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Student Support Services

The Department of Student Support Services comprises the general education student support programs within the Plymouth Public Schools including School Counseling Services, English Language Education, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act, MCAS Tutoring, the Supervisor of Attendance and Home-Schooling.

Sean X. Halpin, Ed.D., Director of Student Support Services
Susan M. Drever, Secretary 

Administration Building
253 South Meadow Road
Plymouth, MA 02360
(508)-224-5086 TEL
(508)-830-4485 FAX

School Counseling Services

School Counseling Services

The mission of the Plymouth Public Schools' Counseling Department is to provide a comprehensive developmental counseling program, addressing the academic, career, and personal/social development of all students. Without regard to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, handicap or national origin, we encourage all students to develop realistic concepts of themselves, along with an understanding of the educational and career opportunities available to them. Counselors collaborate with teachers, administrators, parents and community resources and agencies to provide the support necessary to ensure that all students maximize their academic achievement and potential. Moreover, school counselors assist school administration in providing a safe and respectful environment that encourages a diverse student body to become life-long, independent, critical thinkers and productive citizens in a changing society.  If you would like to know more about the school counseling services available to your child, please contact the school counseling office at your child's school.

School Guidance Department Links:

PPS School Counseling Standards & Benchmarks

Secondary School Counseling Department Master Calendar

PPS School Counseling Staff

PPS Secondary School Guidance Staff

Naviance

Naviance is a comprehensive web-based college and career readiness program for middle and high school students that helps connect academic achievement to post-secondary goals. Naviance can help students to identify their strengths and align their interests to long-term college and career goals. Each Plymouth Public School student in grade 6-12 has his or her own Naviance account. Guidance Counselors work with students during the school year on developmentally appropriate grade level lessons. Counselors work with students to help them explore career interests, set SMART goals and plan a successful pathway to high school, college and beyond. There is also a wealth of college and career readiness information within the Naviance platform that students can utilize on their own. You can find your school Naviance account on the Plymouth Public Schools website at the top of the page under "Quick Links." 

Family and Faculty Support Resources

Parent and Staff Resources

Materials in this section are meant to provide support to students, families and faculty members when faced with tragic or traumatic circumstances.

What is H.O.P.E.?

H.O.P.E. stands for Health, Outreach, Prevention and Education. H.O.P.E. is a BAMSI pilot project, funded by DMH, interested in improving access for school personnel and parents to behavioral health services for children and families in Plymouth and Marshfield.

Please visit the H.O.P.E. website for a full list of local resources.

Other Resources

Please see these PDFs of other local Plymouth resources and services that are available to assist individuals and families:

Substance Abuse Prevention Resources

Substance Abuse Prevention Resources

Community Resources

The Castle Program 
2 School Street
Plymouth, MA 02360
508-830-1234

Pembroke Hospital 
199 Oak Street
Pembroke, MA 02359
781-829-7000
Intake Dept: 800-222-2237 OR 617-390-1320

McLean Hospital 
ART Program (Acute Residential Treatment) – an intensive short-term treatment program in Middleborough for adolescents ages 13-19, with emotional and behavioral difficulties often complicated by alcohol and drug use.
774-419-1100

State Resources

Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline
800-327-5050

The Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS)
800-720-3480

Other Resources

Massachusetts Substance Abuse Helpline

Caron Treatment Centers

Learn to Cope

Teen-Safe

Plymouth Youth Development Collaborative (PYDC)

Signs that you or someone you know may have a drug or alcohol addiction (from teenshealth.org)

Psychological signals:

  • Use of drugs or alcohol as a way to forget problems or relax
  • Withdrawal or keeping secrets from family and friends
  • Loss of interest in activities that used to be important
  • Problems with schoolwork, such as slipping grades or absences
  • Changes in friendships, such as hanging out only with friends who use drugs
  • Spending a lot of time figuring out how to get drugs
  • Failed attempts to stop taking drugs or drinking
  • Anxiety, anger or depression
  • Mood swings

Physical signals:

  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Feeling shaky or sick when trying to stop
  • Needing to take more of the substance to get the same effect
  • Changes in eating habits, including weight loss or gain

Choosing a Treatment Center (from helpline-online.com)

If you or someone you care for is experiencing difficulties due to their alcohol and/or other drug use, here are some questions to consider when selecting a service or treatment program:

Does the provider or program accept your health insurance? If not, will they work with you on a payment plan, have a sliding scale, or find other means of payment for you?

Is the program state licensed, and are staff licensed professionals trained in addiction treatment?

Does the program offer a full range of services needed to support an individuals recovery process, including help for substance abuse and mental health problems if applicable?

Does the program provide treatment services that are appropriate and sensitive to age, gender, race, sexual orientation, culture, and physical abilities?

