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Special Education

Six students of varying traits and abilities with phrase Learning Knows No Bounds



Dear Parents, Students and Families of the Springfield Public Schools,

Welcome to the 2020-2021 school year! As you know, the Springfield Public Schools will be opening remotely for all students to insure the health and safety of students and staff.   In order to provide information on the delivery of services for students with disabilities during this period of remote learning, please refer to the Special Education Remote Learning Plan and Instructional Vision belowThe Special Education Department is committed to providing all students with disabilities the services as indicated in their Individualized Educational Plans as well as maintaining ongoing communication and outreach to families to support the delivery of services.

Please stay safe and healthy during this challenging time.


September 15, 2020- First Day of School for Grades 1-12

September 21, 2020- First Day of School for Kindergarten

September 28, 2020- First Day of School for Preschool



During this time of remote learning, the Springfield Public Schools is committed to providing  a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in accordance with state and federal guidelines to every student with a disability through a variety of developmentally appropriate, inclusive, and accessible learning opportunities. Services will commence for students with disabilities in accordance with the appropriate grade level as indicated above.


  • Meaningful access to content learning with special education supports
  • Specialized instruction, related services and accommodations to develop IEP goals and objectives as indicated on Individualized Educational Plans.
  • Appropriate rigor and expectations to meet standards with tiered supports


  • Approach with an attitude of caring and compassion for everyone
  • Safety and well-being of students, families, and staff continues to be top priority
  • Focus on equity for our most vulnerable students
  • Maintain connections between school staff, students, and families
  • Ensure compliance with IDEA while offering educational services and related supports
  • Provide services differently in these unusual circumstances than when school is fully operational
  • Provide access, accommodations, and services remotely
  • Provide a sense of structure, routine, and predictability in a time of change for students and families.


  • Provide supports and resources including academic and social emotional check-ins, technology supports and resources as well as daily contact with teachers, paraprofessionals and related service staff.
  • Recognize that remote learning comes in many forms and can be a combination of real time, virtual lessons, pre-recorded lessons and independent work.
  • Provide instruction and services (which include whole class, small group, individualized)


  • All students with disabilities will have services provided remotely as indicated in their IEP to ensure FAPE.
  • Remote learning for students with disabilities will include a regular and consistent schedule of classes, interventions, services, and therapies as required by the student’s IEP, offered synchronously (virtual, real time) and asynchronously (pre-recorded lessons, etc. )as appropriate.
  • Any changes to the delivery of services in the IEP will be discussed with parents and documented in a notice to parents in the language of the home.
  • All students and families have the technology tools and knowledge to be successful when learning remotely.
  • Educators, including teachers, paraprofessionals and related service providers will provide daily contact with students and families including ongoing academic and social emotional supports as well as outreach to provide screening and referrals for community services.
  • Individualized Remote Learning Plans for each student with disabilities will be developed and provided with the student and family in the language of the home.



June 15, 2020

Special Education Extended Year Summer Services Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

On June 4, 2020 Commissioner Riley sent out Initial Guidance on Summer Re-Opening to help districts assess if in-person summer learning would be feasible for students and staff.  On June 7, 2020 Guidance on Summer 2020 Special Education Services was sent out by Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner and State Director of Special Education.  Guidance indicates that remote learning may continue to be the most feasible and safest option for many districts and schools this summer, however, schools and districts should employ their best efforts to provide as many in-person services to high priority students this summer as is possible while insuring safety to all.  At this time, the Springfield Public Schools will start the summer extended year of 2020 remotely in order to provide the continuity of learning to our students.  We will work hard to explore options to provide in-person services to high priority students on a limited basis as the summer progresses, however, challenges include the lack of availability of protective equipment, the necessary training of staff and the ongoing preparation of our buildings.  Please know that we are committed to providing the best services possible to our students and your children under these very difficult circumstances and will continue to provide you with updates as changes happen.  Hoping everyone is staying safe and healthy.


Thank you,


Dr. Mary Anne Morris

Executive Director of Special Education and Related Services

April 23, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,


Since the recent announcement that the state has ordered schools to remain closed for the remainder of the academic year, it is important for the Springfield Public Schools to work closely with you and your child to offer ongoing learning opportunities and keep your children engaged.

The Federal and State government require districts to provide Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to students with disabilities. It is clear that FAPE does not mean that districts are required to fully implement a student’s IEP during this period of school closure and that the determination of how FAPE is to be provided may need to be different in this time of unprecedented national emergency.

The goal of remote learning during this time will focus on reinforcement of skills already taught this year and to apply and deepen these skills. Remote learning can be accessed in different ways depending on the individual needs and profiles of each student. Special educators will continue to work closely with general education staff to support the learning of children with disabilities as they access general education curriculum resources.  In some cases, special education teachers will work directly with students and families to support specialized instruction as indicated in the IEPS.  Related service providers such as occupational and physical therapists, speech and language therapists, behavior/autism  specialists and counselors will also work closely with parents and children to access learning during this time.  Remote learning may be different for each student and could be comprised of work packets delivered to the home, student-teacher virtual contact, or more specialized programs such as Unique Learning and Teachtown, and online resources that can be found at

Beginning April 27, 2020, the Springfield Public Schools will begin to hold annual review meetings remotely for IEPS that have expired during the March 13, 2020- end of year period. Evaluation Team Leaders (ETLS) will be reaching out to parents/guardians by phone or email to establish a mutually agreed upon time and date to hold the meeting.  Special education staff will review the student’s progress and update goals and objectives using data through March 13, 2020.

If we are unable to arrange an annual review with you remotely during this time or you choose not to participate in a remote meeting, we will convene a team meeting once school opens.

The Special Education Remote learning Plan can be found at:

Special Education in a Remote Learning Environment Revised 5-18-2020

Please visit this website periodically for further updates.

Thank you and stay safe,

Dr. Mary Anne Morris

Executive Director of Special Education and Related Services  

Seven children, two children in wheelchairs, smiling and looking forward

Please go to the Resources page for links for additional resources




The Department of Pupil Services is comprised of the Special Education, Guidance, Student Support, Alternative Schools, Nursing and Health Services, and Student Attendance Units. Special Education is the largest of all the units in the department and is charged with meeting the educational needs of over 5,000 students with disabilities in the District while maintaining compliance with state and federal regulations. The Special Education Department also oversees all related services such as physical/occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and school psychology services, and provides on-going professional development throughout the district to teachers and staff. Other compliance issues relevant to the Office of Civil Rights are also handled through the Pupil Services Department.

 The lower level of the PACE Center is not accessible for some persons with physical impairments.  Individuals with disabilities may contact Jeffrey Welch, Senior Administrator of the PACE Center at 413-787-6959 ext. 49840 with questions or to request accommodation.  


 This website will be updated periodically.  


Nursing Department

District Nursing Code of Ethics:

Parent Information

Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) Meeting

Special Education: Monitoring & Compliance

Frequent Questions

Department Info

Department Head:

Dr. Mary Anne Morris, Executive Officer of Special Education and Related Services


413-787-7100, 55690


8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Central Office
1550 Main Street
Springfield, MA 01103



Four students standing on right, three students on left, one in wheelchair and one seated on chair, looking at white board in center
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