Home : CURRICULUM : Special Education

Special Education Administration






Welcome to the homepage of Rochester Community School's Special Education Department. We are excited about the broad continuum of programs and services that we offer the students on the Rochester community.


Within the district, each of our elementary, middle and high school have programs for students that qualify for special education support. Additionally, there are programs and services for preschool students and post high school students. Within these programs, support is provided to students that have any of the primary handicapping conditions as defined by The Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education, they include; Cognitive Impairment, Emotional Impairment Hearing Impairment. Visual Impairment, Physical Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Speech and Language Impairment, Early Childhood Development Delay, Specific Learning Disability, Severe Multiple Impairment, Autism and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Approximately 97% of the students who are certified as disabled, and receive services in Rochester Community Schools, receive services in their neighborhood schools. Less than 3% attend satellite programs in selected elementary, middle and high schools. A very few students attend schools in neighboring districts in Oakland County. These students (approximately 50) receive highly specialized programs that are designed to meet their specific needs.


In addition to the program offerings within the district and the Oakland Schools Consortium, many students benefit from the support of ancillary services. The Special Education Department has on staff, school psychologists, speech and language providers, occupational and physical therapists, teacher consultants and school social workers. These staff members are an integral part of the team that provide services for our students. An integral part of the Special Education Department is also Child Find. The Project Find Coordinator helps to identify young children who may need to access services prior to school-age.


Each local education agency and public school academy in Michigan is required to publicly post the process used to determine the existence of a Specific Learning Disability. Consistent with this requirement, Rochester Community Schools reports the following: For determinations of a SLD, a Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses (PSW) is used for students in kindergarten through 12th grade across all areas including: Oral Expression, Listening Comprehension, Written Expression, Reading Comprehension, Reading Fluency, Math Calculation, and Math Problem Solving. It is noted that regardless of the process used, all schools must follow all of the regulatory requirements in the IDEA, the MARSE, and Michigan laws, policies and procedures for special education.

What is a SLD?

A Specific Learning Disability is "a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and development aphasia that adversely affects a student's educational performance. A SLD does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities; intellectual disability; emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage." (34 CFR 300.8(c)(10)).

What is a PSW Process?

Pattern of Strengths and Weaknesses is a process that is used to determine if a student has a SLD. This process involves the collection of data to determine the following: The student does not achieve adequately for the student's age or to meet State-approved grade-level standards in one or more of the areas identified at 34 CFR 300.309(a)(l)(i) when provided with learning experiences and instruction appropriate for the student's age or State-approved grade-level standards. The student exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, State-approved grade-level standards, or intellectual development, that is determined by the Multi-disciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) to be relevant to the identification of a SLD, using appropriate assessments, consistent with the IDEA Evaluation Procedures and Additional Requirements for Evaluations and Reevaluations.

Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education and Early Intervention Services (2010)

Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs

Rochester Community Schools would like to thank the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs for their recent grant award. This support will enable us to provide access to visual arts and dance therapy to more than 45 young adults with special needs.