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Student Services & Special Education

The Braintree Special Services Department is committed to providing all students with disabilities an outstanding education to meet their academic and social needs and to maximize their individual education potential. Deliberately planned around our District Core Values and mission statement, learning opportunities are designed to meet students’ unique needs in the least restrictive environment.

  • General Telephone - 781-848-4000
  • Jeffrey Rubin, Special Education Director, x7620
  • Michael Bochman, Assistant Director of Special Services 6-12, x7621
  • Dr. Jessie-Sue Milo, Assistant Director of Special Services PreK-5, x7623


Guide to Special Education and Alternative High School Programs


The purpose of this guide is to provide a general overview of programs and specialized services that are available at the pre-school, elementary, middle and high school levels. All placements in special education programs are determined by individual student needs and full IEP Teams. This guide is an overview only of programs found throughout the District; more detailed specific information is available through the Office of Special Services and your child’s school.

Revised: January 2017

Beliefs & Mission Statement

Beliefs

Since excellence in instruction and student achievement is our primary objective, we are committed to the following beliefs:

  • Students should acquire a rigorous core of knowledge in an environment that promotes higher level thinking skills across the curriculum by thinking critically and creatively, and making wise judgments.
  • All students can achieve academic proficiency and strive for excellence.
  • All students possess unique talents and gifts and should be encouraged to reach their maximum individual potential.
  • Students should be able to collaborate and communicate effectively through reading, writing, speaking, computing, the arts, and technology.
  • Students should acquire the knowledge, skills, and motivation necessary to achieve and maintain optimum health and lifelong fitness.
  • Students should develop a sense of self-discipline, self-respect, and self-reliance and demonstrate social, civic and environmental responsibility.
  • Students should acquire skills to adapt to an evolving and technologically advancing society.
  • Students should understand, respect, and appreciate the racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity of our society and the democratic principles upon which this nation was built.
  • A safe and orderly environment, free of prejudice, drugs, violence, bullying, hazing and harassment of any kind is essential to promote student learning.
  • Ongoing opportunities for the professional growth and development of staff are essential for improving teaching and learning.
  • Parents, guardians, and caregivers, in partnership with schools, are an integral part of their child’s learning.
  • Community involvement should be actively solicited, encouraged and developed.


Department of Special Services' Mission Statement

The Braintree Special Services Department is committed to providing all students with disabilities an outstanding education to meet their academic and social needs and to maximize their individual education potential. Deliberately planned around our District Core Values and mission statement, learning opportunities are designed to meet students’ unique needs in the least restrictive environment.

Specialized Services

Specialized Services

Braintree Public Schools offers a variety of specialized services to eligible students. The services listed below are offered in all grade levels, unless otherwise noted. Some of these services are offered through consultation with the classroom teacher, as opposed to direct service to the student.

Academic Support

Academic support services are generally available at all grade levels and provided by a special educator. Services are most often in a pull-out setting, but in some instances, within the general education classroom with a focus on providing assistance with classroom assignments, homework, comprehension of material and remedial instruction.

Adaptive Physical Education

Adaptive Physical Education is provided to students who would otherwise be unable to participate in the general physical education program because of physical, cognitive or behavioral challenges. In those cases, Adaptive Physical Education is provided within a sub-separate small group setting.

Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a very structured and systematic teaching approach which breaks down learning into small discrete units, which are taught in small steps. Data is collected to monitor individual progress.

Alternative Assessments

Alternative Assessments are often a portfolio which may consist of work samples, instructional data, videotapes, and other supporting materials based on the student's performance in the subject(s) being assessed. When the nature and complexity of a student’s disability present unique and significant barriers to standardized testing, the student’s IEP or 504 Team may designate that the student take a MCAS- Alternate Assessment.

Adjustment Counseling

Counseling in small groups or one-to-one is provided to students to practice communication, problem solving and other social skills.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Vision Services

Deaf/ Hard of Hearing and vision services are provided for the purpose of inclusionary access for students with hearing or sight loss and may include classroom consultation, teacher meetings, student observation, teacher in-service, as well as, other services deemed necessary as determined by the Team.

Emotional/Behavioral Support

Emotional/Behavioral support is available through School Adjustment counseling, Board Certified Behavioral Analysis and/or a Functional Behavioral Assessment, which is a process used to determine the cause (or "function") of a behavior before developing an intervention.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists (OT) identify and treat students with reduced postural control; visual perception; visual motor skills; fine motor skills and sensory processing disorder. Disabilities in these areas can lead to difficulties with classroom functioning; physical endurance; printing; drawing; and fine motor manipulation impacting the students' ability to complete daily classroom tasks.

Physical Therapy

Physical Therapy (PT) services in the education environment generally address a child’s posture, muscle strength, mobility and organization of movement. PT interventions are designed to enable the student to travel throughout the school environment and school grounds safely; participate in classroom activities effectively with peers.

Reading Instruction

Specialized phonemic reading instruction is available through the use of research-based programs such as Orton-Gillingham, Wilson Reading and other phonemic programs.

Social Pragmatics

Social Pragmatics is designed for students with difficulties using language to communicate and socialize. Interventions, provided by the Speech/Language therapist, teach the skills needed to strengthen social interactions.

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities in order to perform functions that might otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive Technology can include mobility devices such as walkers and wheelchairs, as well as hardware, software, augmentative communication and peripherals that assist people with disabilities in accessing computers or other information technologies.

Speech Therapy

School-based speech-language therapy is evaluation and treatment of speech, auditory processing, language, and communication disorders that affect educational progress. Speech-language therapy also involves counseling and education of teachers and families about these disorders and their management.

