Special Education

Special Education




Students who, after completing the special education process, and found eligible for special education services, are placed on an individual educational program. A variety of services are available for students who require remediation in specific areas, are in need of specially designed instruction beyond what can be provided in the regular classroom, or due to their unique needs and learning issues require modified learning environments. All of these special education courses and programs are designed to address the individual’s learning needs, follow the state curriculum standards, and comply with the 2004 IDEA, and the State Department of Education, Special Education Guidelines.

Substantially Separate Courses

Language Skills

Instructor: Mrs. Bonnie Doyle
· Replacement English class
· Literature requirements parallel Frameworks requirements on an adapted level
· Curriculum guidelines focus on skill development
· MCAS and/or portfolio preparation
· Student use of word processing device, DANA, facilitates writing analysis and production

Math Skills

Instructor: Mrs. Karen Baumgartner
· Replacement math class
· Intensive, specialized instruction in and reinforcement of basic skills and processes
· Parallels curriculum Frameworks to address learning strands
· Development of basic, functional math skills
· MCAS and/or portfolio preparation
· Manipulatives and problem solving skill strategies aids for recall and application of concepts

Remedial Courses

Reading/Writing Lab

Instructor: Ms. Gail Plank
This  class consists of two, integrated components:

  •  Specific reading module addresses reading skills, motivational reading, and comprehension Wilson program reading strategies.
  •  Specific writing module focuses on the writing process including activities to address sequencing, organization, and structural skills. Units include short writing assignments and a research paper. Lindamood Bell Visualization/Verbalization program strategies to enhance word and sentence comprehension utilized

S.O.L. Lab (social, occupation, life)

Instructor: Ms. Courtney Nottebart

  • Social skill development
  • Occupational skills
  • Life skills


A course for students with diagnosed learning disabilities, whose individual educational program requires a support setting which can provided specially designed instruction in order that each student can achieve academically to the best of their ability 


Specially designed program for students beginning their high school experience. Ninth grade students, in addition to support in content areas, receive daily instruction in a variety of learning areas such as time management, note taking, test taking tips, organization, and study strategies


In addition to support in content areas all students receive instruction in a variety of learning areas such as time management, note taking, test taking tips, organization, and study strategies


The assignment notebook provided to each student is the required text for all academic skills classes. Lost planners must be replaced at the student’s expense of $10.00 per planner.


The academic skills course is designed to support student’s efforts to succeed within the regular academic curriculum. Students will focus on their goals as outlined in their individual education plans, participate in a study skills curriculum, and receive academic support. This is a 5 credit course, not a study hall. Students will earn a grade based on the following criteria.

A. The assignment notebook must be brought to class each day. Students are expected to have this filled out before class begins. Dates, day, classes and assignments must be neatly and clearly written. Academic organization directly impacts school performance and correct use of the notebook is essential.

B. All students will maintain a daily Academic Skills folder recording their
activities in class. This folder stays in the classroom. Students will receive
daily feedback and ratings 0-5 on their notebook, preparation, productivity and
goal oriented behavior.

Assignment notebook- The student will receive 5 points if each section is filled
in for each subject, entries are neat, clear and understandable, dates and day
are recorded and long term projects and upcoming tests are recorded. Students
will receive a 0 if the notebook is missing or not filled out.

Preparation/Organization- The student will receive 5 points if all necessary
materials such as, textbooks, notebooks, writing utensils, worksheets, etc. are
brought to class. Students are expected to be organized (including folders and
backpack). Failure to do so will result in the loss of points.

Productivity- The student will receive a 5 if they use class time to focus on
goals, study skills, and assignments. Failure to do so will result in the loss
of points.

The points from this folder will account for 80% of the term grade. 20% of the
grade will be based on assignments and participation in the study skills portion
of the class.

C. Students who have the accommodation for test taking may arrange to take the
test in the Academic Skills room. Arrangements involving test
accommodations should be made with both subject teacher and the Academic
skills teacher prior to the test date. Academic Skills teachers will assist
students in self-advocating as needed.

D. Assistive technology will be issued at teacher’s
discretion and according to school policy.

Study Skills

It is imperative for students to acquire the study skills necessary to succeed in high school. Your student will receive direct instruction in the skills during their Academic Skills Class. Supporting and empowering our students in reaching their maximum potential and learning styles and needs is a goal we all want to promote as our students begin their high school experience. Topics include but are not limited to:

Self-discovery as a learner- Learning Style, Multiple Intelligences, Left Brain Right Brain, “How Difficult Can This Be?” (Video)

Setting Goals- Personal Goals, Review IEP Goals, Self Advocacy

Time Management- Tracking your time, planning your time, to do lists, long term planning, using assignment notebook.

Note Taking Skills- concept mapping, indentation notes, outlining, double column note taking.

Test Taking Tips- Strategies for essay tests, multiple choice tests, short answer, memory, Mnemonic strategies

Organizational Skills- use of binders, folders, color coding etc…

Study Strategies- Active Reading, KWL, 3Q3R, pre-reading, visualization, mnemonics, best setting for study (personal preference).


1. Teacher’s desks and materials are unassigned areas. Students are not allowed in these areas without permission of their teacher. Violation of this rule will result in detention.
2. Students must ask permission to use resources in the academic skills classroom.
3. Bathroom passes will be issued sparingly, at the discretion of the teacher.
4. Students who are late without a pass will report to their Academic Skills teacher at the end of that school day. Failure to report will result in detention.
5. Students who miss class without permission will be referred to the school’s disciplinary system (see student handbook).
6. Students are expected to do their own work. Copying work is a violation of the school’s academic integrity policy and will result in referral to the disciplinary system.
7. All tests and quizzes taken in the Academic Skills Classroom will follow school guidelines (see Student/Parent handbook).

Partnership Program

Instructors: Mr. Jonathan Hanlon, Mr. Michael Morgan

Counselor: Mrs. Wendy Thornton

  • A specialized program that provides support with academic expectations same as the academic skills class
  • Students with learning disabilities, who benefit from a specialized program that intergrates mainstream class support with an academic, therapeutic setting
  • Structured, consistent environment to include academic, emotional, social, behavioral supports in order to achieve in the mainstream academic setting

Language Inclusion Program

Instructor: Ms. Courtney Nottebart

  •  A specialized program that provides support with academic expectations same as the academic skills class
  •  Students, with multiple diagnoses benefit from a specialized program that integrates individual’s profile with the academic curriculum in a fully mainstreamed setting
  •  Structured, consistent environment to include sensory supports and to strengthen social, communicative, and compensatory academic skills


Career and Education Program

Instructors: Mrs. Mary Caine, Ms. Amanda Pierce - Tier I

                     Mrs. Courtney Butz, Ms. Molly Shea - Tier II

  •  Program focus is on pre-vocational, vocational activities,life skills with functional academics
  •  Inclusion within education classes as determined appropriate by the team
  •  Vocational Internships


The Bridge Program

Coordinator:  Mrs. April Zyirek

Instructors: Mrs. Helen Kearns-Martorano, Ms. Lynne Pelletier

Counselor: Mr. Keith Wick

A program with educational and therapeutic supports for high school students in a substantially separate setting that prepares them for successful integration into Walpole High School and the Walpole community. Students receive academic instruction that follows the curriculum of Walpole Public Schools and prepares them for meeting all the requirements for a high school diploma. Behavioral, therapeutic, and case management supports are implemented according to students’ unique, special needs. The program provides a safe environment that actively engages students in the learning process and in the process of setting and pursuing personal goals.