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Special Education Programs and Services

Stamford Public Schools offers a varierty of programming and services designed to meet the unique and individual needs of our students. Stamford Public Schools strives to provide appropriate educational programming in the least restricte environment for students ages3-22 under IDEA )individuals with Disabilities Education Act.) 


General Education Environment

Students with disabilities may be able to fully participate in general education while having their individual needs met through resource.

Inclusion/Co-Taught Throughout the District

Designed for students with educational disabilities who are able to access general education with minimal supports from the special education teacher. Progress towards meeting the general education standards are closely monitored. 

Resource and Academic Support Middle and High Schools

These courses provide direct support to students, focusing on the continuous development of academic excellence as related to their individualized educational plans. Individual instruction is provided in areas executive functioning, self-advocacy, self-management an student-specific academic goals.

CORE - Creating Opportunities for Readiness and Exploration 

Designed for students that have challenges with intellectual functioning, social and daily living skills. CORE classroom have at least one teacher, three paraeducators and up to 10 students. Students are assigned to both their CORE classroom and a general education classroom in order to ensure growth and development in the areas of social pragmatics, participation in school activities and activities of daily living. Related service supports include BCBA, Speech and Language, Social Skills, Occupational and Physical Therapy, as well as, Art and Music Therapy.

STARR Program 

This program is specifically designed for students who have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Students enrolled in these programs typically have difficulties with behavior, social skills and learning in a general education setting. The STARR classrooms focus on delivering instruction while utilizing ABA methodology with BCBA supervision. Classrooms have one teacher and up to four paraeducators. LEarning takes place in small groups with individual instruction. Data is taken to inform the team and help drive educational decision making. Related services can include BCBA, Speech and Language Therapy, Social Skills, Occupational and Physical Therapy, as well as, Art and Music Therapy.

TEAM - Together Everyone Achieves More 4 Schools 

This program currently services students that are medically fragile and require nursing care. Students require adaptive equipment, Augmentative and Assistive Technology in order to access the curriculum. Art and Music Therapy are provided to support the student’s ability to become connected to their environment. Students are assigned to a TEAM class and general education class to support inclusive opportunities and maintain relationships within the school community. 

REACH - Therapeutic Classrooms

This program focuses on students that have intensive social-emotional needs that prevent them from being successful in larger academic settings. Students  have problematic behaviors, trouble focusing on independent activities and appropriate peer interactions. Students in the REACH program receive five hours a week of BCBA consult and support from Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT). Students benefit from a whole class contingency management system in order to support the development of prosocial behaviors. Related services can include BCBA, Speech and Language Therapy, Social Skills, Occupational and Physical Therapy.

STS - Stamford Transition Services

Stamford Transition Services is a community-based transition program under Stamford Public Schools which is available to eligible young adults ages 18-22 with disabilities who have completed their high school academic requirements and are in need of developing functional skills in the three areas of transition: independent living, employability, and post-secondary education. Students who attend Stamford Transition services spend approximately 80% of their day with non-disabled peers both on immersive community trips and at various worksites developing skills and gaining real-world experiences. Stamford Transition Services provides students with individualized access to the acquisition of functional skills needed to live as independently as possible in their community as adults. Students are provided with direct instruction both in the program and in the community through experiential learning. 

STEPS Program

The STEPS Program provides academic, social, and emotional programming for academically curious students. STEPS students are more successful in a therapeutic setting, and the program includes both academic teachers and social workers to support student progress. STEPS Students participate in small-group academic sessions, individual counseling, and groups counseling. The experiential Friday curriculum provides project-based learning through a variety of opportunities to build community and support students in their academic engagement.

ARBOR Program

Students enrolled in this program are secondary students in grade 6 through 12, that have a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder with cognitive and academic skills in the average range. Students may demonstrate challenges in social/emotional skills, executive functioning, pragmatic, expressive and receptive language, difficulty accessing, academic and social components of the general education setting without modifications, accommodations, and adult support. Students may benefit from a wide range of supports that could include: direct instruction provided by special education teacher to support, academic planning & instruction. Related support services, such as BCBA consult, social skills/counseling training, speech and language support, para educator support/RBT, a behavior intervention plan, OT, PT, nursing care, special education transportation, sensory strategies, daily living and life skills instruction, and AAC/AT. Students will also receive college & career planning provided by a school counselor. Classes in this program focus on delivering instruction using ABA methodology with BCBA consultation. Special education services are provided as a push in support that proactively partner with general education teachers to individually tailor student accommodations and modifications. Executive functioning skills are directly targeted through direct instruction and unique project-based learning in the ASD classroom.

Apples Early Childhood Center

The APPLES Early Childhood Educational Center provides high quality Early Childhood Education to a diverse population of preschool children based on their educational profile. The program enables students with special education needs to learn alongside their general education peers, when appropriate, in a safe, nurturing, and responsive environment. All children are appropriately challenged through intentionally planned learning experiences, aimed at developing their academic, communication, physical, creative and social skills.The APPLES Early Childhood Educational Center prepares each and every student for their career in Education and beyond. We share the Stamford Public Schools Mission to provide an Early Childhood education experience that cultivates productive habits of mind, body and heart in every student with the support of our families. Diversity of every type is explored, recognized and appreciated at APPLES. APPLES’ students develop the skills to honor, understand, and celebrate the differences and similarities in each of us through a genuine multicultural education. We strive to provide experiences that empower and prepare children to become successful participants in their community. In recognition of Stamford Public Schools’ Mission, APPLES is dedicated to providing an early childhood education that cultivates productive habits of mind, body and heart of three and five year old students to meet the CT ELDS and be ready to enter Kindergarten with the support they need to be successful students and productive members of society.


Staff Contacts


Name Title Email Phone

Meghan Osowiecki

Jon Panzer

Kerry Duffy

Melissa Castiglia

Marshall Medley

Shana Halsey

 Director of Special Education for Specialized Programs

Assistant Director of Related Services (Stark, Springdale, Stillmeadow, Westover, Rogers, Toquam, K.T. Murphy

Assistant Director Special Education (Davenport, Newfield, Roxbury, Northeast, Hart, Strawberry Hill,  Apples Specialized Programs )

Assistant Director of Special Educa    tion (Cloonan, TOR, AITE, Westhill, Strawberry Hill -6th-8th, IEP Compliance)

Assistant Director of Special Education (Dolan, Ripp, Scofield, Stamford High, Rogers 6th-8th, Curriculum & Instruction)

Interim Assistant Director of Special Education (Curriculum Specialized Reading)