- Special Education is neither a program nor a specific place, but rather the provision of services, mandated by an Individualized Education Program, that are designed to minimize the impact of the disability and maximize the opportunity of students to access the curriculum reach their learning and developmental potential. The great majority of our students with identified special needs are taught in the regular classroom setting, with special education teachers and instructional assistants working in partnership with the general education teacher to provide services that enable the students with special needs to access and experience the curriculum.
- As we believe that no student should be primarily defined by his or her disability status, students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are referred to as “students (or children) with special needs” rather than “special needs or SPED students”.
- We provide special education services within an inclusive setting unless it can be demonstrated that a student’s needs may be met more effectively in an alternative placement. Tracked classes that provide for a majority of students with special needs are regarded as consistent with inclusive practice.
- We provide differentiated curriculum, instruction and assessment for all students in all classrooms.
- To the best of our ability we will provide for students with special needs within the district, and place them with outside collaboratives or private school settings only when it is clear that the student’s needs can be better met by the outside agency.
- Principals have day-to-day responsibility for all special services provided in their buildings. The Administrator of Special Education has overall responsibility for district -wide services located within individual school buildings, including budgets and personnel resources. Principals are involved in the appointment of all personnel assigned to their schools.
- In an inclusive setting the general education teacher of record has primary responsibility for the educational progress of students with special needs who are assigned to their classes.
- Teachers do not refer a student for assessment for eligibility for special education services until they have made a serious and documented attempt to meet the student’s needs through accommodations and/or modifying the curriculum, in consultation with a special education teacher and raised their concerns with the Instructional Support Team.
Special Education Services
The District is committed to providing quality education for all students from ages 3 through 22 years of age, as mandated by statute.
We provide preschool, kindergarten, and grades 1 – 6 services in our three community elementary schools. Each of our elementary schools has full access to a wide range of special education academic and related services including: speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, counseling, behavioral analysis therapy, and assistive technology. Special educators and general educators collaborate in planning, teaching and assessing student progress in order to facilitate inclusionary educational experiences. Triton Regional Middle School and Triton Regional High School also provide full access to the general education curriculum as well as providing the same special education and related services as are available at the elementary level. The high school provides opportunities for students between the ages of 18 and 22 to continue their learning in a familiar setting rather than placement in a third party setting.
Where students are placed outside the district, which is in membership of the Beverly based North Shore Education Consortium, the district provides transport to and from school.
The needs of students with more sever or complex needs are sometimes best met in a sheltered setting for much of the day, with opportunities to integrate with their peers when this is beneficial. The curriculum, while individualized, is based upon grade appropriate MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and Triton Regional School District frameworks using direct, explicit instruction.
In all programs, related services such as speech and language, OT, and PT, and home consultation services are provided based on IEP team decisions.
- There are currently two district wide programs that serve children with moderate to severe autism and related disorders. The first services children Pre-K through second grade. The second program services third grade through sixth grade. Both programs are located at Newbury Elementary School. Program components include highly structured, individualized programming, intensive communication and language training, social skills training, Applied Behavior Analysis, educationally based sensory activities, as appropriate, and inclusion with mainstream peers and activities when appropriate. Related services may include speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, and adaptive physical education based on individual need as determined through the team meeting process.
- The Triton Adaptive Learning Center (TALC) is located at high school and provides intensive services for our district’s most complex and medically fragile students. Staffing includes a Special Education Teacher, 1:1 nursing, and therapies.
- The REACH Program is located in the high school. The program serves student with emotional disabilities who require a high level of academic and emotional support. Students receive a combination of small and whole group instruction as well as participation in therapeutic groups daily.
Transitional Learning Centers (TLC) are located at our Middle and High Schools.
The TLC Program provides quality academic instruction and a functional skills curriculum to students with significant special needs. Students receive instruction in the least restrictive environment whenever possible and all programs are individualized to accommodate the varying needs of each student. The TLC Program provides opportunities for 1:1 instruction and integration in classes with non-disabled peers. Emphasis is placed on increasing positive communication, as well as promoting a higher level of independence in our students. The TLC program is able to meet each student’s IEP goals by providing specific individualized instruction, which is cumulative and sequential and based on the student’s abilities and needs.