Student Support

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The Student Support Department provides services to school communities to support the academic achievement of all Tempe Elementary District students. Counseling, health, psychological, social, speech language, and special education services are offered. 

The following Special Education Programs* are offered at Tempe Elementary Schools (click program name for locations and detailed descriptions):

Elementary Resource Pull Out
Elementary Resource Inclusion
Middle School Resource Class
Middle School Resource - Inclusion
Middle School - Resource Intervention Block
SMIALS Program - Supported Modified Inclusion for Alternate Learning Styles
PALS Program - Pupils with Alternate Learning Styles
PUPALS - Pupils Utilizing Practical Alternate Learning Styles
SKILLS Program - Supporting Kids in Learning Life Skills
Essential Skills Program
SEALS Program - Structured Education for Alternate Learning Styles
SPARK School Program for Actualizing Responsible Kids
TEDI - Tempe Early Development Instruction
CATS - Classroom Articulation in the Tempe Schools
TIGERS Program
FISH Program - Focused Instruction on Self-Help
Private Placement

 *All students on individualized education programs are placed based on decisions agreed upon in the IEP meetings and based on program openings.


Elementary Resource Pull Out

Locations: All Elementary Schools

The Elementary Resource Program is a cross categorical program providing academic support for children with a specific category of eligibility which impacts the ability to learn. Students qualify for this program by being eligible in at least one special education category and demonstrating a significant and documented lack of progress in a regular classroom setting. Service is provided with a resource teacher providing support and accommodations in a regular classroom and/or in a special education classroom for the specific needs of the child. Students in a resource setting participate with non disabled peers when not receiving special education services.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  Student has been provided structured interventions, accommodations, and modifications in general education setting over a period of time and data indicates insufficient progress towards intervention goals and meets eligibility criteria. The following below should be considered:

  • Student needs intermittent ongoing support to accomplish work in general education.
  • Student demonstrates behavioral concerns that require more direct instruction and monitoring outside the general education classroom.
  • Student needs modifications and support of the general education teacher and special education teacher to achieve typical progress in the general education classroom
  • Student needs more predictability and structure

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Elementary Resource - Inclusion

Locations:  All Elementary Schools

The Elementary Resource Program is a cross categorical program providing academic support for children with a specific category of eligibility which impacts the ability to learn. Students qualify for this program by being eligible in at least one special education category and demonstrating a significant and documented lack of progress in a regular classroom setting. Service is provided with a resource teacher providing support and accommodations in a regular classroom for the specific needs of the child.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  Student has been provided structured interventions, accommodations, and modifications in general education setting over a period of time and data indicates insufficient progress towards intervention goals and meets eligibility criteria. The following below should be considered:

  • Student needs intermittent ongoing support to accomplish work in general education.
  • Student needs modifications and support of the general education teacher and special education teacherto achieve typical progress in the general education classroom
  • Student needs more predictability and structure

The students’ level of support is based on the students’ needs. Students in these programs demonstrate the ability to learn from typical peers and can follow classroom routines with minimal support.  Students move from one activity or one room to another with minimal assistance.  Student’s behaviors should approximate those of typical peers.

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Middle School Resource Class

Locations: All Middle Schools

The Middle School Resource Program is a cross categorical program providing core instruction as well as academic support for children with a specific category of eligibility which impacts the ability to learn. Students qualify for this program by being eligible in at least one special education category and demonstrating a significant and documented lack of progress in a regular classroom setting. Core instruction is provided by the resource teacher in specific core content areas, of language arts and math, as determined by student’s eligibility.  The resource teacher assigns grades and credit for core instruction. Students in a resource setting participate with non disabled peers when not receiving special education services.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  Student has been provided structured interventions, accommodations, and modifications in general education setting over a period of time and data indicates insufficient progress towards intervention goals and meets eligibility criteria. The following below should be considered:

  • Student needs intermittent ongoing support to accomplish work in general education
  • Student demonstrates behavioral concerns that require more direct instruction and monitoring outside the general education classroom
  • Student needs modifications and support of the general education teacher and special education teacher to achieve typical progress in the general education classroom
  • Student needs more predictability and structure

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Middle School Resource – Inclusion

Locations: All Middle Schools

The Middle School Resource Program is a cross categorical program providing core instruction as well as academic support for children with a specific category of eligibility which impacts the ability to learn. Students qualify for this program by being eligible in at least one special education category and demonstrating a significant and documented  lack of progress in a regular classroom setting. Core instruction is provided by the resource teacher and/or general education teacher  in specific core content areas, of language arts and math, as determined by the student’s eligibility.  The resource teacher assigns grades and credit for core instruction.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  Student has been provided structured interventions, accommodations, and modifications in general education setting over a period of time and data indicates insufficient progress towards intervention goals and meets eligibility criteria. The following below should be considered:

