Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

Best Practices Document


Concord Carlisle Regional School District is committed to maximizing each student's opportunities for intellectual and personal development. Whether served under regular education or special education, each student receives highly-personalized support from a coalition of dedicated regular education teachers, support staff, special educators and administrators to maximize his/her potential.

Collaboration for Student Support

One of the most positive qualities of Concord Carlisle Regional High School is the strong cooperative alliance among the Guidance Department, Special Education Department and School Administration in their service of students and their families. Encouraged by sharing the same suite in the CCHS "H" (Humanities) Wing, guidance counselors, adjustment counselors, psychologists, nurses, ESL staff and special educators collaborate regularly about student needs. In addition to student support work with students and parents, administrators regularly participate in student meetings, strategizing individual student needs and reinforcing the decisions of Student Reviews and Team meetings. Weekly staffing meetings, which include members of guidance, special education and administration, focus on high-risk students. Additionally quarterly guidance, special education and administration meetings address more global issues involving student life in the building. As a result of strong administrative support and the well-developed relationships of support staff with regular education faculty, student reviews and IEP meetings are well-attended by regular education teachers, whose input is highly respected as an essential component in planning for students.

Pathways Inclusion Program

A positive extension of the cooperative efforts of all faculty and staff is the recently developed Pathways Program at CCHS.  Deliberately home-based in the Student Support Services suite because of it's high "traffic” of both regular education and special education students, the Pathways Program provides an array of supports and accommodations for 9 -12 students with significant disabilities. While students in the Pathways Program attend regular education classes (often with tutor or teacher support) for the majority of the school day, Pathways meets in its home-based classroom for the first class each day in order to provide for individual related services and small group social/pre-vocational activities. Most Pathways students also return to the program during the last period of the day for tutorial support and communication with parents, when needed. Some of the services available to students in the Pathways Program based on need include:
·    Scheduling flexibility of graduation requirements over 4 -8 years
·    Support of head teacher, .5 additional special education teacher, social worker, and three tutors
·    Social skills training
·    Supported involvement in co-curricular activities and sports
·    Opportunity for part-time vocational training/work experience
·    Range of related services (OT, PT, Speech, etc) paid participation in the “Patriot Canteen” (school store)
·    Highly-individualized programming while maintaining Pathways social community
·    Strong parent involvement and communication
·    Summer program: 5 weeks/3 full days per week including academics, recreation, community experiences
·    Active integration of "typical" students into Pathways activities
·   “Women's” group and “men's” group
·    Parent support around transition planning
·    Individual student therapy/parent support as needed
·    Opportunity for maximum participation in regular education classroom and school life.

Supports for All Students

As the Curriculum Accommodation Plan suggests, CCHS has worked for ten years to establish a broad array of supports available to students with disabilities in both regular education and special education. Initially developed in order to reduce the number of referrals for special education services, regular education tutorials, and numerous other non-special education student supports have greatly reduced the number of students needing IEP’s (presently 11%)and simultaneously provided regular education teachers with ~experiences and training in working with diverse learners, which has benefited everyone.

After almost ten years of working in close cooperation, regular education teachers and special educators have developed strong cooperative relationships allowing for numerous special education/regular education co-teaching opportunities (US History, English, Algebra, Earth Science, Biology, etc) and multiple courses where regular education teachers work cooperatively with special education tutors.  The Special Education and Guidance Department staff enjoys a highly-integrated presence in the larger school environment that has greatly facilitated opportunities to include disabled students in the core of the CCHS culture.

Staff Professional Tutoring

In addition to the generic special education training that each special educator brings to the department, each teacher has been encouraged to identify an area of interest in which they would like to develop an expertise. Such specialization has allowed for the development of more state-of-the-art programming in order to better respond to student needs in the public schoo1 setting. As a result of a comprehensive training, CCHS special education staff is well-equipped to provide student Support in:
·    Behavior Modification
·    Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
·    Non Verbal Learning Disabilities
·    Asperger's Syndrome
·    Lindamood Bell
·    Wilson Reading
·    "LANGUAGE!" (Carroll School) Reading/Writing
·    Women's Issues/Dating Violence
·    Eating Disorders
·    Inclusionary Practices
·    Executive Function Disorders
·    Functions of the Brain in Learning
·    Transition/Post 22 for Disabled Students

An example of the benefits of such training efforts is the Integrated English Course where three teachers blend their individual training in Lindamood, Wilson, "LANGUAGE!", and Stevenson Techniques to offer a well-coordinated remedial reading program (2 sections) which strongly addresses the needs of approximately 20 students.

