What is the ICT?
The Integrated Co-Teaching Classroom is a class that is made up of students with disabilities and students without disabilities.
Who teaches the class?
The class has two teachers: one general education teacher and one special education teacher. The class may also have classroom aides, paraprofessionals, student teachers and other helpers. Both teachers plan for, deliver, and assess instruction for all of the students in the room.
How many ICT classes are there?
Typically there is one ICT class at each grade level in Grades K-5, and of course there can be more depending on need.
How does the curriculum in the ICT class compare to the other sections on the grade level?
The curriculum is exactly the same. There are modifications and accommodations within the curriculum that are made for individual students in the class but the curriculum for the class is the same as any other section in that grade level.
How might instruction look different in the ICT model?
There are added opportunities for small group learning that is designed to meet the needs of all students in the room.
This may include:
- additional reinforcement of material
- re-teaching and/or enrichment
The ICT model allows for:
- large group instruction
- small group instruction
- parallel teaching
- individual assistance
- lead teacher and support teacher
- The flexibility as to which configuration can best support all of the students for a particular lesson is left up to the teaching team to decide as they design each lesson together.
Different ICT models:
How does the ICT class differ from other classes on that grade level?
- The ratio of students to teacher is much smaller.
- Every student receives more attention.
Do all students with an IEP have academic disabilities?
- All students with an IEP do not have academic disabilities. Students may have disabilities unrelated to academic or intellectual ability.
How are students selected to be in the ICT classroom?
- Typically, students with disabilities are placed in the ICT classroom by a special education committee working together with the student’s parents.
- The remainder of the classroom is carefully configured to include the full spectrum of capabilities that one would expect in any other classroom.
What is the continuum of services for the ICT classroom?
- Students are placed in the ICT classroom based on their individual needs, not a particular label or category of disability.
- Related services such as speech language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and counseling may be offered to students on a push-in or pullout basis based on individual needs.
What are the disabilities of the students with disabilities in the ICT classroom?
- This will vary by state and can include Learning Disabled, Emotionally Disturbed, Other Health Impaired, Intellectually Disabled, Autistic, Hearing Impaired, Deaf, Visually Impaired, Deaf/Blind, Orthopedically Impaired, Speech Language Impaired and Traumatic Brain Injury.
- Severely disabled students in any category are generally placed in specialized programs out of district.
If my general education student is in the ICT class this year, will they be selected again for next year?
- Class placement for general education students in ICT is done as part of the general class placement for all sections on that grade level.
- Your school district will do their best to match students’ learning styles and needs with the best possible teacher.
- In some school districts, it is possible for a general education student to be in ICT for more than one year but it is unlikely.
- Some parents request ICT for their general education student.
What is the philosophy behind ICT?
- There are legal and educational reasons for utilizing the ICT model for delivery of special education services.
- The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law, requires districts to place students in the least restrictive environment (LRE) where their needs can be met. Prior to 1977 when the federal law was enacted as the Education for the Handicapped Act (EHA) many students with disabilities were excluded from schools or sent to separate facilities.
- The accountability movement in education represented by the passage of “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) has brought us increased pressure to ensure
that students with disabilities perform as well as their non-disabled peers. It was hard to ensure that students with disabilities would master the curriculum when, in many cases, they were never even being exposed to the full curriculum much less expected to master it.
- Many school districts have adopted a part-time model where the special education teacher is split between two or more classrooms.
- In a full time co-teaching model:
- There is full partnership between the two teachers.
- Co-teachers plan lessons, deliver instruction, and evaluate student progress for ALL students in the room.
- The student to teacher ratio is kept lower without segregation. This benefits all students in the room.
- Differentiation of instruction is across the board so that instruction is individualized to the skills and capabilities of each and every student in the class.
- Special Education began to be seen as a service rather than a place.
- The legal expectation is now that students with disabilities will be educated alongside their nondisabled peers to the greatest extent possible.
- The ICT model is the best possible way to do this.
- Educationally, a high expectation environment is created for all students with enough adult attention available to individualize instruction to each student’s
- One of the benefits of the ICT model is that all students in the room benefit, not only from the advantage of having two teachers, but also from the infusion of expertise resulting from having speech language therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and psychologists associated with the class.
- The result is a high powered and flexible learning environment individualized for each student in the room.
- Students also learn to celebrate our differences as well as our similarities.