The Department of Specialized Services supports special education students in all academic areas. When the IEP team determines that the student’s needs cannot be met through the regular education program as structured, the requirement for specially designed instruction in specific curricular areas is considered. Specially designed instruction means adapting the content, method, or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of the student that result from the student’s disability. This ensures access of the student to the general education curriculum so that the student can meet the education standards of the school district that apply to all students.
In general, most students with disabilities are capable of learning the content, scope, and sequence of the general education curriculum when the necessary modifications and adaptations in content and instruction strategies are made. The majority of students with disabilities are instructed along with their regular education peers using the Common Core State Standards. At times, the IEP team may determine that a student requires a replacement reading curriculum.
Milwaukee Public Schools offers the Language! comprehensive literacy curriculum, designed to help students accelerate learning to help gain access to the grade-level curriculum. Students with more significant disabilities, such as students with moderate and severe cognitive disabilities, may also need adjustments in curriculum based on their level of ability. These students receive instruction based on the DLM Essential Elements and use the Unique curriculum, which encourages reading skills across core content areas.