Transition – Leaving CCHS

CCHS Special education and guidance staff are intensely aware of the importance of post-secondary planning. While all efforts are made to avoid drop-outs earlier in student careers, students who are threatening to leave high school are highly-encouraged to meet with a coalition of guidance, sped and administrative staff in order to explore the array of services available outside of CCHS which can help them pull together their high school diploma. Accordingly, many have returned for advice and support at later points in order to complete GED or diploma programs.

Students with college preparatory programs enjoy an extensive planning program within guidance that begins two years before graduation.  Guidance staff is well trained in college profiling and placement, including schools that provide services for students with disabilities.  Additionally, evening programs are provided to parents in post secondary transitioning and financial aid planning.  CCHS Guidance offers a comprehensive website that is constantly updated with a wide variety of resources for the whole spectrum of the student body.

Parents of students with significant disabilities are encouraged by their case managers to make connections with local agencies (MRC, DMR, DMH, etc.) to begin to plan for post high school needs.  Representatives from these agencies regularly attend meeting at CCHS in order to connect with students and families and to coordinate planning efforts.  Additionally, the Pathways social worker assists parents in filing for Chapter 688 services, assistance SSI, exploring post secondary housing options and vocational programming in order to assure that as much preparation as possible is completed before leaving CCHS.

Entering from Grade 8

Within the transitioning spectrum, CCHS staff is also sensitive to the transition needs of students entering freshman year at CCHS. Guidance staff provides a comprehensive 8th grade orientation programs involving staff, students, and parents each year.  For example, student programs are run in each of the middle schools, acquainting students with programs, activities and expectations at the high school. When needed, the Guidance Chair and Special Education Coordinator meet with middle school support services and administrative staff to review high risk eighth grade students. Each middle school student visits CCHS for a morning where they meet with representatives of each of the academic departments. Lastly, all freshmen begin the school year one day earlier than other students, in order to provide them a day to acclimate and grow comfortable before the general student body returns.  

Special education students enjoy individual transition meetings to plan for the transition of services from middle schools to high school. The TEAM Chair from CCHS meets individually with the student, his parent and middle school teachers to develop a relationship and respond to any individual concerns they might have about the move to CCHS. For students with more complex disabilities, meetings are held during the last weeks of summer with their teachers at CCHS in order to familiarize all with the needed accommodations and instructional modifications before the start of school. Additionally, a student with summer services in their IEP’s attend the “CCHS Pathways Summer Program”, allowing them comfort with the building and with their homeroom teacher before the pressures of the full school year begins.

Parent Involvement

CCHS parents are very actively involved in the life of the high school in a positive and productive way.  Each class has its own parent association that supports student and faculty activities.  The parents association conducts professional workshops and fundraisers, and awards grants to faculty for innovation ideas and instructional products.  Additionally, the principal offers regular parent coffees and opportunities to discuss life at CCHS, augmenting the regular parent input she receives from the Parent Advisory Council.

Crises Intervention

CCHS has a comprehensive approach to student crisis intervention. Each year, all students and faculty receive crisis intervention handbooks outline what to do and how to help in a crisis situation.  All student crises are resolved through a Team approach involving administration, guidance, and other Professional staff.  Staff training for crisis intervention procedure occurs every fall, and non-professional staff regularly receives crises information through their supervisors in order to provide the most sensitive and comprehensive response possible to students in high-risk situations.


In summary, CCHS faculty, staff, parents and administration are highly committed to providing the supports necessary for each student to reach his/her maximum academic and personal potential.  With strong respect for human differences infused within its policies and procedures, Concord Carlisle Regional High School strives to include all students in the fiber of student life, creating a rich and diverse culture, which benefits by the contributions of all.

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Last updated January 23, 2005
By Melody Orfei