• SDC is a self-contained classroom that provides services to students with intensive needs that cannot be met by the general education program.
  • SDC teachers are responsible for providing instruction to students who are in a Special Day Class program.
  • Understanding the benefits and challenges of SDC in special education, comparing SDC to inclusion, and examining the impact of SDC on students are important for parents, teachers, and students.

This is one area that I’m not often comfortable discussing–restrictive environments in the special education setting.

See, I have K in a very restrictive setting. He is in a very small class (3-5 kids at most) in a very small school (around 50-60 students). As an advocate, I often hear, “Why is he in such a restrictive setting? He needs INCLUSION!” And on and on.

But, this is our choice. This is what he needs. The few times I’ve brought it up, the “inclusion police” as I call them, have come for me. Some days I’m not in the mood to deal with it, but here goes.

Save The Post IEP Parent Form

📧 Save this for later? 📧

We can instantly send this to your inbox. Or, send to a friend.

kevin bowling for free
My son’s school includes CBI or community based instruction.

Because, for my son, and for some other kids, this is what they need. And, parents need to understand what a more restrictive environment entails, if their school is suggesting it.

To be clear: I understand where and why the LRE pushback and the SCOTUS case happened. Special Education students were universally placed in more restrictive environments, without enough assessments, without presuming competence and with little hope for improvement.

However, as time has marched on, while I know this is still happening, it is happening less frequently. There are many reasons for this, one of the reasons being that parents are better informed. And, that LRE is now a fundamental principle of IDEA.

My aim here is to inform. And so, I am informing you on what an SDC is and how that decision should be made.

I also want to point out something. When parents and families visit colleges with their teenagers, what the one main thing that colleges brag about?

SMALL CLASS SIZE

So why is it a good thing in college….but a stigma in public schools?

sdc special day class

What is SDC in education?

Special Day Class (SDC) is a term used in special education to describe a self-contained classroom that provides services to students with intensive needs that cannot be met by the general education program.

SDCs are designed to provide individualized instruction and support to students with disabilities who require a more specialized learning environment.

SDC teachers are responsible for providing instruction to students who are in a Special Day Class program. They are trained to work with students with disabilities, including those with learning disabilities, emotional disturbances, and physical disabilities.

SDC teachers use a variety of teaching strategies and techniques to help students achieve their academic and social goals.

Understanding SDC in special education is important for parents, teachers, and students alike. This article will explore the benefits and challenges of SDC in special education, compare SDC to inclusion, discuss the roles of teachers in SDC, and examine the impact of SDC on students.

It will also provide guidance on choosing between SDC and general education and answer frequently asked questions about SDC in special education.

A guide for parents outlining what an SDC is in special education.
It is essential to provide socializing opportunities for students in SDC.

Meaning of SDC

A Special Day Class (SDC) is a self-contained special education class that provides services to students with intensive needs that cannot be met by the general education program, RSP, or DIS program.

These classes consist of more than 50% of the student’s day.

There are different types of SDC classes which vary based on the students’ needs.

These classes are smaller and are taught by a credentialed special education teacher at a slower pace.

Most Moderate/Severe SDCs uses a modified curriculum, often called “Life Skills” or “Functional Skills.

If a student is placed in this setting and remains there until high school, they cannot be on a diploma track.

I put that in a different color to bring your attention to it. Be clear about what path your child is on.

Special Day Class

The purpose of SDC is to provide intensive intervention and support for students with disabilities.

Eligibility for SDC is determined through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, where the student’s needs and goals are discussed, and the appropriate program is recommended.

SDC teachers are responsible for providing instruction to students who are in a Special Day Class program. They must have a special education teaching credential and undergo specialized training to work with disabled students.

SDC classes serve an essential role in providing specialized instruction and support to students with disabilities who require intensive intervention and cannot be adequately served in the general education program.

