PORTSMOUTH SPECIAL EDUCATION CONTACT INFORMATION CONTACT INFORMATION
Pre-School / Elementary School
Contact: Beth Setear, Pre-K Coordinator
Dondero Elementary School
32 Van Buren Ave
Portsmouth, NH 03801
New Franklin Elementary
Contact: Jill Vinciguerra, Coordinator
1 Franklin Drive
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Little Harbour Elementary
Middle and High Schools
Contact: Jeff Martell, Coordinator
Portsmouth Middle School
155 Parrott Avenue
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Phone: 436-5781 ext 269
Contact: Laurie Melanson, Coordinator
Portsmouth High School
Portsmouth, NH 03801
PEEP - PORTSMOUTH EARLY EDUCATION PROGRAM
The PEEP Program was established in 1980 to provide educational programs for children ages 3 through 5 years of age who have identified educational disabilities. These services are regulated by state and federal law and are provided at no cost to families.
Children are referred to PEEP by parents, physicians, early childhood educators, Early Supports and Services agencies, and others if they have any developmental concerns. The information provided is reviewed, and any additional information needed is gathered to determine the need for a developmental assessment. Once completed, a determination of eligibility is made.
PEEP is located a the Little Harbour School at 50 Clough Drive. The staff has a collaborative relationship with Head Start (HS) and Seacoast Community School (SCS) to allow for a variety of options for providing early childhood special education services in inclusive classrooms. Students in need of special education services may attend HS, SCS, or a Portsmouth Schools classroom depending on the student/family needs.
ELEMENTARY SPECIAL EDUCATION
There are three elementary schools in Portsmouth: Dondero, Little Harbour, and New Franklin, each with special education services. Each student with a disability has a team that meets on a regular basis to evaluate, place, and monitor the special education needs of the child. This team includes parents, special education teachers, and appropriate related service personnel such as a Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, School Counselor, Nurse, Physical Therapist, and/or Reading Specialist. Students are included in regular classrooms as much as appropriate and are supported by special education staff using both in-class and pull-out models. Students are included in the regular classroom with the assistance of a case manager, who oversees the team and maintains contact with the teachers and parents. For some students, a paraprofessional may be assigned to the classroom to help facilitate the inclusion process. Students with social-emotional and//or behavior needs may have behavior plans and/or receive support from a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
MIDDLE SCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION
We believe that students at this stage in their development, particularly those with some special learning needs, require "close attention at a distance." By this paradoxical phrase, we mean that although these students require our supervision and augmented instruction, they also strongly reject any attention, which makes them appear different or in need of extra help. For this reason, our special education teachers work as much as possible within the daily life of the team of regular teachers, with all students at times, so that their services to special students will not be unique or their presence unusual.
To accomplish this, we have one special education resource teacher and paraprofessional on each Middle School team. This allows the team to offer "special education type" services to many students who are not formally identified as having an educational disability. Among the services widely available to all students are small group tutorials centered on the teams' curriculum, direct support and assistance inside classrooms, and reasonable modifications and accommodations based on a student's particular need. The resource program also offers help in the form of functional behavior plans to students experiencing behavior problems.
In addition to services within the team structure, the middle school special education program also offers a number of instructional and related service opportunities to students with a variety of more exceptional needs.
The Middle School Developmental Disabilities program is designed to place adolescents who have developmental or multiple disabilities in inclusive classrooms with support from a paraprofessional and consultation from a special education teacher. As appropriate, small group instruction is presented in the areas of reading and math. Each student receives services from therapists (physical, occupational, speech, and adapted physical education) as needed.
The KIDS program (Kids in Difficult Situations) is a three-tiered service program available for students whose primary disability is severely emotionally disabled/behaviorally disordered. Tier one is for students who continue to need processing time and who require one-on-one monitoring for their academic and behavioral needs in a self-contained setting. Tier two is organized for students who have demonstrated strides toward developing independent work habits, yet continue to need coaching with their interpersonal and behavioral choices. Tier three is for fully mainstreamed students with drop-in services as needed and full case management services. This tier is based on a “revolving door” model. The staff consists of a classroom teacher, a therapist, and several paraprofessionals who support the students in mainstream classrooms. The primary goal of the KIDS program is for students to learn school coping strategies to be successful within the mainstream of public education.
HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ACADEMIC SERVICES (Special Education)
Student Academic Services (SAS) offers assistance to students who require an individualized approach to their academic and/or vocational program. Most students have been referred for formal evaluation and found to have a need for an Individualized Educational Program in academic, social/emotional, or vocational areas. Services are provided based on the student's level of performance and individual needs as determined by the Evaluation Plan. More specific information regarding the area of Student Academic Services may be obtained by contacting the Department at Portsmouth High School (436-7100,
Academic Study Centers
Students may work in small groups or one-to-one with a SAS staff member. Emphasis is placed on students developing the necessary organizational and academic skills for success in all disciplines. SAS staff uses Study Center time to apply the accommodations according to the student’s Individual Educational Plan in all academic areas. Students in Study Center classes have the opportunity to develop appropriate skills while completing course assignments.
Services that can take place in Study Center classes include: previewing content area material; reviewing for quizzes/tests; monitoring assignments which may involve vocabulary, grammar, worksheets, chapter guides, and questions; editing written assignments; reading assigned novels/literature with discussion for clarification; outlining chapters; reviewing and expanding upon notes; drilling for reinforcement and mastery; completing (w/assistance) assigned classroom work; using the library for resources and research purposes; and supporting other activities as requested by content area teachers.
A weekly contact system with content area teachers has been established so that Study Center teachers are aware of current course requirements and students' academic performance. Parent/teacher contact is also encouraged when appropriate. All contact, written and/or informal, is important for assisting students to achieve success in their classes and supporting the mainstream teachers.
Supports For Learning/Developmental Program
Supports for learning are designed for adolescents, ages 14-21 that require an individual approach to their academic and/or vocational program. Each student’s program is individually designed to meet his/her needs by providing education on a continuum ranging from full inclusion to self-contained. The team consists of parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, specialists, area agencies, peer tutors, and the Portsmouth community.
The goals of Supports for Learning are: to provide the student with the least restrictive learning environment; to create opportunities and build skills to reach each student’s maximum potential in the following curriculum areas: academics, experiential learning, communication, social skills, and community; to assist in a gradual transition from the school to the community with the involvement of family and outside agencies; to create a positive culture that offers a safe environment, which enhances the desire to learn; to develop inclusive relationships among peers, staff, and community. The following related services are available to the students as designated in their IEP: occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language therapy; adaptive physical education; community involvement; peer tutoring, and counseling.
Speech And Language
The Speech/Language Pathologist is available to provide services to students with communication disorders and/or language/learning disabilities. A variety of options are offered, including the following: assistance with understanding and using the language of the curriculum; consultation to staff regarding strategies and modifications to benefit the student with language needs; managing alternative means of communication for students with limited speaking abilities; implementing assistive technology to enable students with physical and cognitive challenges to maximize their oral and written communication abilities; teaching strategies to control disfluent speech (stuttering); treating voice disorders (upon referral by a physician). Services are provided on a 1:1 basis, in a small group, by classroom interventions and/or through consultation as deemed appropriate for each student.
Robert J. Lister Academy
The Robert J. Lister Academy is a public alternative high school, designed in 1983, to meet academic, therapeutic, and vocational needs of at-risk adolescents aged 14-21 in grades 9-12. A self-contained satellite program of the Portsmouth School Department in Portsmouth, NewHampshire, The Robert J. Lister Academy aims to educate students from throughout the Seacoast area, whose emotional disabilities, behavioral issues, and family situations have precluded their success in more conventional academic settings. Drawing on the expertise of a collaborative team of counselors and veteran teachers, The Robert J. Lister Academy provides a holistic learning environment that fosters individual growth in core academic subjects as well as the development of vocational skills, conflict resolution, communication skills, and building positive esteem. Students who successfully demonstrate proficiency in these areas earn regular high school credit toward a Portsmouth High School diploma. The Robert J. Lister Academy is committed to graduating students who will be life long learners as well as productive and contributing members of their community.