Inclusive Education Policy

Atlee High School, in conjunction with Hanover County Public Schools, is committed to providing a “free appropriate public education” to all students. Using the State of Virginia’s policy and legislation as its framework, we follow the steps of identification and referral, evaluation, determination of eligibility, development of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with appropriate services, and re-evaluation. As a public high school, we adhere to the guidelines and processes outlined in the “Parent’s Guide to Special Education,” published by the Department of Education. This document is the de facto policy governing special education at Hanover High School.

Services at Atlee High School are provided based upon the individual needs of the student as outlined in the IEP, regardless of a student’s placement in the International Baccalaureate Program. Therefore, all special education students who enroll in IB classes or in the IB Diploma Program are afforded the same levels of support as all special education students attending Atlee High School. The following are illustrative examples of services that students may access depending upon their own IEP or 504 Plan.

  • Adapted instructional materials and/or presentation (large print, audio assistance, etc.)
  • Modified assessments
  • Additional time
  • Additional support for study skills, social skills, or academic achievement through the Resource Classes
  • Transition goals and related services to ensure that students are equipped for higher education and employment opportunities, as well as other types of community engagement post-high school

Atlee High School provides for the needs of special education students through the intense cooperation of faculty. Students identified as needing special services are assigned a case manager who ensures that the student’s IEP is understood and followed by all classroom teachers. This case manager is also responsible for following all of the necessary steps in creating, implementing, and revising a student’s IEP so that the document continues to outline appropriate goals, services, and accommodations for the student. Students who have 504 Plans are assigned to their counselors who oversee the implementation of the 504 Plan, collaborate with the student’s teachers and facilitate meetings with teachers and parents.


All special arrangements that may be authorized by the IB are based on the following principles. These principles are taken verbatim from Candidates with Special Needs, pages 4-5.

1.1 The IB must ensure that a grade awarded to a candidate in any subject is not a misleading description of that candidate’s level of attainment, so the same standards of assessment are applied to all candidates, regardless of whether or not they have special needs.

1.2 Special arrangements are intended to reduce the adverse effects of a candidate’s special needs when demonstrating his or her level of attainment. The special arrangements requested for a candidate must not give that candidate an advantage in any assessment component.

1.3 The special arrangements described in this document are intended for candidates with the intellectual capacity to meet all assessment requirements leading to the award of the diploma or certificates.

1.4 The school, not the IB, is responsible for establishing whether the Diploma Programme can be taught and assessed. Advice may be sought from IB Cardiff ([email protected]) before a school accepts a student with special needs; however, this advice is restricted to the implications for internal and external assessment and does not extend to teaching methods and resources.

1.5 If it can be demonstrated that a candidate’s lack of proficiency in his or her response language(s) (English, French, or Spanish) arises from a diagnosed need, special arrangements may be authorized. (For subjects in groups 3 to 6, all candidates are allowed to use a translating dictionary in the written examinations.)

1.6 The IB aims to authorize special arrangements that are compatible with those normally available to the candidate concerned. However, authorization will only be given for arrangements that are consistent with the policy and practice of the IB. It should not be assumed that the IB will necessarily agree to the arrangements requested by a school. Coordinators are required to provide information on both the candidate’s usual method of working in the classroom and under assessment conditions.

1.7 The IB is committed to an educational philosophy based on international mindedness. Therefore, the special assessment needs policy of the IB may not reflect the standard practice of any one country. To achieve equity among candidates with special assessment needs, the policy represents the result of a consideration of accepted practice in different countries.

1.8 The IB will ensure that, wherever possible, arrangements for candidates with a similar type of need are the same. Given that cultural differences occur in the recognition of learning issues and the accommodations allowed, some compromise may be necessary to help ensure comparability between candidates in different countries.

1.9 If special assessment arrangements are necessary for a candidate, consultation with the IB is mandatory. Similarly, if a Diploma Programme candidate has difficulties meeting the requirements for Creativity, Action, Service (CAS), the appropriate IB regional office must be consulted. Any exceptions are stated in this document. However, a school may provide any kind of special arrangement for a candidate during his or her study of Diploma Programme or trial (practice) examinations.

