Our Mission

Content

The Portsmouth School District makes available a free, appropriate public education to all children ages 3 to 21 who have been determined to have a disability. The services provided address each child's identified special education and related service needs. Services and placement within the least restrictive environment are determined in response to the child's unique needs and continue until the student has earned a regular diploma or reaches age 21, whichever occurs first. Students with educational disabilities are defined as those who: * Have one or more educational disability, as defined under Federal and State Regulations, and * Have any unique educational needs which require specially designed instruction and related services.

The Alternative Learning Program (ALP) Center

The Alternative Learning Program (ALP) is a regional program available to students whose educational handicap is developmental delay, autism, or multi-handicapped. Students who exhibit extreme behaviors due to other impairments can be provided with a structured environment necessary to address non-compliant behaviors. The goal of the Alternative Learning Program is to provide students with functional academics, develop or increase self-help skills, a way to develop age-appropriate social skills, and resiliency that allows them to make positive choices.  These skills, once acquired and practiced, will assist students in their successful integration into the larger school community.

Criteria
Any student being referred for placement in the Alternative Learning Program (ALP) needs have an up-to-date battery of tests.  This battery of assessments needs to include: an individual measure of intellectual functioning, either the WISC-III or Stanford Binet; measures of academic achievement; and at least one projective measure of psychosocial development.  Other assessments such as health, neurological and psychiatric evaluations administered by certified doctors are also taken into consideration to determine the appropriateness of a placement and the plan for services.  A decision is made based on the evidence from testing and previous school performance.  All diagnostic, assessment procedures and placements reflect and are in compliance with the New Hampshire State Standards for Educationally Handicapped Students.

Ongoing and consistent parent participation is a crucial component for a student to be afforded the opportunity for school success. Given the intensity of case management there is a lot of communication daily and/or weekly with parents/guardians.   The Alternative Learning Program presents a “Team Approach” when working with families.  In order to achieve this goal, parents will be asked (required) to attend regularly scheduled meetings to address the
following:

  • Student’s progress
  • Parent input so that appropriate programming can be developed
  • Most importantly to give the message to the young person that we are a unified team working toward the success of his or her return to their sending district  

Study Skills

As students transition to middle school, they are expected to depend less on the teacher to manage their instruction and to put increasing energy into becoming self-managing learners. But students must master essential study and organizational skills before they can function as independent learners. Individuals with strong study and organization skills are able to break class and homework assignments into subtasks and use time efficiently to complete those assignments, save and store graded papers and handouts for later retrieval, regularly review class notes and course readings, and practice effective study techniques. Educators can accelerate the development of students into self-managing learners by explicitly teaching and evaluating study and organization skills and by delivering structured lessons that students can easily follow and capture in notes.

Assisted study hall is not a place to solely finish homework.  It is designed to allow educators the time to teach or reinforce academic skills (math, reading, writing). It is often recommended by teachers for students who need organizational help, re-teaching in the content areas, and assistance on long term assignments.

Kids in Difficult Situations (K.I.D.S.)

KIDS is a regional program available to students whose educational handicap is severe emotional disturbance.  Additionally, within the KIDS Program environment, students who exhibit extreme behaviors due to other impairments can be provided with a structured environment necessary to address non-compliant behaviors. The goal of the KIDS Program is to provide students with a pathway to develop age-appropriate social skills and resiliency that allows them to make positive choices.  These skills, once acquired and practiced, will assist students in their successful integration into the larger school community.