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Description of Services

Hamilton Southeastern Schools makes special education and related services available to students from age 3 through 21 and offers a full continuum of placement options for students with special needs as deemed appropriate by the case conference committee.  For students with disabilities from age 3 until the student is age-eligible for kindergarten, HSE offers a continuum of Pre-School services. The student’s developmental, educational and behavioral needs are considered by the case conference committee when determining the appropriate placement in the least restrictive environment. 

For students who are age-eligible for kindergarten through age 21, HSE offers a continuum of placement options that includes, but is not limited to: 
  • special education services and supports being provided in the general education classroom (sometimes referred to as “inclusion”) 
  • general education classroom placement supported by services and assistance that are provided outside the general education classroom (often called “resource services”) 
  • separate classrooms that provide instruction in functional academics, life skills and basic skills, or address behavioral challenges (this placement may or may not be in addition to the student’s participation in one or more general education settings or classes) 
  • a separate public school facility, FOCUS (Foundation of Characteristics Unique to Success), provides instruction and behavioral support for students who require a more intensive level of service. 
Private or Home Schooled Students: Hamilton Southeastern Schools supports and makes special education and related services available to all students identified with special needs within the corporation’s geographic boundaries--including students who attend a private school or home school located within our boundaries. However, both federal and state special education law permit the school to offer a level of special education and related services that is less than what the student would receive if attending the local public school. 

Hamilton Southeastern Schools believes in the power of diversity and all students learning together for PreK-12. Children learn from one another and have individual strengths. We believe in the importance of offering a continuum of services for students with exceptional needs.   

Preschool Services: HSE Preschool of the Natural Sciences  

The Preschool of the Natural Sciences for HSE Schools is based on the belief that children are naturally curious and eager to learn. This is a critical period of time for our youngest learners and an opportunity for our schools to support and push the growth of their cognitive development. This is accomplished by marrying authentic and thoughtful project work in the natural sciences areas with foundational academic skills. Our learners deserve a quality preschool experience in a school learning community that values, enhances, promotes, and respects the intellectual and social-emotional growth of young children.  

Students ages 3-5 who have or may need an individualized education plan (IEP) are provided services within our preschool program.  The program begins serving identified children on their third birthday until they become kindergarten age along with typically developing peers.  There are community classrooms and communication skills classroom within the preschool program.  Students in the communication skills classroom have an intense level of need and are provided very specific training to develop communication skills and appropriate behaviors so they can begin to function in the educational environment.  Preschool also offers speech only services.  Preschool classrooms are located at BSE, HRE, and SCE.  

Resource Support  

Resource services are designed to support the students within the general education curriculum and environment.  Students identified with special needs are supported by special education staff in the general education classroom.  Inclusion services are provided in all buildings.  In addition, services might be provided within the special education setting when specific instruction is needed to remediate and/or provide a “double dose” of academic instruction that is focused on the student’s goals and their instructional level. Resource services are provided in all buildings.       

Functional Academics Program  

The Functional Academics Program (FAP) may be an appropriate placement for students identified as having cognitive deficits or significant academic delays preventing their ability to make progress within the general education curriculum.  Students within the FAP program receive specific instruction in the core academic areas as well as social skills training and behavior management. These students are integrated into the general education environment where appropriate.  FAP classrooms are located at CRE, FES, SCE, SCI, RSI, RJH, HIJH, FHS, and HSEHS.  

Life Skills Program  

Students who are identified as having cognitive deficits and have significant communication and self-help needs may be appropriate for the Life Skills program, which includes the Communication and Foundations for Learning program.  There is an academic component to this program as well as time spent on communication skills and on learning how to function in society.  Academic skills taught are those vital to being able to be independent later in life.  There are some opportunities to be integrated with general education peers and this is determined on an individual basis.  Life Skills classrooms are located at GES, NBE, RSI, RJH, FHS, and HSEHS.  

FIATS Program (Functional Independence and Transitional Skills)  

Students who are non-verbal or who have extremely limited modes of communication and in need of developing a form of communication and self-help skills may be appropriate for the FIATS classroom at the K – 4 level.  The program focuses on methods of communication and the development of independent communication.  Much of the day is spent in therapy and working on the most basic and academic skills.  The FIATS classroom is located at DES, RSI, and HSEHS.  

FOCUS (Foundations of Characteristics Unique to Success)  

Students identified within special education that demonstrate significant emotional and/or behavioral concerns and are not able to be successful in the resource program despite the supports and services provided may be appropriate for the FOCUS program.  This program is unique in that it services students with a wide range of needs.  The program is focused on mastery of academic and social state standards.  The FOCUS program structure is based on a level system addressing both academics and behavioral needs of students. As a result, students participating in the FOCUS program have the ability to receive instruction within the general education classroom, FOCUS classroom, and/or a combination of both.  FOCUS classrooms are located at FCE, HPE, FCI, SCI, FJH, FCJH, FHS, and HSEHS.   

In addition, the FOCUS Day Program is a separate day program designed to meet the needs of students with emotional and behavioral difficulties that need more structure and a smaller teacher-to-student ratio to meet success within an academic environment.  The curriculum is aligned to the state standards.  Academic, character development, emotional management strategies, and social skills are incorporated into the day. Placement within FOCUS Day Program is a case conference committee decision based on the student's individual academic and behavioral needs which demonstrates the need for a more restrictive placement.   

Transition to Adult Programs: 

Our various transition programs are offered to students who have completed 40 units toward their certificate of completion but would benefit from a structured environment with support from teachers and job coaches with the transition to employment and volunteer opportunities. 

Adult Roles - A student is appropriate for this program when they have maximized their skills in the traditional classroom setting but would still benefit from being in a structured adult setting. This program focuses on vocational, recreation and leisure, community based, and life skills. The decision for placement is recommended by the teacher and decided by the CCC. 

The Studio - A student is appropriate for this program when they have maximized their skills in the traditional classroom setting but would still benefit from being in a structured vocational based program. Although strengthening vocational skills is the primary focus of this program independent living and community skills. The decision for placement is recommended by the teacher and decided by the CCC.             

Community-Based Employment - A student is ready for (volunteer or paid) community-based employment after they independently participate in classroom and in-school jobs with minimum non-disruptive behaviors and is recommended by TOR.  

The purpose of this program is to help the students gain employment skills, work independently outside of the school setting and become more financially independent. The students will work with a job coach to apply, interview and train for their job. Once the student becomes independent the job coach will fade out and the student will maintain the job.  

VOC.AL - A student is appropriate for this program once they have been successfully employed, working independently and able to navigate within certain parameters of the community independently.           

The purpose of this program is to help the student transition from high school to an independent full work week. The students independently work or volunteer within the community during the time they attend the program. The students use public, school and personal means of transportation to and from the workplace. 

Hamilton Southeastern Schools

  • Central Office
  • 13485 Cumberland Road, Fishers, IN 46038
  • Office Hours: M - F 7:30am - 4:30pm 
  • (317) 594-4100  (800) 905-6665

  • To send a general inquiry email to the District Administration Office, click here

Our Mission

Hamilton Southeastern Schools, as a forward-thinking school district, provides excellence in education and opportunities to ensure the success of each and every student, to become a responsible citizen and to positively influence an ever-changing world community.

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