In Class Support (ICS)

What's Required

The local educational agency (LEA) must ensure that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled (34 CFR 
300.114(a)(2)(i) and 20 USC 1412(a)(5)(A).

What We Do

In Class Support (ICS) is support provided inside the general education classroom by a Special Education Teacher.  ICS allows for specific, targeted interventions relating to the course content to take place during a specified duration of time as outlined by the ARD committee.  Special Education teachers who provide supports in the mainstream classroom focus on the specific needs of the individuals that they are assigned to work with while understanding that other students may find the resources useful or helpful and therefore do not limit their services to one or two students, but extend their services to assist all students who may benefit from what is being brought into the classroom.

Planning:  The Special Education teacher providing ICS will have access to all content lesson plans at least one week prior to the lessons taking place in the classroom to prepare supports for individuals with special needs.  The teachers providing ICS may or may not be a part of the planning of the lesson as the number of students being supported may have the Special Education staff member in multiple classrooms over the duration of a school day and class week.     

Preparation: The teacher providing ICS is responsible for preparing and bringing into the classroom supportive materials, manipulatives, and activities to further student learning and appreciation for the standards that are being taught.  This teacher will communicate with the general education teacher the plan for supporting specific students to ensure high levels of learning for all students.  The general education teacher and special education teacher providing ICS will collaborate to determine the appropriate flow of delivery of the instruction.

The paraprofessional providing ICS will support students receiving Special Education based on their needs as outlined by the students’ Individualized Education Plan.  The paraprofessional will deliver services under the guidance of the general education teacher and the special education case manager.  Ideas and activities developed by the paraprofessional while progressing through the year will be monitored for best practices by the general education teacher and special education case manager to ensure appropriate depth and rigor levels are being reached.

Presentation: Both the general education teacher and staff member providing the ICS will collaborate to determine when/if each teacher will be delivering the instruction to ensure minimal distractions and appropriate flow of the instruction.  They will also decide the best time (within the class) to present activities, materials, and alternative teaching/learning strategies that the ICS teacher has designed/prepared.  Presentations can take place through various methods (i.e. station teaching, small groups, individual sessions). 

Collaboration: To ensure data driven decisions are being made to drive instruction, the general education teacher and special education teacher should meet within two days of scoring all assessments (classroom, campus, district, and state) to analyze student academic gains and instructional practices.  This analysis is to ensure appropriate academic growth for individuals receiving special education. 

Collaborative-Teaching (co-teaching) 

Collaborative-teaching (co-teaching) is an instructional arrangement where two or more certified professionals share the responsibility of lesson planning, delivery of instruction, and progress monitoring (through a balanced assessment system) for all students.  Co-Teachers collectively create goals for their work in bringing students to mastery of the standards.  Co-Teachers plan for and simultaneously execute the delivery of instruction, using an agreed upon instructional approach and one of the four highly effective co-teach models.  Co-Teachers assess student progress and adjust their teaching practices and instruction based on the student’s needs in the classroom.  Co-Teachers are responsible for providing differentiated instruction, interventions and enrichment within the classrooms for all students. Co-Teachers are consistently taking data regarding student academic and behavioral needs and using that data to improve their practices with meeting the individual needs of the students in the classroom.

Models of Highly Effective Co-Teach

Team Teaching :  Both certified instructors deliver the instruction in a way that is similar to each other while addressing the learning styles and individual needs of the students in the classroom.


Parallel Teaching: Using this model, the class is divided in half and each leads the instruction  for their designated groups.  Groups are formed to maximize learning.  Student groups should be flexible and based on students’ needs in relation to standard(s) being taught.


Station Teaching: This model allows teachers to work with small groups.  During the lesson students may rotate through “stations” working with teacher support and independently, or attend workshops as designed by “need to knows” when using the PBL instructional approach.  This approach is beneficial as it allows teachers to create small group activities that are responsive to individual needs while giving time to answer student questions, allow for independent practice or hands on activities that deepen learning.


Alternative Teaching: This model allows teachers to work with a small group of students for a period of time to provide interventions, modified instruction or enrichment as determined by class/individual student data. 

Students to Consider:  The use of the Co-Teach arrangement in the mainstream is considered a high level of support for students accessing the general curriculum.  Co-Teach should be considered for those students who:  require daily on-going support, for the entire duration of a class period, based on their qualifying areas of need, goals/objectives and modified TEKS and have demonstrated a need for having two certified professionals in the classroom 100% of the duration of the class.

 Planning: Once Co-Teachers have worked with their grade level or content teams to plan for instruction, the co-teachers will decide which co-teach model will be used to facilitate the learning.  Using the co-teach model planning guide, co-teachers will specify responsibilities, divide activities, address student learning styles, differentiate and incorporate choice into the lesson prior to the day of instruction.


Preparation:  The co-taught class is supported by two certified instructors; therefore both shall participate in bringing the necessary materials/equipment to support all learners in the classroom toward mastering the objectives/standards.


Presentation: As both certified instructors have planned for the delivery of the instruction, both are fully involved in the execution of the plan.  Using one of the four highly effective co-teach models, co-teachers operate together to provide rigorous, relevant instruction that allows for all students to master their academic goals.


Collaboration: Co-Teachers will collaborate often to discuss data and next steps regarding the daily classroom instruction.  Collaboration includes, but is not limited to: face-to-face scheduled meetings, 3-5 minute chats, shared google documents, skype, telephone conferences, adobe connect, text messaging, etc.


Additional Resources