Early Childhood Pre-School Integrated Program, Ages 3-5

Disabilities Addressed:

The Integrated Program is designed for students with a diagnosed disability including, but not limited to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Delay, Intellectual Impairment, Sensory Impairment (Hearing/Vision/Deaf-Blind), Neurological Impairment, Emotional Impairment, Communication Impairment, Physical Impairment, Health Impairment, and/or Specific Learning Disability. Students may also demonstrate disorders in receptive and/or expressive language and/or in language processing. Similarly, students demonstrating communication, social-behavioral, academic and functional skills disabilities including, but not limited to Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, and Nonverbal Learning Disability are included.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students are referred to the program from a variety of sources, including but not limited to Early Intervention, parents, teachers, administrator, service providers, medical professionals, social service agencies, Team evaluations administered by school district personnel, in addition to outside agency evaluations, are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Placement decisions are made through the Team Meeting process. Students with a diagnosed disability and eligibility for an Individual Education Plan (IEP) are entitled to free services; typically developing peers are accepted as models. There is a private tuition scale for all model students.

Program Goal:

The goal of the program is to provide developmentally appropriate learning opportunities that are individualized to meet the needs of each child. The curriculum is designed to provide enriching opportunities for children to learn through play and age-appropriate structured learning activities. Children explore their school environment through a balance of individual and group activities. Social and communication skills are fostered through structured language-based activities and symbolic play focus. Team evaluations, administered by school district personnel, in addition to outside evaluations are considered to determine student need and eligibility. All decisions are made through the IEP Team meeting process.

Program Description:

The Braintree Integrated Pre-school program is designed to promote a child's social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. The Integrated Program provides an environment in which children in need of special education services are learning with and from their non-disabled peers in an inclusive setting. The curriculum is based upon the Guidelines for Preschool Learning Experiences as developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The Pre-school offers an array of schedule options based upon IEP Team recommendations:

  • Morning Classes 8:00-10:30 Mon. Tues. Thurs. Friday
  • Afternoon Classes 11:30-2:00 Mon. Tues. Thurs. Friday
  • Full Day 4 Day Classes 8:00-2:00 Mon. Tues. Thurs. Friday
  • Full Day 4 ½ Day Classes 8:00-2:00 Mon. Tues. Thurs. Friday 8:00-10:30 Wednesday

Specialized Services Available:

  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Vision Services
  • Emotional/Behavioral Support
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Assistive Technology

Early Childhood Pre-School Substantially Separate Classroom Program, Ages 3-5

Disabilities Addressed:

The Substantially Separate Classroom Program is designed for students with significant and intensive disabilities with communication, social-behavioral, academic and functional skills disabilities including, but not limited to Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-not otherwise specified, and Nonverbal Learning Disability. Students with significant and intensive intellectual or developmental delays with impairments in communication, language or neurological abilities are included in this program.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students are referred by Early Intervention, parents, medical professionals, social service agencies, Department of Mental Health and/or Developmental Services, and/or members of Braintree Public Schools. Team evaluations administered by school district personnel, in addition to outside agency evaluations, are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team Meeting process.

Program Goal:

The goal of the program is to maximize the potential and independence of each child by developing verbal communication, pre-academic and fine and gross motor skills. Practicing Activities of Daily Living (ADL) is a component of this program and include, but is not limited to independent toileting and eating skills.

Program Description:

The Braintree Substantially Separate Pre-school program is designed to meet the individual needs of children with significant and intensive disabilities. Students are taught using a range of specially designed instructional techniques and a structured multisensory and systematic design with constant spiraling and review of materials. Instruction is broken down into manageable parts and modified to meet the individual needs of students. The curriculum’s primary focus is on pre-academics, communication, self-care, adaptive behavior, and fine and gross motor skill development. As students acquire appropriate skills, they are included into the Integrated Program with supports. The program maintains a high staff to student ratio based upon the specific needs of each student.

The Pre-school offers an array of schedule options based upon IEP Team recommendations:

  • Morning Classes 8:00-10:30 Mon. Tues. Thurs. Friday
  • Afternoon Classes 11:30-2:00 Mon. Tues. Thurs. Friday
  • Full Day 4 Day Classes 8:00-2:00 Mon. Tues. Thurs. Friday
  • Full Day 4 ½ Day Classes 8:00-2:00 Mon. Tues. Thurs. Friday 8:00-10:30 Wednesday

Specialized Services Available:

  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy / Physical Therapy
  • Deaf/Hard of Hearing and vision Services
  • Emotional/Behavioral Support
  • Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Assistive Technology

Elementary School Autism Developmental Program

Flaherty Elementary School: Grades 1-5
Monatiquot Center: Kindergarten

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The Elementary Autism Developmental Program is designed to meet the academic, social and behavioral special needs of students with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disabilities. Students in this program generally function in the mid to significant range of the disability. The degree and scope of the expressive and receptive language development of students in this program may vary widely. Social and behavioral growth may be poorly developed.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources, including by not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists medical professionals and outside service agencies and the Braintree Early Education pre-school for students moving into kindergarten. Special Education evaluations that are administered by school district personnel and assessments from private agencies may be considered when determining eligibility for the program. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goal:

The primary goals of the program are to maximize the cognitive, academic, activities of daily living skills, social and emotional growth of each student, to develop receptive and expressive language skills and to provide mainstreaming opportunities with non disabled peers in the least restrictive environment.

