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Support Services & Special Education

Support Services

The Ray School offers a variety of support services for regular education in the areas of literacy, math, writing and behavior. Children may access these programs by either parent or teacher referral through the Child Study Team (CST) process. Decisions for participation are based on informal and formal measures of student performance.

Early Literacy Support:

Kindergarten Phonemic Awareness. All K/1 teachers provide some phonemic awareness instruction. Many entering kindergarteners have nearly mastered these critical pre-reading skills, while others need more intense instruction to fully grasp the concepts. Based on screening results, individual or small group tutorials are offered to children who would profit most from additional support.

1st Grade Reading Interventions. First grade is the year children are expected to become independent readers. Those who struggle at the initial stages are referred for screening in September. Based on screening results and teacher recommendations, first graders most in need are offered daily 1:1 instruction. First graders who need less intense support are offered small group tutorials two or three times each week. All tutorial work supplements, but does not replace, regular classroom reading instruction.

Academic Support Program (AS)
. The Academic Support program offers students in second through fifth grade individual or small group tutorial assistance in reading, writing or math. Generally, students who score below the 50th percentile in reading, writing, or math qualify for services. The Academic Support Tutors develop growth plans for their students and plan lessons that will strengthen students’ basic skills and promote greater classroom success.

For more information about Early Literacy or Academic Support services, contact our Literacy Coordinator in the Reading office.

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). This Federally-mandated program requires public schools to provide training in listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English to students whose first language is not English. The program is under the direction of our ESOL teacher, with assistance as appropriate from other educators and/or interpreters. Referrals may be made by a child’s parent, classroom teacher, reading specialist or other staff member. For information, contact our ESOL teacher.

504 Plans. These plans (named for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973) provide accommodation for students with specific individual impediments to classroom learning or participation (e.g., a visual impairment, or limited mobility).

Special Education

Learning Disabilities and Other Special Services
. The special education staff provides diagnostic testing, remedial services, and mainstream support. A child may be referred by a parent, teacher, or another who is responsible for him or her. Parents are notified of the referral and receive a copy of Procedural Safeguards for Students with Disabilities.

The staff determines whether sufficient information is already available, or additional testing is needed. An appropriate specialist becomes the case manager for the child, and is joined by the parents, the classroom teacher, and an administrator (or his/her appointee) to form an evaluation team. The team reviews the data and compares its findings to the criteria set forth in the New Hampshire Standards to determine eligibility for special education services. Only the team determines eligibility. No single individual can do so.

Once a child is determined to be eligible, the team develops an Individual Education program (IEP) to meet his or her unique needs with special education goals and objectives, required services, and an appropriate location where the services will be delivered. A wide range of services, including academic assistance, social thinking, and behavioral support, are available. Services begin after parents provide written approval. Student achievement is monitored to determine progress and whether adjustments are needed. By law, IEPs are reviewed annually, and reevaluation occurs every three years.

School-Wide Behavior Support. Our comprehensive behavioral support system provides positive and proactive support as a respectful learning environment for the school as a whole, and each classroom as well. The Ray School faculty and administration understand that building a community of learners depends on a comprehensive system of behavioral support. There is a direct relationship between a child’s resilience and their availability for learning.