Special Services

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
860-572-0506 x2110


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

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
extension #4


Referral to Determine Eligibility for Special Ed and Related Services Form

Area Child Care & Preschool Listings


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

Alternative Education Forms (Homeschooling)

CT State Dept. of Ed, Special Education, Family Resources

Parents Guide to Special Education in Connecticut

IEP Manual and Forms

Referral to Determine Eligibility for Special Ed and Related Services Form

Understanding the PPT Process

PPT Checklist for Parents

Parent Rights Documents:

Notice of Parent Rights & Information


Education Procedural Safeguards (Revised 7/1/2011) (English)

SPS Section 504 Procedural Safeguards Notice


Transition Bill of Rights for Parents of Students Receiving Special Education Services

Building Bridge Transition Manual

Disability Eligibility Resource Documents (Learning Disabilities and Autism)

Dyslexia Resources and Information

Emotional Disturbance Identification and Information

Autism Society of America

Autism Speaks

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Connecticut Birth to Three System

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.

Learning Disabilities Association of America

State of Connecticut Department of Developmental Services

Town of Stonington: Department of Human Services

Preschool information:

Information regarding Stonington's Integrated Preschool Program may be found on the Preschool page.


Medicaid Parent Letter

Parent Consent Form School Based Child Health Program

Transfer of Confidential Student Information - FERPA

Transfer of Confidential Student Information - HIPPA

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

McKinney-Vento/Rights of Homeless Students

Assistance For Families - Please contact district social worker: Paula Agins Phone: 860-536-9613



Preschool Brochure

2019-2020 School Calendar

*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

Preschool Assessment of Development (PAD) Brochure

Early Childhood Health Assessment Record

PAD Screening Calendar

Area Pediatricians/Clinics List


Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

Staff Resources

Transition Resources