1.10 A school must not inform an examiner of a candidate’s condition or adverse circumstance. Similarly, in the case of internally assessed work, teachers must not make any adjustments when marking a candidate’s work. If appropriate, the IB will ensure that reasonable adjustments are considered.

1.11 The IB treats all information about a candidate as confidential. If required, information will only be shared with appropriate IB personnel and members of the final award committee, who will be instructed to treat such information as confidential.

1.12 If special arrangements are authorized for internal assessment, the IB may require the candidate’s work to be submitted to IB Cardiff for scrutiny.

1.13 The list of special arrangements available is revised regularly. The IB will consider alternative arrangements proposed by a coordinator, provided those arrangements could be made available to all other similarly affected candidates.

Atlee High School and Inclusive Arrangement with the IB Program

The Diploma Program at Atlee High School is open access and all students are encouraged to take IB classes. An IB student with special assessment needs is one who requires special arrangements in assessment conditions to demonstrate his or her level of attainment. These needs may be individual learning challenges whether physical or psychological. The IB Coordinator in conjunction with the IB Counselor, the Exception Education Senior Teacher, the Principal, and the IB teachers involved will review cases to ensure that reasonable accommodations can be made for both teaching and assessment to ensure completion of the IB course assessments and requirements. The IB Coordinator will ensure that a “grade awarded to a candidate in any subject is not a misleading description of that candidate’s level of attainment, so the same standards of assessment are applied to all candidates, regardless of whether or not they have special needs” (Candidates with Special Assessment Access Requirements 4).

Candidates with special assessment needs such as those who have IEPs (Individualized Education Plan) and 504 plans with legal documentation will be given the legally adopted accommodations as permitted in examinations without prior authorization from IB specified below and taken from the IB Candidates with Assessment Access Requirements (2009 - updated 2014):

3.1 A candidate is permitted to take an examination in a separate room if it is in the best interests of the candidate or other candidates in the group. For example, lighting may be a particular consideration for a candidate with a visual impairment, or a room with an echo may be difficult for a candidate with autism. Furthermore, a candidate’s condition or the nature of the inclusive assessment arrangement (for example, a scribe, a computer) may disturb other candidates, in which case a separate examination room is justified. If the examination is taken in a separate room, all regulations governing the conduct of IB examinations must be observed. The candidate must be kept under the constant supervision of an invigilator.

3.2 The coordinator may arrange for appropriate seating to meet the needs of individual candidates (for example, sitting near the front may be appropriate for a candidate with vision or hearing difficulties).

3.3 An assistant, if necessary a nurse, may be in attendance if this is necessary for the welfare or safety of a candidate. The assistant must not be another candidate or a relative of the candidate.

3.4 A candidate who normally uses an aid (for example, a coloured overlay, a Braille slate, a sound amplification device, a radio aid, a hearing aid, a low vision aid, a magnifying aid, coloured filter lenses) is allowed to use the aid in examinations. Note: It is in breach of regulations if candidates are found in possession of any other mobile devices in the examination room.

3.5 A candidate with a hearing condition may receive instructions from a communicator. This arrangement must be confined to explaining the conduct of the examination and the instructions in an examination paper. The communicator must not convey information about any aspect of a question in the paper without prior authorization from IB Assessment centre.

3.6 If a candidate has difficulties in reading or attention, test directions may be clarified by the invigilator or a designated reader. This arrangement must be strictly confined only to clarifying the directions and the instructions and not the content of the questions.

3.7 Magnifying devices to enlarge and read print may be used by candidates with vision issues. These may include magnifying glasses and line magnifiers.

3.8 For a candidate who has colour blindness, the coordinator (or invigilator) is permitted to name colours in an examination paper (for example, on a map in a geography examination). However, no other form of assistance may be given without authorization from the IB Assessment centre.

3.9 A candidate who is hypersensitive to sound is permitted the use of noise buffers such as headsets, earplugs and individual workstations with acoustic screens. If an individual workstation is employed, all regulations governing the conduct of IB examinations must be observed. The candidate must be kept under the constant supervision of an invigilator.

