SPEN at Whittier

Distance Learning Update for families receiving Special Education services

Along with other students, children with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) or Individual Family Service Plans (IFSPs) will begin the school year with distance learning. Lessons will be provided live and guided by their teacher, Special Education Assistant or Related Service Provider. Other lessons will be pre-recorded and through at-home learning activities.

By Thursday, September 3, IEP teams should have contacted families. Because there may have been some changes to your IEP team, if you haven’t heard from someone yet, call your school immediately to get connected to someone on the IEP team.

Making distance learning work for families involved with Special Education:

  • To make it easier for families, we are working to provide one coordinated entry point to access your child's lessons so families don't have to learn different software programs for distance learning.
  • In accordance with your student's IEP, either your child's general education or special education teacher will check in with your child every day.
  • It's important that families share their needs and expectations with their child's case manager. Tell case managers what did and did not work well for your student when they did distance learning last spring so those issues can be addressed.
  • Work with your IEP team to set a schedule that works best for your child and home situation.


SPEN at Whittier

The SPEN (Special Program for Elementary Needs) Program is a federal setting III self-contained program for students who have been diagnosed with an emotional behavior disorder. The SPEN Program is located within Whittier International Elementary and is composed of 4 classrooms for students in grades K-5.

Whittier's SPEN classrooms are highly structured special education classrooms that provide individualized instruction to small groups of 8-12 students. A highly-structured, proactive approach to teaching appropriate social and classroom behavior is employed in the classroom. Behavior management techniques, based on behavioral principles and supported by research are used to address challenging behaviors.

At Whittier, We Believe:

Students with disabilities are uniquely talented and are valued members of our inclusive school community.
Parents are essential members of their child's educational team and critical to their educational success.
Educating our special education students with their non-disabled peers to the extent possible promotes academic and social success.

MPS Special Education Mission:

To ensure that all students with disabilities learn. We support their growth into knowledgeable, skilled and confident citizens capable of succeeding in their work, personal, and family lives into the future.
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