Innovations in Special Education

September 3, 2011

Here at Latham Centers, our educational team is always researching and working with colleagues to improve our special education tools and approaches. I am writing to share with you some of the more recent additions to our special education program.

NEO2’s – as you may know we have 2 NEO’s in each classroom, available to all students.  These technology tools were formerly known as “Alphasmarts”. They are small, easy to use word processors that allow students to type responses and reports. They have word processing tools built into them, such as spell and grammar check. Recently, Latham staff enjoyed a presentation by Renaissance Learning and we are adding in IT stations to support best use of the NEO’s. With these new stations, students will now be able to receive and send messages from their teachers and print their work wirelessly and we will be able to help students build their academic skills and confidence level throughout all areas of the curriculum.
SPIRE Reading Program – Latham evaluates the reading skills of each new student upon admission. Students are placed into small reading groups with others who are reading at the same level in to support the most progress. After much research this past year, Latham has purchased the SPIRE Reading Program (Educators Publishing) for our students reading at the lower grade levels. The SPIRE program is based on Orton-Gillingham approaches. SPIRE teaches by direct precise instruction, beginning with sound awareness and proceeding through phonics, vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension. SPIRE includes visual presentations and manipulatives to support whole brain learning in addition to student readers, sound and word cards. Teacher Training for SPIRE will take place August 30. We are really looking forward to starting to use this program!
New Sensory Support Room – we have just opened our first sensory support room! This room, which is available to all students, has calming and alerting items which help students re-group or help them re-focus so that they can return to their classroom ready to learn. The room includes music, sensory tools, a “crash mat”, small trampoline, rocking chairs, colorful “pretend” fish aquarium and other items. Students may use the room for 15 minutes each day without the need to make up work. We have the opportunity to review the success of the items in the room and to add to them when needed. 
“Know your limits, but never stop trying to exceed them.” 
~Author Unknown

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Top Categories

See all categories


See all archives