Program Descriptions for Special Education

Amherst Early Education Program  provides an integrated public school preschool setting for students who have a diagnosed disability, and require educational programming and services between the ages of 3 to 5. The integrated setting allows all children to participate to their fullest capabilities in a mainstream setting. Special support services are provided within the classroom setting in a functional and relevant manner when appropriate and based upon the individual needs. The preschool program and classes are currently located at Crocker Farm Elementary. 

Language Learning Disability (LLD) Programs – specialized programming for students whose primary needs are language based and who require a language based approach. These programs are designed to provide highly individualized, systematic, direct instruction to specific students who have a diagnosed language-based learning disability. A language-based learning disability may affect reading, spelling and/or writing. It may impact oral language which includes listening and speaking. The programs may provide explicit instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, reading comprehension, vocabulary, written language, and oral language (including pragmatics) dependent upon individual needs.  The District has LLD programs at the secondary level. 

Academic Individualized Mainstream Support (AIMS) Programs – specialized programming for students who have a high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder or other neurological conditions with pragmatic language, executive functioning, socialization and sensory regulation difficulties. These programs offer individualized, comprehensive, and intensive intervention to address these areas. The District currently has an AIMS program at the elementary and secondary levels. 

Intensive Learning Needs Programs – specialized programs for students who present with highly complicated learning profiles and educational needs that require a significant degree of program coordination and service. These students may have one or more disabilities in any of the following areas: Autism, Communication Impairment, Developmental Delay, Health Impairment, Intellectual Impairment, Neurological Impairment, Physical Impairment, Sensory Impairment, and / or Specific Learning Disabilities. These programs provide support and services to students with significant needs within the least restrictive setting while focusing on the individual needs of the students. 

Intensive Learning Center – for students in grades K-6; located at Wildwood Elementary
Essential Skills – for students in grades 7 & 8; located at the Amherst Regional Middle School
Pathways to Independence Program - for students in grades 9 – 12 (or through age 21); located at the Amherst Regional High School 

School Based Therapeutic Programs  specialized programming for students whose primary needs are social, emotional, and/or behavioral. These programs are designed for students whose needs require a smaller, structured therapeutic setting for all or part of the day. A high staff to student ratio is maintained with individualized programming to meet the needs. Services and support are provided on an individual basis and are to assist students in developing effective coping mechanisms and problem-solving strategies towards becoming more fully integrated with their typical peers when appropriate. 

Building Blocks – for students in grades K-6; located at Fort River Elementary School
Bridges – for students in grades 7& 8; located in the Amherst Regional Middle School
Student Support Program – for students in grades 9 – 12; located in the Amherst Regional High School 

In District Day Placement  The South East Campus (SEC) program offers students with special education needs an appropriate educational alternative to the main campus at the Amherst Regional High School.  The program serves students with social, emotional, and/or behavioral needs in order to increase their academic, pro-social, and adaptive behavioral skills.   This program is for students in grades 9-12 and is located on the South Amherst Common.

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