Special education programs and services in Brookline are designed to meet the specific needs of students with disabilities in the least restrictive setting, meaning that regular education classrooms have the appropriate aids and support, alongside non-disabled peers as determined by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.
Brookline offers several programs to meet the needs of students with disabilities which are described below. Related services are also provided and are listed following the program descriptions. The professional staff that delivers special education services are certified and trained to work with a wide range of students with specific disabilities. When the nature and/or severity of the student’s disability is such that a less restrictive environment with the use of supplementary aides and services would not meet the student’s needs consideration is given to district-wide programs and then to collaborative and out-of-district placements.
Through the IEP team process, students can receive services in any composite program designed individually and drawing from our comprehensive resources.
Learning Centers are available in all elementary schools. The Learning Centers are designed to provide a range of services to students with varied mild to moderate disabilities. Learning Centers focus on assisting students in meeting the curricular demands of each grade. In addition, specific services include but are not limited to direct instruction in reading, mathematics and written language. Learning Centers provide students with academic support and assistance in developing organizational skills, executive function skills and study skills. Small group instruction and individualized instruction are used to assist students in achieving individual student IEP goals.
Learning Center special education teachers consult to general education staff members and to the parents as needed. Learning Center teachers also assist in the development and implementation of appropriate modifications and accommodations. Learning Centers provide students and teachers with a level of understanding for each student's disability(ies) and areas of strength as well as self-advocacy skills appropriate to the grade level of the student.
Learning Center - Key Points
- Assists students in meeting curricular demands
- Direct instruction
- Academic support
- Organizational skill development
- Classroom accommodation and modification support
- Study skill development
- Executive function skill(s) development
- Instruction and assistance in use and application of assistive technology
- Disability awareness, ability awareness and development of self-advocacy skills
SYSTEM-WIDE K-8 PROGRAMS
System-wide programs exist in Brookline to provide students with intensive disabilities a higher level of individualization and support as well as structured, separate environments when deemed necessary by a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) team.
Adaptive Learning Center Program (ALC) - Lincoln School
This program services students with both complex academic and medical profiles. Some students have medically complex profiles. The Adaptive Learning Center (ALC) serves students in grades K-8 who have a wide range of disabilities including developmental, physical and cognitive disabilities.
Language & Academic Home Base (LAHB) - Driscoll School
This program serves students of average or above-average cognitive abilities for whom learning is challenging due to specific learning disabilities in one or more of the basic perceptual processes involved in understanding or using written or spoken language. These disabilities may manifest themselves in problems of listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling and/or performing mathematical calculations. Instruction is provided in small groups. Students receive remediation in their weaker skills and are taught compensatory strategies that draw on their stronger learning areas. Students may be in general education classes and are provided additional support, when deemed necessary. Speech and language services are integral to this program. Consultation is provided to general education staff members.
Reaching for Independence Through Structured Education (RISE) - Runkle School
A team approach to service delivery is utilized for students participating in the RISE program. These students receive academic instruction, social skills training, behavioral intervention and related services. Services are provided in range of settings from substantially separate to full inclusion in a general education classroom. A primary focus for all RISE students is to increase independence with a variety of skills including self-help, social skills, behavior management, academics, communication, and executive functioning.
Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC) - Ruffin Ridley (Formerly Coolidge Corner) School
The TLC is a special education and supportive service-based program for students with a history of emotional disabilities which impact their learning. The TLC provides the following as deemed necessary by each individual student’s IEP; direct instruction in a separate setting, support in general education, adaptations of the educational environment, positive behavior intervention plans, instruction in relaxation techniques, and counseling.