Dr. Suzanne Vinnes

Director of Student Services

220 Central Street, Hingham, MA 02043
781-741-1500 Ext. 3
[email protected]

Elizabeth O’Neill

Assistant Director of Student Services

220 Central Street, Hingham, MA 02043
781-741-1500 Ext. 3
[email protected]


Hingham Public Schools is committed to an inclusive philosophy of education. Students with disabilities are educated, to the maximum extent possible, with their typically developing peers. The district operates several substantially separate programs and classrooms designed to provide students with the necessary skills and knowledge to find personal and academic success. The Student Services and related services departments seek to provide the necessary infrastructure to support all students’ learning in our strong general education curriculum. This infrastructure includes committed school-based and district-wide leadership, democratic classrooms, supportive school cultures, responsive instruction, knowledgeable and accessible support staff, and an engaging and relevant curriculum.

The Director of Student Services ensures that the Hingham Public Schools implementation of the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks is accessible to all students. Hingham Public Schools has developed a comprehensive District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP) which is used uniformly across all grades and curriculum areas.

The Director of Student Services monitors the implementation of procedures to identify students eligible for special education and/or related services and to further provide these students with a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. The Assistant Director of Student Services monitors the collaborative and private school placements of students who are unable to be educated in Hingham Public Schools.

The Director of Student Services strives to continuously improve special education.

Parents are encouraged to participate in planning and evaluating programs and procedures through the Special Education Parent Advisory Council, which works collaboratively with the Director of Student Services to create and maintain high-quality programs of excellence.

For more information regarding Student Services and/or related services, as well as the Parent Advisory Council, please browse these pages and/or contact the Student Services Office at 781-741-1500 ext. 3.


Resources


News


Student Support Services

Guiding Principles

What makes me qualified?

Special Education Services are designed to help a student make effective progress in regular education. In order to qualify for special education services, a child must:

  • have a disability
  • not be making effective progress due to the disability
  • require specially designed instruction to make effective progress and/or
  • require related services to access the general curriculum

Disability Categories

The designated disability categories recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Education include the following:

  • Autism
  • Communication
  • Developmental Delayed (only until age 9)
  • Sensory/Hearing Impaired or Deaf
  • Sensory/Vision Impaired or Blind
  • Emotional
  • Health
  • Intellectual
  • Sensory/Deaf-Blind
  • Neurological
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Physical
  • Multiple Disabilities

Students with disabilities are provided with specially designed instruction, inclusive and/or individualized educational support, assistive technology resources, parent and staff consultation, related services, and opportunities with which to achieve success in middle and high school as indicated by the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP). The individual education program is designed for each eligible student by the school-based special education team. The individual student is also included when the student is fourteen years of age or older. The individual education plan is reviewed on an annual basis, with a three-year re-evaluation of eligibility occurring on a three-year cycle. Some students with disabilities may qualify for accommodations in the classroom through a 504 plan.

Middle School

At Hingham Middle School, students are assigned to one of the following courses as specified in their Individual Education Program (IEP).

  • 006 Strategies for Learning Grades 6
  • 007 Strategies for Learning Grades 7
  • 008 Strategies for Learning Grades 8

High School

At the high school level, special education course instruction is designed to provide an introduction to the skills needed to be a successful and independent learner. Students develop and utilize learning strategies addressed in Student Learning Expectations 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7.

9th Grade Strategies for Learning

3 periods per cycle – 2.5 credits; 6 periods per cycle – 5 credits
Emphasis placed on organizational, reading, writing, and math skills, test preparation, and time management. Students will become aware of their own learning styles and practice effective learning strategies.

10th Grade Strategies for Learning

3 periods per cycle – 2.5 credits; 6 periods per cycle – 5 credits
Continued emphasis on language, math, and study skills. Students will continue to address skills in goal setting, communication, as well as self-advocacy.

11th Grade Strategies for Learning

3 periods per cycle – 2.5 credits; 6 periods per cycle – 5 credits
Emphasis on student responsibility, effective time management, college or career exploration, and preparation.

12th Grade Strategies for Learning

3 periods per cycle – 2.5 credits; 6 periods per cycle – 5 credits
Continued emphasis on personal academic goals including: organization, planning, effective decision making, and ongoing utilization of learning strategies.

Grades 6-12: Specialized course work in English skills, math skills, and reading skills designed to achieve individual student IEP goals and benchmarks as recommended by the school special education teams

Grades 6-12: English Language Education Services (ELE) are provided as necessary upon assessment by the ELE teacher, including Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) and English Language Development (ELD).