Program Description:

The four classrooms in the program are designed to provide services in a small group sub-separate classroom environment where students are primarily taught in small groups or receive direct instruction in a 1:1 format. The program is based on the principals of applied behavior analysis (ABA) instruction. A variety of techniques are used to improve reciprocal socialization language and communication, sensory dysfunction, stereotypy, ritualistic behaviors and uneven acquisition or generalization of skills. These techniques include the use of discrete trial training, incidental trials, social curriculum training and positive behavior support plans. The amount of discrete trial training varies depending upon the individual needs of each student. Parent training and support are a strong component of the program to sustain the generalization of skills and social behavior across all settings. Inclusion opportunities are promoted and encouraged as each student is capable of accessing the academic and social benefits of the mainstream environment.

Staffing:

Currently the program is staffed by a DESE certified highly trained and experienced special educator with a background in working with students with Autism Spectrum Disabilities. There are a number of paraprofessionals assigned to each classroom. A Board Certified Behavioral Analyst supports the program. The staffing of the program depends on the needs of students and the number of students requiring services.

Elementary School ABA Program

Flaherty Elementary School

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The Elementary ABA program is designed to meet the academic, social and behavioral special needs of students with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disabilities. Students in this program generally function in the significant range of the disability. The degree and scope of the expressive and receptive language development of students in this program may vary widely but are generally deficient. Social and behavioral growth may be poorly developed.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources, including by not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists medical professionals and outside service agencies and the Braintree Early Education pre-school for students moving into kindergarten. Special Education evaluations that are administered by school district personnel and assessments from private agencies may be considered when determining eligibility for the program. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goal:

The primary goals of the program are to maximize the cognitive, academic, activities of daily living skills, social and emotional growth of each student, to develop receptive and expressive language skills and to provide mainstreaming opportunities with non disabled peers in the least restrictive environment when appropriate and productive.

Program Description:

This program is designed to provide services in a small group sub-separate classroom environment where students are primarily taught in small groups or receive direct instruction in a 1:1 format. The program is based on the principals of applied behavior analysis (ABA) instruction. A variety of techniques are used to improve reciprocal socialization language and communication, sensory dysfunction, stereotypy, ritualistic behaviors and uneven acquisition or generalization of skills. These techniques include the use of discrete trial training, incidental trials, social curriculum training and positive behavior support plans. The amount of discrete trial training varies depending upon the individual needs of each student. Parent training and support are a strong component of the program to sustain the generalization of skills and social behavior across all settings. Inclusion opportunities are promoted and encouraged as each student is capable of accessing the academic and social benefits of the mainstream environment.

Staffing:

One Special Education teacher, multiple para professionals and the support of a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst The staffing of the program depends on the needs of students and the number of students requiring services.

Elementary School Language Based Program

Hollis Elementary School, Grades: K-5

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The elementary language based enrichment program is designed for students who demonstrate significant deficits in their language functioning that impacts their ability to successfully access the curriculum. Students exhibit deficits in language areas such as language comprehension, auditory processing and language formulation. These deficits have a demonstrated impact upon reading and written language. Language based students are responsible for the general education curriculum and standards; however, they generally require small group instruction and remediation. Significant modifications and accommodations are made to the pacing of the curriculum.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students are referred to the program from a variety of sources, including by not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, and outside service agencies. Team evaluations administered by school district personnel, in addition to any outside agency evaluations are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Placement decisions will be finalized through the IEP Team meeting process.

Program Goals:

The goals of the program include the presentation of all academic instruction in a small structured language enrichment classroom, remediation in all academic subject areas in deficit, support of age appropriate social/emotional areas of deficit, and the gradual re-integration into the general education classroom as deemed appropriate in accordance with the concept of least restrictive environment.

Program Description:

The Braintree Language Based Enrichment Program is based at the Hollis Elementary School. Students come from any of the Braintree elementary schools. Upon entry students are matriculated as Hollis students and are full member of the Hollis community while placed in the Enrichment Program. Students receive most of their core academic subjects in the sub-separate small group setting of the grade appropriate Language Based classroom. Language Based students do integrate into the general education classroom for at least one subject area. All other specials such as art, music, physical education and media are within the mainstream of the Hollis School community.

Staffing: Currently the 6 classrooms are each staffed by a DESE certified special educator and two para-professionals. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of students and the number of students requiring services

Elementary/Middle School ABLES (Applied Behavior Analysis for Living and Educational Skills) Program

Flaherty Elementary School, South Middle School, Grades: K-8

Disabilities Addressed/Profile:

The ABLES program is designed for students with significant global developmental delays, autism spectrum disabilities, or intellectual impairments. Students generally are not able to demonstrate basic grade and age level academic, communication, activities of daily living and social skills.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources including but not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professional, outside service agencies and may transition in through the pre-school to kindergarten through the IEP Team process. Special education evaluations that are administered by school district personnel and assessments from private agencies may be considered when determining eligibility. Student observations are conducted by the program staff. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goals:

The primary goals of the program are to maximize the cognitive, academic, activities of daily living skills, social/emotional growth of each student, along with the development of receptive and expressive language skills and to provide mainstreaming opportunities with non disabled peers in the least restrictive environment.

Program Description:

The program is based on the principals of applied behavior analysis (ABA) instruction. A variety of techniques are used to improve reciprocal socialization language and communication, sensory dysfunction, decrease stereotypy and ritualistic behaviors and the uneven acquisition or generalization of skills. These techniques include the use of discrete trial training, incidental trials, social curriculum training and positive behavior support plans. The amount of discrete trial training varies depending upon the individual needs of each student. Parent training and support are a strong component of the program to sustain the generalization of skills and social behavior across all settings. Inclusion opportunities are promoted and encouraged as each student is capable of accessing the academic and social benefits of the mainstream environment.

Staffing:

The ABLES program is staffed by one special educator with severe special needs certification and two classroom para professionals.

