Handbook » Student Handbook - Support Services

Student Handbook - Support Services



Student Handbook 


Special Education 

The Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District provides, or arranges for the provision of each of the elements of the Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students in need of specialized instruction from the age of three through age twenty‑one. A continuum of services are provided to meet the unique needs of students and to develop their individual educational potential. Services are designed to eliminate achievement gaps, minimize the impact of the student’s disability and maximize their achievement, independence and participation in the community. 

AWRSD maintains the belief that all students should be included to the maximum extent appropriate in general education classrooms and in the life of our schools and community. We believe that all students can learn together with the appropriate support. We recognize that students learn best when all are included and viewed as individuals with distinct abilities, strengths and needs. Inclusive practice refers to the instructional and behavioral strategies that improve academic and social-emotional outcomes for all students with and without disabilities in general education settings.

The Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District ensures that each Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed, reviewed, implemented and revised for each student with a disability in accordance with federal and state requirements.

Title I Program 

Title I is a federally funded program to assist students with language and reading skills. Eligibility for Title I services is based on classroom performance and assessments.  Once a student is identified, the Title I teacher will provide Reading Recovery support service to the student for the school year. Title I services are separate from special education. Students do not need to have a special education evaluation to receive services

504 Accommodation Plans 

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance. Section 504 is a non-discrimination statute, which impacts: access to facilities, access to extra-curricular activities, access of parents/guardians with disabilities and access to programs. Please contact your child’s school to be connected with the 504 Coordinator.

CR 10A - Discipline of Students on Section 504 Plans 

The disciplining of students on Section 504 plans is governed by civil rights law and the regulations promulgated thereunder.  

If a student with a Section 504 plan has violated school rules, the school may suspend the student from his or her educational placement for up to ten  school days without consideration of manifestation rights. If a student with a Section 504 plan is suspended for more than ten days in a school year, the  team must conduct a manifestation determination. 

During a manifestation determination meeting, if the team answers yes to either of the following questions, the student’s conduct is considered to be a  manifestation; 

  1. Was the conduct in question caused by the condition related to the student’s 504 determination; or 
  2. Was the conduct in question the direct result of the district’s failure to implement the 504 plan?

When the conduct in question is deemed to be a manifestation of a student’s 504 determination, the team must conduct a functional behavioral assessment  and implement a behavior intervention plan. Regardless of whether a behavior is deemed to be a manifestation or not, the district is obliged to provide  services that will enable the student to continue to receive a free appropriate public education. 

School personnel may order a change in the placement of a student on a section 504 plan to an interim alternative educational setting for up to forty-five  (45) days if the principal deems that the student’s continued presence in school presents a threat to the safety of others in the building. Under the described circumstances in this section, or if the removal of a student will constitute a change in the student’s placement, a student’s 504 team may convene to review  the student’s educational program and the misconduct. 

School Counseling Services 

Students in need of emotional/social services will receive support from existing personnel. Outside agencies such as LUK and YOU, Inc. will be approached to possibly assist the schools with specific needs of students and  families.

All classroom teachers and special education teachers are trained in the social curriculum “Responsive Classroom”. This curriculum helps our students to  develop their self-esteem and learn skills that will enable them to cope with life’s stresses in ways that are conducive to maintaining and building confidence.  Through morning meetings, class meetings, recess social groups, etc. students are taught about the values of respect, responsibility, honesty, tolerance,  perseverance, empathy, and self-control. 

CR 14 - Counseling and counseling materials free from bias and stereotypes 

To ensure that counseling and counseling materials are free from bias and stereotypes on the basis of race, color, sex, gender equity, religion, national  origin, sexual orientation, disability, and homelessness, all counselors:  

  1. encourage students to consider programs of study, courses, extracurricular activities, and occupational opportunities on the basis of individual interests,  abilities, and skills;  
  2. examine testing materials for bias and counteract any found bias when administering tests and interpreting test results;  
  3. communicate effectively with limited-English-proficient and disabled students and facilitate their access to all programs and services offered by the  district;  
  4. provide limited-English-proficient students with the opportunity to receive guidance and counseling in a language they understand; support students in  educational and occupational pursuits that are nontraditional for their gender. 

CR 15 - Non-discriminatory administration of scholarships, prizes, and awards 

Scholarships, prizes, and awards sponsored or administered by the district are free of restrictions.  The Ashburnham Westminster Regional School District prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnicity, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy or pregnancy related conditions, homelessness, age, disability, military/veteran status, and any other class or characteristic protected by law.

List of Community Resources 

The Lipton Center 

The Lipton Center is a comprehensive licensed mental health agency. The center provides a variety of psychiatric services, including child, couple, and  family therapy. 800.469.9888 or 800.345.9500. 

Family Continuity Programs (FCP) 

FCP is a licensed non-profit mental health center that specializes in home-based family counseling and crisis intervention. 800.469.9888 or 800.345.9500. 

Mount Wachusett Community College 

The college offers a variety of free basic skills and GED preparation classes to the community. 978.632.6600. 

Hotline Numbers 

Parents Anonymous 1.800.882.1250 

Alcohol and Drug Abuse Information 1.800.327.5050 

Smoking Cessation Information 1.800.784.8669 (1-800-QUIT-NOW)