Academic Support Services
Academic support services include prevention, intervention, transition and follow-up services for students and families. Academic support services are services for scholars who are experiencing problems that create barriers to learning. Direct services are provided by means such as education, counseling, consultation and individual assessment. In addition, academic support services personnel provide in-service training, parent education, community collaboration and carry out student service program management. Academic support services are a vital part of comprehensive school program success.
Title I Programming
Title 1 is a federal program that provides funds to schools and school districts serving high numbers of economically disadvantaged children. Its goals are to ensure that high-risk students meet at least the minimum proficiency on state academic standards and assessments, and that they have a fair opportunity to earn a high-quality education.
Title 1 funds are used to assess student needs, as well as to design and plan appropriate math and reading programs for struggling learners. According to the United States Department of Education, these programs “must use instructional strategies based on scientifically based research and implement parental involvement activities.” Title 1 funding pays for supplementary materials and additional educators. Homeless students who attend non-Title 1 schools and at-risk students who attend private or charter schools are also eligible for Title 1 services.
McKinney Vento Act
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act is a federal law which provides educational support for students who are experiencing homelessness. Children in housing transition have certain rights under this Act, including the right to immediate enrollment in school and transportation to and from school.
Under the McKinney-Vento Act, certain living situations are considered to be homeless that may not typically be recognized as homeless situations. The term “homeless children and youth” means individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and
adequate nighttime residence. As described by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 2015*, this includes:
- Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
- Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations
- Are living in emergency or transitional shelters
- Abandoned in hospitals
- Having a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodations for human beings
- Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
- Migratory children who qualify as homeless for the within the purposes previously described
*The McKinney Vento Act was reauthorized in December 2015 by Title IX, Part A, of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).
Direct Curriculum Accommodation Plan
Massachusetts General Laws require school systems to develop district level Curriculum Accommodation Plans (DCAP) which may be modified to suit the needs of populations or individual students in schools within the district. The intent of this provision is to assist school leaders in planning and providing a general education program that will accommodate students’ diverse learning needs and avoid unnecessary referrals to special education.
Response to Intervervention
Response to intervention (RTI) is a framework consisting of 3 tiers for service delivery that is systematic, data-based, and focused on identifying and resolving student academic and behavioral difficulties. This is done through the implementation of practices that are based upon the individual needs of the student.
The RTI model aides in the early identification of a student who is not responding to the general education curriculum, and provides them with interventions and behavioral supports until they are successful.
English Language Learning
English–language learners, or ELLs, are students who are unable to communicate fluently or learn effectively in English, who often come from non-English-speaking homes and backgrounds, and who typically require specialized or modified instruction in both the English language and in their academic courses.
Section 504 Programming
Section 504 is a broad civil rights law which protects the rights of individuals with disabilities in any agency, school or institution receiving federal funds to provide persons with disabilities to the greatest extent possible, an opportunity to fully participate with their peer.
It covers all persons with a disability from discrimination in educational settings based solely on their disability.
It Requires schools to eliminate barriers that would prevent the student from participating fully in the programs and services offered in the general curriculum.
Special Education – Individualized with Disabilities Act (IDEA 2004)
Is a federal statute whose purpose is to ensure a free and appropriate education services for children with disabilities who fall within one of the specific disability categories as defined by the law.
Covers eligible students ages 3–21 whose disability adversely affects the child’s educational performance and/or ability to benefit from general education.
Provides individual supplemental educational services and supports in addition to what is provided to students in the general curriculum to ensure that the child has access to and benefits from the general curriculum. This is provided free of charge to the parent.