Elementary School Developmental Disabilities Program

Morrison Elementary School, Grades: K-5

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

This program is designed for students with global developmental delays, students with moderate to significant developmental delays or intellectual impairments. Students generally are not able to demonstrate basic grade level academic, communication and social skills.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources including but not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professional, and outside service agencies and transition in through the pre-school to kindergarten IEP Team process. Special education evaluations that are administered by school district personnel and assessments from private agencies may be considered when determining eligibility. Student observations are conducted by the program education staff. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goal:

The primary goals of the program are to maximize the cognitive, social and emotional growth of each student, develop receptive and expressive language skills and to provide mainstreaming opportunities with non disabled peers in the least restrictive environment.

Program Description:

There are three separate classrooms covering the 6 grade levels. Students with significant cognitive deficits are provided with a range of academic, behavioral, life skills and social supports within the self-contained environment and mainstream school settings. When educationally, socially appropriate and beneficial, students are integrated into mainstream classes with support from paraprofessionals. The Developmental Program has a substantially separate special education classroom structure. The classrooms are structured to provide predictable routines of schedule and expectations. Instruction is presented in either small group or 1:1 as needed by a special educator or paraprofessional. Students generally receive speech/language, occupational and physical therapy in small pullout groups. The curriculum is significantly modified and remedial.

Staffing:

Currently the program is staffed by 3 DESE certified special educators and 6 paraprofessionals. The staffing of the program depends on the needs of students and the number of students requiring services.

Elementary School Resource Support Programs

All Elementary Schools, Grades: K-5

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The Resource Support Centers services students who present with an array of learning disabilities and learning challenges. Students are fully included in all mainstream academic and other extracurricular classes other than the Resource Support Center. Students generally receive assistance in the Resource Center to help reinforce mainstream academic instruction, clarification of instruction, assistance with homework, and help with organization. Students’ cognitive abilities generally fall within the average range but may exhibit skill levels that are not commensurate with these grade levels.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources, including but not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, and outside service agencies. Special education evaluations that are administered by school district personnel and assessments from private agencies may be considered when determining eligibility for Resource Center services. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goal:

The goal of the program is to provide the academic support needed for students to be successful in mainstream classes. Through the remediation of educational weaknesses, the objective is to develop independent learning skills and the ability to compensate for their learning differences. The ultimate goal is to ensure that each student is making effective progress at their grade level and are consistently demonstrating growth in their standards base curriculum as demonstrated on their MCAS results.

Program Description:

The Resource Program offers students assistance with executive functioning organization, study skills, remediation and test taking strategies. The program reviews and re-teaches academic lessons using a multi-sensory approach to learning and strategies that are complimentary to students’ individual learning styles. Services may be delivered individually or in a small group setting. Resource Center teachers may also accompany students to their general education classrooms. During their time in the mainstream classrooms Resource Center Teachers may assist mainstream teachers with instruction and provide clarification for students in need. Resource Center staff advocate for their students, communicate regularly with all mainstream teacher and parents.

Staffing:

The program is currently staffed by DESE certified special educators and paraprofessional staff. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of students and the number of students requiring services.

Middle School Language Based Enrichment Programs

East and South Middle Schools, Grades: 6-8

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The middle school Language Enrichment Programs are designed for students with language based learning disabilities whose cognition falls within the average to below average range. Students may also demonstrate disorders in language processing and executive functioning. Students in this program are generally working below grade level in a range of academic subject areas and may have substantial organizational and social adjustment needs which impact their performance. Students generally display significantly reduced decoding, fluency, comprehension and written and verbal language skills and require a structured, sequential small group supported approach to learning.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program by parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, and outside agencies. Team evaluations administered by school personnel, and outside agency evaluations are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Some students transition from the Elementary Language Enhancement Program to a comparable middle school program. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goals:

The goal of the program is to enhance grade level academic skills while remediating gaps in learning and providing social skills and emotional support on an individual basis. The program provides students with the language and literacy skills, learning strategies and tools to become independent learners and achieve success in school. The goal for all students in the Language Based Enrichment Program is to pass and excel in all sections of the state MCAS standard assessments.

Program Description:

The middle school Language Enrichment Program is designed to meet the instructional needs of students who exhibit significant language based processing deficiencies and other overlays of cognitive learning issues which affect their ability to make adequate progress in mainstream classes. Students receive small group or inclusion support instruction for Math and English Language Arts. All students receive small group Resource support. The special educators attached to the program provide ongoing and consistent support for students in their mainstream subject areas of instruction and continuous coordination of services and parent involvement. Students receive daily student focused support to preview/review content area information, monitor and assist with organization and assist with homework assignments. Special Education staff support students within all mainstream classes including science and social studies.

Staffing:

The program is currently staffed by a DESE certified special educator and para-professionals.

Middle School Resource Program

South Middle School, Grades: 6-8

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The South Middle School Resource Center services students who present with an array of learning disabilities and learning challenges. Students are fully included in all mainstream academic and specials other than the Resource Center. Students generally receive assistance in the Resource Center to help reinforce mainstream academic instruction, clarification of instruction, assistance with homework, and help with organization. Students’ cognitive abilities generally fall within the average range, but exhibit skill levels that are below grade levels.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources including but not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, and outside agencies. Special education evaluations that are administered by school district personnel and assessments from private agencies may be considered when determining eligibility for Resource Center services. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goal:

The goal of the program is to provide the academic support needed for students to be successful in mainstream classes. Through the remediation of educational weaknesses, the goal is to develop independent learning skills and the ability to compensate for their learning differences. The ultimate goal is to ensure that each student is making effective progress at their grade level and are consistently demonstrating growth in their grade levels standards base curriculum as demonstrated on their MCAS results.

