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Student Services & Special Education

Paraprofessional assisting a student with a project

Every child has the right to a free, appropriate public education

The Norwich Public Schools subscribes to the concept that all students must be provided with quality instruction and opportunities for academic achievement. All members of the school district community have a shared understanding of the legal and regulatory requirements for the provision of a public school education and specifically, the requirements for the provision of special education and related services to students with disabilities who are eligible for special education. Special education is provided to a child, between the ages of three and twenty-one with an identified disability who needs a specially designed instructional program to meet his or her unique needs and to enable the child to access the general education curriculum of the school district.


The mission of the Special Education Program is to individualize the instruction and support of special education students based on specific identified needs in order for them to achieve at their highest level. 


To prescriptively address identified areas of academic and/or behavior deficits through the use of evidence-based practice and curriculum that focuses on closing learning gaps and preparing our students for the future.

We Believe

  • Special education is not a place, but an array of services and supports for students, staff and parents that provides students with disabilities the curriculum and learning experiences of the public school, including nonacademic and extracurricular activities, through an individualized education program which addresses the students’ needs and concerns.
  • The goal of special education in Norwich is to provide each child with individualized instruction which will allow the student to compensate for his or her disability, to overcome the disability where possible, and to maximize the student’s functioning toward realization of full potential.
  • Parents are valuable partners in planning, evaluating and implementing their child’s program, as well as throughout their child’s educational career. Parents are encouraged to ask questions and take part in all aspects of their child’s education.
    Inclusion is a philosophy where all students are members of the general education classroom as a community.
  • Students with disabilities will be seen by the general education staff as having particular obstacles to overcome and shall be helped accordingly, and students will be educated in the least restrictive environment which allows for maximum contact and participation with non-disabled peers.
  • A spectrum of services offered both within and outside of the general education classroom will help bridge the learning gaps for special education students.

Additional Student Services

First page of the PDF file: NPSFamilyResourceGuide11722

This packet contains 30 pages of local resources for families- including food assistance programs, domestic violence, utility assistance, health care, mental health, counseling, transportation, employment services, parenting classes and many more. NPS updates this packet regularly as more resources become available.

First page of the PDF file: Helping_Our_Children_Supporting_Their_Mental_Health

This packet is designed to help families in crisis. This provides practical advice for parents of children who are depressed, anxious, suicidal and engaging in self-harm. This information highlights alternatives to the Emergency Department, how to locate counselors for your child, developing family plans, using school resources, etc.


Lisa Hughes

Director of Student Services