About Student Services and Special Education

Pleasant Street School provides a range of student support services to allow children to have access to the curriculum and to make effective progress.  Through the child study team process that includes information gathered through parent/guardian input, classroom observations, and teacher assessments we construct a student centered intervention approach to address specific areas of need.  If you have questions about your child’s rate of progress in relation to learning expectations or whether he or she may require further student support services please contact his or her teacher to begin a child study process. Please continue reading below for further information on student support services.

Child Study Teams

Pleasant Street School  has a child study team which consists of members of the faculty and the building principal.   This team discusses students who may be experiencing academic and behavioral difficulties in school.  Parents and teachers may refer any student experiencing said difficulties.  This may result in additional strategies to ensure student support, including but not limited to examining a student’s progress in relation to grade level curriculum standards using a Response to Intervention (RTI) model.  RTI  is a general education process of providing high-quality, scientifically-researched instructional practices based on your child’s needs, monitoring your child’s progress, and adjusting instruction & interventions based on your child’s response rate of success. The school district endorses a three step process of identifying student needs. This process is followed by a tiered approach to intervening.  Depending on the significance of a student’s learning difference and the effectiveness of tiered interventions, this approach may result in the development of a district curriculum accommodation plan, a positive behavioral intervention and support plan, the development of a 504 accommodation plan if a student has a substantial impairment, or possibly a referral for evaluation to determine if a student is eligible for special education.

Please note the image below from the Oakland Public Schools (HTTP://www. Oakland.k12.mi.us)  that so nicely illustrates the Response to Intervention Model.  

triangleResponse to Intervention Model

Step 1Formal Assessments-We assess every child three times a year in reading and math. We track how students are doing in comparison to benchmark expectations.

Step 2Analyze Student Data-We examine these assessment results to identify the learning needs of all students.

Step 3Provide Differentiated Instruction-A variety of instructional strategies are used to teach students with different learning styles and rates. This instruction is delivered through a three-tier approach:

Tier 1 involves the classroom teacher using different strategies and additional or different materials to assist student learning. If a child is not progressing as expected, they will need to spend some additional time receiving Tier 2 support.

Tier 2 happens beyond the core instruction already occurring in reading and math. We provide additional small group instruction 3-4 days per week for 20-30 min. Sometimes children need additional and more frequent help to meet standards. If that is the case, we will need to look at Tier 3 interventions.

Tier 3 involves an individualized intervention plan that will be developed for the child. Instruction will be tailored to specific learning goals.

SCHOOL-WIDE ACADEMIC SUPPORT (TITLE I)

As of the 2012-2013 school year Pleasant Street School will receive Title I Federal Grant aid based on enrollment numbers and federal guidelines. These funds are used to provide academic assistance to students who are identified as at-risk or unable to meet the state’s content and performance standards in literacy.

Special Education

Athol Royalston Schools provide special education services in accordance with IDEA and CMR 28.00. Students may be referred for a special education evaluation following modifications to the regular classroom program and a pre-referral meeting at the building level. If a special need is determined the educational team will write an Individualized Educational Program, which defines the type and frequency of services. Our schools provide special education services in the regular classroom whenever possible. Specialists work with children in their own classrooms to help them achieve success.

Parent Advisory Council

Each elementary school in the district welcomes parents/guardians of children with disabilities to consider participation in our district’s Parent Advisory Council. Membership is open to all parents of children with disabilities and other interested parties. The parent advisory council duties shall include but not be limited to: advising the school committee on matters that pertain to the education and safety of students with disabilities; meeting regularly with school officials to participate in the planning, development, and evaluation of the school committee’s special education programs. The parent advisory council shall establish by-laws regarding officers and operational procedures, also there are laws regarding impaired driving and other circumstances, but there are DUI attorney specialized in that. In the course of its duties under this section, the parent advisory council shall receive assistance from the school committee without charge, upon reasonable notice, and subject to the availability of staff and resources.

English Language Education

Athol Royalston Schools provides English language instruction and support for students whose native language is not English. Instruction is provided outside the regular classroom in a small group setting or on an individual basis. English language learners (ELL students) study language appropriate materials to increase their English language reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. The English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher collaborates with the classroom teacher and sends home quarterly reports. If your family speaks a language other than English and you believe your child needs English language support, please contact your child’s classroom teacher or building principal. They will notify the ESL teacher so services can be scheduled.