Individual student needs determine the program and support services to be provided.
Special education and student support services at ICS are provided within the context of a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of small classes and individualized attention for all students.
Within the guidelines of charter school law and in accordance with federal and state law, traditional special education services are also available for those students who are determined to be eligible by the Evaluation Team.
Reflecting ICS’s inclusive philosophy, students with Individual Education Programs (IEPs) attend all regular classes for 80% or more of the school day.
Range of Support Services
At ICS, the individual needs of the student determine the program and services to be provided. We currently provide the following services:
- Special education
- Adaptive physical education
- Speech and language therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapy
- Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS)
- Psychological evaluation and consultation
- Extended school year (ESY)
- Other services as needed, provided through contracted services
Special education team members work in collaboration with classroom teachers to provide specialized instruction and supplementary aids, services, and program modifications.
The classroom teachers participate in the development, review, and revision of the child’s IEP as appropriate, including assisting in the determination of:
- Relationship of the child’s strengths, needs, present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, and goals aligned to district and state performance standards
- Appropriate positive behavioral interventions and strategies for the child
- Supplementary aids and services, program modifications, or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child
ICS’s Special Education Team
Kathleen Nerstheimer – Director of Special Education
Margie Biancuzzo and Laura Lorenzo – Speech and Language Services
Jean Cavanaugh – Occupational Therapy Services
Isaura Cortes – Special Education Resource Teacher
Soraya Gomes – School Social Worker
Maggie Habershaw – Special Education Resource Teacher
In addition, related service providers work as independent contractors or through contracts with outside agencies.
Local Advisory Committee
ICS’s Local Advisory Committee (LAC) is comprised of families, staff, and community members. Advisory Committee members work together on behalf of students with special needs and their families. The majority of the members must be parents of students receiving special education services. The group meets 4-5 times per year. Upcoming LAC meetings:
- Meeting dates TBD
Contact Kathleen Nerstheimer, Director of Special Education, at 401-721-0824, ext. 216 for more information.
Students with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits the student from participating in her or his academic school program may qualify for a 504 Plan, part of the federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against public school students with disabilities.
The Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 affords parents the right to have their child take part in, and receive benefits from public education programs without discrimination because of his/her disabling conditions. The International Charter School is committed to the fair and equitable treatment of all disabled persons and shall provide reasonable accommodations to ensure that they are not excluded from school programs.
504 plans aren’t part of special education. So, unlike IEPs, they typically don’t provide individualized instruction. But a central purpose of 504 plans is to give students with disabilities access to the same education their classmates are getting.
Families can contact ICS Director Julie Nora to learn more about the 504 Plan process.