Allison Van Etten
Director of Special Services
Special Services/Special Education
Stonington Public Schools
40 Field Street
Pawcatuck, CT 06379
Phone: (860) 572-0506 x4
Fax: (860) 599-0233
Special Services Support Staff:
Linda A. Kuja, Administrative Assistant for Programs and Records
Mary Ribeiro, Administrative Assistant for Transportation and Finance
- Child Find
- Community Classroom
- Family Resources
- Futures Presentation/Report
- Homeless Students/Families
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
- Staff Resources
- Transition Resources
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.
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.
Parent Rights Documents:
Autism Society of America
Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC) is a statewide nonprofit organization that offers information and support to families of children with any disability or chronic illness, age birth to 26. All of CPAC's services are FREE for families.
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
*Preschool follows the elementary schedule
AM session (8:55 AM to 11:25 AM) -- First day of school is 9/4/2019
PM session (12:55 PM to 3:25 PM) -- First day of school is 9/4/2019
SPECIAL EDUCATION FORMS
Data Collection Sheets
SPECIAL EDUCATION PUBLICATIONS
Stepping Forward: A Self-Advocacy Guide for Middle and High School Students (revised 2013) (formerly An Educational Journey from Self Discovery to Advocacy)