Special Education

Mr. Richard Cirillo
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x23028


Mr. Brendan Coan 
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x23088


Ms. Jessica Grote 
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x22088

Ms. Michelle Meyer
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x22168

Mrs. Andrea Montgomery
Miami University B.S. in Education
Walden University M.S. in Science Education
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x2804
website: sites.google.com/site/andreamontgomeryscience
after school availability: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday by appointment

Ms. Abby Magee 
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x24108

 Ms. Jessica Murray 
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x24168
 Ms. Caroline O'Brien 
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x21158
 Mrs. Gina Pyzalski 
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x23068
 Mrs.Alex Storm
email: [email protected]
phone: 464-9600 x24178

Description and Placement

Special Education services are offered only to students who are identified as eligible under I.D.E.A. guidelines. Placements and individual support plans are determined through a Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting, a process that invites active participation from staff, parents, and students. To ensure that every student is provided with the necessary supports in the least restrictive environment (LRE) possible, the department offers a full continuum of support and assigns each student a case-manager. The Special Education Department also provides job-training, school-related counseling services, and post-graduation transition planning.

Courses Offered

Resource In making a smooth transition from middle school to high school, many skills need to be developed to adapt to the different expectations placed on students at the high school level. The goal of the Resource Room program at Ledyard High School is to foster Special Education students who are independent learners, understand their learning styles, can advocate for themselves regarding their learning difficulties, and can meet classroom expectations through self-determination and self-awareness. Typically, case-managers are designated through morning meeting assignments. This guarantees daily contact between case-managers and students on their caseloads. Effort is made to also schedule caseload students to a specific case-managers resource class targeting specific skill instruction. Resource placement is made based on performance on CMT’s and documented disability. Resource class is a full-year course offered on alternating days with the opportunity to earn credit each semester.

Resource 9-10 (1092, 1093, 1094) Resource 9-10 is primarily designed for freshman and sophomore students identified as Special Education students who require the basics in study skills development. The Resource 9-10 program is divided into three specific sections geared towards specific skill deficiency areas in which to improve. Resource 9-10 Literature (1092) focuses instruction in the areas of reading and writing. Direct instruction in the areas of responding to literature, persuasive style writing, and reading for information is stressed. Emphasis is also placed on test-taking exercises in preparation for CAPT testing, as well as self-advocacy skill development. Resource 9-10 Math (1093) focuses instruction in the areas of math and science. Direct instruction in the areas of problem solving is stressed. Resource 9-10 Organization and Study Skills (1094) is designed to assist students who have difficulty with organization, study skills, and assignment completion. Students are placed into the resource section based on specific learning weaknesses and areas of concern regarding academic performance.

Resource 11-12 (1095) Resource 11-12 is designed to ensure that students meet graduation requirements and meet the demands of transitioning to life after high school. The intent of this course is to continue to develop skills in becoming a capable, independent, and responsible student. Focus is also placed on maintaining portfolios for students who need to meet Performance Graduation Requirements, which takes into consideration samples of student work, as well as transition-related materials.

If a scheduling conflict occurs due to an irresolvable conflict in a student’s schedule, the student will be scheduled into an appropriate Resource class with the approval of the Director of School Counseling and Guidance and the Special Education Department Chair.

Special Learning The goal of the Special Learning Program is to work with each student in grades 9-12+ identified through the PPT process as requiring a small group format and increased support to be successful at Ledyard High School. Emphasis will be placed on meeting Performance Graduation Requirements as well as the functional skills necessary for living independently in the community. A case-manager is assigned to each student for the duration of the student’s placement at Ledyard High School. Each of the four core academic areas of Math, English, History, and Science is offered in a self-contained setting with the intention of transitioning to a general education setting to offer instruction in the Least Restrictive Environment. Each student works at his or her own level, and content is adapted to each student’s learning ability.

Special Needs The goal of the Special Needs Program is to work with students identified through the PPT process as requiring an individualized program emphasizing functional and vocational skills. Parents, staff members, and service providers will collaborate to develop a program that provides direct instruction in the functional and independence skills necessary in becoming as independent as possible. Emphasis will be placed on developing relationships with adult service providers and transitioning students to programs that will continue to support students and their families into adulthood.

MSLE Reading (1196) The goal of the MSLE Reading course is to provide support to students having significant reading difficulties through a multi sensory structured language approach. Direct instruction is provided for letter/word identification, alphabet and dictionary skills, reading fluency, phonemic awareness, spelling, comprehension, and composition. Instruction is a combination of whole-class and individualized. The goal of instruction is to sufficiently develop students’ decoding proficiency in order for them to manage the demands and expectations of academic courses and standardized tests as well as to develop and improve their understanding of the link between reading and spelling. Testing in spring will determine continuing in the MSLE Reading course. Graded on pass/fail basis. (2 semesters - .5 credit each semester - meets alternate days).