Overview of Support Services

Special Services for students in the Sterling Community School are provided by a number of professionals, including the:
  • Social Worker
  • School Psychologist
  • Speech/Language Pathologist
  • Occupational Therapist and Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant
  • Physical Therapist
  • School Nurse
  • Special Education Teachers
  • instructional support specialists as necessary to meet the particular needs of student(s)  
The delivery of Special Services for students is driven by the individual needs of each student, the requirements of the Federal and State mandates (IDEA), and the availability of resources within the student's home and the Sterling School District or extended school community.  
The full complement of student services in the Sterling Community Schools includes the following services and programs: Child Study Team, Child Find, Gifted and Talented Identification, Homebound Instruction, Occupational and Physical Therapy, Out-of-District Placements, School Based Counseling Pre-K - Grade 8, School Psychological and Behavioral Services Pre-K - Grade 8, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Speech/Language Services, Transition Planning, Vocational/Transitional Services, School Health Services.

More information on each of these services and programs can be found below:

Child Study TeamTop of Page

Whenever possible, students' educational needs are met in the general education program. Students are referred for assessment and possible Special Education services only after the resources of the general education program have been fully expended. SRBI procedures and protocols must be properly followed. The Child Study Team is made up of staff members who review student concerns, plan strategies to assist students in the general classroom, monitor student progress and, if necessary, refer for assessment of eligibility for Special Education. 

Child Find Top of Page

Screening for Identification of Preschool Students with Disabilities (3-5 Years of Age)
The Special Education screening for preschool aged children takes place at Sterling Community School. The screening is provided to assist parents of preschoolers in monitoring the developmental growth of their children and serves as an opportunity to identify any youngster who may need Special Education and Related Services. Assessment includes a developmental screening and a parental interview regarding the child’s health history and developmental milestones. Time will also be provided for feedback to parents. Screenings can be scheduled to assist parents who have questions regarding their preschooler’s language and/or motor development.

Gifted and Talented Identification Top of Page

The purpose of assessing to identify Gifted and Talented students is to determine areas of excessive high performance or potential in students and to develop them to the maximum extent.  Gifted and Talented Students possess a range of giftedness and talents which can be demonstrated in one or more specific areas. Students’ academic development may not always match their advanced creative/artistic development.  Identification goes beyond the traditional, narrow definition of ability and talent.  New work by researchers and theorists such as Gardner (1985) and Sternberg (1984) has resulted in the general acceptance of the belief that traditional intelligence tests fail to capture the multi-faceted nature of human potential. Therefore, identification occurs through multiple procedures which examine different dimensions of student performance. 

Homebound InstructionTop of Page

Homebound instruction is a type of tutoring provided for students who are unable to attend school for an extended period of time due to an illness or hospitalization. Recommendations by a physician and the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) are required for this service.

Occupational/Physical TherapyTop of Page

Occupational therapy/physical therapy consists of fine/gross motor services provided to students Grades PK-8 through the Planning and Placement Team (PPT)/Individualized Education Program (IEP), or 504 Plan process. 

Out-of-District PlacementsTop of Page

These placements are provided for students with exceptional educational needs and/or unique non-educational needs, or placed by the Department of Children and Families (DCF).  Decision for placement is made through the Planning and Placement Team (PPT) with consideration to the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) in which the student can learn and progress. 

School Based Counseling Pre-K - Grade 8 Top of Page

School clinical staff works to help students focus on academic, personal/social and career development so they achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. 

School Psychological and Behavioral Services Pre-K - Grade 8Top of Page

The School Psychologist administers and interprets psychological data and develops educational intervention strategies.  The School Behaviorist coordinates and develops staff and student services and provides behavioral/problem solving strategies and techniques for students to assist them in the learning process in the school environment. 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973Top of Page

Students with disabilities who do not qualify for Special Education services may be eligible to receive accommodations and/or modifications to their general education program under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. This federal program is a general education program which all students, as needed, are entitled to participate and benefit from.

Speech/Language ServicesTop of Page

A Speech/Language Pathologist provides speech and language development services to students Grades Pre-K - Grade 8 through the Planning and Placement Team (PPT)/Individualized Education Program (IEP), 504 Plan process or general education program.

Transition PlanningTop of Page

When a student reaches age 14 and for each year thereafter, his/her Individualized Education Program (IEP) will include a statement of the transition services needed by that student (such as participation in vocational education classes or programs) to accommodate his/her educational needs to facilitate the student’s completion of the high school program into higher education or work. 

Vocational/Transitional ServicesTop of Page

Vocational and Transitional Services are an integral part of facilitating and guiding the transition planning process, the career education preparation, and the vocational field experiences. These services also coordinate with post-graduation adult services which are available to students with special needs. Based on the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals, a wide variety of vocational experiences, from unpaid internships to paid employment may take place.  Assistance may be provided to students and their families as they transition from the Sterling Community School District by developing connections with appropriate education programs, training schools and state agencies.

School Health Services Top of Page

Sterling Community School District provides a school health services program which includes placement of a registered nurse at Sterling Community School. The primary purpose of the Sterling Community School Health Services Program is to facilitate and promote optimal learning for students. Thus, the program strives to meet the following goals: 
  • To promote early identification and remediation of health problems and needs of students. 
  • To assist students to assume responsibility for their own health and to develop healthy  attitudes and practices.
  • To provide health education and counseling for students, school personnel, and parents.
  • To provide health services and first aid for students and staff.
  • To promote environmental safety and awareness of hazards.
  • To maintain a liaison with health care providers and community health programs / agencies.
  • To protect the health of students and staff by preventing the outbreak and spread of communicable diseases through enforcement of health laws and school policies.
  • To promote school health services as part of the educational process. 
The goals and objectives of the School Health Services Program are based upon Connecticut State Law pertaining to school health, the policies of the Sterling Community School Board of Education, and the needs of the school population of students, faculty and staff. 
Medical advisory services are provided by the School Medical Advisor who assists with school policy and procedure development, maintains standing orders, and provides medical consultation.
School nursing services are provided on a full-time basis by the registered school nurse who helps students attain a high level of wellness and is a liaison between education and health care. The school nurse also provides a link between the school, home and community. The school nurse services include:
  • Emergency first aid care for illnesses and injuries.
  • Administration of medications and other treatments for students with special health care needs.
  • Surveillance and control of communicable diseases.
  • Screening and referral for vision, hearing, and postural abnormalities.
  • Review of health assessments and immunization status to ensure compliance with state law and school district policies. 
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