District Curriculum Accommodation Plan

Ch. 71 of the Massachusetts General Laws, Section 38Q1/2:

Recently enacted changes in Massachusetts General Laws, Ch71, Section 38Q1/2, require the adoption and implementation of a district curriculum accommodation plan (DCAP). This plan is intended to assist principals in ensuring that all efforts have been made to meet students’ needs in the general education environment. The plan shall also assist teachers in analyzing and accommodating diverse learning needs of all students in the regular education classroom and in providing appropriate services and support within the regular education program including, but not limited to, direct and systematic instruction in reading and provision of services to address the needs of children whose behavior may interfere with learning. The curriculum accommodation plan shall include provisions encouraging teacher mentoring and collaboration and parental involvement.

The Holyoke Public Schools DCAP directly relates to initiatives that are in place to help improve the general education program for the benefit of all students. To help achieve this objective, the DCAP will address various strategies around the following:

  • Analyzing and accommodating diverse learning needs in a regular education setting
  • Managing the needs of children whose behavior may interfere with learning
  • Providing appropriate services and support to students in the regular education classroom, including but not limited to, direct and systematic instruction in reading
  • Providing opportunities for teacher collaboration and parental involvement

The Holyoke Public Schools DCAP was developed and refined through several meetings with district administrators. The final document will be shared with each School Leadership Team. Additionally, the DCAP will be disseminated and explained to all staff at the elementary, middle and high school grade levels.

This DCAP includes curriculum accommodations for elementary, middle, and high school. Included in these levels, is a list of school personnel who are available to assist and support regular classroom teachers in analyzing and accommodating the individual needs of students. Additionally, there is a list of sample strategies and other actions from which teachers and staff may select for appropriate accommodations for students. The list includes suggestions for accommodating concerns around academic progress and social and behavioral issues.

The DCAP describes both informal and formal routes for students. In some situations, communication between teachers, professional staff, parents, and other key individuals will be sufficient for identifying issues and agreeing on strategies to be put in place. In other situations, school-based teams may become involved and a more formal route developed. Currently, the Holyoke Public School District has Building Based Support Teams (BBST) in place for each of the schools. These teams serve as a support to teachers/staff when there is a concern about a 2 child. Staff collaboration, parent communication, development of strategies for student success, and review and evaluation of these strategies are the processes involved in the BBST. At the conclusion of the BBST process, unresolved student concerns may result in a recommendation for a formal evaluation to determine if a disability exists.

Teachers/Staff in the Holyoke Public School District are always focused on individual student achievement. Using data to make decisions, monitoring student progress, and providing appropriate accommodations/interventions to students with diverse learning needs will continue to bring us closer to meeting the needs of every child. This DCAP and its contents is intended to help with this.

Curriculum Accommodation

Classroom Characteristics Supporting Curriculum Accommodation for Regular Education Students

(Elementary School)

  • Standardized and other testing data used to assess student achievement and to inform instruction
  • Small class sizes
  • Differentiated instruction
  • Directed professional development for all teachers/staff
  • Building literacy teams
  • District-wide Kindergarten screening
  • System for collecting student work and assessing progress over time
  • Curriculum and instructional activities that address varied learning styles

(Middle School)

  • Leveled classes in core subjects at grades 6, 7 and 8
  • Team structure at grades 6,7, and 8
  • Provide multi-modal presentation and instruction
  • Utilize differentiated instruction and assignment
  • Strong elective program for exploration and specific curriculum enhancement, including remediation, enrichment, and acceleration
  • Reading intervention programs
  • Behavioral support services
  • Writing portfolio system
  • Computer labs (with assigned support staffing)
  •  After school help in core academic subjects
  • Saturday School
  • Individual Student Success Plans (ISSP’s) for all students who score below 220 on any MCAS assessment
  • Standardized (and other) testing data base for data analysis Detention, In-School suspension
  • Retention or repeating of specific courses
  • Student folders and work samples for all core academic areas

(High School)

  • Leveled classes in core subjects
  • Strong elective program to meet interest areas and specific needs
  •  MCAS prep options
  • Academic summer program identified for students
  • AP courses
  • ESL/ELL support
  • Computer and internet access through labs and in classrooms
  •  Extracurricular and contest activities related to academic areas
  •  After school help in discipline areas
  • Retention or repeating of specific courses
  • Honors courses in core academic areas
  •  Detention, In-House supervision
  •  Service to community
  •  Individual Student Success Plans for MCAS remediation
  •  Peer tutoring
  •  Reading interventions and support
  •  Standardized (and other) testing data base for data analysis

Personnel Resources Providing Specific Consulting, Support, and/or Intervention in the Regular Education Setting

(Elementary, Middle, and High School)

Administrative Team (Principal and Assistant Principals)

Articulation and modeling of school’s vision, mission, and principles

Supervision of daily program of the school Assists in the development, revision, and evaluation of the curriculum and instructional program Supervision and evaluation of staff

Promotes and facilitates teacher/staff collaboration and communication

Establishes and maintains favorable relationships with parents and community agencies to foster understanding and solicit support for overall school objectives and programs

Assists with establishing and maintaining an effective learning climate in the school Assists in the development, revision, and monitoring of the instructional program

Assist teachers in improvement of classroom performance

Develops standards of conduct and action conducive to the effective operation of the school Leads the development of the school handbook designed to define rules and regulations of the school with respect to student behavior

Curriculum Directors/Department Chairs/District Coaches

Assist principals with curriculum and instruction oversight

Provide professional development with curriculum implementation and modifications Analysis of student achievement data Curriculum resource acquisition and allocation

Grade Level Teaching Teams (Middle and High School)

Review of MCAS and other performance data

Conduct discussions of curriculum and instruction accommodations for student needs

ESL/ELL Teachers

Direct services for identified students

Consultation for curriculum accommodations and informal and formal assessments

Direct service to groups or individual students

Co-teach classes

Librarian/Media Specialist

Consults and assists teachers regarding the resources and materials available to supplement instructional programs

Supports teachers and students in the instructional programs

School Psychologist

Consultation and support to teachers, parents, and students on academic, behavioral or social issues

Consults and assists teachers with classroom management techniques, students’ behavior, and academic performance

Visits classrooms to observe student interaction in a classroom setting


Assists students in evaluating their aptitudes and abilities through the interpretation of test scores and other data

Works with students on their overall educational plan

Provides counseling to students in areas related to education, personal life, family and home relations, health, and emotional adjustments

Talks with parents when necessary

Consults and collaborates with school personnel regarding physical, social, emotional, and psychological factors that strengthen or detract from academic achievement Serves as a liaison between homes, schools, and social/community guidelines

Provides educational, behavioral management, and mental health information, and consultations to school personnel, parents, and the community and identifies strengths that enhance student growth

Behavior Specialists/Interventionists

Provide consultation services to students including the development of behavior plans, curriculum adaptations and modifications, and training services for staff Provides onsite classroom teaching support related to behavior management Develops and provides training for staff and parents

Outreach Worker

Establishes and maintains working relationships with parents, students, and/or school administrators in school related business and activities Provides outreach to families 6 Serves as a liaison between students, school support, parents, and others to assist in resolving student problems

Family Liaisons

Refer parent questions to appropriate school personnel

Assist in coordination of family workshops

Encourage family participation in school

Foster continuous home/school contact and involvement

Arrange transportation and coordinate child care for parent activities

Speech/Language Pathologist and other OT/PT Specialists

Classroom observation of students

Teacher consultation regarding appropriate services and implementation of services

Provides screenings and appropriate services to meet student needs

Assists in proper referrals to agencies and specialists as appropriate

Provides information, support, and counseling to parents and families when appropriate

School Nurse

Implements state-mandated programs such as immunization surveillance and screening programs

Interprets and manages school health policy

Develops Individual Nursing Care Plans and Emergency Plans

Direct service to students Communication and consultation to staff

Communication and consultation with parents, health care provider, and community Serves on the BBST as needed