Read the scenarios below to find information and guidance. Don't see one that applies to you? Simply email us and we will help get you on the right path.
My child is aging out of Early Intervention Start by contacting Marathon Elementary's Team Chair, Mary Lynn Freedman You should expect to have a transitional meeting with your outgoing service providers, district service providers, and preschool staff. Services can look very different once you're in the public school system; public schools adhere to FAPE so there are instances where a child's qualification for a services doesn't match what the school district needs to provide for them to access the curriculum. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the differences with both sets of team members there!
My child is being bullied in school All Hopkinton schools have many levels of support put in place and a very active guidance and counseling staff. Open communication with your student's teacher about your concerns can help start the ball rolling on some social supports in school. It's very common to have Social Emotional Learning Goals in an IEP or aspects of social skills support in your child's 504 plan. While each school has a slightly different approach that takes into account what is age appropriate, it's important to ask your student's teacher, the guidance counselor, the adjustment counselor, or your SEPAC friends, WHAT is available out there: there's been early morning basketball with Mrs. Shea at Hopkins, small lunch groups at Elmwood, and the Ignite Program at the Middle School. Administrators, Faculty, and Staff all strive to foster a welcoming and inclusive academic home. But kids can be quite bold when they experiment with social power. If you have concerns please reach out immediately to your student's teacher.
My child is struggling socially in school Social skills are learned for all children; however many of our children's neurotypes or disabilities make learning and remembering these skills very difficult. Your child's support plan (IEP, 504) should include specific language and goals about learning social skills IF this is an important for you both. Working on the "roots" of your child's social emotional growth is at the core of social development. These "roots" include: executive functioning skills, language (verbal and non-verbal), joint attention, theory of mind, sensory integration, central coherence, cognition, emotional reciprocity, and motor planning. So if your child has any/all of these goals in their IEP or supports in place to accommodate their school day; you're on the right path for their social skills growth.
Additional things you can ask for: you may ask for your elementary-aged child to participate in a weekly lunch group with peers and a guidance counselor. You may discuss the next year's class placement at your annual meeting each year to involve a positive peer role model and/or preferred peer. You can request the Learning Specialist help create social stories which are used at school.
My child is struggling academically in school Your first step is to ask your student and your student's teacher(s) questions: what do they see? Do they see any red flags? Is the student struggling in multiple subjects? Depending on those answers, your child might be pulled out of regular class for learning support (reading, math...). You will get a letter and email from that specialist letting you know when they're meeting with your student, what they're doing together, what the support looks like, and how and when they will be updating you. Sometimes your student will begin meeting with a specialist before you are notified. Progress is much more closely monitored when a student receives additional support. If progress is not what is expected, your student's teachers might present their case anonymously to the LRT (Learning Resource Team). This is a group of faculty who exchange methods and ideas based on data collected and presented. If the LRT deems all methods of support have been exhausted, evaluations will be conducted by district personnel with your consent. Here's what happens next (DESE protocol)
We're new to Hopkinton Public Schools Welcome to town! Please email us if you haven't been connected with your student's Team Chair at their new school.
We have a question or issue regarding our current services As your student moves through each elementary school and into middle and high schools, it can become confusing to know who to approach with an issue or question. If you aren't comfortable, or need to move past, the usual chain of communication (teacher/service provider --> learning specialist --> team chair/case manager --> principal...), please email us and we will guide you.
I have a student currently in an Out Of District (OOD) placement and want to stay involved Come meet other SEPAC families! Your student is not the only OOD child in town. There are so many ways to stay connected and meet new friends: talk to your team chair or case manager to explore extracurricular, athletic, recreational opportunities, and clubs that might be a good fit.