Norton City Schools

Special Education

Special Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) provides for a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for all individuals with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The Student Services Department at Norton City Schools oversees and provides a continuum of special education programs and services for all preschool and school age students. We are committed to providing students with disabilities the best conditions for learning, while keeping in compliance with federal and state regulations. Our department fosters alignment with Ohio’s Operating Standards, Content Standards and Performance Standards for Ohio’s Schools.

Norton City Schools provides special education services to over 450 students with disabilities. These services can either be provided within the district or by agreement with another school district or service provider, as outlined in each student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Currently, all but a very few students with disabilities are served within the district.

Norton's preschool special education program includes children with disabilities ages three through five. Services, at no cost to parents, include classroom instruction, school psychology services, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and transition to school-age programs. Preschool classrooms are located at Norton Primary School. For purposes of inclusion, typically developing children are also enrolled in the program. Typically developing children are selected by lottery in the spring and there is a monthly fee to attend. While the district offers open enrollment opportunities for school-aged students, the district only accepts preschool children living within the Norton City School district.

School-age services, for students with disabilities ages five through twenty-one, include instruction in special education classrooms and resource centers or individual/small group instruction for students who are fully mainstream in regular education. School-aged students also have access to a variety of services including school psychology, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, work study/transition, adapted physical education, consultation, community exploration and several others.

The special education staff at Norton includes a director, an administrative assistant, four school psychologists, and four speech/language pathologists. The special education instructional staff (known as intervention specialists) is composed of teachers for students with mild-to-moderate and moderate-to-intensive disabilities. The special education staff also includes related services personnel, who are contracted independently or through local agencies. Additionally, the special education department staffs educational assistants (aides) to provide support and ensure safety for individual, small group, and large groups of students.

Continuum of Services 

General Education Classes with Intervention Specialist Support (Inclusion)

Inclusion services focus on the general education teacher and intervention specialist working together to best meet the needs of students with disabilities as well as students who are either "at-risk" or gifted. Students receive all instruction in the general education classroom. This setting also allows for individual or small group instruction within the classroom but also for short periods of time to be pulled out for more intensive instruction and intervention. All programming is individualized to meet student needs.


Resource Rooms

Resource Rooms are small group instructional settings that serve students with disabilities who require more intensive programming and support. This setting offers a modified curriculum, which provides personalized options for students that are not offered in the general education classroom. Students are also included in the general education classroom as much as possible.

Specialized Resource Rooms

In addition to the resource room setting, we also offer specialized resource rooms with a focus on students with multiple disabilities or requiring intensive support with regards to classroom conduct and behavior. NES, NMS, and NHS each house a Multiple Disabilities Resource Room and Behavioral Support Resource Room for students whose disability warrants such educational settings.

Separate Facility

Separate Facilities are offered for Norton students and are outside of the district. These are designed specifically for students with disabilities and are a more intensive, smaller group setting. Placement at a separate facility is an IEP team decision.

Home Instruction

This is a highly individualized education program provided at home to a child with a disability which prevents the child from attending a regular or special program even with special education support.


Related Services

Norton City Schools offers a wide variety of Related Services to qualifying students. These may include the following:


Common Misconceptions and Additional Information

Medical or mental health diagnosis does not guarantee an educational evaluation or special education services.

  • Failure, low grades, lack of performance or behavioral concerns do not automatically indicate a suspected disability. Many factors contribute to a student’s performance.

  • Your student’s educational team reviews all available information to determine if additional steps are needed in the school setting.

In order for school districts to suspect a disability, a child’s educational functioning and performance must be adversely impacted. 

  • A medical diagnosis does not automatically make a child eligible for special education services, nor does it automatically warrant an evaluation for special education services.

  • The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) requires that all students receive documented interventions for academic or behavioral needs through a Response to Intervention (RtI) process. Data generated from interventions are considered by the team to determine if an educational disability is suspected.

  • When an educational disability is suspected, the parent/legal guardian is the only person who is able to give written consent to begin an evaluation.

A School Team May Suspect an Educational Disability when:

  • A student is not progressing with social emotional or behavioral support/intervention.

  • A student’s health is adversely impacting their educational performance.

  • A student is not making academic progress despite being provided intensive research based interventions.