Photo courtesy of Sunset Elementary at https://www.sfusd.edu/school/sunset-elementary-school/special-day-classes

This information is from https://www.sfusd.edu/special-education-specialized-class-locations#30817

Separate Classes with specialized services are offered at some SFUSD schools to provide specialized academic instruction in a smaller classroom setting. Students in Separate Classes for the majority of the day are assigned to a special education teacher and to a multi-grade classroom. Instruction focuses on students accessing common core standards through accommodations, modifications, and specialized academic instruction. SDC classrooms are assigned additional adult support.

Types of Special Day Classes:

Autism-Focused (Mild/Mod) – Designed to be enriched with evidence-based practices and supports to facilitate the development of academic, behavioral, and social skills for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This class utilizes ABA strategies and includes training and regular consultation with classroom staff from a Behavior Analyst, Speech-Language Pathologist, and other Related Service providers as needed. Most students in these settings are working on Functional Communication Training, social pragmatics, and acquiring self-management skills. Students in this setting are on the diploma track.

Autism-Focused (Mod/Sev) – Designed to be enriched with evidence-based practices and supports to facilitate the development of pre-academic, behavioral, and social skills for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This class utilizes ABA strategies and includes training and regular consultation to classroom staff from a Behavior Analyst, Speech-Language Pathologist, and other Related Service providers. Most students in these settings are working on learning-readiness, adaptive (self-care) skills, communication, and independence. Students in this setting are not typically on the diploma track.

Cross-Categorical (Mild/Mod) – Students in Special Day Classes (Mild/Moderate) spend the majority of their day in a Special Education classroom. However, almost all students are integrated in general education for classes they are able to access effectively with support. Most students in these settings are on a regular diploma track. 

Cross-Categorical (Mod/Sev) – This program provides a continuum of Special Day Class services to students that focus on basic academic, functional, and life skills. Students participate in community-based instruction and are included as appropriate in the general education curriculum and program. Classes are taught by special education teachers supported by special education paraeducators. These classes may receive a variety of support services ranging from speech and language therapy to occupational therapy. These classes are based on developmentally appropriate practices that address the areas of cognition, social-emotional, gross/fine motor,  communication, and physical development.

Learning Center – Students in the Learning Center Program spend the majority of their day in general education and may receive additional support from specialists in a small group setting within or outside of the general education classroom. Students in this model are assigned to a Special Day Class Mild-Moderate teacher and are on a regular diploma track.

SOAR: Success, Opportunity, Achievement, Resiliency (Mild/Mod) – SDCs are specialized for students with disabilities that impact their social, emotional, behavioral, and academic functioning.  This class is enriched with therapeutic and behavior supports to facilitate the reduction of behavioral excesses and the development of skills in the areas of self-awareness, self-management, social skills, and responsible decision-making.  This class includes training and ongoing consultation with a Behavior Analyst and Mental Health Clinician. Most students require instruction in a separate setting for over 50 percent of the day until they gain skills to access learning in a less restrictive environment. Students are on a regular diploma track in this program.

DHH Auditory/Oral (A/O) and Total Communication (TC) Mild/Mod students are in a separate deaf/hard of hearing auditory oral or total communication classroom over 50 percent of the day. The continuum of services includes specialized programs for students with significant hearing impairments who benefit from full-time placement in a special day class setting. Depending on a student’s IEP, sign language interpreters enable students to access general education classes and extracurricular activities as appropriate. Specialized DHH equipment is provided per a student’s IEP to maximize access to the curriculum.