Special Education

ACPS is committed to providing all children with opportunities to benefit from a public education. Special education programs and services are available to county residents who have children with special educational needs. These programs and services are provided for children with disabilities whose second birthday falls on or before September 30 through the age of 21 years. Each student receives special education services designed to meet his or her individual needs. These programs are discussed and planned by school personnel and the parents and student involved. Often instruction is carried out both in regular and special education classrooms.

Each special education student’s progress is reviewed at least yearly and their need for special services is reassessed at a minimum of every three years. Special education programs and services are provided by trained personnel in the following areas of disability as defined by federal and state law: Autism, deaf-blindness, developmental delay, emotional disability, hearing impairment (including deafness), intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment (including blindness).

Special Education Course Descriptions

Community Life/Living

Community Living courses place a special emphasis on the student's relationship to the surrounding community. Instruction varies with the students and their needs; however, these courses provide the skills necessary for independent functioning within the surrounding environment. Course topics may also include available community resources and how to access them, emergency skills, and independent living strategies.

Functional Skills Writing & Communication

Communication Instruction courses are typically individualized according to each student's condition and needs. Increasing the student's communication skills—oral expression, listening comprehension, reading, and writing—is emphasized; communication techniques in several areas (educational, social and vocational) are often explored.

Life/Social Skills

Social Development Instruction courses teach students the social skills needed for independent functioning with the community. Topics may include self-control, self-expression, obeying rules, decision-making, appropriate situational behavior, interacting with others, and maintaining relationships. Students may develop independence, self-confidence, and self-reliance.


Tutorial courses provide students with the assistance they need to successfully complete their coursework. Students may receive help in one or several subjects.

Katy Compel
Director of Special Education