The I.B. Program and Special Education

Sturgis takes greats pride in making itself, and the I.B. Program, accessible to all students, even students with disabilities. Our dedicated staff has been recognized by the I.B. Program for their ability to overcome challenges and help students with disabilities find success in and out of the classroom. Sturgis achieves this by setting high expectations for all students and motivating students with disabilities to work harder and achieve more while fostering a feeling of inclusivity and community within the whole of the Sturgis community.

Hear From Past Sturgis Special Education Community Members

It makes me feel really good about myself that I succeeded in such a hard program.”

Erin Linehan, 2018 Graduate

The thing about Sturgis that I’ve loved the most is the community.”

Johnny, 2016 Graduate

Everyone should have access to an I.B. education.”

Sam Watson, 2015 Graduate

Hear From Sturgis Faculty

By raising that bar, I think we see students with disabilities wanting to achieve and work harder. They no longer feel different; they’re just alongside all the other kids. I think they probably for the first time in a very long time feel part of something and not individualized.”

Susan Lacombe-Voigt, Special Needs Coordinator, East

I graduated from Sturgis East in 2011 as a different person than when I entered the doors in the “pit” in 2007. Thanks to the “I.B. for All” approach at Sturgis, I had the opportunity to be challenged in my academic studies and pushed outside of my comfort zone as a student despite the learning challenges I faced every day. Now, as a faculty member at the East campus, I see how much work, attention, and detail goes into creating this inclusive environment we have here, and how much the faculty embrace the idea that all students can learn, we just need to meet the needs of each student. Here at Sturgis we recognize that student success is a complex idea and to measure the success for all students we must be flexible and creative. Our I.B. for All approach is an approach that does not limit or discourage students from the academic challenges they would like to take on despite some of their own personal learning challenges, instead, it empowers them and motivates them to see what is possible and help each students find out what they are capable of.”

Kayley Mead, Spanish Teacher, East

As a Study Skills teacher at Sturgis, the mission statement of “I.B. for all” has hit especially close to home. For many students, the label of Special Education carries a negative connotation, yet Sturgis works exceptionally hard to remove this label. As the largest department at the school, we make a concerted effort to not let anyone fall through the cracks. Special Education teachers and the Special Education Inclusion staff have individual relationships with the students and show a commitment to learning unmatched by any school I have been associated with. The Sturgis teachers and staff show up ready and willing every morning, and this is reflected in the student body in their willingness to take risks and work their hardest. The combination of a great team, appropriate support structures, and willing students makes the Special Education department so successful, but also a great place to work.”

Eric Porteus, Special Education Teacher, East

Special Education Parent Advisory Council

Our SEPAC is required by the State of MA to serve both an advisory and participatory function. We work closely with Sturgis Charter Public School Special Education Department and Administration. The mission of SEPAC is to work for an understanding of, respect for, and support of all children with disabilities in the community.

  • Promote a network of parents of children with special needs & provide the forum to share information.
  • Advise the Special Education Coordinator and Board of Trustees on operations and development of special education programs, parent & teacher training needs, and help to develop policy.
  • Promote communication between SEPAC members, local, State and National organizations, councils, and groups.
  • Promote communication and programs within the community to encourage understanding, acceptance, and inclusion.
  • Provide informational forums to parents, educators, students, and professionals.

We have elected officers and now we are looking for some new members. Please join us!

Sturgis East SEPAC
Next Meeting:

Saturday, January 11th, 2018

Contact Information:

Jane Estey – President
janeestey@yahoo.com

Susan Lacombe-Voigt – Special Education Coordinator
slacombe@sturgischarterschool.org

Sturgis West SEPAC
Next Meeting:

Saturday, January 11th, 2018

Contact Information:

Jane Estey – President
janeestey@yahoo.com

Jessica Lynch – Special Education Coordinator
jlynch@sturgischarterschool.org

Resources

Frequently Asked Questions
Helpful Links
Sturgis East Special Education Faculty
Sturgis West Special Education Faculty
Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sturgis required to follow the same special education laws and regulations that my son/daughter’s sending school does?

Yes, Sturgis has the same licensure requirements as other public schools.

What kind of educational services are available at Sturgis?  

The services offered at Sturgis are similar to those offered by typical district public schools. They include but are not limited to: special education teachers and assistants; speech and language therapist; social skills instructor; reading teacher; college, academic, and personal counseling; and a full-time school nurse.

What is the success rate of students who have disabilities?

Virtually all students with disabilities graduate from Sturgis and then become quite successful at college or university due to the outstanding preparation that they received while at Sturgis.

Does Sturgis have an active Parent Advisory Council (PAC) for parents of students with disabilities?

Yes, Sturgis Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) meets on a quarterly basis and has a web page for SEPAC news and meeting information: SEPAC

Sturgis East Special Education Faculty

Special Education Coordinator
Susan Lacombe-Voigt
svoigt@sturgischarterschool.org

Assistant Special Education Coordinator and Teacher
Danielle Massey
dmassey@sturgischarterschool.org

Special Education Teacher
Lee Moynihan
lmoynihan@sturgischarterschool.org

Special Education Teacher
Eric Porteus
eporteus@sturgischarterschool.org

Special Education Teacher Intern
Jo Schofield
jschofield@sturgischarterschool.org

Administrative Assistant to Special Education Coordinator
Emily Hubbard
ehubbard@sturgischarterschool.org

Speech and Language Pathologist
Gene Pizzolato
gpizzolato@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Mary Pawlusiak
mpawlusiak@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Andrea Fleckles
afleckles@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Sadie Tansey
stansey@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Aimee Daigneault
ADaigneault@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Margo McIntyre
mmcintyre@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Rachel Perras
rperras@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Jared Cormier
jcormier@sturgischarterschool.org

School Adjustment Counselor
Katie McIntosh
kmcintosh@sturgischarterschool.org

Sturgis West Special Education Faculty

Special Education Coordinator
Jessica Lynch
jlynch@sturgischarterschool.org

Assistant Special Education Coordinator and Teacher
Katie O’Hara McCray
kmccray@sturgischarterschool.org

Special Education Teacher
Theresa Pacheco
tpacheco@sturgischarterschool.org

Special Education Teacher/Inclusion
Kaitlin Doherty
kdoherty@sturgischarterschool.org

Special Education Teacher/Inclusion
Ariana Burchfield
aburchfield@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Mary Bellamy
mbellamy@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Lucas Ribeiro
lribeiro@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Tyler Sheldon
tsheldon@sturgischarterschool.org

Support
Megan McPherson
mmcpherson@sturgischarterschool.org

Speech and Language Pathologist
Erin Dowie
edowie@sturgischarterschool.org

School Adjustment Counselor
Heidi Wilson
hwilson@sturgischarterschool.org

Have A Quick Question?

Fill out the adjacent form, and a member of the Sturgis staff will reach out as soon as possible to help answer it. You can also give us a call at the numbers located below during normal school hours.

Sturgis East Main Office: (508) 778-1782
Sturgis West Main Office: (508) 771-2780

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