• Special Education Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is Special Education?

    Special education refers to a range of educational services provided by the Norwell Public Schools individuals with disabilities who are between three and 21 years of age.

    What happens if a student experiences difficulty in the Norwell Public Schools?

    There are three different avenues that a parent, guardian, or teacher may initiate if a student experiences difficulty in the Norwell Public Schools: Curriculum Accommodation Plans, Teacher Assistance Teams, referral for Special Education and/or related Services.

    What is a Curriculum Accommodation Plan?

    The Norwell Public Schools District Accommodation Plan, and the building-based Curriculum Accommodation Plan, are individually developed for each school and are included in the Student Parent Handbook. The plan is a set of instructional practices that are responsive to student needs and ensure that adequate instructional support is available for students and teachers. Instructional support may include remedial instruction for students, consultative services for teachers, availability of reading instruction at the elementary level, appropriate services for linguistic minority students, and other services consistent with effective educational practices.

    What is an Instructional Support Team?

    The Instructional Support Team (IST) provides support to teachers as they develop alternatives for students experiencing difficulties (behavioral, social or academic) in the general education classroom. The IST is school-based and uses a collaborative problem-solving approach. The IST ensures that the needs of students who are experiencing difficulty in school are identified and that a variety of solutions and interventions are implemented. In addition, the support of guidance counselors, curriculum or technology specialists, administrators, TEAM leaders, and community agencies may provide ideas and/or peer assistance to their colleague, or offer suggestions for better utilization of resources or staff time.

    What is a referral for Special Education and/or Related Services?

    A referral is basically asking for help or information pertaining to a particular situation. In the case of a referral for Special Education and/or Related Services, the parent, guardian, or IST is asking a group of professionals (referred to as a “TEAM”) to more closely examine how the student performs on tasks or how they processes information in an attempt to determine if the student has a disability.