Special Day Class Placement

SDC classes provide a range of benefits for students with disabilities. These benefits include:

  • Individualized attention: SDC classes have a lower student-to-teacher ratio, which allows for more individualized attention and support for each student.
  • Specialized curriculum and teaching methods: SDC classes use specialized curriculum and teaching methods that are tailored to meet the unique needs of each student. This approach helps students learn and progress at their own pace.
  • More intensive intervention and support: SDC classes provide more intensive intervention and support than general education classes. This can include additional resources, such as speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, and counseling.
  • Improved academic performance: Students in SDC classes often show improved academic performance compared to those in general education classes. This is because the specialized curriculum and teaching methods help students learn in a way that is tailored to their needs.

SDC classes provide an important resource for students with disabilities. They offer a supportive and inclusive learning environment that helps students reach their full potential. The key to this success is ensuring that students and parents have equal input into this decision, and that SDCs are not overused, abused, and that the SDC teachers still presume competence.

It’s important to note, that inclusion advocates will say that all of these things can be, or should be able to be, achieved in a general education setting. I see both sides, but knowing my son, he cannot.

He does not like to be around large groups of people, and 20-30 people is a large group to him. Then, if he’s sitting off in a quiet corner, what’s the point of having him in the gen ed classroom?

He loves his classmates now, even though he only has 4 classmates. It works for us, and if you truly believe that for disabled children, there is no “one size fits all” approach, then respect the families who make this decision.

SDC Special Day Class Teachers

Teaching in a Special Day Class (SDC) in special education can be a challenging task.

Here are some of the common challenges that teachers face in SDC:

Meeting Individual Needs

One of the biggest challenges in SDC is meeting the individual needs of each student. Students in SDC have a wide range of disabilities and require different levels of support.

All students in an SDC will have an IEP. Thus, the students in that class will have very limited exposure to non-disabled students.

And, the non-disabled students will have very limited exposure to their disabled peers.

If you choose this option as a parent, it is essential to create opportunities for your child outside of the school day. That is what we chose to do–let K focus on skills and his disabled friends during school, and we give him a wide range of activities outside of school.

Limited Resources

Another challenge in SDC is limited resources. SDC teachers often have limited access to resources such as technology, instructional materials, and support staff.

This can make it difficult to provide the necessary support and accommodations for students with disabilities. Parents and teachers should work together to advocate for these students, so that they have the same opportunities as their non-disabled peers.

Professional Development

Finally, professional development can be a challenge for SDC teachers. Teachers in SDC need to stay up-to-date with the latest research and best practices in special education. However, they may not have access to the same professional development opportunities as general education teachers.

Overall, teaching in an SDC in special education can be a challenging but rewarding experience. With the right support and resources, teachers can help students with disabilities reach their full potential.

An SDC in Special Education: A simple guide for parents of a young girl wearing headphones in a classroom.
Some students are fine in a gen ed setting with the right accommodations.

SDC vs. Inclusion: A Comparison

Special Day Class (SDC) and inclusion are two different approaches to special education. Inclusion refers to an environment where typically developing students are in classes alongside students with Individual Education Plans (IEP’s).

On the other hand, an SDC is a self-contained special education class that provides services to students with intensive needs that cannot be met by the general education program, RSP, or DIS program.

In an inclusion classroom, students with special needs are taught alongside their peers in a general education classroom. The goal of inclusion is to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to learn and socialize with their non-disabled peers.

Teachers in an inclusion classroom use a variety of research-based teaching methods, resources, and learning materials to reach the span of ability levels and learning styles. Group work, discussions, and demonstrations are seen daily in an inclusive class. Students are given a variety of ways to learn and show what they know.

Do you know what your IEP rights are?
Featured Image

On the other hand, an SDC is the most restrictive placement for a special needs student physically located in regular public schools. It is an isolated classroom where no general education interaction occurs.

SDCs are designed to provide intensive support and instruction to students with complex needs. Classes consist of more than 50% of the student’s day.

In an SDC, the curriculum is tailored to meet the individual needs of each student. The teacher-student ratio is lower than in a regular classroom, which allows for more individualized attention. Students in an SDC receive specialized instruction in areas such as communication, social skills, and behavior management.

In conclusion, while inclusion and SDCs are both approaches to special education, they differ in their focus and design. Inclusion classrooms are designed to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to learn and socialize with their non-disabled peers.