Program Description:

The Resource Center offers students assistance with executive functioning organization, study skills, remediation and test taking strategies. The program reviews and re-teaches academic lessons using a multi-sensory approach to learning and strategies that are complimentary to students’ individual learning styles. Services may be delivered individually or in a small group setting. Resource Center teachers may also accompany students to their general education classrooms. During their time in the mainstream classrooms they may assist mainstream teachers with instruction and provide clarification for students in need. Learning Center staff advocate for their students, communicate regularly with all mainstream teacher and parents.

Staffing:

Currently the program is staffed by three DESE certified special educators and paraprofessional staff. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of students and the number of students requiring services.


East Middle School, Grades: 6-8

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The East Middle School Resource Center services students who present with an array of learning disabilities and learning challenges. Students are fully included in all mainstream academic and specials other then the Resource Center. Students generally receive assistance in the Resource Center to help reinforce mainstream academic instruction, clarification of instruction, assistance with homework, and help with organization. Students’ cognitive abilities generally fall within the average range but exhibit skill levels that are not commensurate with these abilities.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources, including by not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, guidance/adjustment counselors, and outside agencies. Special education evaluations that are administered by school district personnel and assessments from private agencies may be considered when determining eligibility for Resource Center services. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goal:

The goal of the program is to provide the academic support needed for students to be successful in mainstream classes. Through the remediation of educational weaknesses, the goal is to develop independent learning skills and the ability to compensate for their learning differences.

Program Description:

The Resource Center offers students assistance with executive functioning organization, study skills, remediation and test taking strategies. The program reviews and re-teaches academic lessons using a multi-sensory approach to learning and strategies that are complimentary to students’ individual learning styles. Services may be delivered individually or in a small group setting. Resource Center teachers may also accompany students to their general education classrooms. During their time in the mainstream classrooms they may assist mainstream teachers with instruction and provide clarification for students in need. Resource Center staff advocate for their students, communicate regularly with all mainstream teacher and parents.

Staffing:

Currently the program is staffed by four special educators and paraprofessional staff. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of the students and the number of students requiring service.

Middle School REACH Program

East Middle School, Grades: 6-8

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The population served in the REACH Program exhibit significant intellectual deficits whose cognition falls within the low average to significantly below average range. Students demonstrate weak receptive and/or expressive language and language processing.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources, including but not limited to parents, administrators, teachers, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals and outside agencies. Team evaluations administered by school personnel and outside agency evaluations are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team Process.

Program Goals:

While each REACH student’s disability impacts his or her ability to access grade level material at the typical level and pace, the goal of the program is to provide supports and academic instruction so that students can access the modified curriculum at their individual pace and levels. Additionally the program seeks to maximize the cognitive, academic, social and emotional growth of each student, develop receptive, expressive and pragmatic language skills and to provide mainstream opportunities with non disabled peers in the least restrictive environment.

Program Description:

REACH is primarily a sub separate pull out program that provides a wide range of academic, life skills, and organizational supports for students with significant cognitive deficits. Students who may be integrated into general education classrooms are accompanied by a special educator or paraprofessional for all academic inclusion opportunities. Students receive many of their primary academic class instruction from a special educator in a sub separate small group setting. Students are fully included in their mainstream classes when it is academically productive and appropriate. All students are included in homerooms each day and attend integrated or small group specials, including art, physical education, chorus and band with a paraprofessional as needed. The principal theory behind the REACH Program is to ensure that each student has the resources that will allow him or her to access a modified curriculum at their instructional level with the supports necessary for academic and social success.

Student’s generally receive a modified workload, including tests, homework and class work. Students are generally removed from any general education inclusion classrooms for all tests and quizzes so that instruction can be clarified and text can be read with the assistance of an adult. In addition to daily academic instruction, students may attend a resource block to support content area instruction and assist with organization and develop individual skill areas. Social skills support is integrated and embedded within the daily routines as needed. State MCAS testing accommodations are determined by the IEP Team process, the majority of students in the REACH program are primarily assessed through an Alternative Assessment Portfolio.

Staffing: Currently the program is staffed by three special educators, a speech and language therapist and multiple paraprofessionals.

Middle School Pathways to Success Program

South Middle School, Grades: 6-8

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The Pathways Program is designed for students who require individual support related to social, emotional and academic challenges. Generally students exhibit behaviors associated with emotional, behavior, attention, Bi-Polar, Asperger’s Syndrome, organization and learning disabilities which hinder and significantly hinder their overall school functioning

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred by a variety of sources, including but not limited to administrators, parents, teachers, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, and outside service agencies. Team evaluations administered by school district personnel, in addition to any outside agency evaluations are considered to determine student need and eligibility. The Pathways staff will review the referral material and observe the student in their current placement. Placement decisions for students with IEP’s will be finalized through the IEP Team meeting process.

Program Goals:

The goal of the program is to provide students with an array of supports which allows each individual to succeed within the school environment and generalize skills across all settings including community and home. The end goal is for students to transition to the mainstream environment and become independent, successful learners. The teacher student relationship and the promotion of adult/student trust is a cornerstone of the program.

Program Description:

The Pathways Program provides extra support to those students in the areas of social, emotional and academic need. It is a behavior modification program that allows students to earn incentives by staying focused, completing all schoolwork assignments, and controlling their behavior during the school day. The program works on a point-chart system that students carry with them to their classes and have their teacher complete. Students receive academic support in a substantially separate pullout classroom at least one period each day. Students are monitored and supported by Pathways staff in their mainstream classes.

Staffing:

Currently the program is staffed by two DESE certified special educators and one paraprofessional. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of the students and the number of students requiring services.


