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Moderate/Severe Disabilities

Specialized Academic Instruction-Moderate/Severe Disabilities (M/S)

Moderate/Severe Disabilities (M/S) Includes autism; deaf-blindness; moderate to severe mental retardation; multiple disabilities; serious emotional disturbance; and authorizes service in grades K-12 and in classes organized primarily for adults through age 22.

The students that are in Special Day Class for Moderate to Severe Disabilities participate in the Basics Curriculum.


  • To ensure students with moderate disabilities have access to the San Bernardino Unified School District's Core, Alternative Core, and BASICS Curriculum in the context of an integrated environment and community setting
  • To provide individualized instruction in academic areas and in the functional life skill domains of Domestic, Community, Vocational, Recreation and Leisure, and Functional Academics to ensure that students are prepared to be contributing citizens.

Description: The Moderate to Severe Program is a placement that provides intensive instruction and services to pupils when the nature or severity of their disability precludes full participation in the regular education program, as specified in an IEP. The foundation for each student's educational program is a Functional Life Skills Curriculum (The BASICS) with the addition of both Core and Alternative Core Curriculums to meet individual academic needs.

Student Population: Students in grades K-12 who are served through the Moderate to Severe Program are eligible for Services as a result of a disability that is moderate to severe in nature such as intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, or autism.

Service Delivery Model: Students in the Moderate to Severe Program receive services in general education classrooms and/or self-contained classrooms during the school day where they are offered highly individualized, supervised, and specialized instruction as prescribed by individual IEPs.

Service Provider: The Moderate to Severe teacher provides direct instruction in a self-contained setting and/or provides collaborative services in general education settings ensuring that students receive Core, Alternative Core, and Functional Academics as well as Social Skills according to individualized needs. They ensure that support services, accommodations, and modifications as specified on individual IEPs are being implemented. The teacher also consults with school staff to provide mainstreaming opportunities to the maximum extent possible for students.

Standards: California CAA Standards
California Essential Standards
Curriculum: Basics Curriculum
Beyond the Basics/California Essential Standards
Alternative Core
Social Skills Program
Benchmarks: Basics Benchmarks adopted timelines
Report Cards: Basics Report Cards using district Adopted Guidelines

The Basics Curriculum and Framework Guide

Students who use The Basics will follow a functional curriculum that will help them to develop independence as adults. The curriculum follows along the 5 domains which include: Functional Academics, Domestic, Community, Vocational and Recreation and Leisure Domains. Within each domain are goals/objectives for teachers to develop lesson plans for students from the ages of 24 months - 22 years. Currently San Bernardino City Unified School District works with approximately 700 students using the Basics Curriculum.

Functional Academics

The purpose of the Functional Academics Domain is to stress academic skills necessary to participate in everyday life with goals for maximum independence. To be functional, these skills must be related to some real activity that the student encounters in daily living. Functional academic skills are learned and applied in a variety of environments. Instruction occurs in both classroom and community settings.

Course Description: Infuses academic areas into functional activities such as functional math, survival reading, local geography, current events and their applications to the community.

Domestic Domain

The purpose of instruction in the Domestic Domain is to prepare the student to become as independent as possible in his/her living environment. Included in instruction are personal care, food preparation, and housekeeping skills.

Course Description: Includes skills necessary to allow the student more independence in home/personal management. Focus on personal health care, responsibility, home management, family/social life, sexuality and their applications to the community.

Community Domain

The purpose of the Community Domain is to prepare the student to access and use community environments as independently and completely as possible. Instruction in the areas of shopping, travel, eating out, and use of public services are included in this domain.

Course Description: Includes skills necessary for the individuals to participate in campus, neighborhood, and community environments with successful interdependence. Mobility skills, access to community services, purchasing skills and their applications to the community.

Vocational Domain

The purpose of instruction in the Vocational Domain is to increase the likelihood of students functioning as contributing adults within our society and increase opportunities of obtaining employment. The Vocational Domain includes instruction in work related skills, job-seeking skills, and job skill training.

Course Description: Includes skills necessary for individuals to attain employment and perform meaningful work. Activities include on-campus career occupation experience and training, employment skills, access to Transition and the off-campus work experience program and their applications to the community.

Recreation and Leisure

The purpose of the Recreation Leisure Domain is to enable students to engage in constructive and personal satisfying leisure activities in school, home, and the community.

Course Description: Includes games, puzzles, arts, crafts, music, social gatherings, hobbies, self-regulating interactive behaviors, accessing public interests, and their applications to the community.