New Video! Rocketship Los Sueños Academy: A Quality Model for Serving All Students

November 4, 2014

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In California, charter schools have two options to ensure that students with special education needs obtain the services that they are entitled to receive. Charters can operate as a "school of the district" for special education purposes and work with their authorizer for services, or become a Local Education Agency (LEA) for special education purposes and receive state and federal funds directly to serve all students that enroll in their program.

By default, charter schools in California function as "schools of the district," which in most cases, prevents charters from accessing special education funding directly, hiring their own special education staff, or designing and implementing their own programs. Research now shows that charter schools that become an LEA for special education, and accept full responsibility for all students, increase the percentage and range of students with disabilities in their programs.

Rocketship Los Sueños Academy, as an LEA for special education purposes, has utilized the flexibility and autonomy to create an inclusive setting that offers a quality program for all students. This inclusive setting has created an environment where students with disabilities, like Sonny, have the opportunity to develop friendships, improve on their social and behavioral skills, increase academic achievement, and become part of the school community.

Watch the video!

"Rocketship's Integrated Special Education Program emphasizes inclusion in the general education setting for students with disabilities through the use of co-teaching and collaborative practices between special and general educators. This innovative approach ensures that the needs of all students are being met," said Senior Director of Integrated Special Education Genevieve Thomas at Rocketship Education.

"Rocketship Los Sue�os, is an outstanding program that has embraced the flexibility that LEA status offers to serve all students well. While LEA status may not be the right option for all schools, it is a valuable arrangement for those charters that are prepared to create a setting that maximizes general and special education settings collaboratively," said Senior Advisor for Special Education Gina Plate at CCSA.