Pathways to Success Program (EGD)
East Middle School, Grades: 6-8

Disabilities Addressed/ Student Profile:

The EGD Program is designed for students who require individual support related to social, emotional and academic challenges. Generally students exhibit behaviors associated with emotional, behavior, attention, Bi-Polar, Asperger’s Syndrome, organization and learning disabilities which hinder and significantly hinder their overall school functioning

Entry Criteria and Process

Students may be referred by a variety of sources, including but not limited to administrators, parents, teachers, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, and outside service agencies. Team evaluations administered by school district personnel, in addition to any outside agency evaluations are considered to determine student need and eligibility. The EDG staff will review the referral material and observe the student in their current placement. Placement decisions for students with IEP’s will be finalized through the IEP Team meeting process.

Program Goals:

The goal of the program is to provide students with an array of supports which allows each individual to succeed within the school environment and generalize skills across all settings including community and home. The end goal is for students to transition to the mainstream environment and become independent, successful learners. The teacher student relationship and the promotion of adult/student trust is a cornerstone of the program.

Program Description:

The EDG Program provides extra support to those students in the areas of social, emotional and academic need. It is a behavior modification program that allows students to earn incentives by staying focused, completing all schoolwork assignments, and controlling their behavior during the school day. The program works on a point-chart system that students carry with them to their classes and have their teacher complete. Students receive academic support in a substantially separate pullout classroom at least one period each day. Students are monitored and supported by EDG staff in their mainstream classes.

Staffing:

Currently the program is staffed by two DESE certified special educators and one paraprofessional. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of the students and the number of students requiring services.

Middle School LINKS Program

South Middle School, Grades: 6-8

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The students served in the LINKS Program have a primary disability of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Students may demonstrate characteristics related to ASD which may include:

  • Impairment in reciprocal social interaction.
  • Uneven acquisition of academic skills and difficulty integrating and generalizing acquired skills.
  • Significant impairment in verbal and nonverbal communication skills.
  • Sensory dysfunction.
  • Repetitive, self-stimulatory behaviors which may include obsessive-compulsive behaviors and ritualistic behaviors.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources including but not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, and outside agencies. Special education evaluations that are administered by school district personnel and assessments from private agencies may be considered when determining eligibility for the LINKS Program. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goals:

The primary goals of the program are to maximize the academic, social, emotional growth and activities of daily living skills of each student and to develop the expressive, receptive and social pragmatic language skills of each student. The additional primary goal to provide mainstreaming opportunities with non disabled peers in the least restrict environment are central to the core principles of the LINKS Program.

Program Description:

The LINKS Program is a District wide program based at the South Middle School. Students may come from any of the Braintree elementary or middle schools. The components of the program include a highly structured individualized programming approach based upon the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), intensive communication and pragmatic language instruction, social skills coaching, positive behavioral supports and sensory integration therapy. Inclusion opportunities are structured for each student based upon the student’s areas of strength and need. Typically, students are included into the school community for social and academic opportunities such as specials, lunch and whole school activities. The amount of time included for these activities are individualized based on class structure, target goals, and student interest. Participation in mainstreamed core curriculum classrooms is determined for each student individually and often focuses on one academic area at a time with gradual increases in time as determined by student comfort and academic and social successes. Community and vocational skill development are an integral component of the program.

Staffing:

The program is staffed by 2 DESE certified special educator with specialized training and experienced working with ASD students. The program is supported by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), a speech and language therapist and occupational therapist. Additional staffing including para-professional support as determined upon the needs of students and the number of students requiring service.

Braintree High School Learning Center

Grades: 9-12

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The Learning Center at Braintree High School is designed for students with general learning disabilities and organization challenges who are enrolled in mainstream classes.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources, including but not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals and outside service providers. Team evaluations administered by school district personnel are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Students must have an Individual Education Plan with Learning Center as the service delivery location. Placement decisions for the Learning Center are made through the IEP Team meeting process.

Program Goal:

The goal of the Learning Center Program is to provide students with academic and organizational support to help them understand themselves as learners and find success in their academic classes. The Program will provide students with learning strategies and the tools to become independent learners and achieve success within their mainstream academic classes.

Program Description:

The Learning Center is a full inclusion program and is built into each student’s scheduled school day. The number of times per cycle that a student is scheduled is determined by their disability and IEP service delivery grid. Students receive a grade and credit for their participation in Learning Center. While students are not given assignments in this class, it provides them with an opportunity to receive additional support for their academic courses. Additionally, students receive assistance with time management and organizational skills. The Learning Center is equipped with electronic text to speech readers and audible versions of texts. The learning center staff works in collaboration with the mainstream teachers to support the curriculum and keep students on track with due dates and deadlines for classroom assignments and projects.

Staffing:

Currently the program is staffed by 4 DESE certified special education teachers with support from speech and language pathologists and para-educators. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of the students and the number of students requiring services.

Braintree High School Project Prove

Grades: 9-12

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

Project Prove is designed for students with significant special needs and learning challenges. The population includes students with intellectual impairments often with accompanying sensory, physical or emotional disabilities.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students typically enter Project Prove after transitioning from the middle school developmental program. Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources, including but not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, medical professionals, school psychologists, social service agencies, and Department of Mental Health and/or Developmental Services. Team evaluations administered by school district personnel, in addition to any outside agency evaluations are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goals:

The goal of Project Prove is to help each student reach his or her maximum potential for success and to become independent productive adults. The curriculum focuses on the development of independent living, vocational and functional academic skills through individually designed instruction and opportunities for participation in community experiences and gainful employment. If students are not able to meet the MCAS graduation standards they would receive a certificate of attendance and participation upon graduation.

