Programming

Philosophy of Instruction

The Special Education Department adheres to the philosophy that each individual with a disability is entitled to the support necessary to maximize his/her potential. The Special Education department, in conjunction with classroom teachers and other educational personnel, are committed to the following objectives:

  • To create an effective climate for learning by sharing all available information about a child’s disability pertinent to the child’s performance in an educational setting.

  • To provide and implement district curricula with appropriate modifications and testing accommodations as stipulated on their Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

  • To facilitate each student’s academic progress and social development by establishing appropriate goals and providing instruction.

  • To support and act as a resource for classroom teachers working with students with special needs.

  • To empower our students to advocate for themselves as successful independent life long learners.

Our educational expectation is for all students to attain the greatest academic achievement.


Pupil Services programs include the following:

  • Inclusion programs involve special education teachers co-teaching with regular education teachers. This method of education allows students with disabilities to receive instruction with  special education supports within the regular education environment.

  • Learning Labs are programs whereby special education teachers are the primary instructors. Students are instructed on skill/ability level based upon an Individualized Education Program (IEP).

  • Life Skills Labs are self-contained programs taught by a special education teacher, where students work on basic learning and daily living skills.

  • Autism Labs are self-contained programs taught by a special education teacher, with a combination of curriculum-based learning, life skills and behavioral supports designed for students diagnosed with autism.

  • High School Learning Labs are for students with academic and/or social emotional needs.

  • The High School Transitional Learning Program helps students learn independent living skills, practice interview skills, engage in job preparedness, and work at designated job locations.

In addition, Pupil Services contracts with approximately thirty out-of-district schools of special education for students whose needs are unable to be supported within the West Haven School System.