Pupil Services Department Goal and District Wide Services

As a district, Hudson Public Schools strives to fully educate children who are diagnosed with a disability which impacts their ability to access the general curriculum. In accordance with both state and federal regulations, we provide a variety of services. Our focus and goal is to include students in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Our special education faculty members, including support staff, are comprised of highly qualified and/or certified professionals.
 
The special education staff at each school strives to provide an educational environment where our students are supported and challenged to make progress. We believe that a strong partnership with parents/guardians is key to student success. To that end, we view our parents as partners in the educational process, sharing in both advocacy and responsibility. This partnership is necessary to help students achieve their highest potential.
 

Below are some of the services we offer to students at all levels:

INCLUSION

Since our goal is to offer special education services in the least restrictive environment, whenever possible special education services are delivered primarily in the regular education setting. Inclusion services are provided by the special education staff to support students’ access to the regular education curriculum as determined by the student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

COUNSELING

Students who have counseling goals on their IEP will be seen either individually or in a small group by the School Psychologist and/or Guidance Counselor. Counseling addresses a variety of needs including social skills development, stress/anxiety management, peer interaction, emotional support, behavioral intervention, and school adjustment issues.Students may also have access to the School Psychologist/Guidance Counselor on an informal, as needed basis throughout the school year. Lunch groups and individual student supports are also offered as the need arises.Should an issue or concern arise pertaining to your child, parents are encouraged to begin by contacting the special education teacher on your child’s team. These teachers are in an excellent position to point you in the right direction for assistance. Parents are also welcome to contact the School Psychologist/Guidance Counselor directly.


BEHAVIORAL SUPPORT

Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA). This is a district wide position. In this role, the BCBA provides a full range of behavioral support services and consultations, following established protocols and the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) (if appropriate). The BCBA also assists in the identification and diagnosis of students who have a disorder, impairment, activity limitation, or participation restriction which interferes with their ability to function independently in daily life roles. The BCBA then helps the Team develop a treatment plan and monitor it to promote wellness, physical and mental development, visual and perceptual skills, reasoning and cognitive skills.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY

Occupational Therapy is a related service that is provided to assist a child with a disability benefit from his/her special education program. The goal of school-based Occupational Therapy is to improve the student's performance on tasks that are important for successful school functioning and to reduce barriers that limit participation within the school environment. Services are provided using a variety of service delivery options (direct service, consultation, inclusion support) depending upon the individual needs of the student.

PHYSICAL THERAPY

Physical Therapy is a related service working to ensure that a student is safe in his/her school environment and can access his/her curriculum. Therapy may focus on improving a student's balance, strength or ability to negotiate the school environment. Appropriate environmental modifications may be made or the student may need training to maximize various assistive devices (i.e. wheelchair, walker or crutches) used in the school environment. Physical Therapy services are provided through direct service, consultation or inclusion support as dictated by the student's needs. Physical therapists work closely with the teachers, as well as the families of the students they service, (and in some cases the referring doctors) to ensure the greatest amount of success and development of skills.

SPEECH AND LANGUAGE THERAPY

Speech and Language services are provided in a variety of settings as determined by a student’s IEP. The Speech and Language staff is trained to identify and provide intervention for students with communication disabilities. Speech services are academically based, related to the curriculum frameworks and address receptive and expressive language disorders, articulation/phonological disorders, fluency, hearing and voice.

OTHER SPECIALIZED SERVICES

Specialized services and instruction are also offered to students who present with significant hearing impairments, visual impairments, mobility issues and any other specialized area that the school district needs to access in order to implement the IEP.
Adaptive Physical Education (APE) is also provided as a regular education service to Hudson students who are identified by standardized testing as being delayed in select gross motor abilities. APE emphasizes the development of functional and perceptual motor skills, muscular strength and endurance flexibility, and curriculum-applicable manipulative through structures small group or 1 on 1 exercise sessions. Periodic retesting to assess motoric improvement is implemented in accordance with each student’s IEP or academic profile.

