MADISON DISTRICT PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Welcome to Madison District Public School's Special Education Department. Within this webpage, you will find information about the department, programs and services, staff list, and links to various resources.
The Madison District Public Schools Special Education Department offers a continuum of programs and services designed to meet the needs of eligible students with disabilities. Our Highly Qualified Special Education Staff are dedicated to addressing a wide range of needs. In the Madison District Public Schools, our students are included in the general education classroom as much as possible and to the extent appropriate for each individual student. The continuum of special education services may include ancillary support services, classroom support services, and/or direct instruction. While the Madison District Public Schools honors educating students in the least restrictive educational setting, the appropriateness of the educational setting is a placement decision that is made during an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting and is based on individual student needs and desired outcomes. In the Madison District Public Schools, special education services may be provided in the student's home, another building or location within the district, or through attendance at a county center program.
Teacher Assistance Teams:
The Teacher Assistance Team (TAT) is a data and observation driven academic and behavioral problem-solving process that may be used by teachers and parents to assist students who present with academic and/or behavioral concerns. The teams exist in all of our school buildings. During our TAT meetings, student specific learning and behavioral challenges are identified and interventions are decided on for implementation. The TAT teams reconvene on regular basis to review the results of the interventions. Throughout the process, parents are informed of the concerns and the progress.
Madison District Public Schools has an obligation under The Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) to engage in “child find” activities to identify, locate, and evaluate students who are suspected of having an educational disability under IDEA and consistent with the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE). The Madison District Public Schools informs the community of its “child find” activities through regular information sharing through the individual schools, through the district webpage, and through posters in school offices. Madison District Public Schools works closely with the Oakland Schools Early-On referral process when evaluating infants and toddlers aged birth to three (3) years. For the typical school aged students, if there is a reason to suspect a student has a disability, teachers are required to use the TAT process to recommend an evaluation. Parents are encouraged to adhere to the referral process as well. In some instances, the TAT process may be bypassed. In all evaluation instances, parental consent for evaluation is required. Once the evaluation process is completed, an IEP meeting is scheduled to review evaluation results and to determine whether the student meets the Michigan eligible criteria for special education programs and/or services under MARSE. Decisions on student's need for programs, services, and/or placement are discussed and decided upon at the IEP meeting. Parents are an integral part of the IEP meeting and planning process.
Special Education Programs and Services:
Within the Madison District Public Schools, our elementary, middle, and high schools have a continuum of programs and services for students that qualify for special education. The Madison District Public Schools offers special education programs and services for students aged Birth to 3 years, 3 to 5 years, and in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Within these programs, support is provided to students that have any of the primary handicapping conditions as defined by IDEA and MARSE, and include: Cognitive Impairment, Emotional Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Physical Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Speech and Language Impairment, Early Childhood Development Delay, Specific Learning Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Early On is an Early Childhood Early-Intervention service provided to the families of children from birth to three (3) years of age who are eligible for services due to a developmental delay, or are at risk of developmental delay due to a medical condition, or who have a disability. These services are provided in the natural environment and focus on the home environment, developing communication, mobility, and social skills. Beginning with 2 years, 3 months of age, the Early Intervention team must begin considering the needs of the student and plan for the transition of needed services after the student turns 3 years old. The transition meeting must occur prior to the student's third birthday, but not earlier that 2 years, 6 months. Students with eligibility under Early-On who require continued programming are referred to our Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program. Alternatively, ECSE services are provided on walk-in basis to students who continue to meet eligibility criteria but do not require placement in the ECSE program.
