruction, and sensory processing activities. Most information is delivered to students through visual structure. Students use pictorial, photographic, or object schedules depending on their capabilities.
Both preschool programs use the Preschool Foundations to guide the instructional practices and incorporate developmentally appropriate curricular materials into the daily schedule.
Preschool students participate in programmatic assessment using the California DRDP-Access used to measure student progress on readiness skills in developmental and academic areas. Results are used by teachers to guide instructional planning. Instruction is designed to meet the individual needs of each student throughout the school day. The preschool classes may include the enrollment of typically developing peers in the classroom.
The campus has a library and sensory/mobility room and most students participate in weekly scouting, art and science activities. A CMS Medical Therapy Unit is located in the Penfield building.