The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, October 3, 2008

New CCHS programs help students, may cut SPED costs

Educators at the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) are seeking new ways to reduce the need for out-of-district student placements as part of efforts to reduce special education (SPED) costs. At the September 23 Regional School Committee (RSC) meeting, Concord-Carlisle Regional School Superintendent Diana Rigby described a new effort to help ninth graders adjust to CCHS called the Network Program. “Through the generosity of the Concord Education Fund we’ve been able to hire a tutor” to assist those students, she explained, “who might perhaps have otherwise ended up in special education in one or two years.”

CCHS Principal Peter Badalament elaborated in a later email, “This group is comprised of freshmen who might have had a difficult time transitioning to CCHS without added support.” He explained that the tutor is a part-time position and is in addition to the school’s other tutorial support. While some of the students are on special education plans, the majority are not. The new tutor meets with students during one class period per day, and is available to meet with students after school for one hour, Monday through Thursday. He said that in a few months, they will evaluate the program and consider whether to continue it next year.

Another of the new measures put in place this year under Badalament and Special Education Director Jessica Murphy is a weekly case study meeting, where educators discuss students who may need intervention.

“We’ve been able to reallocate our resources,” Rigby said, but noted that facility space constraints limit their options for new programs. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito