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Special Education

The Special Education Department of Faith Family Academy Charter is committed to providing appropriate educational opportunities to all students with special learning needs. Our mission is to provide the supplemental aides and services necessary to assist every FFA student who receives special education, dyslexia, or Section 504 in becoming a life-long learner and model citizen.

An Overview of Special Education Services

Faith Family Academy Charter is proud of the instructional and related services provided on each campus. There is close collaboration between the campus level and district level on overall programming issues and on the needs of specific students with disabilities.

Faith Family Academy Charter provides specially designed instruction for students with disabilities in a variety of settings or combination of settings. These students are extremely diverse, and within disability categories, this diversity continues. Placements are based largely upon curriculum offerings and where these offerings can best be provided.

Several principles apply when decisions are made by the ARD (Admission Review Dismissal) Committee about services to individual students, including:

• Decisions are always based upon evaluation of the student's current level of functioning and unique needs of the student.

• Students are not grouped by disability but by educational need.

• The educational setting is not defined by the teacher's role but by the student's needs.

• The instructional arrangement is assigned to the student, and special education teachers may provide a variety of services throughout the day with an emphasis on opportunities to interact with age-appropriate non-disabled peers.

The Special Education Department can assist you with the following:

• Child Find

• Assessment Information

• Referral Process

• Individual Education Plan (IEP)

• Competency Testing

• Instructional Settings

• Content Mastery

• Resource, Speech/Language Therapy, Inclusion

• Homebound, Vision/Deaf Services

• Procedural Safeguards

• Special Olympics- Extracurricular

• Modifications for Classroom & Standardized Testing

• IDEA-B Rules and Regulations

• Related Services

Read the General Information page for more details on our program.

If you have questions, email Mrs. L. Jones on the Staff page.

The Texas Transition & Employment Website

Child Find is a system used in Faith Family Academy for identifying, locating, and evaluating children with disabilities (birth through 21 years of age) who reside in our district jurisdiction and who may need special education and related services.

More information about Child Find System

Child Find Brochure - English

Child Find Brochure - Spanish

Faith Family Academy Charter supports the educational concept that reading, writing, and spelling skills provide the foundation for overall academic success. Opportunities are provided for students who are experiencing difficulty in acquiring basic language arts skills to maximize their academic development in a regular education setting. This service is providing by a reading specialist on each campus, using intensive small group and individual activities. The intervention incorporates strategies appropriate for struggling readers as well as students identified with dyslexia. Using this method of learning, students are able to grasp skills at a much faster rate and are ready to move into higher levels of application.

Structured intervention is designed for a period of time appropriate for each individual student in kindergarten through grade twelve. Beginning at seventh grade, reading instruction is offered as an elective to those students whose test results show that they could benefit from a multi-sensory and phonetically based approach to reading, writing, and spelling, many connections are made to support classroom instruction in the core classes.

The FFA dyslexia program follows all TEA guidelines as per the TEA guidelines as per the revised Dyslexia Handbook 2014.

"The limit of my language is the limit of my world." - Ludwig Wittgenstein

What is Speech-Language Therapy?

FFA offers speech therapy to help students whose speech and language skills may inhibit their academic achievement. Problems which might be addressed include:

• Articulation disorders

• Language disorders - Vocabulary development, sentence structures, appropriate use of language, etc.

• Voice disorders

• Fluency disorders - Stuttering

A student may qualify for speech therapy in addition to other special education services, or may receive speech therapy without the need for other services.

How do I ask for this help?

Referrals might originate with parents, physicians, teachers, or a kindergarten screening. The parent always participates in all decisions concerning special education services for a student, beginning with the referral. The parents may need to complete some of the papers at home, and are urged to return them very quickly, because laws dictate a strict timeline for the documentation process.

...for my child who is enrolled in school?

