Office of Student Services

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Student Services Administrators:

Pamela Plumer, Ph.D., Director of Student Services,

David Messing, M.Ed., Associate Director of Student Services,

Marianne Lockwood, M.M., Interim Associate Director of Student Services,

COVID-19 Updates

Summer Update: Students who are receiving summer programming are being contacted individually by a Special Education Teacher, OT, PT, or Speech Pathologist to arrange a schedule for the summer services. Most academic services are being provided virtually, and some in-person OT, PT is being arranged. We hope to begin on July 13, once we have the proper PPE and have completed all necessary trainings to ensure the health and safety of our faculty and students. Services will only occur in person with parent permission.

Previous Messages:

May 18, 2020

I wanted to give you two updates. First, our department is still in the planning phases of how we will be able to provide summer services to those students whose IEPs call for extended year services. Districts have been waiting for guidance from the state regarding when in-person services will be allowed. As of today’s press conference with Governor Baker, no decision has been made. Last Friday, the guidance we received from DESE is to “plan for continuation of remote learning for the summer” and to “develop readiness for in-person instruction if it becomes possible.” We have surveyed our faculty and have many teachers and related service providers who have said they will work this summer. Our priority is to ensure students receive virtual support until we are able to provide support in-person. We will also be working closely with our department of health to ensure all necessary safety precautions are taken if we are able to return in person sometime this summer. As soon as we have any more guidance, we will share more detailed plans with you.

Also, I wanted to inform you that I have renewed my contract for next year and will be continuing in Northampton. This is such a difficult time, and I am committed to continuing to support your children and our community.

Sincerely, Pam

April 22, 2020

Please see an update from the Student Services Office, here for English and, here for Spanish.

April 17, 2020

Our office has been working with our faculty regarding the completion of our Remote Learning Plans for Services. We have met with almost every school, and those meetings will be completed by Tuesday. We are utilizing the plan that DESE shared last Thursday afternoon. You should receive the document in the next couple of weeks for your child. Please know that while we are trying to complete over 600 plan documents as soon as possible, I have asked our faculty to prioritize the time they are using to provide services and supports for your students. The plans will document the services that we have put in place. And, as I noted in a previous message, those plans may shift over time.

DESE also shared some documents this afternoon. We will be emailing these to families next week, but we are also posting them below.

Family Letter Students With Disabilities – English

Family Letter Students With Disabilities – Spanish

Family Resource Toolbox – English

Family Resource Toolbox – Spanish

Additionally, please see this message regarding Student Services Administrator staffing for the 2020-2021 school year.

April 7, 2020: Click here for our Student Services Remote Learning Letter to Families in English. For the Spanish version of our Student Services Remote Learning Letter to Families, click here.

To view our Special Education Resource Guide for families to use as a resource for this period of school closure, click here. The document also includes a link to technology support in accessing tools like google classroom, clever, etc. in both English and Spanish.

***In addition to our Resource Guide, stay tuned to this site for websites from Related Service Providers, like this one from our OT and PT Departments:***

For our Community Resource Guide for families regarding support for mental or physical health emergencies, food, housing, and unemployment during this period of school closure, click here.

Click here to view the March 18, 2020 Update from the Office of Student Services in English, and here to view in Spanish.

Click here to read a message that was shared on the SEPAC Listserve on March 24, 2020, about staffing changes for Student Services Administrators.


The Northampton School District maintains a continuum of services for eligible special needs children. Services include modifications and accommodations provided within the general education classroom to support children with special needs in regular education, specialized instruction in special education classrooms, substantially separate special education programs, and related services. Related services include speech/language, occupational, and physical therapy, psychological evaluation, specialized consultation, behavioral supports, and school adjustment counseling. Special education programs within the Northampton Public Schools are designed to ensure that eligible children receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

District special education programming conforms to the requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal education program enacted in 1975 to improve educational opportunities for children with disabilities, as well as to the requirements of the Massachusetts Special Education Regulations. Programs provide special education and related services to children who qualify as a child with a disability including:

  • Autism
  • Developmental Delay
  • Intellectual Impairment
  • Sensory Impairment
  • Neurological Impairment
  • Emotional Impairment
  • Communication Impairment
  • Physical Impairment
  • Health Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability

Additional information is available from the Massachusetts Department of Education, your child’s school, or the Northampton Student Services Office:


  • Special Education: Instruction and related services Preschool – 12
  • Students with Limited English Proficiency Instruction for Kindergarten – 12
  • Early Childhood Instruction
  • School Counseling for Kindergarten – 12
  • Americans with Disabilities Act – 504 Compliance and Monitoring

English Language Learners (ELL)

English Language Learners (ELLs) , also referred to as Limited English Proficient or LEP students, are students whose native language is not English and who are not yet able to do ordinary classroom work in English.  Once students are identified as English language learners, they will receive instruction that is designed specifically for learning English and subject matter content in accordance with laws and regulations.  The Northampton Public Schools provides academic and language development support to English Language Learners (ELL) students at all levels and in all of our schools (elementary, middle and high school).

The English Language Learner (ELL) Program ensures students with limited English proficiency have access to educational opportunities by providing services that assist these students with the attainment of English language proficiency, develop high levels of academic attainment in English, and meet the same challenging State academic content and student achievement standards all students are expected to meet. Services to ELL Program students include instructional services consisting of English as a Second Language (ESL) type instruction and acculturation activities. The ELL Program supports Massachusetts Department of Education’s mission to provide standards-based education through supplementary instructional and acculturation activities.

As an English language learner, your child will participate each year in the ACCESS to assess his or her progress in learning English. Parents are informed of the results. Students will also participate in statewide assessments required for all students, including the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS), which assesses your child’s progress in academic subjects.  Parents will receive reports of their child’s test results in a language they understand.

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SePAC)

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