The Special Education Department supports students with disabilities, their families, and school staff to resolve concerns and access services as required by state and federal special education and civil rights legislation. The purpose of special education is to provide a free, appropriate, public education in the least restrictive environment for qualifying students with disabilities.
We believe that all students can learn and participate as valued members of our high school community. To this end, the Special Education Department strives to support students with disabilities to discover their strengths, interests, and preferences; develop personal relationships with peers and teachers, and understand and self-advocate for the accommodations needed to succeed as learners. We seek to promote personal responsibility, student management of learning needs, and skill development that will allow all students to make decisions with confidence. We believe that our role as educators is to prepare students to transition seamlessly from high school into adult life.
It is our goal to provide the support that all students need to succeed in school. Options for supporting students include:
- Pre-referral screening to identify specific skills to teach to support student success;
- Review of the District Curriculum Accommodation Plan to identify accommodations that will support student success;
- Development of DCAP plans, safety plans or health care plans to coordinate student support services.
- Request a CORE evaluation if there are specific areas of suspected disability identified by students, family members, teachers, or other providers.
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.
Special Education Services at South Hadley High School include:
- Identification of a liaison to coordinate services for all eligible students
- Provision of specialized instruction and related services as indicated in state and federal regulations
- Specialized reading instruction
- Classes co-taught by a special educator and a general educator in English, Math, Science, and History
- Academic tutoring (AT); The department recommends that all students who have IEPs consider enrolling in Academic Tutoring. In these small group sessions, students work individually or with others on assigned class work, homework, or make-up work from other academic classes. The main focus of this course is to develop successful organization and study skills within the context of the student’s regular course work. Students may use this time to have concepts and skills re-taught and reinforced. This course is designed to compliment your studies by allowing you access to all available resources – texts, calculators, computers, teacher guidance & peer support – to help you meet success in all your academic courses
- Alternate Standard classes taught by a special educator in English and Math. These classes are substantially separate classes that focus primarily on basic skills needed to pass required state-wide assessments and meet graduation requirements
- Core Modified classes taught by a special educator in Life Skills, Math, and English. These classes are substantially separate classes that focus primarily on remediation and on essential questions needed to submit portfolios to meet requirements of state-wide alternate assessments
- Community-based educations coordinated by a special education liaison. These learning opportunities are provided for students who require specialized instruction to access community experiences and prepare for their transition for high school