Special Education

Special Education Department

M. Alley
S. Brown
D. Cerrone
 Kate Festa, Supervisor
T. Clarkson
N. Coates
D. Cronin
C. Dufel
S. Glick
A. Green
S. Gutis
L. Johnson
S. Kernochan
W. Kersten
D. Levine
M. Liguori
B. McArdle
F. Merrill
A. Moravsky
L. Pierce-Wirth
M. Pirraglia
L. Poza-Schwarz
S. Ratchford
J. Redendo
M. Reggiano
S. Roberts
M. Sajovic
E. Schirmer
N. Schirmer
K. Sokolowski
A. Turowski
D. Valenti
R. Visners
E. White

All Danbury special education students are educated in the least restrictive environment. Planning and Placement Teams determine individual educational programs. Most graduation requirements are offered in the co-teaching model. Post high school transition is an important focus for all special education students. The continuum of special education programs is described below.

Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Statistics and Data Gathering, Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Space Systems, Science and the Environment, Modern World Studies, United States History, Civics, English I, English II, English III, and English IV

Co-teaching utilizes the expertise of a special education teacher and a regular education teacher in the delivery of instruction to students. The emphasis in co-taught classes is on the development of study skills and learning strategies within the general curriculum. Both regular education and special education students benefit from this method of instruction.

The Resource / Study Skills Program provides direct and indirect academic, social, emotional, and behavioral support to students needing assistance in mainstream classes. Academic support includes remediation, supplemental instruction, applied learning skills, and compensatory techniques. An important function of the Study Skills Program is to prepare students for mainstream class success. The amount of time a student is scheduled in Study Skills is determined by the Planning and Placement Team. Grades and credit will be awarded through active participation in the program.

The Instructional Behavior Management (IBM) Program provides small group and/or individualized instruction to students who struggle to succeed in the mainstream due to behavioral and/or social/emotional issues. It is a credit incentive program which immediately rewards “on task” positive academic behavior. Social work support is an integral component of the program. Students are encouraged to move to mainstream classes when appropriate. In mainstream classes students continue to be supported and monitored by the IBM team.

The Basic Academic Skills (BAS) Program is designed to meet the needs of students who have cognitive and academic challenges that prevent participation in mainstream academic classes. Basic academic and functional life skills essential to independent living in both the community and at home are the focus of this program. Major units of study include pre-vocational training, basic communication, functional reading and writing, mathematics, social studies, and science. Through Individualized Education Programs, students are given the opportunity to take classes in the least restrictive environment

The Academy of Western Connecticut is a community-based program, which prepares young adult learners with disabilities for a successful adjustment to adulthood. This includes mastery of selected skills essential for assuming responsible productive roles in their communities. Students work with program staff and community resources to refine and achieve transition goals related to employment, independent living, social/recreational, and functional academic skills. Student schedules are based on their individual employment, social, academic, and community goals. The ultimate goal for participating students will be personal independence, community inclusion, and fulfillment of one’s life ambitions.

In an integrated college setting, the Western Connection Program supports a diverse population of students with disabilities with obtaining the experience and skills needed to achieve success in adulthood. The program is located on the campus of Western Connecticut State University, and provides students with opportunities to audit college level classes, while gaining hands-on work experience, as well as participating in a variety of social opportunities. This program aims to assist in the development of the career, vocational, and transition skills necessary for post-secondary education and competitive employment.

The Vocational Training Program provides special education students with occupational exploration and vocational training ranging from highly supervised enclave programs, individualized work sites, individualized placements with job coaching to “On-the-Job Training” with a minimal stipend for up to seven hours per week.