  • Student needs intermittent ongoing support to accomplish work in general education
  • Student needs modifications and support of the general education teacher and special education teacher to achieve typical progress in the general education classroom
  • Student needs more predictability and structure

The students’ level of support is based on the students’ needs. Students in these programs demonstrate the ability to learn from typical peers and can follow classroom routines with minimal support.  Students move from one activity or one room to another with minimal assistance.  Student’s behaviors should approximate those of typical peers.

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Middle School –Resource Intervention Block

Locations: All Middle Schools

The Middle School Intervention Block Resource Program is a cross categorical program providing additional support for children with a specific category of eligibility which impacts the ability to learn.  Students qualify for this program by being eligible in at least one special education category and demonstrating a significant and documented lack of progress in a regular classroom setting.  Intervention Block services can be provided in two ways.  First, Intervention Block services can replace an elective period of the day.  Second, students can get additional support by going to a Resource room for small periods of time during their general education core class time to support student’s disabilities in academic core classes.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  Student has been provided structured interventions, accommodations, and modifications in general education setting over a period of time and data indicates insufficient progress towards intervention goals and meets eligibility criteria. The following below should be considered:

  • Student needs intermittent ongoing support to accomplish work in general education
  • Student demonstrates behavioral concerns that require more direct instruction and monitoring outside the general education classroom.
  • Student needs more modifications and support of the general education teacher and special education teacher to achieve typical progress in general education classroom
  • Student needs more predictability and structure

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SMIALS Program: Supported Modified Inclusion for Alternate Learning Styles

Locations: Carminati, Holdeman

The SMIALS Program is a cross-categorical, self contained/inclusion program designed for students who benefit from special education services delivered in a general education environment with instructional support.  Although some pull-out instruction may be provided, regular education teachers, special education teachers, and instructional assistants implement instruction the majority of the day in the regular classroom. When the students are not in a pull-out group, the special education teacher and/or the special education instructional assistant is supporting the student in the general classroom.  Students are able to benefit academically from grade level curriculum with accommodations and receive modified curriculum as needed. The students’ level of support is based on the students’ needs. Students in these programs demonstrate the ability to learn from typical peers and can follow classroom routines with some support from the special education teacher or instructional assistant.  Students move from one activity or one room to another with minimal assistance.  Student’s behaviors should approximate those of typical peers.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit

  • Behavior rarely interferes with student engagement and/or the learning of others
  • Student has ability to make individualized academic gains through the general curriculum, with the support of special education staff and accommodations or modifications provided as needed
  • Student has the ability to model peers in a general education setting
  • Student participates in general education classroom for the majority of the day

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PALS Program: Pupils with Alternate Learning Styles

Locations: Arredondo, Hudson, Frank, Connolly, Fees, Curry, Gililland

The PALS Program is a cross-categorical self contained program designed for students who function 3 or more grade levels below their peers in intellectual ability and adaptive behaviors that adversely affects a child’s performance in a general classroom setting.  Instruction is significantly modified based on the needs identified in the student’s IEP. The purpose of the program is to provide targeted and specific academic instruction to foster and promote students to function as independently as possible throughout their school years and transition to adult life. Students in PALS have the opportunity to participate with their non disabled peers when not receiving special education services.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  Student has been provided structured interventions, accommodations, and modifications in general education and/or resource setting over a period of time and data indicates insufficient progress.

  • Student works in general education curriculum that is modified at 3+ years below grade level.
  • Students may need support with adaptive behavior skills (i.e. communication, socialization)
  • Behavior may interfere with his/her learning and/or the learning of others and requires additional structure and support
  • Student may need support with self-care skills (eating, toileting) due to physical disability
  • Students participate in self-contained classroom with elective class mainstreaming with additional opportunities to participate in the general education classroom based on student’s skill level

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PUPALS: Pupils Utilizing Practical Alternate Learning Styles

Locations: Hudson, Connolly

The PUPALS Program is a cross-categorical, self contained program designed for students who function significantly below their peers in intellectual ability and adaptive behaviors, which can adversely affect a child’s performance in a classroom setting or a social (community/campus) environment. Academic skills and performance are in the functional domain for these students, enlisting a broad range of beginning skills in every aspect of life learning developmental milestones.  Their needs require direct instruction in more than one major life activity such as mobility, communication, self-care, and learning self-sufficiency. The purpose of the program is to provide appropriate practical instruction utilizing various personalized tactics that enable the students to function as independently as possible at school, home and work settings.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit: 

