The Department of Student Services in the Lenox Public Schools oversees three primary areas of student need: 1. Special Education; 2. English Language Education; 3. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Special education programs are designed for students from the preschool level through either high school graduation or until the student’s twenty-second birthday, if they are not able to meet with success in the regular program as the result of their disabilities. Areas of eligible service areas include autism; developmental delays; intellectual impairments; sensory impairments such as hearing, vision, and deaf-blind; neurological impairments; emotional disturbance; communication impairments; physical disabilities; health impairments and specific learning disabilities. The program serves approximately 9% of the school-wide population. A team, including the student’s parents and school personnel, uses assessment data to design an Individualized Educational Program to provide research-based instruction, accommodations and modifications.
The Department of Student Services provides a full array of comprehensive services to its special education students. The Morris Integrated Preschool Program is fully accredited by the high standards set forth by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). We are very proud of the quality of the developmentally appropriate education provided to our youngest students. Academically, services at all levels are provided based on student need and include small group instruction, tutorials, in-class service delivery, collaborative teaching, and related services such as speech, occupational and physical therapies. School adjustment counselors work with students, families, and outside agencies to address an increasingly demanding array of social, emotional and family issues. The STEP program provides more intensive programming for the most seriously disabled students in the district, focusing on life skills, communication and self-care.
The Department also oversees the English Language Learner Program which provides instruction to meet the needs of those students whose primary or native language is other than English. Lenox continues to see a growing number of English Language Learners in our school system. The number of students meeting this criterion has nearly double in the last several years leading to a more diverse school culture. The district provides ELL instruction, SEI training for classroom teachers, and translation and interpreting services for families.
Student Services also provides administrative assistance coordinating other Civil Rights areas, such as Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act which is a law that prohibits discrimination against staff and students with handicapping conditions. Section 504 guarantees that appropriate accommodations are made in order to prevent discrimination due to a disability.
The Director/Department is responsible for writing many of the school district’s grants. Other responsibilities provided by the department include providing assistance for School-Based Medicaid, McKinney-Vento (Homeless) services as needed, and management of compliance reporting in all related areas.