Program Description:

Project Prove is a secondary level program serving students with significant special needs. A major focus is the development of functional academic and vocational skills and social awareness.

Students start early on to identify career interests and learn about their individual strengths. Students have the opportunity to participate in supervised and supported internships in a variety of settings throughout the school building and the community at large. Academic instruction is mostly done in a self contained classroom setting and is complemented by inclusion into mainstream high school classes when appropriate.

Project Prove is continually striving to find new ways to prepare students to lead lives of dignity, responsibility, independence and happiness. Transition planning to post secondary training, independent living and gainful employment is ongoing. Students receive speech and language therapy , physical , occupation and music therapy.

Staffing:

Currently the program is staffed by two DESE certified special educators, one speech language therapist, para- professionals and job coaches. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of the students and the number of students requiring services

Braintree High School WAVE (Working Toward Academic Vocational Excellence) Program

Grades: 9-12

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The population served in the WAVE Program exhibit significant intellectual deficits whose cognition falls within the low average to significantly below average range. Students demonstrate weak receptive and/or expressive language and language processing.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program by a variety of sources, including but not limited to parents, administrators, teachers, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals and outside agencies. Team evaluations administered by school personnel and outside agency evaluations are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Placement decisions are made through the IEP TEAM Process.

Program Goals:

While each WAVE student’s disability impacts his or her ability to access grade level material, the goal of the program is to provide supports and instruction so that students can access the curriculum at their individual pace and levels. WAVE students participate in the MCAS Alternative Assessment.

Program Description:

WAVE is a sub separate program that provides a wide range of academic and organizational supports for students with significant cognitive deficits. Students receive English Language Arts, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics instruction from the WAVE special educators in a sub separate small group setting. Students are fully included in their mainstream homerooms each day and attend integrated electives such as art, physical education and chorus with a paraprofessional as needed. The principal theory behind the WAVE Program is to ensure that each student has the resources that will allow him or her to access the full curriculum at their instructional level with the supports necessary for academic and social success.

Student’s receive modified grades, workload, including tests, homework and class work. A speech language therapist collaborates and co-teaches with the WAVE special educators to support language development for all students. Social skills groups for most students are lead by the SLP and the special educator.

Staffing:

Currently the program is staffed by of two special educators, one Speech and Language Therapist and six paraprofessionals.

Braintree High School Language Enrichment - Career Exploration Program

Grades: 9-12

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile Served:

The Language Enrichment - Career Exploration Program is designed for students with language-based learning disabilities whose cognition falls within the average to below average range. Students may also demonstrate disorders in receptive and/or expressive language, language processing and executive functioning disorders.

Students in this program are generally working at or below grade level in the spectrum of academic subject areas and may have substantial organizational needs and sometimes social needs that impact their performance. Students generally display significantly reduced decoding, fluency, comprehension, and written and verbal language skills and require a structured, sequential, supported approach to learning.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred from a variety of sources, including but not limited to parents, teachers, service providers, administrators, school psychologists, medical professionals and outside agencies. Team evaluations administered by school district personnel, in addition to outside agency evaluations, are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team meeting process.

Program Goals:

The goal of the program is to enhance grade level academic skills while remediating gaps in learning and providing social skills and support on an individual basis. The program provides students with the language and literacy skills, learning strategies, and social tools to become independent learners and to achieve success in all aspects of their adolescent lives and beyond high school. The goal for all students in the program is to pass and excel in all sections of the state MCAS standard assessments, receive a Braintree High School diploma, and pursue post-secondary training for gainful independence and employment.

Program Description:

Language Enrichment - Students participate in the Language Enrichment portion of the program as ninth and tenth graders and have the option of transitioning into the Career Exploration portion of the program for junior and senior year or remaining in the Language Enrichment portion if they would prefer.

The Language Enrichment Program is a substantially separate program in which students work toward completing their graduation requirements and passing MCAS. Students receive systematic instruction in small classroom groupings provided by a certified special educator in all subject areas. In addition to receiving instruction in the content, teachers focus on teaching strategies for accessing and comprehending the content using language-based teaching methodology. Every effort is made to include students in regular education classes when appropriate. All students have one block each day of a Learning Strategies class for which they earn 5.0 credits each year. Speech and Language Services are embedded within the classroom setting as well as provided as a pull-out service on an individual basis. School adjustment counselor/clinician services are embedded within the program and are available on an individual basis.

Career Exploration - At the end of tenth grade, students have the option of transitioning into the Career Exploration portion of the program, which is a substantially separate program that operates on a non-rotating schedule. It is for juniors and seniors who may not have been able to access mainstream classes successfully and realize the benefits of career exploration and immersion. The program is designed to facilitate students in completing their graduation requirements while also participating in an innovative curriculum that includes classroom instruction as well as the opportunity to explore career paths via internships in the community, service learning projects, field trips, and job shadowing. Students will have the opportunity to participate in certificate programs through a partnership with Massasoit Community College. Students will continue to have access to speech and language services and counseling if needed.

Transition Planning:

Planning for the transition from school to early adult life is a major focus of the Language Enrichment - Career Exploration Program. The formal Transition Planning process begins at the annual IEP Team meeting starting at the age of 14 for all students and continues annually thereafter until the student graduates. The inclusive planning process is a collaborative effort between parents, students, general education providers, outside agencies, community partners and special education service providers all working together to assist students in making a smooth transition to adult life and further education and training opportunities.

Staffing:

The Program is part of House 4 and under the direct administrative supervision of Mr. Michael Bochman, Assistant Director of Special Education. There is a Program Coordinator who is responsible for all direct administrative needs associated with the daily running of the Program. In addition, currently the program is staffed by DESE certified special and regular education teachers, paraprofessionals, one speech/language therapist and one adjustment counselor. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of the students and the number of students requiring service.

