Special Education: The Southern Berkshire Special Education Program services eligible students from age 3-21 in a variety of settings. The district's Special Education instruction is specifically designed to address the educational and related developmental needs of children with disabilities. This includes Early Childhood/ Pre-Kindergarten programs at Undermountain and New Marlborough Central for students starting at age three, and services and programs for school age children in grades K-12, and transition services for eligible students up to age 22.
For students with Individual Education Program Plan (IEP), instruction is based on the curriculum standards. The IEP Team documents modifications and/or accommodations/ adaptations, teaching strategies, as well as other support systems that may help the student. The IEP Team also determines the setting in which services will be provided.
A successful inclusion model provides many students with an appropriate education in the least restrictive setting within their general education classroom. Students who need a more specialized setting are provided with a full range of services through our resource rooms, life and developmental skills programs, behavioral support programs, subject area specialized instruction, and other services as needed.
Specialists serving our students with disabilities include special education certified teachers, school psychologist, speech-language pathologists, school adjustment counselors, occupational therapists, physical therapist, behavioral specialists, autism specialists, reading and math specialists, and paraprofessionals trained to serve students, who are at least three but less than twenty two years of age who have at least one of the following conditions: autism/autism spectrum disorder, developmental delay, intellectual impairment, sensory impairments, neurological impairment, emotional impairment, specific learning disability, commendation impairment, physical disabilities, and/or health impairment.
The goal of Special Education is to help students to become independent learners, to teach learning strategies to prepare them to be successful in their regular classes, and to prepare them for high school and post-secondary experiences.
A Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) meets several times a year and is designed to provide information and offer to support to parents regarding issues related to their children. The meeting schedule for the 2013-14 school year is as follows: September 25, December 3, March 4, and April 29. All meetings are at 1:45pm in the Eagles' Loft. All are welcome to attend.
The district also complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Section 504 and offers supports and services to students who require accommodations to participate successfully in the general education curriculum based on their disabilities.
Health: The schools have fully staffed infirmaries at Undermountain and Mt. Everett and employ a part-time nurse at New Marlborough, who also provides services to the Monterey and South Egremont schools.
English Language Education (ELE): Students whose first language is other than English are provided with specialized intervention to support their learning and language needs. The district employs a full-time English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher who acts as a direct interventionist, consultant, and advocate for students our English Language Learners (ELL). Access to the general education curriculum is the foremost concern in supporting our ELLs.
Food Services: The Southern Berkshire school lunch program boasts a very high student and staff participation rate. Nutritious meals at very reasonable prices are available daily. The District participates in the National School Lunch Program, which is a federally-assisted meal program. Federal regulations require that schools meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which include recommendations on the nutritional content of the food served, including such things as the percentage of fat allowed, total calories, and vitamin and mineral content. This program also requires that the school district offer free and reduced lunches to income-eligible families. This program not only assists individual families, but also assists the District, as grant funding from several sources increases when more families participate in the Free and Reduced Lunch program. We encourage all eligible families to take advantage of the savings offered through this program.
Transportation: All students are provided bus service to and from school and most routes are quite direct.
Libraries: The Mt. Everett (grades 7-12) and Undermountain (grades PreK-6) schools have libraries with curriculum oriented collections. Both libraries offer resources in a variety of formats and offer access to resources outside the schools through the technology labs for online research and Inter-library loan services.
Child Care Program: The Southern Berkshire Child Care Program operates as a self-supporting entity within the realm of the district. Full-day child care is available at Undermountain School, and after school programs are available at both Undermountain and New Marlborough Schools.
Also of Note: K-12 participation in Massachusetts School Choice Program, attracting a yearly average of 120-130 students from neighboring school districts and communities.