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Developmental Learning Program (DLP)

Special education photoThe Developmental Learning Program is a highly individualized special education program designed to meet the intensive needs of students with known or suspected intellectual disabilities that are most likely combined with a communication disorder, limited adaptive skills, behavioral issues, social limitations, and/or significant academic deficiencies. The program is located at Hillcrest School for grades K-6 and O’Neill Middle School for grades 7-8.

DLP essential elements:

  • Low student to adult ratio
  • High intensity and frequency of behavioral reinforcements (i.e. task strip, first/then, positive reinforcement)
  • Alternative curriculum
  • Flexible space and classroom areas to serve unique student needs (i.e. sensory, quiet space)
  • Opportunity to create connections with grade level peers (lunch, recess/pe, specials/exploratories, fruit-break, classroom parties, field trips, gen. ed content area classes (typically Science and Social Studies)as appropriate
  • Integrated related services to support transfer of skills
  • Intensive communication supports including assistive technology
  • Adaptive skill instruction with authentic application
  • Highly structured activities and predictable routines

Who DLP best serves:

  • Significant communication delays, needs or disabilities that impair his or her ability to participate in general education curriculum and limits socialization, even with extensive supports
  • Academic levels that impair his or her ability to participate in general education curriculum, even when significantly modified
  • A range of adaptive skills that may include some limited levels of independence or a significant need for adult supports
  • Behavioral manifestations
  • A known or suspected intellectual disability

A closer look at the…

Primary/Intermediate DLP program

  • Daily living skills integrated throughout school day such as: hygiene, pre-vocational, self care skills and toileting
  • Generalization of adaptive skills (i.e. consumer skills, safety skills, community etiquette) through community based instruction trips
  • High level of integrated speech therapy and social work services in order to promote functional communication and social skills
  • All students in Primary and Intermediate DLP receive all core instruction in the DLP classroom. Students primarily mainstream with aide support for social opportunities with their same grade level peers.

Primary/Intermediate curriculum

  • Reading Milestones
  • Equals
  • Reading A-Z
  • News 2 You
  • RAZ-Kids

Middle School program

  • Students follow period by period schedule commensurate with all students inclusive of a Homebase period (22 minutes opposite lunch in DLP classroom).
  • Integration into general education which can include social studies, science, exploratory, and PE with modified curriculum with or without an instructional assistant dependant on student’s need.
  • Most students receive direct instruction in reading, math, and language arts.
  • Adaptive skills and opportunity to practice functional skills in the community with our field trips.
  • Integrated social skills, functional skills, communication skills instruction provided by Special Ed. Teacher, Speech Therapist, Social Worker, and OT (individually and in a group format).
  • Extra-curricular opportunities (sports, clubs, choir, band).
Middle School curriculum

  • Reading Milestones
  • Equals
  • Reading A-Z
  • RAZ-Kids
  • News 2 You
  • 6 Minute Solution
Middle School related services

  • Speech
  • Social work
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech and social groups
  • Occupational therapy cooking groups
  • Lunch groups

Community-based field trips (all levels)

Shopping: The Dollar Tree, Five Below, Jewel, Walmart and Target
Dining: Steven’s Family Restaurant, Roundhead’s and Panera Bread
Leisure: Zoo, Bengston’s Pumpkin Farm

Resources