Special Services

Allison Van Etten

Director of Special Services

Special Services/Special Education
Stonington Public Schools
49 North Stonington Road P.O. Box 479
Old Mystic, CT 06372
Phone: (860) 572-0506 x4
Fax: (860) 572-9967

Special Services Support Staff

Linda A. Kuja, Administrative Assistant for Programs and Records
860-572-0506 x2110

Mary Ribeiro, Administrative Assistant for Transportation and Finance
860-572-0506 x2109

Autism Resources

Please visit our Autism Resource Website. Created by our Autism Specialist, Maureen Steinhoff.

Autism Helpline Website

Child Find

Stonington Public Schools actively seeks to locate, identify, and refer children from birth to age 21 who require special education and related services in order to assist them and their families. If you are concerned about a child's development, you are encouraged to contact your local elementary school to receive information about Early Childhood Screenings (see our link below). If the child is younger than 3 years of age, you may chose instead to contact the Connecticut Birth to Three System at 1-800-505-7000.

If you have any questions regarding this process, please contact 860-572-0506

Community Classroom

Community Classroom
Stonington Public Schools
A Transitional High School Program

What is a Community Classroom?

A Community Classroom is a classroom that is housed outside of the school building at a local business or organization. Students access this classroom as part of connecting their learning from job related experiences to life skills and/ or academics. Community Classrooms allow students to learn and work with non-disabled peers in inclusive settings and provide students with transitional supports for the student's future life plans. A mutually beneficial relationship for both the schools and the local community businesses is forged. The purpose of the Community Classroom is:

♦ To provide students with authentic, meaningful life and work skills in their own community.

♦ To establish a transitional program for our students that meets their needs and is provided in-district.

♦ To create partnerships between local organizations and businesses that are designed for mutual benefit.

Community Classroom Mission Statement

To provide Stonington high-school/post-high school students with disabilities vocational training in their own community setting. Independent living skills, social integration activities, and lifelong learning would be elements of the “Community Classroom" curriculum as students make the transition from high-school to community life.

Partnerships and Collaborations

♦ Avalon Health Center at Stoneridge

♦ Mystic Aquarium

♦ Mystic Chamber of Commerce

♦ McDonald's - Pawcatuck

♦ Human Services (Life Skills Program)

♦ Westerly Hospital

Benefits of the Community Classroom

♦ Pursuit of Life Skills and Job Training in Student's Community

♦ Possibility of Future Employment in Community

♦ Inclusive Settings

♦ Increased Morale for Staff at Community Businesses

Who Will Be Eligible?

♦ Stonington Students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP)

♦ Between the Ages of 15-21

♦ Appropriate Social Behaviors

♦ Successful Participation in the T.L.C Work Study Program

The establishment of the Community Classrooms in our town, gives us the ability to have our students working and learning in their own community.

Family Resources

Futures Presentation/Report

Futures Report Summary
Stonington Public Schools

Recommendations and Implications


The leadership of the Stonington Public Schools commissioned a comprehensive review of special services in the Stonington Schools. The group that conducted this review was Futures Education, an organization that looks globally at how a school system can most effectively and efficiently provide special services to their students. The report examined the special services in Stonington in terms of both educational services and financial resources.

The report’s recommendations included:

  • To further our in-district inclusive practices for students
  • To ensure the Least Restrictive Environment for students
  • To evaluate the use of paraprofessionals in the district and use certified staff when possible
  • To continue the creation of supports that both support students in our district
    (as oppose to out district placements) and are fiscally responsible

The FUTURES study resulted in implications for the work of the Special Services Department in Stonington. These implications included:

  • Meetings held with building leadership to identify known budgetary needs prior to the budget creation instead
    of on the typical time schedule (after the budget had been created)
  • Principals were asked to focus on needs to create inclusive schools and co-teaching relationships
  • Guidelines for paraprofessional use were established and needs were determined
  • Work was done to create an in-district transition program to support our students in
    Stonington instead of sending them to costly outplacements

Through this work, reallocations of monies allowed the Special Services Department to better program for students
in more fiscally responsible ways. Some of these budgetary implications included:

  • A clear determination of the supports needed for individual students and classrooms
  • A realization of a reduction of 257 paraprofessional hours district-wide that equals $111,024
  • A reallocation of monies to hire 2.5 certified staff members to support co-teaching models and inclusive
    practice where supports are brought into the students’ classrooms benefitting all students
  • The creation of the Community Classroom supports our student in-district that saves $163, 558

Futures Education (initialized) Special Education Clinical and Educational Analysis For Stonington Public Schools Powerpoint Presentation

Futures Education (initialized) Special Education Clinical and Educational Analysis For Stonington Public Schools

Homeless Students/Families


2017-2018 School Calendar

*Preschool follows the elementary schedule

AM session (8:45 AM to 11:25 AM) -- First day of school is 9/6/2017

PM session (12:55 PM to 3:25 PM) -- First day of school is 9/6/2017

Preschool Assessment of Development (PAD) Brochure

Early Childhood Health Assessment Record

PAD Screening Calendar

Area Pediatricians/Clinics List

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Section 504 Parent and Educator Resource Guide

Special Education News

Staff Resources

Transition Resources

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