Braintree High School COAST (Communication, Organization & Academic Support Training)

Grades: 9-12

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

COAST services students who generally exhibit social anxiety, organizational challenges and learning issues associated with Aspergers Syndrome and/or other autism spectrum disabilities not otherwise specified. Students generally experience difficulty with interpersonal and pragmatic communication with peers and within their community.

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred by a variety of sources, including but not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, and outside service agencies. Team evaluations administered by school personnel, and outside agencies are considered to determine student need and eligibility. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goal:

The goal of the program is to provide students with the opportunity to remain in their mainstream classes and to develop social thinking and pragmatic language skills, participate in adaptive physical education classes, improve community inclusion strategies, and to enhance organizational skills to prepare for continuing success.

Program Description:

The COAST Program supports students through programming across the 7- day high school educational cycle. Students attend an organization and study skills class to target topics such as time management, study skills and organizational strategies (1 period each cycle). Social thinking and pragmatic language sessions with a speech/language therapists focuses on social communication, problem solving, perspective taking, peer interactions, working in peer groups and community involvement (2 periods each cycle). Small group work with the school psychologist/adjustment counselor target topics such as stress management, coping strategies and disability awareness (1 period each cycle). Students are monitored during transition times and lunch. There is an extended “homeroom” at the end of the day for check-in, homework organization, and transition to home. On an on-going basis the special educator consults and collaborates with students mainstream teachers.

Staffing:

A DESE certified special educator has the primary responsibility to coordinate and run the program. Paraprofessional support is available. The staffing of the program depends upon the needs of the students and the number of students requiring services.

Braintree High School STRIVES Program

Grades 9-12

Disabilities Addressed/Student Profile:

The students served in the STRIVES Program have a primary disability of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Students demonstrate characteristics related to ASD which may include:

  • impairment in reciprocal social interaction
  • uneven acquisition of academic skills and difficulty integrating and generalizing acquired skills
  • significant impairment in verbal and nonverbal communication skills
  • sensory integration dysfunction.
  • repetitive, self-stimulatory behaviors which may include obsessive-compulsive behaviors and ritualistic behaviors.
  • weak Executive Function skills

Entry Criteria and Process:

Students may be referred to the program from a variety of sources including but not limited to parents, teachers, administrators, service providers, guidance/adjustment counselors, school psychologists, medical professionals, and outside agencies. Formal evaluations that are administered by school district personnel and assessments from private agencies may be considered when determining eligibility for the STRIVES Program. Placement decisions are made through the IEP Team process.

Program Goals:

The primary goals of the program include:

  • maximize academic, social and emotional growth
  • acquisition of activities of daily living skills
  • vocational experiences
  • develop expressive, receptive and social pragmatic language skills
  • STRIVES encourages inclusion opportunities for all students to participate in general education classes, electives and school wide extracurricular activities with their non disabled peers
  • maintain skills to avoid regression
  • transition to post secondary independent living, further educational experiences and community inclusion

Program Description:

STRIVES is a highly structured individualized program based upon the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), intensive communication/pragmatic language instruction, social skills coaching, and positive behavioral supports. Inclusion opportunities are encouraged and structured for each student based upon the student’s areas of strength and future post graduate transition goals. Inclusion opportunities are individualized based on class structure, academic and social strengths, target goals, and student interest.

Pragmatic social language skill development is imbedded within the fabric of the program. Students participate in pragmatic social skills group work to develop social awareness and acceptance into the larger school and the wider Braintree community. Vocational exploration, job placement and employment experiences are encouraged and supported.

Braintree High School Alternative Programs

Achieve is an academic and emotional support program for students in grades 9-12 who have been, or are at risk of, underperforming academically, or would benefit from additional structure and support during their school day. Students take part in all core academics, including the opportunity to attend mainstream classes, and enroll in college courses through the Dual Enrollment Program. Additional academic and emotional supports are available throughout the day, including twice daily school meetings. The goal is to improve academic performance and social well-being by addressing the individual needs of students through support, intervention, and feedback from staff and peers.

Alliance is a voluntary program for students in grades 9-12 who have underperformed, or have been identified as at-risk of underperformance, in the mainstream due to any number of factors, including, but not limited to, attendance, motivation, behavioral issues and difficulty accessing the curriculum. Alliance is an Early College High School, which allows qualified students to concurrently earn high school and college credits through the Dual Enrollment Program. Students also have the opportunity to earn privileges and are held accountable through the Level System and peer feedback in twice daily school meetings. One of the goals of the program is that students internalize positive behaviors, such as responsibility, time-management, and independence, as they prepare to transition to college, trade schools, the military or careers.

Compass is an academic support program for mainstream students in grades 9-12 who require additional academic, social, emotional and/or behavioral support in a structured environment. Students in Compass follow rigorous mainstream schedules with at least one period of support in the program, in lieu of Learning Center, to receive academic support and address their individual needs. The program guides students to establish routines, develop strategies, and foster positive relationships with increased independence in order to reach their full potential in their mainstream courses.

PMI is a program from students in grades 9-12 who are unable to attend school during the traditional school day. PMI offers students a chance to gain or recover credits beyond what is offered during the traditional school day. Many of the students in the program suffer from social anxiety or other medical ailments that make it difficult or impossible for them to attend a traditional seven hour school day. Students have the opportunity to earn additional credits for employment, and, when appropriate, are eligible to participate in Dual Enrollment courses. While the primary goal of PMI is to provide the students who cannot otherwise attend school a way to earn credits toward their diploma, it has also been used by students for credit recovery in addition to their day school schedule.