Welcome to the Special Education Department

  • There are three distinct programs in the Special Education Department at Mills High School:  Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI), the Hope Program, Applied Academic Instruction (AAC).  The San Mateo County Orthopedically Impaired Program is also housed at MHS. SMUHSD ensures that each student with an IEP is placed in their own least restrictive environment and receives services as appropriate, including Directed Studies, Speech & Language, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Adapted PE, and Mental Health support.


    Students in the Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI) Program are placed in mainstream courses.  All students in the Specialized Academic Instruction Program receive a period of Directed Studies, which is a support class to help them access the mainstream curriculum.   Mills High School has implemented classes co-taught by a general education teacher and special education teacher, allowing further support for students.

    Students in the Hope program are in a self-contained classroom, working on individualized general education curriculum, with mainstreaming as appropriate.  Students in the SAI and Hope programs work towards a Diploma.


    SMUHSD’s Applied Academic Program (AAC) is designed for students:

    -With mild, moderate, and severe disabilities who receive Special Education services.

    -Work towards a Certificate of Achievement

    -Benefit from a small group, special day setting


    The Applied Academic Curriculum (AAC) program’s goal is to provide students with the essential academic, functional, and occupational skills to enable them to compete in an educational and job market per their abilities and well developed skills.  The AAC program makes content relevant and concrete for students through life skills, social skills, functional academics, vocational training, community based instruction and work based learning.

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