Student Support Services

Student Support Services is the school department that coordinates and insures high quality programming in the areas of Guidance, Health Services, Special Education, Integrated Preschool, the Metropolitan Council of Educational Opportunity, Inc. (METCO) program and Community Education.  Further information about each of these departments can be reached through the links on this page.  

An overarching goal of Student Support Services is to support the social/ emotional learning and growth in all students.  

Social/Emotional Learning

The Needham Public Schools is a leader in developing and implementing a Preschool-12 approach to social and emotional learning (SEL).  The SEL programs in the district are guided at the district level by the SEL Steering Committee, with representatives from each school in the district.  The Needham School Committee has approved the following District Goal and Objectives for School Year 2012-13.

District Goal #2: Develop Social, Emotional, Wellness and Citizenship Skills: To ensure students develop the knowledge and skills that empower healthy, resilient, and culturally proficient global citizens who commit to act with integrity, respect and compassion.

Objective #1: Students experience a sense of wellness, participation, and safety in response to meaningful adult and peer relationships within a caring school environment.

Objective #2: Students develop social competence, problem solving skills, a positive sense of identity, autonomy, and a sense of purpose, through consistent, layered and effective instruction of social and emotional skills at all levels.

Objective #3: Students engage in age appropriate service activities that enable them to contribute to or act on local or global social needs and that provide them opportunities to develop social, civic, and academic skills through reflection and analysis of their efforts.

Objective #4: Students and staff develop competencies to enable them to understand and efectively addresss matters of diversity, racism, ethnocentrism, and bias in the context of the pluralistic communities in which they live.

Research to determine the effect of SEL on academic outcome (Zins, Weissberg, Wang, and Walberg, 2004) demonstrates three positive outcomes associated with SEL:
        1.  Student attitude towards learning improved.  There was increased motivation and commitment.
        2.  There were behavioral changes in participation and study habits.
        3.  SEL led to improved grades as well as greater mastery of material.
Additionally, there is a positive connection  (Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning - CASEL) between SEL and a reduction of behavior problems, depression, violence, substance abuse, and early sexual activity.

Bullying Prevention and Intervention

The Student Development Office has recently led the development of a Bullying Prevention and Intervention Plan for Needham Schools. Foundational SEL skill development and practice are requisite to creating a school where bullying will not be tolerated by either staff or students.  A new webpage, Bullying Prevention and Intervention, with school and parent resources, is now available.

Student Registration

The Student Development Office also administers the registration of new students in our district.  A new, on-line process for student registration was launched in September, 2010.

Program Evaluation

Needham Public Schools are committed to collecting and studying data related to student learning, educational program effectiveness, stakeholder perceptions, budgetary trends and other aspects of our school district's functioning in order to determine how to improve our educational programs. Each year the Needham Public Schools produce a number of reports summarizing this data collection.  Sometimes these reports result from the work of a study committee or task force. On other occasions, they provide information about survey or test results or the evaluation of a program.  Reports    

The majority of the reports are in PDF format, and you will need Acrobat Reader to view them.

Office located at Emery Grover
Administration Building
1330 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02492
Mary Lammi
Student Support Service Director
781-455-0400 x213