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The San Dieguito Union High School District offers specialized programs as part of the continuum of special education services for students with Individual Education Program (IEP). The specialized programs are utilized for students who may require unique instructional strategies and small group instruction. Decisions regarding Special Education services and placement can only be made by the IEP team during an IEP team meeting, and can only be made by the entire IEP team, which includes parents.  These services include, but are not limited to the following:

Functional Life Skills (formally known as: Severely Handicap-SH)
 Oak Crest MS, La Costa Canyon HS, Torrey Pines HS
Students who have moderate to severe disabilities attend a Functional Life Skills class. The program serves students from grades seven through twelve. Students who participate in this program work toward a certificate of achievement. Many students spend most of their instructional day in this classroom setting, but may be mainstreamed into general education classes for portions of their school day. The District currently has 3 schools (Earl Warren Middle School, Oak Crest Middle School and Torrey Pines High School) serving the needs of students with moderate to severe disabilities.
 Transitional Academic Program (TAP) 
 Carmel Valley MS, Oak Crest MS, La Costa Canyon HS, Torrey Pines HS
The San Dieguito Union High School District’s Transitional Academic Programs (TAP) are located on selected middle school and high school campuses. TAP is developed for students who require functional, social, vocational, and independent living skills which are necessary in preparation for a successful adult life. TAP provides a successful path for students on a certificate of completion track. Students in TAP are typically significantly below grade level in academics and adaptive behavior when compared to their same aged peers. Students in TAP participate regularly with community based learning and involvement with Workability job exploration which prepares them for successful independent life skills after for post-secondary outcomes. A student’s placement in the TAP program is made by an IEP team with the possibility of mainstreaming in general education and fundamental level courses.

Learning Center (LC) 
 Diegueno MS, Earl Warren MS, La Costa Canyon HS, Torrey Pines HS
SDUHSD’s Learning Center Programs may be considered by an IEP team for special education students who benefit from the general education curriculum, but require direct instruction, additional adult assistance, and additional support in the following areas including:
  • Pragmatic language and social skills deficits
  • School anxiety
  • Significant attention and executive functioning deficits 
The Learning Center is available to eligible students throughout their school day. Students in the Learning Center will receive specialized individual and small group instruction to reinforcement the general education curriculum, pragmatic and social skills instruction, as well as instructional strategies to support note taking, test taking, assignment planning, and assignment completion. Learning Center students earn elective credits for completion of the course.

Coastal Learning Academy (CLA)
 Canyon Crest Academy
The Coastal Learning Academy (CLA) is a program at the high school level that serves students with a variety of needs. CLA currently services SDUHSD students and non-SDUHSD students from a variety of North County districts. CLA is designed primarily for college-prep, diploma-bound students.

Students referred to this program qualify for special education services under a variety of categories including but not limited to, Autistic-Like behaviors, Other Health Impaired, Specific Learning Disability, and Speech/ Language Impaired.

The Coastal Learning Academy is considered one of the most restrictive in the district and is most often an option when all other supports and services have not been successful. Additionally, students are considered for this program when making the transition from other more restrictive programs, i.e.-Non-Public, Private, Day Treatment, and Residential settings.

CLA class size is small (up to 18); the daily routine is structured, and instructional strategies use a multi-sensory approach. Core classes within CLA vary from term to term are team-taught by a credentialed content teacher and an Education Specialist.

Social Emotional Academic Success (SEAS)
 Diegueno MS, La Costa Canyon HS
Mission Statement: To provide a safe, structured, and supervised educational program where students receive the necessary supports to facilitate their social, emotional, and academic independence based on their individualized educational program (IEP) goals so that they can successfully be integrated into less restrictive environments.

SDUHSD’s Social and Emotional Academic Support (SEAS) Program’s foundation is to provide immediate and individualized supports to assist students who are primarily referred to the program based on their social and emotional needs, while also needing academic support. Within the SEAS system, the classrooms incorporate a behavioral modification system in the form of a Five Tier Level System that is managed through daily/weekly data collection. The goal of the behavior management system is to assist students in replacing or decreasing undesired behaviors with appropriate positive, or desired, behaviors. All students in the SEAS program will receive the following:
  • Small group setting
  • Adapted or Modified curriculum
  • Appropriate accommodations and/or modifications in their classroom as defined per each student’s IEP
  • Five Tier level system that defines privileges per level
  • Daily/weekly behavioral data collection to monitor IEP goals
  • Mainstreaming opportunities based on program level structure
  • Counseling to include ERMHS therapist working within the program at least four days a week 
  • Home/School collaboration
The SEAS program and its staff members are committed and trained to provide a safe and structured environment where all students are treated in a respectful and appropriate manner by all staff members. All SEAS staff members within the program are trained to respond to students’ behaviors within the framework of daily behavioral points and the Five Tiered Level System.
 Adult Transition Program (ATP)
La Costa Canyon HS 
 Mission Statement: 
Our mission is to facilitate the development of independent, self-determined, functioning members of society through community-based and collaborative services, building upon each student’s preferences and interests.

The Adult Transition Program is a community based program located on off-campus sites. The program relies on the natural expectations and responsibilities found in the community. It is intentionally located in a community setting which provides opportunities for interface with the public daily. It also provides young adults an introduction to an environment similar to the one in which they will eventually transition. Qualifying students age 18-22, regardless of their level of need, are included. The program’s goal is to help each student reach their utmost level of independence through differentiated, small group activities which build on the strengths of each student.

Typically students enter the Adult Transition Program after completing four years in either a Transitional Alternative Program (TAP) class or a Functional Life Skills Class (SH) class. Students usually enter the program after they turn 18 years old and have not earned a diploma. However, an IEP team may determine eligibility on an individual basis.

Four Foundations:
The Adult Transition Program bases the main curriculum upon the ITP (Individual Transition Program): 
  1. Education/Instruction
    • Mobility Training
    • Community College
    • Adult Ed support
  2. Employment
    • Job readiness skills (resume, interview)
    • Job shadow, sampling, volunteering
    • Work crews/enclaves
    • Supported employment
    • Piece work
    • Micro-business
  3. Community Experience
    • Recreation/leisure interests
    • Accessing organized activities
    • Expand social network
    • Accessing community services and agencies
  4. Independent Living
    • Money management
    • Transportation options
    • Meal planning, shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry

Oak Crest MS, Torrey Pines HS, La Costa Canyon HS