For the past ten years, the Pentucket School district has been including students with educational disabilities in the general education classroom to insure the student has increased access to the rich general education curriculum. The goal of the district is to include students with significant disabilities in their neighborhood Pentucket Public School. Youngsters formerly assigned to out-of-district day and residential placements now have the opportunity to attend their neighborhood schools and are included in general education classes and programs, with the proper support.
When a student with an educational disability is experiencing extreme difficulty in the community and/or at home as well as at school, the Pentucket Regional School District works cooperatively with other community agencies toward the achievement of an appropriate placement for that student. The district documents that every placement is the least restrictive environment for the student in question.
The Pentucket Regional School District is committed to quality education for all students from ages 3 through 22 years of age. The district works closely with the area Early Intervention Providers to insure a seamless transition from early intervention services and our Pentucket Regional Preschool Programs for students who are identified as educationally disabled. Preschool programs are located at each respective elementary schools.
The Pentucket Regional School District has preschool programs, kindergarten, and grade 1 - 6 programming in its school district's four elementary schools providing access to neighborhood general education programming. Each of our four elementary schools have full access to a broad range of special education and related services including speech pathology services, occupational therapy services, and physical therapy services. Special Educators and general educators are co-teaching, co-planning, and co-assessing in each of our elementary schools in order to facilitate inclusionary education experiences. Flexible grouping is used on an as needed basis in order to facilitate students with educational disabilities skills in the general education classroom and in "pull-out" areas.
The Pentucket Middle School for grades 7 - 8 and Pentucket High School provide full access to the general education curriculum with a full range of special education services and related services.
A student with special needs has a right to be educated in the least restrictive environment in order to access the general education curriculum. This means that, to the maximum extent appropriate, a student with special needs must be educated with children who do not have special needs. Special education services must be provided in the regular classroom environment when appropriate to the special needs child. Special classes, separate schooling or removal of a child from the regular education environment shall occur only when the nature or severity of the special needs are such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services can not be satisfactorily achieved.
The parent, the general educator, the special educator, the building administrator, and other key individuals are active participants in all placement decisions. The adult student is also a member of the placement team.
The Pentucket School District, when appropriate, place students who are experiencing difficulty in both educational day and residential placement settings. The Pentucket School District works cooperatively with the district court to insure that students who are court ordered to residential placements are afforded appropriate special education services.
If outside placement is determined through the Team meeting process, we are a member of the CREST Collaborative.
Prior to a referral for eligibility determination for special education, the student who is experiencing difficulties in the regular education program is referred to the Teacher Assistance Team or the Teacher Support Team in the building. This team helps teachers to establish successful programs for "difficult to teach" students within the regular classroom. The principal of the school is responsible for ensuring that the prereferral process occurs and that it is documented in the student's regular education record. Any in-house student referral for special education eligibility must be preceded by referral to the Teacher Assistance/Teacher Support Team. It is hoped that in some cases early intervention by Teacher Assistance/ Teacher Support Teams can prevent later referral to special education. This process must occur prior to referral for eligibility determination.
Any parent can refer a student for eligibility determination at any time. When this occurs, the Teacher Assistance/Teacher Support Team and the Special Education Evaluation Team move forward simultaneously in their respective duties. In this way the student has the benefit of receiving modifications and supports as recommended by the Teacher Assistance/Teacher Support Team while awaiting the 45 day evaluation time period used by the Special Education Team. Modifications recommended by the Teacher Assistance/Teacher Support Team may include, but are not limited to modification of the curriculum, of teaching strategies, of teaching environments, of materials and of the use of support services, and/or consultative services. The prereferral process may be as short as four weeks or as long as six weeks. All students, except preschool students, who are referred for eligibility determination, must undergo the prereferral process.
Information on Disabilities
In Massachusetts, students with educational disabilities are identified as children in need of special education because of a disability consisting of a developmental delay or an intellectual, sensory, neurological, emotional, communication, physical, specific learning or health impairment or combination there of and is unable to progress effectively in general education and requires special education services in order to successfully develop the child's individual education potential.The law states that all children have the right to an education. The classrooms in the Pentucket Regional School District are inclusive classrooms and strive to educate all children, disabled and non-disabled, in the same educational environment. Teachers, students, and parents must begin to familiarize themselves with the disabilities they may encounter in school or at home. By educating themselves, teachers can grasp a better understanding of how to meet the needs of their disabled students and how to best modify their curriculum in order for ALL students to learn. As parents further their knowledge, they can begin to learn how to best help their disabled child to succeed in the elementary classroom.
The Pentucket Regional School District educates students identified as having a disability in the general education classroom. According to the state laws, children with disabilities have the right to learn in the least restrictive environment. Inclusion is a familiar term used throughout Massachusetts. It is based upon the idea that outside the school setting, people must interact with others. They must learn to work with and accept people who are not like themselves. Just as adults must learn to interact with one another, children must also begin to accept diverse environments. An inclusion classroom is committed to treating all children equally. Rather than moving the child with disabilities from his or her familiar learning environment for services, the support would be serviced in the classroom. The classroom teacher, the professionals involved in the child's services, and the parents, would all be involved in creating a pleasant atmosphere to best meet the needs of the child.
Extended Year Program
Description: Extended year programs are provided for those children with special needs who are determined by their annual Team Meeting to be at risk for substantial regression and thus require a longer school year. We also offer services for typically developing students who want to take advantage of this unique opportunity for a nominal weekly tuition. The program offers developmentally appropriate learning experiences in language arts, mathematics logical thinking and reasoning, physical education, arts and crafts. The program runs on Mondays through Thursday for a 5-week period during July through August from 8:30 – 12:30 daily. For more information, or to request a brochure please call the Special Education Office at 978-363-2280 extension 5.Health and Safety: Your child’s health, safety, and well being, as always are a primary concern of our staff. An emergency information card and developmental health checklist is required for every child. There is a registered nurse on site at all times.Staff: Staff members are experienced and certified general and special education teachers. Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapists are also on staff and in addition to their direct service they consult on all aspects of the Program. Paraprofessionals and student assistants complete the list of employees. All employees have passed a CORI check before they are hired. We work very hard to ensure that the staff to student ratio remains very high to address the needs of all participants. As stated above, a registered nurse is on site at all times.
Child Find Notice
All public schools must provide special education for all children determined to be educationally disabled. The law requires a school district to identify such children from age 3 to 21 years of age. This law applies to all children including those in non-public schools, preschools, and hospital settings.Parents or service providers who suspect a child might have an educationally disabling condition are encouraged to contact their child’s school. The principal will provide information on the procedures for determining if a child is educationally disabled and in need of special education services.For more detailed information about the policies, procedures, services and building contracts established in the Pentucket Regional School District for special education, you may also contact the Director of Supplemental and Intensive Services, Dr. Michael Jarvis, at 978 363-2280, extension 5.
Notice of Homeless Coordinator
The Pentucket Regional School District, in accordance with NCLB: Title X, Part C, Sec. 722 (g)(6) identifies Brent Conway as the Homeless Coordinator for the Pentucket School District. He can be reached at:22 Main StreetWest Newbury, MA 01985Telephone: 978 363-2280, extension 120