Student and educators working together in WHCIS library

Welcome to Special Education

Please join an in-person training session on the new IEP form for families

Date  Time Location
March 19, 2024 
7–9 p.m.
West Somerville Neighborhood School
177 Powder House Blvd.
April 24, 2024
7–9 p.m.
Somerville High School
81 Highland Avenue
May 16, 2024

7–9 p.m.

East Somerville Community School
50 Cross Street

Childcare will be provided during each of these sessions for students ages 3-8. If you require childcare, kindly click the link below and fill out the form. We need to have accurate numbers in order to ensure appropriate staffing.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released a new Individualized Education Program (IEP) form to be used in schools and districts across the state beginning sometime over the next two years. Your child's education team is committed to providing the best possible supports and services for your child's educational journey, and our use of the new IEP form is designed to enhance that commitment.

This new statewide IEP form helps teams to more effectively address the needs of students eligible for special education services. The revised form focuses attention on gathering complete information about your child's strengths, challenges, and individualized goals to develop a more personalized education plan for your child.

We believe that our use of the new statewide IEP form will offer several benefits to you and your child. Some of the key advantages include:

  • Enhanced Collaboration: The form promotes better communication and collaboration between you, your child's teachers, and the IEP team. It encourages a better understanding of your child's unique needs, allowing for improved support strategies.
  • More Clarity and Consistency: The revised form is designed to ensure clarity and consistency in the IEP process and in the implementation of state and federal requirements. This consistency will facilitate smoother transitions between grade levels, and it is particularly designed to help students with disabilities to transition to post-high school life.
  • Comprehensive Documentation of the Program: The new IEP form offers a more detailed framework for documenting your child's progress, accommodations, and services. This will support better tracking of your child's achievements and provide valuable information for future evaluations and assessments.

Please feel free to reach out to us at (617) 625-6800 if you have any immediate questions or concerns regarding the implementation of the new statewide IEP form. We value our partnership in your child's education, and we look forward to working together to support your child’s educational needs.

Somerville’s Special Education Department in collaboration with the Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)  will be hosting 3 in-person training sessions on the new IEP form for families.  Below are the dates, times and locations for these training sessions.  Interpretation services will be available.  


Join our Parent Orientation

The School District together with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will be hosting a parent orientation to learn about the upcoming Special Education and Civil Rights review in our district.

February 29, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. This event is virtual.

  • Join the meeting through the Zoom Meeting link. Meeting ID: 840 9544 7037. Passcode: 306179
  • One tap mobile: +13126266799,,84095447037#,,,,*306179# US (Chicago) | +16465588656,,84095447037#,,,,*306179# US (New York)
  • Dial by your location: • +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)| • +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) | Meeting ID: 840 9544 7037 | Passcode: 306179


Helpful Information

Parent and family technology resource page:

Special Education Resources and Sites for Content Area Practice - The Special Education Department staff have compiled and organized a comprehensive list of resources and sites to support families and students. We invite you to explore the site for a great list of resources, activities, and information on topics that include Accessibility, Art, Executive Functioning, Communication, Literacy, Sensory, and more! Information is available in multiple languages.

Letters to Parents and Guardians

Please read our SPS Parent / Guardian Letter from September 6, 2022 in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole, or Arabic.

Take the Survey

Take the Special Education Department Parent Survey to let us know about your experience.

Special Education

The Special Education Department is responsible for ensuring all students who require special education services in order to maximize their learning are identified and their individualized learning needs are met in the least restrictive environment possible. Special Education Department staff work with teachers, administrators, and families to ensure Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for students are implemented with integrity.

Easy IEP

Contact Us

We invite you to share your comments or questions.

Special Education Administration

  • Ildefonso Arellano, Director of Special Education: 617-625-6600 x6810
  • Will Verbits, Assistant Director of Special Education Services and Supports, 617-625-6600 x6807
  • Marisa MacDonald, Assistant Director of Special Education for Instruction and Programming, 617-625-6600 x6815
  • Laura Walley. Department Head, Autism Programming
  • Susan Gibbons, Department Head, Capuano School, 617-625-6600 x3624
  • Jack Haverty, Department Head/Vice Principal, Full Circle and Next Wave, 617-625-6600 x610770
  • Wendy Roberge, Department Head, Healey School and West Somerville Neighborhood School, 617-625-6600 x6536 and x6458
  • Janet O'Reilly, Department Head, Kennedy School and Program Director for LifeSkills, SHIP, and Transition, 617-625-6600 x6619
  • Konstantina Kalogridis, Department Head, Somerville High School, 617-625-6600 x615123
  • Siobhan Healey, Department Head Albert Argenziano and Winter Hill Community Innovation School (at Edgerly) 617-625-6600, x6347 AFAS and  x6797 WHCIS
  • Marianna Stewart, Department Head SHS Special Programs and  East Somerville Community School 617-625-6600, x3757

Special Education Team Facilitators

Special Education Parent Advisory Council

Connect to other families whose children receive special education services in the Somerville Public Schools.

Parent's Notice of Procedural Safeguards

If a student is eligible for special education, the school district must provide a free appropriate public education, commonly referred to by the acronym FAPE, working in partnership with the student's parents/guardians. Please read the Parent's Notice of Procedural Safeguards, available on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's website in multiple languages.

Child Find

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA 2004) and Massachusetts Special Education regulations 603 CMR 28.00, the Somerville Public Schools provides screenings and evaluations for all children residing in Somerville, MA between the ages of 3 and 21 to determine eligibility for special education services. Any parent, caregiver, or teacher may refer the student for evaluation if they suspect the presence of a disability that may preclude the child from progressing effectively in a general education program. This notice applies to all children residing in Somerville, MA who attend either public or private schools. If you believe your child may be in need of special education services, please contact your child's principal or a special education department head or facilitator as listed below. Child Find Notice in: English, Spanish, Portuguese, Haitian Creole

  • Argenziano School: Siobhan Healey, Department Head, 617-625-6600 x6347
  • Brown School: Marielle Wintersteen, Department Head, 617-625-6688 x6757
  • ECIP/Capuano Early Childhood Center: Susan Gibbons, Department Head, 617-625-6600 x3624
  • East Somerville Community School: Marianna Stewart, Department Head 617-625-6688 x6757
  • Healey School: Wendy Roberge, Department Head, 617-625-6600 x6536
  • Kennedy School: Janet O'Reilly, Department Head, 617-625-6600 x6619
  • Full Circle and Next Wave Schools: Jack Haverty, Department Head, 617-625-6600 x610770
  • Somerville High School: Konstantina Halas, Department Head, 617-625-6600 x615122
  • West Somerville Neighborhood School: Wendy Roberge, Department Head, 617-625-6600 x6458
  • Winter Hill Community Innovation School: Siobhan Healey, Department Head, 617-625-6600 x6797
  • Out of District Programs: Dorothy Scally, Facilitator, 617-625-6600 x6835

Useful Links & Resources

Resources and information from the Department, the U.S. Department of Education, and other sources regarding special education in the COVID-19 environment:

Department Location

New location: 167 Holland Street, Somerville, MA 02144