Welcome to the Special Education Department

In accordance with IDEA-2004, each special needs school-age child has the right to an appropriate and individualized educational program. Eligibility for special education services is dependent on 1) an inability to progress effectively in a regular educational program and 2) a need for special education intervention because of temporary or more permanent adjustment difficulties or attributes arising from intellectual, sensory, emotional or physical factors, cerebral dysfunctions, perceptual factors, or other specific learning disabilities, or any combination of the above.

When there is a concern about a child’s performance in school, a referral for an evaluation can be made by school personnel, parents/guardians, judicial officer, social worker, family physician or by the child. Referrals are made to the guidance counselor or building principal.

On the basis of referral concerns and questions, an evaluation will be conducted by trained personnel in those areas (such as reading, mathematics, cognition, etc.) agreed upon by members of the evaluation TEAM, which includes parents/guardians. If a child is found to have special needs which cannot be adequately met within regular education, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) must be developed and signed by parents/guardians before a child can begin to receive special education services. The Special Education Department at the middle school provides a range of services to meet the individual needs of students. These services include:

  • Supporting the performance of students in regular education classes
  • Providing consultation to regular education teachers around curriculum modification or behavior management techniques
  • Small group remedial instruction or academic support in the Learning Center
  • A┬ácounseling group designed to address the affective, social and personal development of students
  • Speech and language services, and occupational therapy services

These services are specifically prescribed for a student at the recommendation of all members of the Evaluation TEAM. The progress of each student is regularly reviewed at an annual meeting convened by the Case Manager assigned to the student. In addition, every three years a student receives a reevaluation in those same areas assessed previously. At every step of the process, parental consent and involvement is mandatory. For more specific information concerning special education services, contact Special Education at Ripley @ 978-341-2490 x8105 or x8106.



Peter Baldrachi

8th Grade Navy, Special Education

Suzanne Chapin

6th Grade Lime, Special Education

Tom McKnight

7th Grade Cardinal, Special Education

Larissa Vincent

6th Grade Kelly, Special Education

Rakesh Bhol

8th Grade Navy, Special Education

Jobie Fagans

7th Grade Maroon, Special Education

George Lewis

8th Grade Sky, Special Education

Maureen Murphy-Baker

6th Grade Lime, Special Education

Tim Ryan

All Grades, Special Education, Speech/Lanugage

Robert Merrill

7th and 8th Grade, Special Education

Kathy Peebles

8th Grade Navy, Special Education

Erika Reale

6th Grade, Special Education

Laura Brande

Administration, Special Education, Team Chair

Venus Kane

6th Grade, Special Education

Liz LeDuc

7th Grade Cardinal, Special Education

Richard Murphy

7th Grade Maroon, Special Education

Dyan Pollock

6th Grade Kelly, Special Education

Sarah Pozmanter

7th Grade Cardinal, Special Education

Brendon Egan

8th Grade Sky, Special Education

Elaine Rhatigan

6th Grade Lime, Special Education

Matthew Cadigan

All Grades, School Psychologist, Special Education