  • Student requires direct instruction with functional skills (i.e. reading signs, shopping, money skills, laundry, cleaning, cooking, pre-vocational skills)
  • Student requires direct instruction with adaptive behavior skills (i.e. communication, daily living, socialization)
  • Student requires direct instruction with self-care skills (toileting, personal hygiene, dressing)
  • Behavior may interfere with his/her learning and/or the learning of others and requires significantly modified curriculum directed towards individual needs and the least restrictive environment
Student may benefit from sensory integration (i.e. visual, auditory, tactile, motor development, etc..)

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SKILLS Program: Supporting Kids in Learning Life Skills

Locations: Rover

The SKILLS Program is a cross-categorical, self contained program designed for students who function in the moderate to profound and severe intellectual disability range, are significantly below their peers in intellectual ability and adaptive behaviors, which adversely affects a child’s performance in a classroom setting. They also may have a variety of additional or secondary handicapping conditions including health-related issues. Students’ needs require extensive ongoing support in more than one major life activity such as mobility, communication, self-care, and learning self-sufficiency. The purpose of the program is to provide appropriate support to enable the students to function as independently as possible throughout their school years and transition to adult life.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit: 

  • Student requires a high level of adult support for daily living functions
  • Student requires intensive support with functional skills (i.e. reading signs, shopping, laundry, basic counting, sorting, cooking)
  • Student requires intensive support with adaptive behavior skills (i.e. communication, socialization)
  • Student requires intensive support with self-care skills (eating, toileting)
  • Behavior may interfere with his/her learning and/or the learning of others and requires significantly modified curriculum.
  • Student benefits from a high level of sensory integration

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Essential Skills Program

Locations: Getz

The Essential Skills program is a K-8 cross categorical, self contained program providing academic support for children with multiple disabilities.  The Essential Skills program is for students functioning significantly below their peers in cognitive and self-care abilities that would impede their performance in a classroom setting. Health issues, ranging from digestive problems to breathing difficulties are often a concern for these students as well.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit: 

  • Student is medically fragile
  • Student may require nursing skills
  • Student requires life functioning supports (breathing, diapering, feeding)
  • Student needs a lot of stimuli (auditory, visual, touch)
  • Student is non-ambulatory
  • Student is nonverbal

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SEALS Program: Structured Education for Alternate Learning Styles

Locations:  Fuller, Scales, Broadmor, Wood, Fees, Laird

The SEALS Program is a cross-categorical, self contained program designed for students in need of a highly structured, visually organized classroom. This is accomplished through routine and use of individual picture/word schedules, work systems, and work jobs. The instruction focuses on the areas of receptive and expressive language, sequential memory, areas related to social skills, perception skills, and behavior management. Students usually benefit from sensory input integrated throughout their day. Sensory diet includes a combination of alerting, organizing, and calming techniques to increase focus, decrease negative behaviors, and enhance learning. Students’ time in the SEALS classroom can range from self contained to varying amounts of inclusion time in the general education setting, based on students’ skills.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  The student has a developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction that adversely affects educational performance.

  • Students may have impairments or inconsistencies in verbal and nonverbal communication
  • Students may engage in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements
  • Student may have resistance to environmental changes or change in daily routine
  • Student may have unusual response to sensory experiences
  • Student does not have characteristics of an emotional disability
  • Student may have delays in social awareness and/or relatedness

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SPARK School Program for Actualizing Responsible Kids

Locations: Aguilar, Thew, Nevitt, DCS at Evans Campus

SPARK is a cross categorical self contained program designed for students with difficulty regulating their behaviors that provides a highly structured environment with a lower student to teacher ratio and utilizes a positive behavior management system.  The ultimate goal of SPARK is to foster and maintain pro-social behaviors, positive coping strategies and to fully integrate students back into the general education setting.  Students' time spent in the SPARK classroom may range from the majority of the day to periodic monitoring by staff, based upon student needs.  Social skills development is an integral part of the program. 