3.10 A candidate may be permitted rest breaks if required to do so due to medical, physical, psychological or other conditions. The amount of time permitted for rest breaks is not counted towards the duration of the candidate’s examination. Rest breaks must be supervised to ensure that the security of the examination is maintained. There must be no communication with, or disturbance to, other candidates. The amount of rest time and number of breaks permitted must be pre-determined and will depend upon the candidate’s circumstances, although 10-minutes per hour is the general recommendation. During a rest break, the candidate is not permitted to read, respond to the examination paper or write notes of any kind. Candidates may be allowed to leave the room for all or part of the rest periods. For example, a candidate with diabetes may be provided rest breaks to check blood sugar levels and take medication. If a candidate’s personal examination timetable is such that, with rest periods and additional time more than six and a half hours of examinations would take place in one day, rescheduling should be requested.

3.11 A candidate may be permitted the use of a prompter due to attention issues, psychological or neurological conditions. A prompter would ensure that a candidate pays attention to the examination. The use of the prompter should not disturb other candidates. The coordinator or invigilator may act as a prompter, but the examination must be conducted according to IB regulations. In all cases, the prompter may only prompt the candidate and not provide any form of assistance. The prompt may be a gentle tap on the candidate’s arm or desk/table but should not be given verbally. The prompter must not draw the candidate’s attention to any part of the examination paper or script. The prompter should be familiar with the candidate’s behaviour so that he/she knows when the candidate is off-task. The candidate should be familiar with the kind of prompt that he/she would likely receive from the prompter. The prompter should be in a position that provides a view of the candidate’s disposition rather than his/her work. The candidate should not feel as though he/she is under pressure or scrutiny.

3.12 At the discretion of the coordinator, a candidate may be given additional time to complete assignments during the two-year programme (for example, the extended essay, the theory of knowledge (TOK) essay) without authorization from the IB. However, if an extension to the deadline for the submission of work for assessment is required, the coordinator must contact IB Answers (See section 4.8 Access to extensions and exemptions).”

For accommodations that are not covered above, such as cases of lack of proficiency in language, or medical conditions that develop later in a school year, the IB Coordinator will submit the necessary paperwork through IBIS to request approval for any inclusive assessment arrangements as outlined in Chapter 4 of IB Candidates with Assessment Access Requirements (2009). The IB Coordinator will provide to IB information on both the candidate’s usual method of working in the classroom and under assessment conditions. With parental and student consent, supporting documentation of medical and psychological conditions will be submitted to IB Cardiff through IBIS along with the following information:

  • a summary of the candidate’s condition, updating, clarifying and drawing attention to any relevant details in the attached documentation
  • details of special arrangements made by the school for class assignments, homework and examinations
  • which special arrangements are being requested
  • identify whether the same or similar arrangements have previously been authorized for the candidate by the IB or another examination board.

Roles and Responsibilities

Of the School:

  • The school will provide guidance and information so that students with special needs can make informed decisions concerning application to our IB programs.
  • School counseling as well as the Special Education specialist will provide the IB coordinator and teachers with all IEP and 504 plan documentation.
  • Exceptional education case managers and/or school counselors will provide updates and host meetings for updates in IEP and 504 plans. IB coordinators will be invited to the meetings.
  • The IB coordinator and IB counselor will work with exceptional education case manager to oversee and supervise classroom accommodations as well as provide examination accommodations as needed.
  • Schools will facilitate the provision of appropriate accommodations such as but not limited to additional time, rest periods, separate testing space, technological aides, reading aids (readers, prompters, Braille), and assessment/assignments in special color or type size, audio recordings, assignment modification, extensions, and assistance or exemptions as specified by the student’s IEP or 504 plan.
  • The IB coordinator will communicate any accommodations granted by the IB to students and parents in a timely manner.
  • The IB coordinator will work with invigilators to ensure that all additional testing accommodations granted by IB are followed during IB testing.

