The Special Education Program (SEP) at Merrimac State High School caters for the educational needs of students with a verified disability who benefit from support to achieve their full learning potential. It follows an inclusive model guided by Individual Support Plan goals. Students may participate in subjects in the SEP depending on their ability level and life strategies, or in mainstream classes with either teacher aide or SEP teacher support. Each disability area is treated quite distinctly and the learning program is adjusted in consultation with the relevant Heads of Departments.
The Individual Support Plan (ISP) process is a recognised means of developing and reviewing agreed educational goals for a student. The goals are negotiated by all involved in the learning program and contain objectives and strategies that are realistically attainable in a short period of time. In addition to each student’s ISP, goals to enable successful transition for senior students into the wider community are also negotiated. To achieve this, we offer subjects that prepare students for work. Senior subjects include Certificate II in Work Skills and Vocational Pathways, Communication and Technologies, Community Citizenship and the Environment, Personal and Living Dimensions.
The Work Experience Program is proving to be highly successful with the students being excellent ambassadors for the school and often receiving Traineeships or paid work as a result. It has enabled employers to understand the strengths and needs of the students and for the students to learn about being at work in ‘the real world’.
The Special Education Program provides support in a variety of ways so that they students are able to maximize their full potential within the existing school structure. Support may involve participating in a Management Skills subject assisting with completion of assignments and other study skills and is determined by the individual’s educational needs.
Although a high level of inclusion is offered to students with disabilities, some student ISP goals necessitate that they require alternate programs with specialist staff, or the need for tutorial assistance.