Student Services at MCCPS
Student Services encompasses the following: Special Education, Section 504, Wellness and Social/Emotional Learning, and English Language Learners. Below are brief descriptions of staffing roles and recommendations on who to contact as questions and issues arise.
Special education teachers, known at MCCPS as Inclusion Teachers, deliver services for the majority of students in special education. The Inclusion Teacher is certified and trained to deliver specially designed academic instruction in the student’s area of need(s) related to the disability. The term “liaison” refers to an Inclusion Teacher’s responsibility to be a case manager for a group of students in a particular grade. Liaisons are the primary contact for parents and teachers, oversee all special education programming and monitor student progress. The liaison conducts academic evaluations, engages in routine data collection, and writes Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Although some students may work with more than one special education staff member, the liaison is the first person parents should contact when concerns arise.
Learning Specialists help Inclusion Teachers implement special education services within the inclusion setting and outside of the classroom. Learning Specialists work under the direction and supervision of Inclusion Teachers. They do not contact parents directly regarding student progress, but they are sometimes asked to complete home-school communication logs and routinely collect data and provide input to Inclusion Teachers preparing progress reports and current performance summaries for IEP meetings.
The School Counselor serves three major roles at MCCPS. The primary focus is on the social and emotional needs of students. The counselor sees students for individual and group counseling as specified in a student’s Individual Educational Program, 504 or through the general education setting. The School Counselor also provides consultation on learning and social-emotional issues to a student’s school Team.
The School Counselor also serves as the school’s 504 Coordinator, facilitating 504 meetings and acting as a resource for parents on the 504 process. Additionally, the School Counselor is the point of contact for eighth grade students graduating from MCCPS to help navigate the application process for high school. Parents are invited to contact the School Counselor with questions about the 504 process, 8th grade students graduating from MCCPS, or needing access to community resources.
The School Psychologist conducts initial and three year evaluations of students, provides counseling services, and consults with the Team on student learning and social-emotional issues. Parents are welcome to contact the School Psychologist for assistance in understanding learning and mental health diagnoses, interpreting neuropsychological testing, and carrying over strategies between school and home.
Related Service Providers:
Students who have IEPs may receive related services from specialists (e.g. physical therapist, speech and language pathologist, occupational therapist, reading specialist). These individuals provide direct services and/or consultation on a student’s behalf, contribute to the Team’s development of IEP goals, conduct evaluations, and monitor student progress. Any questions pertaining to related services should be directed to the child’s Inclusion Teacher/liaison who will contact the related service provider about the question or concern.
Director of Student Services:
The Director of Student Services oversees Special Education, Section 504, homeless students, wellness and social/emotional learning, and English Language Learner education. As administrator of special education, the Director of Student Services oversees compliance in collaboration with the Inclusion Teachers, works with the Principal and Head of School to supervise and evaluate staff, provides teacher training, and serves as a resource for parents and community members.
In addition, the Director of Student Services also facilitates initial and re-evaluation meetings and acts as a resource for parents on evaluations, referrals, and special education procedures. The Director of Student Services works with teachers and specialists to ensure that the school is in compliance with special education regulations and students’ needs are being met. Parents are encouraged to contact the Director of Student Services with any problems or concerns that have not been resolved by the Special Education liaison/Inclusion Teacher.
English Language Learners:
Sheltered English Instruction (SEI) is taught by an academic teacher in the inclusion setting and emphasizes approaches, strategies, and methodology that promote academic English language development. English as a Second Language (ESL) is a small group class that provides intensive instruction to promote English language development and proficiency. Students are identified for these services through the Home Language Survey upon enrollment into MCCPS.
Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC):
According to Massachusetts State Law, every public school is required to establish a Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC). Membership is made up of parents of students with disabilities and other interested parties. The group meets regularly to organize events and develop/offer resources for parents. The mission of the SEPAC is to support and sustain high quality programming and services for students with disabilities, serve as an educational and networking resource, and promote respect for diversity and inclusiveness within the schools and community. Parents are encouraged to reach out to the Director of Student Services if they are interested in participating in the SEPAC.