On the other hand, SDCs are designed to provide intensive support and instruction to students with complex needs. The choice of placement depends on the individual needs of the student.

A woman instructing a child in a classroom, a basic guide for parents on Special Education.
Some students require a smaller setting. And that’s ok!

Roles of Teachers in SDC

Special Day Class (SDC) teachers play a crucial role in providing instruction and support to students with disabilities. They are responsible for ensuring that each student receives a high-quality education that is tailored to their unique needs.

Here are some of the key roles that SDC teachers play:

  • Developing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs): SDC teachers work with other members of the student’s educational team to develop IEPs that outline the student’s goals, accommodations, and modifications. These plans are crucial for ensuring that the student receives the support they need to succeed in school.
  • Providing Instruction: SDC teachers are responsible for providing instruction to their students. They must be able to adapt their teaching methods to meet the needs of each student. This may involve using different instructional strategies, providing one-on-one instruction, or using assistive technology.
  • Monitoring Progress: SDC teachers must monitor their students’ progress to ensure that they are meeting their goals. They may use formal assessments, informal assessments, or observations to track progress and adjust instruction as needed.
  • Collaborating with Other Professionals: SDC teachers often work closely with other professionals, such as speech therapists, occupational therapists, and school psychologists. They must be able to collaborate effectively with these professionals to ensure that the student receives comprehensive support.
  • Communicating with Parents and Guardians: SDC teachers must communicate regularly with parents and guardians to keep them informed of their child’s progress. They may hold parent-teacher conferences, send progress reports home, or communicate via email or phone.

SDC teachers play a critical role in ensuring that students with disabilities receive a high-quality education.

By developing individualized education plans, providing instruction, monitoring progress, collaborating with other professionals, and communicating with parents and guardians, SDC teachers help their students achieve their full potential.

Special Day Class Definition

The term “special day class” typically refers to a specific type of educational program or classroom designed to provide specialized instruction and support for disabled students who have Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or other specialized educational needs.

These classes are part of the continuum of services provided by schools to ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate and effective education in the least restrictive environment.

In a special day class, students with similar disabilities or educational needs are grouped together to receive targeted instruction, therapies, and support that address their specific challenges.

The class is taught by a special education teacher who is trained to work with students with disabilities and is equipped to provide individualized instruction based on each student’s IEP.

The goal of a special day class is to provide a supportive and structured environment where disabled students can receive the instruction and assistance they need to make educational progress and develop important life skills.

The specific structure and curriculum of a special day class can vary depending on the needs of the students it serves and the resources available within the school or district.

Special Day Class Size

The size of a special day class can vary widely depending on factors such as the type of disabilities being addressed, the grade level of the students, the resources available, and the educational policies of the school district or educational institution. There is no specific standard or universal size for special day classes.

In some cases, special day classes may have a smaller student-to-teacher ratio compared to regular education classrooms, as this allows for more individualized instruction and support tailored to the unique needs of each student with disabilities. Smaller class sizes can also facilitate a more controlled and structured learning environment.

However, the exact class size can differ significantly. Some special day classes might have around 6 to 10 students, while others might have slightly more.

It’s important for the class size to strike a balance between providing individualized attention and support for each student while still being manageable and sustainable for the educators involved.

Ultimately, the size of a special day class should be determined based on the specific needs of the students, the goals of their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), and the resources available within the educational institution. Regulations and guidelines for class sizes may also vary by state or school district.

Impact of SDC on Students

Students who are placed in Special Day Classes (SDC) may experience both positive and negative impacts on their education and overall well-being. The following paragraphs will discuss some of the potential impacts of SDC on students.

One potential positive impact of SDC is that students may receive more individualized attention and support from their teachers. In SDC, the teacher to student ratio is often lower, which allows for more one-on-one instruction and support. This can be especially beneficial for students who require more intensive interventions and support.

However, there may also be some negative impacts of SDC on students. For example, students in SDC may have limited opportunities for socialization with peers who are not also in special education. This can lead to feelings of isolation and may negatively impact social and emotional development.

