Special Services

Special Education services are provided students who meet the Minnesota eligibility criteria of a student with a disability. Special education teachers, speech language pathologists, occupational and physical therapist, school psychologists, school nurses and other professionals provide instructional services and support to students and staff serving those students.

If you suspect your child has a disability, contact your child's teacher, building principal or District 834 Student Support Services office at 651.351.8383.

Class selection should be made in conjunction with SAHS IEP Case Manager's recommendation.


Course #  Course NameGradesPrerequisiteSemester 
Skills English A & B9-12By Placement Only 2
Skills Reading I A & B9-12By Placement Only2
Skills Reading II A & B9-12By Placement Only2

Skills Reading III A & B9-12By Placement Only 2
Skills Writing A & B9-12By Placement Only2
Advanced GRAD Math A & B9-12By Placement Only2
Work Experience A & B Transition Seminar11-12By Placement Only2
SEE900Work Experience OJT11-12By Placement Only2
Skills Support A & B9-12By Placement Only2



PRESS English A & B9-12By Placement Only2



PRESS Social Studies A & B9-12By Placement Only2



PRESS Math A & B9-12By Placement Only2



PRESS Science A & B9-12By Placement Only2



PRESS Life Skills A & B9-12By Placement Only2
Pathways A & B9-12
By Placement Only2



Learning for Life A & B 9-12 By Placement Only 2



Communication and Interaction Program (CIP)9-12 By Placement Only 2



Resource Room11-12By Placement Only2



PAES Lab 9-12By Placement Only2



Learning 4 Life - Math9-12By Placement Only2


Adapted Physical Education9-12By Placement Only2



ASD Skills Support A & B9-12By Placement Only2


Skills English A & B

This course is designed for special education students who have historically struggled with mainstream English courses. Fiction and non-fiction reading material is read aloud in class.  Themes include coming of age, problem solving, diversity, and other social concerns.  Curriculum includes reading for comprehension as well as discerning the difference between fact and opinion.  Writing skills include instruction in sentence and paragraph writing to be used in a five paragraph paper. Communication and public speaking for everyday life skills are used.

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Skills Reading I A & B

This course is designed for students who struggle significantly with basic reading skills.  An intensive direct instruction-based intervention curriculum is implemented to improve students' skills in phonics, sight words, decoding, fluency, spelling, vocabulary development, and comprehension.

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Skills Reading II A & B

This course is designed for students who have adequate decoding and fluency skills, but struggle significantly with reading comprehension. Strategies such as activating background knowledge; finding connections, generating questions; and making predictions are explicitly taught in a small group format using direct instruction methods. A variety of text formats and styles are incorporated with an emphasis on reading for meaning, and reading to learn.

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Skills Reading III A & B

This course is one-hour of direct reading instruction.  Skills Reading III is required for students who are reading 4 or more years below grade level or recommended by a reading specialist.  Key features of the reading instruction include: A broad array of classic and contemporary selections for daily group reading, focused comprehension questions, specific comprehension exercixes, background knowedge skills, reading fluency work, vocabulary building, literary analysis, and daily writing.

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Skills Writing A & B

A practical writing course geared to enable each student to set and read their own individual writing goals whether that be improving their spelling, punctuation, and grammar; learning to express their thoughts clearly and concisely or mastering the basics of the paragraph. Weekly vocabulary enrichment activities expand students' expressive and written language skills. Appropriate placement will be confirmed by a licensed reading specialist.

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Advanced GRAD Math A & B

This course is designed to prepare students for entering mainstream mathematics courses. This course covers the Minnesota State Math Standards for 9th through 12th grade for students that have not yet demonstrated proficiency and need a modified curriculum at an individual pace. Through this course, students will work towards gaining practical and proficient levels of these modified state standards. Student placement will be determined through assessment, previous course completion, and current math ability.