Will there be ongoing assessment of an individual's treatment plan to ensure that it meets their changing needs?

Are services or referrals offered to family members to support their understanding of addiction and the recovery process? How does it help guide them in supporting the recovering individual?

Be especially scrutinizing as you identify a program that meets your specific needs.

Call 800-327-5050 to speak with a trained referral specialist.

English Language Learner (ELL) Education

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Act

McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Protocol

EVERY CHILD WITHOUT A PERMANENT HOME HAS A RIGHT TO AN EDUCATION

School Staff: Please download the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act Student Reporting Form

Please see this Helpful List of Resources for those who are homeless or who are threatened with homelessness.

1.0 Homeless Education Assurances

The Plymouth Public School District recognizes that homelessness exists in our community. Children who have lost their housing may live in a variety of places, including but not limited to motels, shelters, shared residences, transitional housing programs, cars, buses and campgrounds. Their lack of permanent housing can lead to potentially serious physical, emotional and mental consequences.

It is the policy of the Plymouth Public Schools to ensure that homeless children and youth are provided equal access to its educational programs, have an opportunity to meet high quality academic standards and are not segregated on the basis of their status as homeless.

The Plymouth Public School District will:

1.1 establish safeguards that protect homeless students from harassment and/or discrimination on the basis of their homelessness;

1.2 ensure that all children and youth will receive a free appropriate public education and are given meaningful opportunities to succeed in our schools;

1.3 follow the requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act.

2.0 Definition of Children and Youth in Transition

The Plymouth Public Schools recognize the individual needs of its children and the stigmatization often associated with homelessness. Such students who lack permanent housing will be referred to as Children and Youth in Transition. Those children and youth are defined as otherwise legally entitled to, or eligible for an appropriate public education, including preschool, and who lack a fixed regular and adequate night time residence, including:

2.1 Children and youth who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, or campgrounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement.

2.2 Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a private or public place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings.

2.3 Children and youth who are living in a car, park, public space, abandoned building, substantial housing, bus station, or similar setting.

2.4 Migratory children and youth who are living in a situation described above.

A child or youth shall be considered to be in transition for as long as he or she is in a living situation described above.

3.0 Common Definitions

“Unaccompanied youth” – a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian, who is in transition as defined above. (The more general term youth also includes “unaccompanied youth.”)

“Enroll” and “enrollment” – attending school and participating fully in school activities.

“Immediate” – without delay.

“Parent” – a person having legal or physical custody of a child or youth.

“School of origin” – the school the child or youth attended when permanently housed, or the school in which the child or youth was last enrolled.

“Liaison” – the staff person designated by the Plymouth Public Schools as the person responsible for carrying out the duties assigned to the liaison by the McKinney-Vento Act.

4.0 Identification

 In collaboration with school personnel and community organizations, the liaison will identify children and youth in transition in the district both in and out of school. The liaison will train school personnel on possible indicators of homelessness, sensitivity in identifying families and youth as in transition, and procedures for forwarding information - including homelessness - to the liaison. The liaison will also instruct school registrars, including but not limited to secretaries, counselors and administrators to inquire about possible homelessness upon the enrollment and withdrawal of every student and to forward information indicating homelessness to the liaison.

The liaison will keep data on the number of children and youth in transition in the district, where they are living, their academic achievement – including performance on state mandated assessment, and the reasons for any enrollment delays, interruptions in their education, or school transfers.

5.0 School Selection

Each child and youth in transition has the right to remain at his or her school of origin or attend any school within the attendance area in which the child or youth is actually living.

MCAS High School Math Tutoring

MCAS High School Math Tutoring

MCAS mathematics tutoring services are available to high school students through the Project Success academic support program, but are dependent on the student’s individual schedule. If possible, students will be scheduled into the tutoring sessions (once or twice weekly during the school day) with help from their guidance counselor and the MCAS tutor(s). Project Success provides intensive, small-group instruction in Mathematics to help students prepare for the high school MCAS examination. 

Criteria to Consider:

•      It is the student’s responsibility to attend the scheduled tutoring sessions.

•      Once a commitment is made, it is expected that students will attend all sessions.

•      Students must be motivated and willing to improve their skills.

•      There is an expectation of good student behavior during all tutoring sessions.

•      A strong parental commitment to supporting the program is helpful.

•      Taking advantage of tutoring is a mandatory requirement if a student eventually decides to appeal his/her MCAS for graduation.

Please contact your child's guidance counselor for more information.

Project Success Registration Form

Supervisor of Attendance

Supervisor of Attendance

Regular attendance in all classes is essential to the learning process and helps to establish good student work habits. Therefore, students are expected to be in attendance every day of the school year. Parents/guardians have a legal responsibility to ensure that their child or children are in attendance each day school is in session.

