The purpose of a self-contained MD Program is to provide students with the least restrictive educational setting for the development of academic and social skills, as well as the emotional security to foster positive development in the affective domain. The class has a structured learning environment that addresses the full range of all students' learning styles. The main goal is to provide each student with innovative learning skills and to facilitate the students' ability to make responsible decisions.
The curriculum is similar or related to the curriculum content and skill development of the regular education classrooms. The district curriculum is utilized in all academic areas and is incorporated into the program based on the individual needs of each student as outlined in their IEPs. Students use materials and follow regular classroom curriculum where appropriate. The goal is to create a curriculum that will offer the same level of engagement, meaning and degree of learning, as well as be sensitive to acknowledge the diverse nature of the students as learners, to enhance performance and allow participation in the regular education classroom.
Some modifications to the general curriculum many include modifying instruction, varying instructional groupings, modifying assignments, teaching specific learning skills and strategies, and altering curriculum and materials. These modifications are fused into daily classroom operations and assignments.