• What is a 504? What is an IEP? How are they different?

    - a 504 plan is a plan for accommodations that can be delivered in the general education classroom by the general education teacher to a student with disabilities. This plan falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act (federal legislation) and ensures that students with disabilities have equal access to the curriculum. See www.ada.gov for more information.

    - An IEP (Individualized Education Program) is a plan for the goals, accommodations, modifications and services necessary for the “free and appropriate” education of students with disabilities in the “least restrictive environment.” These accommodations, modifications, and services are provided by a mix of general and special education teachers as stipulated by the IEP. This document falls under IDEA, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (federal legislation) which stipulates all federal regulations regarding the public education of individuals with disabilities. See www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/Policy/IDEA/index.html for more information.

    Why do general education teachers have to attend meetings and fill out forms?

    - Obtaining progress reports and requiring teacher presence at meetings falls under IDEA. The school district is legally obligated to do this.

    - Philosophically, the input of general education teachers is critical for the successful education of any student. Just as general education teachers consider themselves parts of the team that works with any student, they are an important member (maybe even more important member) of the teams of students with disabilities. With effective cooperation, teamwork and support arranged between general and special education supports, students with a wide variety of disabilities can succeed in and contribute in a positive way to their school community.

    What do I do if I suspect that a student has a disability?

    When any student is struggling in your class, but particularly if you suspect that they may have an undiagnosed disability, communicate with that student’s guidance counselor and/or housemaster. They can begin the referral process to evaluate (and diagnose if appropriate) student needs.
    Who do I go to for information about a student on a 504 plan or IEP?
    How do I find out if a student has a 504 plan or IEP if I don’t know?

    - At Newton North, 504 plans are administered by a student’s guidance counselor. Please see the guidance counselor or go to the Guidance Office if you have any questions, need a copy of the plan, etc.

    - At Newton North, IEPs are administered by IEP Liaisons, special education teachers who work within the school. If you do not know who a student’s IEP Liaison is, please go to the Special Education Office in Room 335 or call them at 559-6350. Please see the Liaison or go to the Special Education Office if you have any questions, need a copy of the plan, etc.

    - If you are unsure that a student has a 504 plan or IEP, but think they might, contact the Guidance Office and/or Special Education Office.

    Who can I contact???

    Kate McCarthy - Director of Special Education - Room 216 x 6350

    Katie Stahl - Assistant Director of Special Education - Room 216 x 6350

    Laurie Callahan and Laura Schertzer - Administrative Assistants - Room 216 x 6350

    Brian Rooney - Academic Support Program Manager - Room 335 x6238

    Pete Cavanagh - Compass Program Manager - Room 335 x6238
     
    Tricia Bache - STEP Program Manager - Room 335 x6238

    Amie Harris - Links Program Manager - Room 303 x454593

    Nora Lord - Pilot Program Manager - Room - 211 x6353

    Rebecca Comiskey - Program Manager of Connections 9-12 - Room 364 x454279

    Lisa Goldthwaite - Program Manager of Connections ABA - Room 315Ax 45459

    Colleen Meigher - Psychologist - Room 250C x6362
    Erin Crawford  Psychologist Room 250 B x6352
    Steve Litwack - Psychologist - Room 210A x454547
     
    Contact the Special Education Office for specific teacher information 
     

    LEGISLATION & GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

    Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA): www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/Policy/IDEA/index.html

    Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): www.ada.gov

    US Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services: www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/osers/osep/index.html

    Massachusetts Department of Education, Special Education information: www.doe.mass.edu/sped/

    HELPFUL RESOURCES

    LD Online: Resources regarding the education of students with learning disabilities: www.ldonline.com

    LD Resources: Extensive resources for people with and educators of people with disabilities, written and maintained by an adult with ADHD. http://www.ldresources.com/

    National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities: Respected clearinghouse for information about children with disabilities. Resources geared to parents and teachers. www.nichcy.org

    Asperger’s Association of New England: Resources (general and local) for individuals with Asperger’s and the people who support them. aane.autistics.org/

    Information Center on Disabilities and Gifted Education: Clearinghouse of research and resources regarding the education of exceptional students. ericec.org/

    Council for Exceptional Children: Major professional organization for educators of students with disabilities. www.cec.sped.org

    Federation for Children with Special Needs: Local organization for supporting educators of, families of, and individuals with special needs. www.fcsn.org

    National Institute of Mental Health: Information about mental health issues including depression, OCD, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, etc. www.nimh.nih.gov