Additionally, students in SDC may have limited access to the general education curriculum and may miss out on opportunities to learn alongside their peers who are not in special education. This can lead to gaps in knowledge and skills that may impact their future academic and career opportunities.

Overall, the impact of SDC on students can vary depending on individual needs and circumstances. It is important for educators and parents to carefully consider the potential benefits and drawbacks of SDC placement when making decisions about educational placement for students with disabilities.

Choosing Between SDC and General Education

When it comes to choosing between a Special Day Class (SDC) and General Education (GE) for a child with special needs, parents and educators must consider several factors. The decision should be based on the individual needs of the child and what will provide them with the best opportunity to succeed academically and socially.

One factor to consider is the level of support the child needs. In an SDC, the child will receive more individualized attention from a special education teacher who is trained to work with students with special needs. In GE, the child will be in a larger classroom with a general education teacher who may not have as much experience with special needs.

Another factor to consider is the curriculum. In an SDC, the curriculum is modified to meet the needs of the students. In GE, the curriculum is the same as the general population. If the child needs a modified curriculum to succeed academically, an SDC may be the better option.

A third factor to consider is the social aspect. In an SDC, the child may have limited interaction with other students outside of the class. In GE, the child will have more opportunities to interact with peers in a variety of settings. If socialization is a priority, GE may be the better option.

Ultimately, the decision between SDC and GE should be made on a case-by-case basis. Parents and educators should work together to determine what is best for the child. It is important to remember that the decision is not permanent and can be revisited if necessary.

SDC on an IEP

In conclusion, a Special Day Class (SDC) is a type of classroom that provides a more restrictive environment for students with disabilities who require specialized instruction. It is a placement option for students who are unable to succeed in a general education classroom, even with the support of accommodations and modifications.

SDCs can be either mild/moderate or moderate/severe, depending on the level of support needed for the students. Mild/moderate SDCs use the general education curriculum, while moderate/severe SDCs use a modified curriculum focused on life skills and functional skills.

While SDCs can be beneficial for some students, they are not always the best option. In some cases, students may benefit more from inclusion in a general education classroom with appropriate supports. It is important for parents and educators to work together to determine the best placement option for each individual student.

Overall, SDCs are an important part of the special education system and provide a valuable option for students with disabilities. However, it is important to remember that every student is unique and requires an individualized approach to their education. By working together and considering all options, parents and educators can ensure that each student receives the support they need to succeed.

If you believe your child is in the wrong placement, that is an issue to bring up with your IEP team.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of a teacher in an SDC classroom?

The teacher in an SDC classroom is responsible for providing specialized instruction to students with disabilities. They create lesson plans and modify the curriculum to meet the individual needs of each student. The teacher also works closely with other professionals, such as speech therapists and occupational therapists, to ensure that students receive the support they need to succeed.

What are the eligibility requirements for a student to be placed in an SDC?

To be eligible for placement in an SDC, a student must have a disability that significantly impacts their ability to learn in a general education classroom. The student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team determines if an SDC is the appropriate placement based on the student’s needs and abilities.

How is the curriculum different in an SDC compared to a general education classroom?

The curriculum in an SDC is modified to meet the individual needs of each student.

The level of support varies (or should vary) based on student needs.

What types of disabilities are typically served in an SDC?

Students with a wide range of disabilities can be served in an SDC. Some common disabilities include autism, intellectual disabilities, emotional disturbance, and specific learning disabilities.

What is the difference between an SDC and an RSP program?

An SDC is a more restrictive setting than an RSP (Resource Specialist Program) program. In an SDC, students receive specialized instruction in a separate classroom.

In an RSP program, students receive support in a general education classroom from a resource specialist teacher.

How do SDC teachers differentiate instruction for students with varying needs?

SDC teachers differentiate instruction by modifying the curriculum to meet the individual needs of each student. They may use different teaching strategies, such as visual aids or hands-on activities, to help students learn. SDC teachers also work closely with other professionals to provide additional support, such as speech therapy or occupational therapy.

Good luck with your decision and be sure to check out the other resources here on the site.

Free IEP Binder
Featured Image