News from the Director

Welcome to the Willington Public Schools Pupil Services website. Extensive research shows that parent involvement plays a critical role in student success.  The Pupil Services Department values a strong home/school connection and hopes this website will serve as another means of communicating information to parents and community members. 

Special Education:

The Pupil Services Department offers a continuum of services, in compliance with State and Federal guidelines through the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that provides
a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities from 3 years through 8th grade in an environment that is deemed least restrictive for each student. Special education and related service personnel include special education teachers, a school psychologist, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapist, physical therapist, social worker and school counselor who provide services to students as outlined in an individual education plan (IEP).  All special education personnel collaborate with regular education staff to ensure special needs students are able to successfully participate in the regular education curriculum to the greatest extent possible.

Child Find
In accordance with federal regulations, Willington Public Schools is responsible to identify and evaluate all children with disabilities from age 3 through 8th grade who are in need of special education and related services.  Parents of children birth through age 2 should reach out to Connecticut Birth to Three for resources that are appropriate for their concerns and their family’s needs. Children in Willington ages 3 and 4 are screened during Preschool and/or Kindergarten registration each spring. Older students may be identified for further testing at various stages of their education.


Before a student is referred to determine eligibility for Special Education and Related Services, alternate strategies are explored in the general education environment.  While some students respond well to additional supports within general education, others may not make adequate progress which may lead a teacher or family member to suspect that the student may have a disability.  In these situations, a referral may be made and a Planning and Placement Team (PPT) meeting called in order to determine how to best evaluate the child to determine whether special education is required.  The Planning and Placement team is unique to each child and includes the student’s parents, teachers, administrators, and providers who may be called upon to evaluate for specific services.  These services may include Speech and Language Pathology, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and/or Counseling.


Eligibility determination is guided by whether the student qualifies using federal and state guidelines for eligibility.  Additionally, the Planning and Placement Team must consider whether the student requires specialized instruction and/or whether accommodations and modifications are needed.  Students who have been identified as qualifying for eligibility under the law and require specialized instruction are provided supports and services within the school environment so that they may access the general education curriculum and succeed to the best of their ability.  An Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is developed to address the student’s individual needs and plan the type, amount and location of the supports and services to be provided. 

Section 504

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, commonly referred to as "Section 504", is a non-discrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. The purpose of the Act is to prohibit discrimination and to assure that disabled students have educational opportunities and benefits equal to those provided to non-disabled students. An eligible student under Section 504 is a student who has, or has a record of having, or is regarded as having, a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities such as learning, self-care, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, working, and performing manual tasks.

Parent participation in the Special Education and 504 process is critical.  Please refer to other sections of the Pupil Services website for more information and do not hesitate to contact the Pupil Services Office, School Principal or your child’s teacher for further information.  Your thoughts and suggestions are always welcomed as we work together to partner in your child’s education.


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