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Work Experience Transition Seminar A & B

This course is for students with an IEP, focusing on self discovery, self-advocacy, employment and life planning. Do questions like these cross your mind: Where can I get a job? Where can I live on my own? How do I get the life I want? What will I do after high school? How do I get a job? Where's the money? What am I good at? How do I pick the right career? This course offers the opportunity to get to know yourself and develop skills to take charge of your life planning in the areas of employment, career, post high school training, and independent living. On the job training credit is available if you are enrolled or have completed this seminar class.

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Work Experience OJT A & B

If you currently are enrolled in or have previously completed at least one semester of the Work Experience Transition Seminar you are eligible to register for On the Job Training (OJT). OJT is available after or during school with a minimum of 10 hours on the job per week expected. Working with the OJT supervisor, students will set goals for work maintenance and improvement. Working at the SAHS Coffee Station is an option for OJT students. A great way to build skills for earning more money!

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Skills Support A & B

This course is designed for students who have an Individual Education Plan and need extra support in their other classes. The purpose of this class is to assist students in:

  • Developing self-advocacy skills, organizational skills, study skills, test taking skills, social skills and problem solving skills.
  • Supporting individual students transition/post-high school goals.
  • Helping students develop self-awareness, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Supporting students in producing and completing assigned work from other courses.

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PRESS: Positive Reinforcement Education Student Success 

PRESS is designed for students who are having difficulty succeeding in a mainstream setting or who have been intentionally placed into the program.  Students who are placed into the PRESS Support Program per IEP team recommendation will obtain credits in the five curricular areas; English/Language Arts, Math, Social Studies/History, Life Skills, and Science. The five academic areas are offered all class periods, therefore it is easier to place a student into the program and work around their mainstream classes. Students may be in the classroom 20-80% of their day or they may use the classroom for support. They may transition back into a mainstream class through positive behavior and academic achievement.

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PRESS English

Curriculum includes general instruction and skills development in written language skills and reading and comprehension skills through multiple sources. This course addresses social skills, behavioral skills and emotional skills development.

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PRESS Social Studies

Curriculum includes developing awareness of subjects such as Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Economics, Civics, Geography and History. Also, included is a general study of current events, national, world and local issues.

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Curriculum is individualized to student needs and ability. Class is instructed through independent study as well as direct instruction.

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PRESS Science

Curriculum includes general skills development of subjects such as Earth Science, Entry Level biology, modern biology, life science, and human body & health. Topics covered will be body systems, disease, and disorders, matter, structure force and motion are addressed.

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PRESS Life Skills

This course will help students access information and skills needed to understand their disability, maintain and improve their ability to control their emotions, behavior, and reduce at-risk behaviors. Areas covered include: Mental, Emotional, Family and Social Health.

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Pathways A & B

The Pathways program will access adapted equipment to increase their independence in communication, gross motor, and fine motor activities. Occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech/language, and development adapted physical education as determined by the IEP team will support classroom learning opportunities. All program planning is done according to students' IEP's.

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Learning for Life A & B

This course is designed to prepare students to live as independent as possible.  The class will include components in functional language arts, math and instruction in the three transtion areas (post-secondary edcuation/training, emmployment, and independent living).  A continuum of volunteer and job experiences are incluced as part of the program.  No letter grades will be given for these courses.  Students will work according to their Individual Educational Program (IEP) goals at their own level and pace.  Progress will be reported according to the IEP goal progression.

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Communication and Interaction Program (CIP)

The Communication Interaction Program (CIP) is an educational program that serves students (birth to 21) with significant communication disorders, social skills, sensory processing, as well as significant academic and functional needs.  Many of these students may have autism.  Students will work towards functional independence by gaining skills in academics, self-regulation, communication, social interaction, and self-advocacy.

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Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES)

PAES is a simulated work environment course for students with disabilities who are interested in exploring different career options in a multitude of areas.  The five sections of PAES that students work and perform tasks in are:  Business/Marketing, Computer Technology, Construction/Industrial, Processing/Production, and Consumer/Service.  PAES is also a fair assessment of a student's soft skills in the workplace.  The program records how each student responds to supervisors when being corrected on the job, their ability to stay on task, their speed of each job, and the quality of work being done for each job.  The transition program uses this information to make accurate referrals for potential employment opportunities for our students.

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