Director of Special Services: Nicole Reichardt
Assistant Director of Special Services: Ellen Aronheim
Pre-school programs for children three to five years of age. These programs are housed at Central Avenue Preschool on 28 Central Avenue. Programs serve children who have identified handicaps in language, cognition, visual motor abilities, and emotional difficulties. Services also include monitoring the progress of students in settings other than the public school program.
The Special Education Resource Program is designed to provide academic support to students in grades K-12 who have special education needs. Due to identified learning disabilities, emotional needs, or other identified disabilities, these students require support in one or more academic areas in order to be successful in the regular classroom. In addition to academic support, students learn about their individual strengths and weaknesses in the learning process.
Support from the Special Education Resource Teacher can be provided in a number of ways. The traditional "pull-out" system is used when deemed appropriate for one-to-one or small group instruction of specific skills. This can also be provided within the regular classroom, as part of a student's regular class work. An additional option for providing support to identified students is the "push in model. In this method of service, team-teaching occurs between the Regular Classroom and the Special Education Teacher within the general classroom setting. In this manner, the teachers are able to plan lessons together and to make adjustments to the presentation of material and/or assignments and tests as necessary for specific learning styles. All of these options are referred to as direct service options.
Another very important aspect of the Special Education Resource Program is consultation. Whichever mode of direct service is chosen for an individual student, consultation between the Regular Classroom Teacher and the Special Education Teacher is crucial to the student's ultimate success. It is important to note that depending on the individual student's needs, the options described above may be delivered in any variety of combinations.
Pre-Vocational Classes are designed to provide programs for students with a diagnosis of intellectual disability, multi-handicapping conditions, or other more involved disabilities. These students are provided functional academic education, communication, self-help, social, emotional, fine and gross motor, and pre-vocational/vocational programs to help them develop their skills in all these areas. Students may be included in regular homeroom activities and other regular classes as deemed appropriate for the individual student by the PPT.
Students with emotional handicaps may be serviced in these classes. Small class size, highly structured classroom environment, and appropriate behavior management programs are maintained. Students in these programs often have learning problems accompanying their emotional handicaps.
The Transitional Program provides a small group individualized program in English, mathematics, science, social studies, and reading taught by certified special education teachers. The program focuses on the development of academic and social skills.
The Resource Lab Program is designed to meet the needs of high school students who have been identified as special needs students. These students will be channeled into inclusive educational programs of study with modifications as deemed necessary by the PPT process. Support for inclusive classes will be provided in the resource lab on a daily basis. It will include one-to-one and small group instruction. Monitoring of these programs will be done on a regular basis with all teachers involved. Job training can and will be incorporated into these programs as needed.
The Transitional Program provides a learning environment limited in size per instructional period. Classes in the four major academic areas (general math/algebra, science, English, world geography/US history) provide an individualized program taught by teachers trained in special education. A structured student-centered atmosphere prevails to enhance feelings of self-esteem.
Housed at Naugatuck High School, the Skills for Life Program is designed to work with students possessing multiple handicapping conditions. A low teacher/student ratio allows for maximum attention to physical, educational, and social/emotional needs.
Special Education Related Services
Students whose language skills are significantly delayed in expressive or receptive language, articulation, fluency and/or voice in a manner which impairs their educational process, are included in our speech therapy programs. Speech services are available from age three through high school graduation or age twenty-one. Instruction may occur individually, in small groups, or as part of a classroom setting. Consultation and monitoring are also part of the service.
The School Social Worker's primary responsibility is to help students reduce social and emotional problems so that they may achieve reasonable academic success and develop rewarding personal relationships. School social work may involve working with pupils individually, in small groups, or through methods, which involve a total classroom population. The school social worker promotes effective communication among the home, the community, and the school, and serves as an advocate for the student.
The school psychologist's expertise lies in learning and development theory as well as in intellectual and personality assessment. Assuming the role of consultant to administrators, teachers, parents, and/or students, the school psychologist facilitates the maximum intellectual, social, and emotional growth of each pupil in the schools.
Some students require physical and/or occupational therapy services to enable them to benefit from their educational program. These therapies are provided by fully trained and licensed Physical and/or Occupational Therapists. Before physical therapy services are implemented, a medical prescription is provided by the student's physician.