Program Description - In addition to services which are offered in all schools, there are some programs which are specific to particular age levels and needs. The following are descriptions of specific programs offered at the preschool/kindergarten, elementary, middle school, and high school levels.

 Elementary

PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS

The Hudson Public Schools offer up to 2 years of preschool to children from the community. There are five preschool classes which are designed to provide young children with an exciting program that accelerates learning through "first-hand" experiences. The preschools provide a warm, safe, and encouraging community that promotes confidence, independence and a love of learning. Preschool students are provided opportunities to develop their own individual interests expressed through art, music, language, drama, literacy, science, math, engineering and physical activities. The preschools integrate students with special education needs, and are staffed according to classroom need by a variety of professionals. These classrooms will always have a professionally licensed teacher, but may also include a paraeducator, ABA therapist(s), and a professionally licensed speech/language pathologist. Additional therapies are available as needed.


ELEMENTARY PROGRAMS

RESOURCE CENTER

Each elementary school has a Resource Center which offers small group and inclusion services to special education students. The Resource Center provides a quiet, small group setting where curriculum can be taught to students on an IEP in a modified format. Specialized reading and math programs are provided for those students who need a different learning approach based on their IEP requirements. Class work can also be modified in this setting to address the students' specific needs. Services are coordinated by the special education teacher in conjunction with the classroom teacher.



District-wide elementary programs located at Farley School

CLINICAL DISABILITIES PROGRAM

This program is district wide and serves students with significant learning challenges primarily in the reading and language arts areas. To qualify for this program the student must be performing well below age/grade and ability expectations. Small group math instruction is also offered for those students who have significant challenges. Special education support is provided daily during inclusion subjects such as science and social studies.



District-wide elementary programs located at Mulready School 

CHILD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

The Child Development Program is district wide program that utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis as its primary teaching methodology. The program primarily services students that have a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum. The students are serviced according to their individual needs and receive most itinerant services (such as OT, PT, and Speech and Language) through the teaching methodology of the program. This is purposeful planning to help the students generalize many different personnel and environments. Students are integrated into a general education classroom for inclusion time as it is appropriate for that student.

Additionally, two of the integrated preschool programs are linked with the Child Development Program in order to provide more specialized services and consistency for the students. Please refer to page 4 for more detailed Preschool Program information.



District-wide elementary programs located at Forest Avenue School

ACADEMIC CENTER 
(GRADES 1-4)

The Academic Center is a partial inclusion program that serves students in grades 1-4 who have developmental delays and/or significant learning disabilities. They attend reading, language arts and math classes taught by a special educator in the Academic Center. In this setting, students work on a modified curriculum at their grade level. The students served in this program are included in social studies and Science in the regular education classes with support. Students attend art and gym classes with their regular education classes.
   Middle School

QMS MIDDLE SCHOOL PROGRAMS

ACADEMIC CENTER PROGRAMS

At QMS there are three Academic Center programs that serve students with significant learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral disorders, intellectual impairments, autistic, and/or multiple disabilities.  Three special education teachers lead the centers, with backgrounds in behavioral special education, moderate special education, and severe special education. Through collaboration and consultation, these areas of expertise join together to create a comprehensive program for the students served. Those served in these programs include students who receive education in all general education classes with support, students who participate in a partial inclusion program with some individualized instruction, and students who receive a modified curriculum outside the general education classroom. Each student’s program is individualized according to his or her academic and/or behavioral needs and individualized behavior plans are created for students on an as-needed basis.

THE INTEGRATED LEARNING PROGRAM

The Integrated Learning Program serves 5th and 6th grade students with significant learning challenges primarily in the reading and language arts areas but also with significant math and/or writing needs. Small group language arts and math instruction is offered for students only in the areas of their need. Inclusion support is also offered daily during regular education subjects such as science and social studies. This program will be following the regular education curriculum at a different pace as the goal is to remediate skills, provide strategies, and help the student rejoin the regular education setting by 7th grade. This plan and timeline for reintroduction to the regular education setting will be personalized for each student.

