The Ventura County Office of Education operates one special education preschool class on the Rio Del Mar School campus in Oxnard. This class is for students, ages 3 to 5, with moderate to severe disabilities. These students include those with multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairments, autism and intellectual disabilities. This classroom has an AM and PM session, and some of the children may be enrolled in both sessions.
This program incorporates a developmentally appropriate curriculum where students have the opportunity to explore and learn through 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 class provides intensive, specialized supports and instruction designed to meet the unique individual needs of each student. Services include speech and language support, occupational therapy, vision and mobility support, behavioral supports, and access to non-disabled peers in natural school environments. Evidenced based instructional strategies include: Direct Instruction, sensory processing activities, Applied Behavior Analysis, TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication related handicapped Children), PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), Integrated Play Groups, and Discrete Trial Instruction. Information may be delivered to students through a “visually structured” approach. In this, students may use pictorial, photographic, or object schedules (depending on their capabilities) to help better understand their world as well as to facilitate communication and independence.
Students participate in a Functional Skills Curriculum that is supported by standards-based curricular materials. The Functional Skills Curriculum focuses on the development of skills in the areas of:
The programs use the Preschool Foundations and Curriculum Frameworks to guide the instructional practices and incorporate developmentally appropriate curricular materials into the daily schedule.
The DRDP-Access is used to measure student progress on school readiness skills in developmental and academic areas. Results are evaluated by teachers to guide instructional planning, with adjustments made accordingly to instruction in order to meet the individual needs of each student throughout the school day.
As many of the students in the program have significant communication needs, establishing a functional means of communication for each student is an important focus of this program. Additionally, a strong emphasis is placed on teaching the student the social/emotional skills to help them be more successful in coming years. In order to develop constructive and effective parent-professional partnerships; parent trainings, daily communication books, and annual home visits are an integral part of the program.