High Needs Students Planning

High Needs Populations

Per the guidelines from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), “school districts must provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those individuals providing education, specialized instruction and related services to students.” The guidelines prioritize in-person instruction as much as is possible for students with disabilities, particularly preschool-aged students and those with significant and complex needs, while adhering to health and safety requirements in place at the me. In addition, during remote or hybrid models, Gloucester Public Schools will make every effort to continue in-person instruction to these students.

In Person Learning

Preschool students in substantially-separate classrooms will attend school 8:30 am-1:30 pm with bagged lunch served midday. Integrated high-needs preschool students will continue to receive their related services to the extent possible in or out of the classroom. The BCBA, and other related service providers who work with preschool students will modify their schedules so that they are providing services in the preschool building on specific days to minimize the interruption of cohorts during the day.

The elementary sub-separate programs at Veteran’s Memorial and West Parish schools as well as all elementary ELL’s will attend everyday, all day. The elementary schedule for all students will be a day of 4 hours of instruction, therefore, the Language Based classroom, at the East Gloucester Elementary school, will leave after 4 hours of instruction with a grab and go lunch. At all elementary schools, related services providers will schedule their services to minimize foot traffic in and out of schools and classrooms and in a manner that maintains physical distancing requirements and avoids overlapping with other staff in the classroom or physical setting.

The O’Maley Middle School’s one sub-separate class will be in person all day, 5 days/week. In order to prevent the middle school’s multi-grade high needs Learning Center Students from “breaking the cohort” by going back and forth among 6th, 7th, 8th grade and mixing with several cohorts, multiple times/day, the teacher will share her caseload with the Language Based teacher. This will reduce the class size and provide for the minimization of crossing over of those students. Other special education students who receive “B” grid inclusive supports, will be able to access those services as the middle school model of small cohorts enables each grade level liaison to be assigned a cohort keeping in compliance with “B” grid services. Any intensive reading “C” grid services can still be provided in the tutorial fashion with school’s Reading Tutor, keeping grade level students together, to minimize mixing of students across grade level cohorts. An additional support block will be assigned to students on IEP’s to review and practice material taught during the day. These blocks will be facilitated by grade level special education paraprofessionals.

At Gloucester High School, our self-contained Life Skills Program, Partial inclusion Transition Program, Self-Contained Anchor, the Gloucester Alternative Program, will be in-person instruction every day.

Hybrid learning

● When planning for the hybrid learning model, Gloucester will prioritize its ability to continue in-person learning for students with disabilities. Preschool-aged students with disabilities and students with significant and complex needs will be considered for in-person learning as much as possible and attend in-person sessions daily while other cohorts attend only twice a week

● If learning and services are provided remotely during the hybrid model it will follow the guidance listed below in the Remote Learning model.

● In addition, learning and services provided in-person will follow the guidance in the Full time in-person Learning model listed above while meeting current health and safety requirements.

● In-person services may also be offered in the student’s home or in a community setting to ensure that as many services are offered in-person as possible instead of remotely, while also maintaining health and safety guidelines.

Remote Learning

● This model is available for individual students with disabilities who are not returning in-person, and for all students in the event of future classroom or school closures.

● In-person services may occur for some students with significant and complex needs during this model.

● Remote special education and related services will be provided via “Instruction and Service” mode of delivery per DESE guidelines. This mode includes:

    • ○ Time spent interacting directly with teachers and related service providers on a regular basis;

    • ○ Independent work time as appropriate;

    • ○ Opportunities for interactions with classmates.

● The “Instruction and Services” model will include the following components:

    • ○ A regular and consistent schedule of classes, interventions, services and
      therapies as required by the student’s IEP, delivered synchronously or

    • ○ Frequent interactions with teachers and other staff members to ensure
      participation and technical and pedagogical support for family members overseeing remote instruction at home.

English Language Learners

In all three of the proposed Gloucester Public Schools ELL models, In-person learning for our high needs EL learners continues to be a priority. Instruction will be provided in each of the language domains to ensure the academic growth and development of our English Language Learners. Instruction will be provided in reading, writing, speaking, and listening supporting the linguistic and cultural diversity of all students. We will continue to provide a positive, safe environment for learning. English language instruction will be tailored to meet the needs of the individual linguistic, cultural, and educational needs of each student

Gloucester Public Schools continues to adhere to the guidance from DESE as provided for the identification, placement, access to regular and special education services and programming , health/safety and social emotional well-being of all English Language Learners

EL Learners Grades K-5

In-person learning for our high needs EL learners continues to be a priority. Students in grades K-5 will participate in 4 hours of daily learning while adhering to the health/safety guidelines and social distancing protocols as proposed by DESE. EL staff will engage in thoughtful collaboration and planning with all staff to determine scheduling to reduce the size of student grouping for small group services . EL staff will collaborate with classroom teachers to support the needs of their EL students within their larger classrooms.

EL Learners O’Maley Middle School

The hybrid model being pursued at the middle school will pursue bringing students into the school building 4 out of 5 days per week for 4 hours, including a grab-and-go breakfast and lunch for all students and 1 ½ hours of remote learning each of the four afternoons. On the fifth day, high needs students will attend school at the building and all others will participate remotely.

The schedule includes an 8-block rotation over two days containing four core academic classes, a specialist class (art, music, health/PE, coding, library-media, performing arts), a remote learning assistance block and a flex block. Each block is one hour long.

The remote learning in the afternoons will integrate with the in-person instruction by following the flipped classroom model

Included in the model is programming that enhances the student learning experience:

  • A daily homeroom advisory for social emotional learning and connection.

  • Four days in the building with access to teachers, counselors and other support staff.

  • An addition of a flex block during which high needs students will receive intervention support and other students will be provided remediation or enrichment.

  • An addition of a learning assistance block during which organization, habits of mind, and technology skills instruction as well as other assistance will be provided by a special education teacher or paraprofessional.

EL Learners GHS

English learners, students involved in substantially separate special education programs, homeless students, and other identified students will attend school five days per week.

In a hybrid model, A and B cohorts of students can access a full range of courses while maintaining 3 - 6 ft distancing. Additionally, high needs and EL students can be accommodated for in-person learning five days per week.

Dually Identified Students

Gloucester Public Schools continues to serve dually-identified students (ELs with special needs) by providing both EL and special education services, either in person or remotely, as required by students’ IEPs. EL and special education staff will plan and collaborate to ensure that student needs are met. We will provide translated special education and EL reports and interpreters as requested at parent meetings.