ACADEMIC SUPPORT – INCLUSION MODEL

Academic Support (AS) class is a program designed to help students build important academic skills in order to function independently in the classroom setting. The goal of this program is to provide students with skills and confidence to become independent learners. Academic support may include: remediation with focus on math and written language, test prep, preview and review of classroom content.

Students, who are determined eligible through data analysis, will be offered this class until such time as they have gained the skills necessary to make effective progress in the classroom. Full inclusion students do not automatically get placed in AS class. Once it has been determined that the students have gained academic skills and /or have shown ability to make academic progress, they will be placed in the world language classes. The students entering the world language class will be provided with differentiated instruction to ensure smooth and successful transition. To make a determination of such transition the TEAM will reconvene and the decision will be made at the meeting.


SPECIALIZED READING INSTRUCTION

During Flex period, we offer small group instruction in the mechanics of reading, decoding, for students who demonstrate significant weaknesses in this area. Also, during Flex period, we offer small group instruction in fluency and comprehension strategies for students who demonstrate significant weaknesses in the area of reading comprehension. Criteria for placement in this program includes previous services and/or assessment indication significant delays in either decoding and/or comprehension skills.
   High School

HIGH SCHOOL PROGRAMS


THE STRIVE PROGRAM (Skills Training Resulting in Vocational Employment)


STRIVE is a school-to-work transition training program for Hudson High School students who have a variety of educational needs.

There are two distinct programs within STRIVE:

STRIVE I

Students in the STRIVE I program access the school's curriculum in a variety of ways depending on each student's academic needs. This includes access to a modified curriculum within mainstream classes as well as specialized instruction that may be co-taught by a regular education teacher and a special education teacher. The co-taught classes are geared toward improving basic skills, life skills, and MCAS preparation while focusing on a student’s individual education plan (IEP). Some students in the STRIVE I program attend vocational classes while at Hudson High School. Hudson High School offers vocational training in woodworking/cabinet making, painting, retail, and print shop. 11th and 12th grade students may participate in on-the-job training.

STRIVE II

Students in the STRIVE II program generally have severe cognitive and physical disabilities and receive their core academic classes in a self-contained classroom. The academic curriculum is specialized instruction that is geared toward improving basic skills and life skills, while focusing on a student’s individual education plan (IEP) and encompasses all graduation requirements. The students have the opportunity to experience four different vocational areas including: culinary arts, woodworking/cabinet making, retail, and print shop. The students in this program may also be included with support (as needed) in elective classes within the high school. These can include drama, art, physical education, and technology. Students in the STRIVE II program join their typical classmates for grade level activities.


ADDITIONAL COURSES


Special Education Electives

Wilson Reading

This course is an elective taught by a special education teacher for students in grades 8 – 12 who have been identified as needing a developmental reading program. Students are assigned to the elective as part of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process.

Academic Support

This course is an elective taught by a special education teacher for students in grades 8-12. The purpose of this class is to improve students overall organizational skills. This course uses a variety of strategies to assist students with organizing assignments, breaking down of long term projects, basic skills, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension dependent upon the student’s individual needs. Students are assigned to the elective as part of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) process.

Additional courses are offered to special education students at the High School. Please consult the HHS handbook for specific information and class descriptions.


THE PM STRIVE PROGRAM


The PM STRIVE Program is an after-school activities program which runs Monday-Thursday until 4:00 p.m. and is dedicated to students primarily in the STRIVE II Program. The program is flexible and supports individual student schedules and interests. The program consists of peer tutors and a coordinator that works with the students participating in the program. The first hour is dedicated to homework help. After the homework help, students attend activities, such as sports, drama, etc. A peer tutor or coordinator will accompany the students to the activity of choice and be available for assistance as needed. Students choosing not to participate in a specific school activity will participate in an activity that the coordinator has planned. PM STRIVE is not open on days other than the normal, full-day schedule. Additionally, because this is an extra-curricular offering at the High School, enrollment is limited and students may be placed on a waiting list.








Catherine Kilcoyne
Director of Pupil Services




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