For school aged students at all levels, Madison District Public Schools offers resource programs that serve students with a variety of disabilities including Cognitive Impairment, Emotional Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Visual Impairment, Physical Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Speech and Language Impairment, Specific Learning Disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Special Education Related Services:
The Madison District Public Schools provides a wide range of services within the district that meet the individual needs of eligible students. These services include: Early Intervention, Speech and Language Therapy, School Psychology Services, School Social Work Services, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, School Nurse, Adapted Physical Education, Interpreter for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and Homebound/Hospitalized Services. Transportation is provided to eligible students as indicated in the IEP. Beginning at age 16, Transition plans and services are developed for all eligible students. Functional Behavior Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans are conducted by the IEP team on students at all levels whose behaviors interfere with learning and the learning of others. The IEP process identifies the appropriate special education services.
Out of District Placement Options:
On occasion, there are a few students who have what is considered to be a “low incidence disability” and require placement in specialized Center Based programs. These may include placement in Severe Cognitive Impairment (SCI), Severe Multiple Impairment (SXI), Severe Emotional Impairment (SEI), Hearing Impairment (HI), Visual Impairment (VI), Physical Impairment (PI), and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) programs. Specialized programs in Oakland County can meet the needs identified through the IEP process.
The Madison District Public Schools adheres to the Oakland Schools model of providing services along a continuum based on identified student needs in Center Based Programs in either integrated facilities with opportunities for students to be integrated in the school setting or in segregated facilities with no opportunity for integration. Placement in specialized programs is coordinated through Oakland Schools. The resident district, Oakland Schools, and the district that operates the program must agree on the placement. These decisions are made in an IEP process following a review and deliberation on identified student needs and with regards to student safety and dignity. Approximately 91% of eligible students with IEPs, receive services in the Madison District Public Schools. Less than 2% of eligible students with IEPs attend schools in Center Based programs in neighboring districts within Oakland County. Approximately 7% receive highly specialized programs that are designed to meet their specific transition needs in a Post Secondary setting.
The Madison District Public School is a constituent district of the Oakland Intermediate School District. Oakland Schools provides a variety of services to districts, parents, staff, and students. The Student Support Center at Oakland Schools provides supports through itinerant teacher consultants who provide services to students with Hearing Impairment including Audiological services, Vision Impairment including Orientation and Mobility training, and Assistive Technology Services including Augmentative Communication Supports. Requests for supports and services must be processed through the Special Education Department and in coordination with the Madison District Public Schools special education staff. Requests for support must be accompanied by supporting documentation.
Requests for Evaluations:
Referrals for special education can be made directly to the teacher or counselor where academic and/or behavioral concerns can be discussed and intervention ideas developed to resolve the presenting concern. Additionally, the building principal can be an appropriate resource. It may be appropriate to convene a TAT meeting to address your concerns. Intervention may be initiated and may resolve your concerns prior to referral for special education evaluation. Lastly, you can contact the Student Services Department if you have any specific concerns or questions regarding evaluations under IDEA.
For evaluations of infants and toddlers (0-3) call:
Early On Oakland
Local Phone: 248-209-2084
Toll Free: 866-456-2084
For evaluations of k-12 students, call:
The Special Education Department is comprised of the following staff members:
Madison Elementary School:
Chelsea Doyle, Early Interventionist Parent Educator
Karen Fontana, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher
Grace Skiba, Elementary Resource Teacher
Beth Pollatz, Elementary ASD/MOCI Teacher
Wilkinson Middle School:
Kim Nolan, Secondary Resource Teacher
Kristina Simms, Secondary Resource Teacher
Jenna Harris, Secondary ASD/MOCI Teacher
Madison High School:
Lindsay Glowacki, Secondary Math Resource Teacher
Julie McGregor, Secondary ASD/MOCI Teacher/Transition Coordinator
Madison Preparatory High School:
Lisa Snider, Secondary Resource Teacher
Ancillary Support Services Staff:
Jennifer Porcaro, School Psychologist
Aaron Ondra, School Social Worker
Cathy Gifford, Speech and Language Pathologist
Cindy Edwards, School Nurse
Brandi Huff, Occupational Therapist
Mary Roberts, Physical Therapist
Director of Special Education and Student Support Services