In-Class Support

What's Required

The local educational agency (LEA) must ensure that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled (34 CFR 
300.114(a)(2)(i) and 20 USC 1412(a)(5)(A).

What We Do

In-Class Support (ICS) is provided in the general education setting by special education staff. ICS allows for specific, targeted interventions relating to the course content to take place during a specified duration of time as outlined by the ARD Committee. Special education staff who provide supports in the general education setting focus on the specific needs of the individuals with whom they are assigned to work; however, they may also support other students who may benefit from the ICS practices.

Students who qualify for this service range from those needing daily support to those needing weekly support. Support time varies based on student need and is documented in the student's IEP on the Schedule of Services page. The student’s individualized Goals & Objectives, Classroom Accommodations, and Modifications drive the initial supports that the student needs in the classroom. Support can be for academic or behavioral needs or both.  

As teachers continue to monitor the student's progress, levels of support are constantly being adjusted to meet the needs of the individual.

Teacher providing In-Class Support (ICS)

Planning: The special education teacher who provides ICS will have access to all content lesson plans at least one week prior to the lessons taking place in the classroom to prepare supports for students receiving these services. The teachers providing ICS may be a part of the planning of the lesson depending on the number of classrooms, the grade levels, and content areas that they have been assigned to support (no more than three classrooms per hour).

Preparation: The teacher providing ICS is responsible for preparing and bringing into the classroom supportive materials, manipulatives, and activities to further student learning and appreciation for the standards that are being taught. This teacher will communicate with the general education teacher the plan for supporting specific students to ensure high levels of learning for all students. The general education teacher and special education teacher providing ICS will collaborate to determine the appropriate flow of delivery of the instruction.

Presentation: Both the general education teacher and staff member providing the ICS will collaborate to determine when and if each teacher will be delivering the instruction to ensure minimal distractions and appropriate flow of the instruction.  They will also decide the best time (within the class) to present activities, materials, and alternative teaching and learning strategies that the ICS teacher has designed and prepared.  Presentations can take place through various methods (i.e. station teaching, small groups, individual sessions). 

Collaboration: To ensure data-driven decisions are being made to drive instruction, the general education teacher and special education teacher should meet within two days of scoring all assessments (Classroom, Campus, District, and State) to analyze student academic gains and instructional practices.  This analysis is to ensure appropriate academic growth for individuals receiving special education. 

Paraprofessional Providing In-Class Support (ICS)

The special education paraprofessional operates under the guidance and direction of both the special education and general education teachers. The special education case Manager informs the paraprofessional about the specific student needs and how to address those needs within the classroom. The general education teacher works with the paraprofessional to explain the tasks that are the paraprofessional's responsibility for the duration of the class.

Planning: The ICS paraprofessional will meet with the general education teacher on a consistent basis to learn about the expectations for the upcoming work week and work day. The ICS paraprofessional is not typically a part of the planning of the lesson design, but can assist with developing the materials for the class (including, but not limited to, supplemental aids, accommodations, and modifications). The general education teacher will ensure that the paraprofessional is clear on what his/her responsibilities are in assisting the learners in the classroom. The special education case manager meets weekly with the paraprofessional to collect data, provide resources, or offer suggestions. 

Preparation: The ICS paraprofessional will provide support specific to the students’ needs as outlined by the student’s Individualized Education Plan. The paraprofessional will deliver services under the guidance of the general education teacher and the special education case manager. Ideas and activities developed by the paraprofessional while progressing through the year will be monitored for best practices by the general education teacher and special education case manager to ensure that appropriate depth and rigor levels are being reached and that set guidelines are being followed. 

Presentation: When working in the general education classroom, the ICS paraprofessional assists individual students or small groups of students to reinforce learning of material or skills introduced by the teacher. This assistance may consist of the implementation of supplemental aids, accommodations, modifications, explicit instruction, and clarifying student expectations. In addition, the paraprofessional can guide independent study, enrichment work, and interventions with students as prepared and assigned by the teacher. The ICS paraprofessional will not take the role of the teacher to lead initial instruction. 

Collaboration: Paraprofessionals must have a clear understanding of what the task is that they are responsible for implementing, how much time they will have to complete the task, and appropriate classroom behavior (as this varies from class to class) for both the adults and students. Time to provide feedback and discuss next steps are critical components for successful teacher and paraprofessional advancement and should be implemented with each teacher that the paraprofessional supports during the school day.

Collaborative-Teaching (Co-Teaching) 
Collaborative Teaching (Co-Teaching) is a form of In-Class Support where two or more certified professionals share the responsibility of lesson planning, delivery of instruction, and progress monitoring (through a balanced assessment system) for all students. Co-Teachers collectively create goals for their work in bringing students to mastery of the standards. Co-Teachers plan for and simultaneously execute the delivery of instruction, using an agreed upon instructional approach and one of the four highly effective Co-Teaching models. Co-Teachers assess student progress and adjust their teaching practices and instruction based on the student’s needs in the classroom. Co-Teachers are responsible for providing differentiated instruction, interventions and enrichment within the classrooms for all students. Co-Teachers are consistently taking data about student academic and behavioral needs and use that data to improve their practices with meeting the individual needs of the students in the classroom.

Models of Highly Effective Co-Teaching

Team Teaching: Both certified instructors deliver the instruction in a way that is similar to each other while addressing the learning styles and individual needs of the students in the classroom.

Parallel Teaching: Using this model, the class is divided in half and each leads the instruction for their designated groups. Groups are formed to maximize learning. Student groups should be flexible and based on students’ needs in relation to standard(s) being taught.

Station Teaching: This model allows teachers to work with small groups. During the lesson, students may rotate through stations, working independently or with teacher support, or attend workshops as designed by “need to know” when using the Problem Based Learning (PBL) instructional approach. This approach is beneficial as it allows teachers to create small group activities that are responsive to individual needs while giving time to answer student questions and allow for independent practice or hands-on activities that deepen learning.

Alternative Teaching: This model allows teachers to work with a small group of students for a period of time to provide interventions, modified instruction, or enrichment as determined by class and individual student data.

Students to Consider:
The use of the Co-Teaching arrangement in the mainstream is considered a high -level of support for students accessing the general curriculum. Co-Teaching should be considered for those students who require daily, on-going support, for the entire duration of a class period, based on their qualifying areas of need, Goals and Objectives and modified TEKS, and have demonstrated a need for having two certified professionals in the classroom 100% of the duration of the class.

Planning: Once Co-Teachers have worked with their grade level or content teams to plan for instruction, the Co-Teachers will decide which Co-Teaching model will be used to facilitate the learning. Using the Co-Teaching model planning guide, Co-Teachers will specify responsibilities, divide activities, address student learning styles, differentiate, and incorporate choice into the lesson prior to the day of instruction. 

Preparation: The Co-Teaching class is supported by two certified instructors; therefore, both shall participate in bringing the necessary materials and equipment to support all learners in the classroom toward mastering the objectives and standards.

Presentation: As both certified instructors have planned for the delivery of the instruction, both are fully involved in the execution of the plan. Using one of the four highly effective 
Co-Teaching models, Co-Teachers operate together to provide rigorous, relevant instruction that allows for all students to master their academic goals.

Collaboration: Co-Teachers will collaborate often to discuss data and next steps regarding the daily classroom instruction. Collaboration includes, but is not limited to, face-to-face scheduled meetings, three to five minute chats, shared Google documents, Skype, telephone conferences, Adobe Connect, text messaging, etc.


Additional Resources