Rio Mesa High School’s special education program is very diverse. We offer Severely Handicapped, Orthopedically Impaired, Hearing Impaired, Specialized Academic Instruction (formerly known as Special Day Class and Resource Specialist Program), non-enhanced Emotionally Disturbed programs, and Autism programs. Additional services include Adaptive Physical Education, speech and language, and a full-time school psychologist. This year we are creating the first RMHS learning center that will be in operation in September, including a three tiered program for low, mid, high levels of intervention, modeling the RTI 2 model set forth by the state of California. Our department is shared between two department chairs; traditionally one chair represents SDC and the other represents RSP. This next year will be slightly different, because our past department chair will be sharing the budget with another teacher and our speech and language therapist, Patricia Amey, will be co-chair with our SDC teacher and co-department chair, Sally Wilkins. I am awaiting test results, to determine if we hit our mark of 50% passing the CAHSEE overall in special education, and how we did on the CAPA, CMA, and CST. Our scores in special education improved greater than any other sub-group, a total of 40 points last year. In short, we have a diverse, effective, and overall well performing special education program.
Among the very diverse special education programs at Rio Mesa, the Resource Specialist Program is the largest. This year, we had four resource specialists supporting an average of one-hundred RSP students. Over half of our students benefited from support RSP directed studies classes (SAI) where we prepared them for the CAHSEE, CST, and helped them complete challenging homework. Our team was able to support sixty-two RSP students and hundreds of general education students in ten co-teaching classes (English and math). There will be thirteen RSP students graduating this year with a high school diploma. We anticipate serving between 105 and 110 students next year. In the fall, we look forward to working in our new learning center that will support all academically struggling students on our campus. It will be under construction this summer and will be part of our three-tier RTI plan.
Rio Mesa High School offers the most diverse placement options of any of the school sites within the Oxnard Union High School District for students once identified as Special Day Class (SDC). We are the only site that offers programs exclusively for students with Autism, Hearing Impairment, and Orthopedic Impairment, with enrollment offered district-wide and, in the case of Hearing Impairment, county-wide. For students who are on non-diploma track, we offer two Severely Handicapped self-contained programs and one partial inclusion model program. Students with Emotional Disturbance are offered a self-contained program with the option to be included in the general education setting when appropriate. Students with Learning Disabilities are on diploma track and are included in the general education setting for remedial classes (English and reading), co-taught college prep courses (math, social sciences, and sciences) when appropriate, and electives, while all other courses are offered in the self-contained, special education setting. We have 9 teachers assigned to these diverse programs under the umbrella of SDC. Dependent upon the level of special need, students participate in the CAHSEE, CST, CMA, and CAPA state assessments, and have earned a Diploma approved through a waiver or Certificate of Completion upon graduation. Most of the Severely Handicapped student move on to the post secondary education program offered in our district after earning the Certificate of Completion.
We are proud of our special education department at Rio Mesa High. With a staff of highly qualified, hard working, and caring people and a diversity of placement options, we are able to offer the best fit to serve the individual needs of all students with disabilities.