The Least Restrictive Environment Continuum
Hillsborough Public School provides the full scope of services to students with disabilities across the LRE continuum. Our programming provides students with exposure to curriculum that prepares them to be contributing members of society. Beginning at age three, we utilize the Creative Curriculum for preschoolers and the Eden Curriculum for students in Hillsborough’s Autism Programs. We have a strong focus on literacy. As students move into their elementary years, we infuse Wilson Reading Fundations and Just Words into our literacy instruction. Students may also receive more intensive literacy instruction through small group and/or individual Wilson Reading Systems and other Orton Gillingham-based programs, such as Preventing Academic Failure, Heggerty Phonemic Awareness Curriculum, Edmark Reading Program and Read Naturally. These instructional programs are provided through a model called “Literacy Lab” whereby students are provided targeted, individualized academic instruction in reading where extensive data tracking assists in guiding instruction. As students move into secondary school, the focus of their reading instruction becomes more functional and is infused with daily living skills. Hillsborough utilizes assistive technology to help students achieve their reading goals with programs such as Learning A-Z, Learning Ally, and Google Read and Write.
With regards to math instruction, Hillsborough uses a hands-on multisensory approach with programs such as Touch Math.
As a means to prepare our students for post-second life, we begin incorporating community-based instruction at the elementary level. Students have the opportunity to practice life skills in their school and surrounding community. As they transition into the intermediate school, students begin taking trips out into the larger community to focus on adaptive, social, communication and functional skills. This continues through middle school and high school for our students where the focus is on transition into adulthood and work life. We have an extensive work readiness program at the middle school and high school where students continue to hone their pre-vocational skills in preparation for their post-graduate program, community work. In their post-graduate years, students go out into various job sites five days a week with job coaches, many of whom are offered paid job opportunities after graduation through these sites.
Hillsborough prides itself on being an inclusive community where students with disabilities have meaningful learning and social experiences while attending Hillsborough Public Schools. We currently have inclusive Basketball, Track, and Cheerleading teams and are preparing to roll out inclusive soccer and dance teams in the Fall. Overall, students leave our district prepared for the transition to adulthood and their post-secondary experiences.