Special Education

jack-reading-to-classSpecial Education Department
Director, Jack Tiano
tianoj@georgetown.k12.ma.us
978-352-5777 ext 100
  • Updates

It is both an honor and a privilege to have been selected as your new Director of Special Education. I am eager to begin providing programming, support, and intervention for your children. Please know that I am here for the community, and my door is always open should you want to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have.

I come to you with over twenty years of experience in special education. I began my career working in residential treatment, and have worked in public schools in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts for the past 11 years. I have been fortunate to work with children in several different capacities throughout the years, as a paraprofessional, teacher, assistant principal, principal, and district special education director.

I earned my Masters’ Degree in 1997 from Rivier University in Special Education, with a focus on emotional and behavioral disabilities.  Students with challenges in this area have always been my passion, and I believe I will bring expertise in this area to Georgetown.  I firmly believe in educating the whole child, and believe that social and emotional development is just as important as academic achievement.  I believe in the power of play, and that building strong relationships is the key to helping students feel confident and happy in school.  In order to be truly successful, I feel that students need to learn such skills as critical thinking, listening, collaboration, and self-reflection.

Most importantly, I am completely committed to ensuring that your children are well cared for during the school day, and beyond. I hope to bring some of my successes here, while maintaining the positive spirit and culture that is Georgetown Public Schools. I greatly appreciate all opinions and advice, as I work with staff to ensure that all students feel comfortable, safe, and successful in the educational environment.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Jack Tiano

 

Special education refers to specially designed instructional services beyond the general classroom program. It is for children with disabilities in one or a combination of any of the following areas: health, physical, developmental, sensory, intellectual, neurological, emotional, communication, or specific learning issues which impact their ability to make effective progress in school. Services may include classroom modifications, physical/occupational/speech therapy, or placement in a specialized program or school.

Prior to a student being referred for a special education evaluation, it is the school district’s responsibility to ensure a variety of instructional supports and/or classroom accommodations have been attempted within the general education setting.  Documentation of the use of instructional supports and/or accommodations must be made part of the student’s record.

A parent/guardian, teacher, or other professional may refer a student for an evaluation through special education.  When a student is referred for a special education evaluation, written consent from the parent/guardian must be obtained prior to beginning the evaluation process period.  The evaluation must be sufficiently comprehensive to assist in identifying all of the student’s possible special education and related service needs.  The type of evaluation tools and professionals evaluating each student depends on each student’s individual needs.

After all evaluations are completed, the Team (consisting of parents/guardians, evaluators, teachers, a Team leader, and any other necessary school staff) will convene to determine whether the lack of progress is the result of a disability and whether the student requires specially designed instruction in order to make progress and access the general education curriculum. The team may find the student eligible for special education services or may make a finding of no eligibility.  If the student is found not eligible, the Team may explore other programs and/or supports within the school that are available to the student.

If a student is determined to be eligible for special education services, the Team will develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP).  An IEP is a legal document which defines individualized objectives for a student found to have a disability as defined by federal regulations.  The IEP must be tailored to the individual student’s needs and will drive the student’s placement.  Once the IEP is written, the parent/guardian must sign consent for the proposed services to begin.

Any questions or concerns regarding special education services in Georgetown should be forwarded to Jack Tiano, Director of Special Education. Mr. Tiano can be reached at (978) 352-5790 x525 or tianoj@georgetown.k12.ma.us.

For more information about special education, please follow the links below to the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Is Special Education the Right Service? A Technical Assistance Guide
Parent’s Notice of Procedural Safeguards
IEP Process Guide
Special Education
Disabilities and Disability Related Links
603 CMR 28.00: Special Education Laws and Regulations