Department of Pupil Services

Special Education Updates - Winter 2022

Department of Pupil Services Mission, Vision, and Core Beliefs

The Department of Pupil Services (DPS) is committed to providing educational programs and services that will support meaningful educational progress for all students with disabilities. The goal for students with disabilities is the same as for all students, as stated in the DPS's Mission Statement: "…that students will be prepared to contribute meaningfully to the ever-changing global society." The DPS supports the education of students with disabilities with students who are non-disabled to the maximum extent appropriate, as determined by an IEP team, which includes the parent(s) and student. The DPS recognizes that this approach benefits the entire educational community. The DPS is committed to implementing best practices and innovative approaches to provide a broad and flexible range of program options.

The DPS also recognizes that parents play a primary role in their child(ren)'s education.

The DPS will foster, maintain, and further develop positive working relationships with parents, organizations and/or parent groups who advocate for students with disabilities.

Departmental Restructuring and Updates

The 2021-2022 school year began with a review of the audit presented to the district in Spring of 2021. Given the information gleaned from the audit, Interim Director, Dr. David Goldblatt facilitated the restructuring of the Pupil Services Department. This layer of support has allowed for a shared partnership between the CST/Related Service providers, building administrator's, and pupil services supervisors, reviewing student and teacher needs utilizing a collaborative team approach.

The Special Education Professional Handbook was adopted through a board resolution in November 2021. This handbook is a guide for Montclair employees and includes an overview of special education procedures, practices, and details the roles and responsibilities of all district personnel.

Additionally, an instructional supervisor, Ms. Stafford, was added to the Pupil Services team to strengthen the delivery of services.

Compensatory Education Update

Dr. Goldblatt began his tenure in Montclair by working with the supervisors in Pupil Services to identify IEP and 504 students who were entitled to compensatory services. The process for identifying students included an evaluation of missed services, gathering scores from the beginning of year Renaissance Learning assessment, as well as IEP team input regarding student progress.

A robust plan was developed in conjunction with the EC&I department and building administrators to address compensatory education, and as a result, services are slated to begin in late January.

Spring 2022 Initiatives

As we head into the remaining part of the school year, the Pupil Services Department will continue to focus on:

  • Standardizing initiatives, programs, and interventions in all schools
  • Increasing instructional capacity within the area of multi-sensory reading
  • Planning and implementing the Extended School Year program
  • Collaborating with the Transportation Department for summer and fall bussing
  • Partnering with EC&I to continue intervention initiatives as well as professional development opportunities for staff
  • Summer assessments and evaluations

All of these relationships and actions are imperative in continuing to address the concerns outlined in the special education audit.

Dr. David Goldblatt

Interim Director of Pupil Services

Mrs. Jennifer Finnerty

Supervisor of Pupil Services

DLC, Bradford, Hillside, Nishuane, Watchung

Dr. Shivoyne A. Trim

Supervisor of Pupil Services

Montclair High School

Ms. Carla A. Perez

Supervisor of Pupil Services

Edgemont Montessori, Buzz Aldrin, Glenfield, Renaissance at Rand

Ms. Tameka Stafford

Supervisor of Pupil Services

Charles H. Bullock and Northeast