Of the Teacher:

  • The classroom teacher, in conjunction with the exceptional education case manager and/or teacher, will familiarize him/herself with the nature and needs of his/her students’ special needs by utilizing school and MY IB resources and will keep a copy of the student’s 504 plan or IEP.
  • The classroom teacher will provide differentiation and accommodation, in conjunction with the exceptional education case manager and/or teacher, as needed as required for student success and as outlined in the student’s IEP or 504 plan.
  • The teacher will maintain discretion and confidentiality in providing these services.
  • The teacher will maintain sensitivity to and flexibility in his/her thinking in crafting
    accommodations for those who may not perform in the generally accepted way.
  • The teacher will maintain a classroom atmosphere which affirms identity and builds self-esteem, values prior knowledge, and provides scaffolding and extended learning opportunities for all students.

Of the Parent and Student:

  • Families will make requests for child studies or services from the school as they are needed and in a proactive manner.
  • Families will provide documentation to school officials for IEP and 504 plans so that documentation can be provided to IBO for accommodation requests.
  • Families will communicate with children’s teachers and coordinators concerning their
    observations as to their child’s needs to facilitate appropriate intervention strategies.
  • Students will be proactive in seeking assistance from their teachers and the coordinator to meet their learning needs.

Terminology for Special Needs

Accommodation: A generic term comprising all forms of arrangement, compensation, or conditions that may be allowed for a candidate.

Adverse circumstances: Circumstances beyond the control of the candidate(s) that might be detrimental to the performance of the candidate(s) in one or more assessment component (for example, bereavement, natural disasters, civil unrest). “Adverse circumstances” do not include medical conditions or disability.

Exceptional circumstances: Circumstances that are not commonly within the experience of other candidates with special assessment needs. The IB reserves the right to determine which circumstances qualify as “exceptional” and therefore justify a particular special arrangement.

Invigilator: A person, or persons, responsible for supervising an examination (also referred to as a “proctor” or a “supervisor”); The invigilator of an IB examination may or may not be the coordinator.

Special arrangements: Changed or additional conditions during the assessment process for a candidate with special educational needs. These enable the candidate to demonstrate his or her level of attainment more fairly and are not intended to compensate for any lack of ability.

Special assessment needs: A candidate with special assessment needs is one who requires special arrangements in assessment conditions to demonstrate his or her level of attainment.

Special educational needs: This refers to candidates with individual learning needs, who have the intellectual capacity to meet all curriculum and assessment requirements, and who require special arrangements to demonstrate their level of achievement. Candidates who require special assessment arrangements may display the characteristics of one or more of the following special educational needs:

  • Specific learning issues, language and communication disorders
  • Significant issues in reading, writing, spelling or manipulating numbers associated with issues in processing symbolic language (for example, problems interpreting music notation, dyslexia, dyscalculia).
  • Speech and language issues characterized by communication problems (for example, aphasia, dysphasia, articulation problems).
  • Emotional and behavioral issues Includes: attention deficit disorder (ADD)/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD); attitudes; obsessive preoccupation with eating habits; school phobia; substance abuse; disruptive antisocial and uncooperative behavior; and anger, frustration and violence.
  • Physical and sensory conditions
  • Physical disabilities include a wide range of conditions that are not always immediately obvious, but affect mobility.
  • Sensory issues: hearing—embraces an extensive range of hearing loss from mild to profound and can present communication difficulties; visual—includes difficulties with either the structure or function of the eye, affecting vision.
  • Medical conditions the most common being: congenital heart disease, epilepsy, asthma, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, renal failure, eczema, rheumatoid disorders, allergies, leukemia and other cancers.
  • Mental health issues

Technical language: This refers to terminology specific to the subject being tested. It may be the target of the assessment and must be known by the candidate to understand fully the subject.

Policy Review and Communication

This policy will be under review with input from the IB Coordinator, the Special Education Senior Teacher and a Atlee High School Administrator. It will incorporate all new IB revisions as they occur, or at least every three years. The policy will be communicated to the school community at the beginning of each new school year through our IB faculty meeting. It will also be posted on the school’s website.

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