Student Services - Parent Information

  • Welcome to the Office of Student Services and Special Education

     

    Lynn Catarius, Director
    5 Highland Street
    Amesbury, MA 01913
    (978) 388-0531
    catariusl@amesburyma.gov

     

    Wanda Ouellet, Administrative Assistant
    5 Highland Street
    Amesbury, MA 01913
    (978) 388-0531 

     

    Karen Myszkowski, Special Education Secretary
    5 Highland Street
    Amesbury, MA 01913
    (978) 388-0531 

     

    CHILD FIND NOTICE

     

     

    In accordance with IDEA and Massachusetts Chapter 71B, All Public schools must provide special education for 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, pre-schools, and hospital settings.  In addition, children of migrant or homeless families are entitled to public education.

     

    Parents or service providers who suspect a child might have an educationally disabling condition are encouraged to contact their child’s school.  Amesbury Public Schools will arrange for the screening and evaluation of any students who are unable to progress effectively in general education because of a disability.

     

    For more detailed information about the policies, procedures, and services available at Amesbury Public Schools for special education, please contact Mary Houde in the Student Services Office at (978) 388-0531.

     

     

     

     What is Special Education?

    Special education is specially designed instructional or related services meant to meet the unique needs of a child that result from a disability.    Prior to a student being referred for a special education eligibility evaluation, it is the responsibility of the school district to ensure that instructional supports and accommodations have been attempted in the general education setting.  Documentation of the use of these supports is part of the student’s record. 

    How Does the Referral Process Work?

    When a parent/guardian, teacher or other professional refers a student for an evaluation for special education eligibility, written consent from the parent or guardian must be obtained prior to beginning the evaluation.  The student should be evaluated in the area of suspected disability with a variety of assessment tools determined by the individual evaluator.

    After all evaluations are completed, the Team will convene to determine whether the lack of progress is the result of a disability and whether the student requires specially designed instruction or related services  in order to make progress and access the general education curriculum. The team may determine that the student is eligible for special education services or may make a finding of no eligibility.  If the student is found not eligible, the Team may explore other programs and/or supports within the school that are available to the student.

    What is an IEP?

    If a student is determined to be eligible for special education services, the Team will develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  An IEP is a legal document which defines individualized objectives for a student found to have a disability as defined by federal and state regulations.  The IEP is designed to meet the individual student’s needs and will drive the student’s placement.  Once the IEP is written, the parent/guardian must sign consent for the proposed services to begin. 

     

    For Further Information:

      For further information about special education please refer to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at http://www.doe.mass.edu/