Special Education at HRSD
The Pupil Services Department supports students with disabilities, their families, and school staff to provide access services as required by state and federal special education and civil rights legislation. The goal of the Pupil Services Department is to meet the various needs of students with disabilities in order for them to succeed to their maximum potential by providing a Free Appropriate Public Education (F.A.P.E), under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.).
Special education services are determined based on the requirements of state and federal law and regulations. For more information about eligibility, services and accommodations, and placement requirements, please refer to the Massachusetts Department of Education website at www.doe.mass.edu/sped or contact the Director of Pupil Services.
Special education services are available to eligible students from age 3 – 22. The TEAM process is one that allows all staff, parents, and students to participate in the analysis of testing results, and to determine if the student has a disability and then whether or not that disability hinders a student’s ability to access the curriculum. If eligible, the individualized education program (IEP) is developed at the TEAM meeting. The IEP is a document that outlines services for specialized instruction that will be provided to the student. The IEP also documents what the progress monitoring techniques will be, when they will be implemented, and who is responsible for them.
Collaborative work among staff (e.g., principal, general and special education teachers, paraprofessionals, and specialists) provides an approach to education that meets the individual needs of each student. The specialists that are available to teams include Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Behavior Specialists, Autism Consultants, Speech and Language Pathologists, School Adjustment Counselors, and School Psychologists.
Special Education programs and services are determined at the student’s TEAM meeting and may include:
- Inclusion Services: Special education staff provide support to students collaboratively with the general education teacher in the general education classroom setting.
- Pull-Out Services: Students are pulled out of the general education classroom for small group, specially designed instruction and/or related services.