The Plymouth Public Schools employs a full time Supervisor of Attendance (Truant Officer) whose duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to, investigating and accounting for the attendance of all compulsory school-age children ages 6-16, and to enforce laws relating to compulsory attendance.

Under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 76, Section 20, the Supervisor of Attendance may apprehend and take to school, without a warrant, any truant or absentee found wandering in the streets or public places.

Mr. John Amaral, the Supervisor of Attendance, is currently housed at Plymouth South Middle School (TEL 508-380-1585), but also moves about the community as necessary to provide immediate service to students and families.

Supervisor of Attendance Referral Form: https://goo.gl/forms/I8nuJNZgsyIpt43k2

Supervisor of Attendance Manual (a resource for PPS faculty and staff)

Homeschooling

Home Education Alternative Program (Homeschooling)

Click here to view the Parent Checklist. Please send completed Home Education Plans to the Office of Student Support Services.

Policy 7.1

Chapter 76, Section 1 of Massachusetts Law provides a legal basis for parents to request permission to instruct their children at home.

To try to establish ground rules for shared responsibility between parents in the Plymouth Public Schools, the following regulation shall apply in judging an alternative for home education plans for approval or disapproval.

PROCEDURES FOR APPLICATION

Parents requesting permission to implement an Alternative Home Education Program of their child (children) shall request permission for conducting such a program by filing a formal letter with the Superintendent of Schools at least sixty (60) days prior to the program’s initiation. The School Committee will act upon the request within forty-five (45) calendar days of submission of the parent request.

The request to implement an Alternative Home Education Program shall be accompanied by a detailed educational program for each child to be taught at home. The program must include a description of the following:

1.0 Competency of teacher(s) to include academic background, experience, or any other factors which may assist the School Committee in judging the competency of the instructor.

2.0 A listing of the subject to be taught.

3.0 A time schedule indicating the number of minutes per day to be allocated to each subject area.

4.0 A calendar indicating the number of minutes per day during which instruction will be given.

5.0 A listing of the textbooks and/or teaching materials to be employed, and/or a listing of objectives to be achieved by each child if these objectives are not listed in the teaching materials.

6.0 Testing - Parents will also include as part of the child’s educational plan an outline describing the types of evaluative instruments and/or procedures to be utilized in periodically measuring the child’s academic growth.

7.0 During the period that the program for home teaching is being reviewed, the child will remain in public school attendance.

EVALUATION

The parent must indicate in writing his/her willingness to allow the school system to have school system staff assess (periodically) the child’s mastery of skills/ competencies through the use of (either) a standardized (and/or criterion-referenced evaluation instrument) achievement test, preferably the achievement test used by the schools in the Spring prior to the school year for which permission is sought from the School Committee to place a child on a Home Education Alternative Program. The parent shall also be consulted relative to where the testing is to occur and what instrument is to be used. The results of the achievement tests will be reported to the Superintendent or the Superintendent’s designee, by the test administrator at the same time, or soon thereafter, as they are reported to the child’s parents.

In evaluating the proposed home education alternative plan, recommendations of the Superintendent of Schools and his/her designated administrators and teaching staff shall be considered of the highest importance.

Parent will indicate their willingness to permit the Superintendent of Schools or his/her designee to observe and evaluate instruction pursuant to Chapter 71, Section 1.

REVIEW

The Superintendent of Schools shall, on an annual basis, review the effectiveness of the Home Education Program. Included in the review will be an assessment of pupil growth and a recommendation for suggested changes. The Superintendent retains the discretion to require review more often annually if in his/her opinion the child is deprived of an education appropriate for his/her abilities. The annual review shall be the occasion for the parent or legal guardian to submit an updated program for the ensuing school year. The School Committee will act upon the updated review within forty-five (45) calendar days of the submission of the review.

PARTICIPATION IN ATHLETICS AND EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES

A student being educated through an approved home education plan shall be allowed to participate in public school activities of an extra-curricular nature. Home-educated students participating in extra-curricular activities are subject to the same participation fees, state and local regulations, and district policies and procedures as enrolled students.

REFERENCES: Massachusetts Law, Chapter 76, Section 1

Perchembeles vs. Frizzle, Superior Court

Hampshire County, 1978

In Care and Protection of Charles & Others,

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court,

March, 1987

New Life Baptist Church vs. Longmeadow,

U.S. District Court, July, 1987

Johnson v. Charles City Community Schools Bd. of Education (1985)

Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Rules and Regulations Governing Athletics

Student Support Services Program Updates

Student Support Services: Annual Program Updates

Please click on the links below to view annual program updates and reports to the Plymouth School Commitee.

2014-15

2013-14

2012-13

2011-12

2010-11

2009-10

2008-09


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