The Berkshire Hills Regional School District offers many ways for students to get support for their academic, social and emotional needs.  Your child’s classroom or subject area teacher can be a resource to you if you have questions about your child’s growth and learning.  Guidance counselors and the principal or assistant principal are other resources for all parents.  These staff members are available to answer questions, provide advice and further explore a concern you bring to them. Instructional supports are available in general education in each of our schools.  These supports may be just the boost your child needs to find success.

There are times when staff or parents believe that a student’s learning is compromised by a disability.  Special Education provides an eligibility process for students who are suspected of having a disability.  In order to determine eligibility, a focused assessment in the area of the suspected disability is completed by BHRSD staff.  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides several documents that describe educational disabilities and the process of special education eligibility determination.

Building Based Specialized Programs

Monument Mountain Regional High School

Autism Program

The Autism Program focuses on supporting students achieve grade level academic goals freshman through senior year of high school; including preparing for and passing MCAS.  Additionally, there is a focus on pre-vocational and vocational skills with a transition to Bridging the Gap to develop independent living skills as determined by the student’s Team.  The program also allows for students to develop strategies and skills for de-escalation and self-regulation.

Bridging the Gap (BTG)

Bridging the Gap enables students to build practical skills beyond high school, become active participants in society who are respected for their abilities, and enrich the diversity of their community.  Bridging the Gap serves high school students with Autism and intellectual disabilities up to the age of 22.

Life Skills Program

The Life Skills Program serves students with intellectual disabilities.  The program offers classes that focus on students becoming active citizens in their community, employable, and successfully transitioning into the community as contributing, young adult members.  Classes include: reading, mathematics, social studies, science, health, computers, physical education, and art.  Community integration and development of skills are the heart of the Life Skills Program.

Du Bois Regional Middle School

Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC)

The Therapeutic Learning Center (TLC) is a program that supports the integration of students with moderate to severe disabilities within the Monument Valley learning community.  The focus of the program is curriculum modifications and interventions designed to meet the individual goals of the students.  Some students use the TLC room for a large portion of the day for core academic and social/emotional learning, while other students are monitored by the TLC staff as they have a more conventional schedule of classes and experiences.  The ultimate goal of the TLC program is to provide the necessary supports to allow students to participate and be included in as many academic and social experiences within Monument Valley as possible.

Muddy Brook Regional Elementary School

Aloha Program

The Aloha program is a substantially separate program that works with children with ASD and developmental delays.  The program focuses on developmental skills in five domains: functional academics, communication and language skills, activities of daily living, social/interpersonal skills, and play and leisure skills.  The teaching practices in the classroom are based on Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA).  Additional practices that are implemented include a multi-sensory approach, use of social stories, use of augmentative communication and visual support systems, and integration with typical aged peers.    

Integrated Pre-Kindergarten Program

The Integrated Pre-Kindergarten Program is for students aged 3-5 years with developmental delays, communication delays, and other disabilities and peers partners.  The philosophy of the program is to offer an educational program that brings together students with special needs and children without special needs so that all children learn to see strengths in each other and accept others’ limitations without the prejudices that may come at a later age.  The beliefs of John Piaget and David Elkind form the philosophical basis for this program.  The children in this program are at different stages of development.  Children at this age learn through watching their peers and being part of a child-centered, teacher-directed classroom in which each child is able to reach the highest age-appropriate level of development.