Wareham Public Schools hire additional staff for students with special needs

Sep 20, 2018

Wareham Public Schools staff are making strides toward providing more support to students with emotional disabilities, adding staff and responding to parent surveys introduced last year, according to Director of Student Services Melissa Faye.

On Thursday, Faye gave a presentation on steps taken since she was hired a little over a year ago before School Committee members.

The number of students opting out of the district for services elsewhere – known as “out of district placements” – dropped from 68 to 56 compared to last year, said Faye. That translates into a $422,000 savings by reducing tuition and transportation costs.

As a result, Faye said those funds were spent on hiring a paraprofessional at the high school, a specialist to work with students who have autism and another specialist to work with students who exhibit trauma-based behavior. Faye said the specialists will be able to work with students with special needs across the district.

Last year, 600 surveys were sent out to parents of students who receive services from Faye’s department. She said she was disappointed that only 27 came back. Faye noted she’ll work on outreach efforts and resend the surveys starting in December. The hope, she said, is more parents will participate, allowing her department to improve services.