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Special Education


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 Emotional Disabilities Cluster Model Program 

  • To ensure that students with disabilities have access to the MCPS Programs of Studies
  • To provide intensive services within a general  education settings for students experiencing significant emotional and/or behavioral difficulties



Students served through this model require services as a result of significant social, emotional, learning and/or behavioral difficulties that adversely impact their success in school. The vast majority of students enrolled in the program are identified with an emotional disability. Some students are identified with other educational disabilities such as health impairments, language disabilities and learning disabilities. Students enrolled typically demonstrate average to above average cognitive abilities, yet may not demonstrate commensurate academic achievement due to history and emotional and behavioral difficulties interfering with their ability to participate successfully in other educational programs.


The Emotional Disabilities Cluster Model offers the following instructional/intervention components.

  • Comprehensive behavior management that includes proactive teaching and rehearsal of social skills, as well as the use of structured and consistent reinforcement systems. Individualized and comprehensive behavior management strategies and systems are used to promote students’ acquisition of skills that allow them to be successful in school.
  • An alternative structure that provides levels of containment to respond effectively to students’ inappropriate and disruptive behaviors
  • Successful mainstreaming opportunities that utilize mainstream competency ratings and provide support to mainstreamed students
  • Crisis intervention with effective strategies and techniques implemented to maintain a safe and secure learning environment. Staff members are trained to respond to a variety of crisis situations in order to keep both students and staff safe.


Students are placed in the least restrictive academic settings based on the recommendations of a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). All students within the Cluster Model Program are mainstreamed to a PE and an Arts Rotation class. Academic mainstreaming opportunities are again made by the recommendation of IEP teams and documented on the child’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP).

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