Special Education

The Special Education Department of the Needham Public Schools provides a range of special education services in accordance with state and federal regulations to meet the needs of students with disabilities who are eligible for special education. While a variety of options are available to meet children’s educational needs, a goal of the district is the successful inclusion of children with disabilities in the general education classroom.  Research and experience reveal that students of all ages benefit from socializing and learning side by side with their peers.  The district strives to create safe, healthy classrooms in which all students can learn and benefit from skillful teaching, rich curriculum and engagement with their peers.

Coordinated Program Review Corrective Action
The Coordinated Program Review (CPR) for special education, civil rights and English language education, was completed during the 2010-11 school year.  During the CPR, Needham’s Special Education programs were audited by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. In addition to the CPR the district completed a two year special education self-assessment in the fall of 2011 by participating in a Special Education Program Review completed by an independent consulting firm.  The report from Futures and a summary of the two year Program Review summarize the work that has been completed.

One special education criteria that required corrective action was SE18B - Determination of Placement; provision of IEP to parent.  The DESE determined through parent interview and record review that parents are not always provided with the summary of agreements that should include a completed service delivery grid and a statement of the major goal areas associated with those services.  Regulation provides that parents may receive either a drafted IEP, with team meeting notations on it as they leave the meeting, or a summary of the meeting, which would include the goal areas and service delivery grid.  Posted here are the two types of meeting summaries: Annual Review and Amendment Meeting Summary and Initial or Re-evaluation Team Meeting Summary.

Concerned About Your Child's Learning?

Needham Schools offer many ways for students to get support for their academic, social and emotional needs.  Your child’s classroom or subject area teacher can be a resource to you if you have questions about your child’s growth and learning.  Guidance counselors and the principal or assistant principal are other resources for all parents.  These staff members are available to answer questions, provide advice and further explore a concern you bring to them. Instructional supports are available in general education in each of our schools.  These supports may be just the boost your child needs to find success.

There are times when staff or parents believe that a student's learning is compromised by a disability.  Special Education provides an eligibility process for students who are suspected of having a disability.  In order to determine eligibility, a focused assessment in the area of the suspected disability is completed by Needham staff.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides several documents that describe educational disabilities and the process of special education eligibility determination.  For answers to commonly asked questions, please see our FAQ.

Administrative Offices Located at:
Emery Grover Administration Building
1330 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02492
Mary Lammi
IDirector of Student Support Services
781-455-0400 x213
Matthew Ganas
Director Special Education, Kindergarten to Grade 8
Patricia Mullen
Director of Special Education, High School
Stephanie Wyman
Coordinator of Out-of-District & Extended School Year Programs