Welcome Special Education Program

  • There are four programs in the Special Education Department at Mills High School: Specialized Academic Instruction (SAI), Applied Academic Instruction, the H.O.P.E. Program, the AAC-Autism Program, and the San Mateo County Orthopedically Impaired Program.

    Our philosophy is that the greatest learning occurs in the general education setting utilizing individualized accommodations, therefore great effort is made to ensure that all students in special education are placed in the least restrictive environment.

    Students in the Specialized Academic Instruction Program are predominantly placed in the mainstream courses. All students in the SAI program receive a period of Directed Studies, which is a support class to help them access the mainstream curriculum. Mills offers co-taught classes that include one general education teacher and one special education teacher in the subject-matter classroom together to allow for further support.

    Students in the Applied Academic Instruction and County Orthopedically Impaired Program take all of their academic classes in a self-contained setting, and learn life skills along with academics; however, they may be mainstreamed for electives.  These students work towards a Certificate of Completion in lieu of a diploma.

    The H.O.P.E. Program is designed for students with specific emotional and mental health needs to integrate into the mainstream setting with special supports and services in place to ensure success.

    The AAC-Autism Program is a comprehensive program for students with autism that includes specially designed instruction covering academics, social skills, life skills, and community engagement.