If a student is enrolled in an FFA school, the parents are asked to meet with the classroom teacher to discuss why a speech or language problem is suspected and how it might affect academic progress and to receive the papers to be completed, signed, and returned to the teacher. After the speech-language pathologist assesses the student's skills, the parents are invited to a meeting to discuss the assessment and recommendations (called an "Admission, Review and Dismissal Committee," or "ARDC").

How much time will my child be in speech therapy?

The amount of time designated should be appropriate to the need of the child and his Individual Educational Plan (IEP), which will be developed at the meeting after the assessment.

How will I know if he is making progress?

Parents will be sent reports at the end of each six weeks period, and will be invited to a conference at least once a year (the ARD meeting). Parents may contact the speech-language pathologist by phone during her planning period, or immediately after school to arrange a meeting.

What other services provide language instruction?

All special education programs seek to improve language skills. A child who has severe disabilities might need the instruction available in a self-contained classroom.

If the language problem is the result of learning more than one language, a service such as English as a Second Language (ESL)or Bilingual Education might be more appropriate.

Melanie Bacon

Melanie Bacon
Titles: Teacher
Locations: Oak Cliff High School, Oak Cliff, Oak Cliff Upper School (Grades 6-8), Oak Cliff Middle School

Alexandria Campbell

Alexandria Campbell
Titles: Teacher
Locations: Oak Cliff, Oak Cliff Early Childhood Center

Marilyn Flora

Marilyn Flora
Titles: Speech Consultant
Locations: Central Administration

Monica Jones

Monica Jones
Titles: Diagnostician
Locations: Central Administration, Waxahachie, Oak Cliff

Shanda Jones

Shanda Jones
Titles: Executive Director of Special Programs
Degrees: Master of Education - Education, Guidance & Counseling
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice & Sociology
Locations: Central Administration

Meghan Kirk

Meghan Kirk
Titles: Teacher
Locations: Oak Cliff High School

Mark Leonard

Mark Leonard
Titles: Special Education Teacher
Locations: Oak Cliff High School

Tatyana Rapoport

Tatyana Rapoport
Titles: Special Education Teacher
Locations: Oak Cliff Lower School (Grades 1-5)

Pam Taylor

Pam Taylor
Titles: Special Education Teacher
Degrees: Bachelors of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
Locations: Oak Cliff, Oak Cliff Lower School (Grades 1-5), Oak Cliff Lower School

Gay Watson

Gay Watson
Titles: Special Education Teacher
Locations: Oak Cliff Lower School (Grades 1-5)

Shanda Jones M.Ed.

Faculty Information

Location(s)
Central Administration
Department(s)
Special Education
Title(s)
Executive Director of Special Programs

Education

Degree(s)
Master of Education - Education, Guidance & Counseling, The University of Louisiana
Bachelor of Arts - Criminal Justice & Sociology, The University of Southwestern Louisiana

Other Information

Biography

I am originally from Louisiana. I received both my Bachelors and Masters in Education from the University of Louisiana. I am a proud parent of 2 beautiful daughters and a wife to an extraordinary guy for 10 ½ years. I have been an educator for 14 years. This year marks my 11th year with Faith Family Academy Charters and I love every minute of it! As Executive Director of Special Programs, my purpose is to empower and educate the whole child for life-long success. At Faith Family Academy Charters we are the ones who give 100% everyday!

Monica Jones

Faculty Information

Location(s)
Central Administration, Waxahachie, Oak Cliff
Department(s)
Special Education
Title(s)
Diagnostician

Marilyn Flora

Faculty Information

Location(s)
Central Administration
Department(s)
Special Education
Title(s)
Speech Consultant

Contact Information

Email
(Primary)

Other Information

Biography

I grew up on a farm in central Missouri and attended a one-room country school in grades 1-8. My husband and I had a 340 acre row crop and livestock farm in Missouri for 16 years before moving to Texas. I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Science degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas. I have a son, daughter, and 5 beautiful grandchildren.

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