Characteristics of a student who may benefit: Student has been provided multiple behavioral interventions and accommodations in the general education and resource settings over a period of time and data indicates insufficient progress in the following areas:

  • Multiple FBAs/PBIPs have been completed and revised by the school team and have been found unsuccessful in modifying behaviors
    • Despite intensive interventions, student's behavior remains highly disruptive to their own academic progress and to other student's learning and/or student displays significant internalizing behaviors that negatively impact learning
    • Despite intensive interventions, student has extreme challenges maintaining relationships with peers and/or adults
    • The student is a danger to self and others
  • Extensive Behavioral Supports are necessary for student to make academic progress

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TEDI : Tempe Early Development Instruction

Location: Getz School

This program consists of students identified as either Preschool Speech & Language Delay (PSLD), Preschool Moderate Delay (PMD), or Preschool Severe Delay (PSD).  If there is a suspected area of delay preschool students are evaluated in all 5 domains: cognition, language/speech, adaptive, motor and social. PMD students are those with delays in two or more areas, while PSD students are those with at least one area of serious delay. The TEDI classes consist of up to 11 special needs students and 4 typically-developing peer models. The school day is 2.5 hours Monday -Thursday, either a morning or afternoon session. Each month a theme is introduced to the children. The TEDI classrooms are cross categorical as well as multi-age, 3-5. Classroom curriculum focuses on pre-academic skills in all areas, emphasizing literacy and mathematics, social interactions, and age-appropriate speech and language.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  The student has a developmental disability that significantly affects cognition, verbal and nonverbal communication, adaptive, motor and social interaction and that adversely affects educational performance. 

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CATS: Classroom Articulation in the Tempe Schools

Location: Getz School

This program is for preschool students whose only delay is in the area of phonological processes, or speech intelligibility. The classroom centers on the production of speech sounds. Students are placed in this program for intensive intervention. The class follows the same thematic based units as the traditional classes; however, whereas the TEDI classes focus on language, the articulation class focuses on sound production and speech intelligibility. The CATS program may have up to 16 students with speech production delays. Typically, there are no peers in the CATS program. This class is also multi-aged, 3-5.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  The student has a developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction and that adversely affects educational performance. 

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TIGERS

Location: Getz School

The TIGERS Program is a cross-categorical self contained program designed for preschool students in need of a highly organized visual classroom. This is accomplished by the use of individual student schedules, work systems, and work jobs. The instruction focuses on the areas of receptive and expressive language, sequential memory, organization of own behavior, social skills, social relatedness and perception skills. These students often experience hypersensitivity to sensory input, and are easily distracted. Students’ time in TIGERS classroom can range from majority of the day in a special education setting to a general education classroom based on students’ skills.

Characteristics of a student who may benefit:  The student has a developmental disability that significantly affects verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction and that adversely affects educational performance.  Student may have irregularities or impairments in verbal and nonverbal communication

  • Student may engage in repetitive activities and stereotyped movement
  • Student may have resistance to environmental changes or change in daily routine
  • Student may have unusual response to sensory experiences
  • Student does not have characteristics of an emotional disability
  • Student may have delays in social awareness and/or relatedness

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FISH Program: Focused Instruction on Self-Help

Location: Getz School

The FISH Program is a cross-categorical, self-contained program designed for pre-school age students in need of extra support for physical, cognitive, beginning communication, and adaptive development. This is accomplished by allowing extra time during instruction, transitions, and activities to promote independence. Their needs require direct instruction in more than one major life activity such as mobility, communication, self-care, and learning self-sufficiency. The instruction focuses on the areas of cognitive development, fine motor development, gross motor development and improving self-help skills.  The students may also have significant impairments in both verbal and nonverbal communication and often use a communication system.  These students often have wheelchairs and walkers to help them move around in the classroom and on campus.  Students in the FISH program will also have an opportunity during center time to interact with typically developing peers. 

Consideration for FISH Services: 

The preschool student has a developmental disability that may significantly affect physical development, cognitive development, and the ability to complete self-help tasks (such as washing hands, transitioning in the classroom, and putting on/taking off the backpack).  Students may have delays in verbal and nonverbal communication.

  • Student may have significant cognitive delays.
  • Student may have physical disability preventing the student from walking independently without support.
  • Student may need medium to max assistance with self-help skills.
  • Student may need medium to max assistance with communication.

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Private Placement

Locations: Various state approved sites

Students are placed in a private day school outside of district specifically designed to work with students with severe needs.

Considerations for Private Placement Services:   Consider when all other LRE options  have been implemented  and when  documented intensive interventions, accommodations and modifications for an extended period of time  have not met student’s needs.

  • Student presents constant danger to self and others despite intensive documented interventions in district LRE
  • Student is unable to gain any educational benefit from the typical routine of a public school setting
  • Data gathered indicates increased levels of support/modification of programming are not able to meet student needs

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