Special Education

Millis Public Schools provides appropriate services and supports so that all children with disabilities benefit from a free and appropriate public education (FAPE), in the least restrictive environment (LRE).  Special Education is specially designed instruction and related services that meet the unique needs of an eligible student with a disability. Please refer to the Notice of Procedural Safeguards for more information. http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/prb/. Learning Knows No Bounds image The Basic Special Education Process

The following is a summary of the 2004 federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) process as adapted by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This information has been provided by that department. The writing of each student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) takes place within the larger picture of the special education process under IDEA. Before taking a detailed look at the IEP, it may be helpful to look briefly at how a student is identified as having a disability and needing special education and related services and, thus, an IEP. Step 1. Child is identified as possibly needing special education and related services. Child Find.” The state must identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities in the state who need special education and related services. To do so, public school districts conduct “Child Find” activities. Parents may be asked if the school district can evaluate their child. Parents can also call the public school district and ask that their child be evaluated. Or– Referral or request for evaluation. A school professional may ask that a child be evaluated to see if he or she has a disability. Parents may also contact the child’s teacher or other school professional to ask that their child be evaluated. This request may be verbal or in writing. Parental consent is needed before the child may be evaluated. Evaluation needs to be completed within 45 school working days after the parent gives consent. Step 2. Child is evaluated. The evaluation must assess the child in all areas related to the child’s suspected disability. The evaluation results will be used to decide the child’s eligibility for special education and related services and to make decisions about an appropriate educational program for the child. Step 3. Eligibility is decided. A group of qualified professionals and the parents look at the child’s evaluation results. Together, they decide if the child is a “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA. Parents may ask for a hearing to challenge the eligibility decision if they disagree with it. Step 4. Child is found eligible for services. If the child is found to be a “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA, he or she is eligible for special education and related services, and the IEP team will write an IEP for the child. Once the student has been found eligible for services, the IEP must be written. The two steps below summarize what is involved in writing the IEP. Detailed information on the IEP process is available on the ESE Web site http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/iep/. Step 5. IEP meeting is scheduled. The school system schedules and conducts the IEP meeting. School staff must:

  • contact the participants, including the parents;
  • notify parents early enough to make sure they have an opportunity to attend
  • schedule the meeting at a time and place agreeable to parents and the school;
  • tell the parents the purpose, time, and location of the meeting;
  • tell the parents who will be attending; and
  • tell the parents that they may invite people to the meeting who have knowledge or special expertise about the child.

Step 6. IEP meeting is held and the IEP is written. The IEP team gathers to talk about the child’s needs and write the student’s IEP. Parents and the student (when appropriate) are part of the team. If the child’s placement is decided by a different group, the parents must be part of that group as well. Before the school system may provide special education and related services to the child for the first time, the parents must give consent. The child begins to receive services as soon as possible after the meeting. If the parents do not agree with the IEP and placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement. If they still disagree, parents can ask for mediation, or the school may offer mediation. Parents may file a complaint with the state education agency and may request a due process hearing, at which time mediation must be available. Step 7. Services are provided. The school makes sure that the child’s IEP is being carried out as it was written. Parents are given a copy of the IEP. Each of the child’s teachers and service providers has access to the IEP and knows his or her specific responsibilities for carrying out the IEP. This includes the accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided to the child, in keeping with the IEP. Step 8. Progress is measured and reported to parents. The child’s progress toward the annual goals is measured, as stated in the IEP. His or her parents are regularly informed of their child’s progress and whether that progress is enough for the child to achieve the goals by the end of the year. These progress reports must be given to parents at least as often as parents are informed of their non-disabled children’s progress. Step 9. IEP is reviewed. The child’s IEP is reviewed by the IEP team at least once a year, or more often if the parents or school ask for a review. If necessary, the IEP is revised. Parents, as team members, must be invited to attend these meetings. Parents can make suggestions for changes, can agree or disagree with the IEP goals, and agree or disagree with the placement. If parents do not agree with the IEP and placement, they may discuss their concerns with other members of the IEP team and try to work out an agreement. There are several options, including additional testing, an independent evaluation, or asking for mediation (if available) or a due process hearing. They may also file a complaint with the state education agency. Step 10. Child is reevaluated. At least every three years the child must be reevaluated. This evaluation is often called a “triennial.” Its purpose is to find out if the child continues to be a “child with a disability,” as defined by IDEA, and what the child’s educational needs are. However, the child must be reevaluated more often if conditions warrant or if the child’s parent or teacher asks for a reevaluation. Helpful Links & Notices Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education; Special Education Parent Information http://www.doe.mass.edu/sped/parents.html 

Child Find Link


Special Education - District Contacts
Out of District Coordinator Heidi Manthei 508-376-7021 hmanthei@millisps.org

Early Childhood Coordinator Janine White 508-376-7003 jwhite@millisps.org

Lead Team Chair for CFB Heidi Manthei 508-376-7021 hmanthei@millisps.org

Lead Team Chair for MS & HS Faye Kalmbach 508-958-3220 fkalmbach@millisps.org

School Psychologists Gary Castiglioni 508-376-7021
Elizabeth Donalds 508-376-7021

BCBA Julia Fredette 508-376-7021 jfredette@millisps.org


Special Education - School Contacts for Clyde Brown School
Early Childhood Educators: Sarah Browning sbrowning@millisps.org
Barbara Carr bcarr@millisps.org
Mollie Perachio mperachio@millisps.org

Special Educators: Krista Baglioni kbaglioni@millisps.org
Diane Cotter dcotter@millisps.org
Michael McKay mckay@millisps.org

Speech/Language Pathologists: Jennifer Chisholm jchisholm@millisps.org
Barbara Keimig bkeimig@millisps.org

Occupational Therapist/COTA: Amy Day (COTA) aday@millisps.org
Faye Kalmbach fkalmbach@millisps.org

Physical Therapist: Donna Ring dring@millisps.org

Adjustment Counselor: April Leman aleman@millisps.org

School Nurse: Diane Danehy ddanehy@millisps.org


Special Education - School Contacts for Middle School

Special Educators: Michelle Hurvitz mhurvitz@millisps.org
Lauren Scotland lscotland@millisps.org
Allie Sears asears@millisps.org
Tricia White twhite@millisps.org

Speech/Language Pathologist: Timothy Howden thowden@millisps.org

Occupational Therapist: Julie Colwell jcolwell@millisps.org

Physical Therapist: Donna Ring dring@millisps.org

Adjustment Counselor: Keri Reardon kreardon@millisps.org
School Nurse: Lynn Molinari lmolinari@millisps.org


Special Education - School Contacts for High School
Special Educators: Sherri Craig scraig@millisps.org
Bernadette Lindgren blindgren@millisps.org
Patrick Neville pneville@millisps.org

Speech/Language Pathologist: Timothy Howden thowden@millisps.org

Occupational Therapist: Julie Colwell jcolwell@millisps.org

Physical Therapist: Donna Ring dring@millisps.org

Adjustment Counselor: Gabrielle Bedard gbedard@millisps.org

Guidance Counselors: Mark Awdycki mawdycki@millisps.org
Riley Stevens rstevens@millisps.org

School Nurse: Lynn Molinari lmolinari@millisps.org

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