Norton City Schools

Student Services/Special Education

Dennis Oswald
Director of Student Services
Phone: 330.706.2733
Jackie Flechler
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 330.706.2733
Student Services Department at Norton City Schools

Welcome to the Norton City Schools Student Services site. We are dedicated to helping our students! We hope the information that we have provided is useful and if you have further questions, concerns, or suggestions, please feel free to call.

Special Education

The Norton City Schools Department of Special Education provides services to over 450 students with disabilities. By federal and state law, school districts are required to identify children who are suspected of having a disability and then to provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) for all children 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, 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.

School-age services, at no cost to parents, for students with disabilities ages five through twenty-one include instruction in special education classrooms and resource centers, individual/small group instruction for students who are fully mainstreamed in regular education, school psychology, speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, work study/transition, adapted physical education, consultation, community exploration and several others.

The Department of Special Education staff 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. Additionally, the department staffs educational assistants to provide support for individual, small group, and large groups of students.

Child Find, Identification, and Continuum of Services

What does a disability mean?

  • For Birth to age 3 - An established condition known to result in delay, or a documented developmental delay.
  • For ages 3 through 5 - A documented deficit in one or more of the following developmental areas: communication, vision, hearing, motor skills, social emotional/behavioral functioning, self-help skills, and/or cognitive skills.

  • For ages 5 through 21 - Identification of one or more of the following conditions: autism, intellectual disability, deaf-blindness, hearing impaired, emotional disability, multiple disability, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and/or visual impairment

Who can help?

Parents, relatives, public and private agency employees, and concerned citizens are used to help Norton City Schools find any child, age birth-21, who may have a disability and need special education and related services. If you are aware of a child who may have special needs, please notify Norton's Department of Student Services or the school principal.

What happens next?

Norton's Department of Special Education will contact the parents of the child to find out if the child needs to be evaluated. Free testing is available to families to determine whether or not a special need exists. Evaluation Team Reports (ETR) are coordinated by licensed School Psychologists and licensed Speech Language Pathologists (SLP). Evaluations follow the format set forth by the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children. These educational assessments are designed to assess the child’s current levels of performance in order to determine whether the child has a disability (as outlined above) which requires specialized instruction. If a need is identified, the child can begin receiving the appropriate special education and related services. A full continuum of programs and services are available to students with disabilities who attend the Norton City Schools. Children receive special education and related services in the school that houses their current grade-level unless the child’s needs can not be successfully and appropriately met in that school. In that situation the district reserves the right to provide services in another building in the district. Additionally, some programs are available through cooperative placements with neighboring school districts. All programs and services that are required to provide the child with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) are provided at no cost to the family through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) specifically designed to meet the individual child's unique needs. The sooner we know about the unique and specialized needs of children, the better it goes for every child. If you know a child who may have special needs, help is available. Contact the following:


Department of Student Services

4128 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Norton, Ohio 44203

Phone (330) 706-2733

Federal Court Instructs Ohio Districts to Post Information for Parents Concerning Data Release click here to read full version Federal Court
Parent/Guardian Notification of the Ohio Medicaid School Program Ohio Medicaid Notification


COVID-19 Updates/Notices/School Criteria

Upcoming Parent Engagement Opportunities! Don't Miss Out!

Parent Transition Academy - Upcoming Classes - Click here for full view


A Search for All Children with Disabilities Ages Birth through 21 
Do you think your child may have a disability?  Please read the brochure attached! 
Click HERE for the full brochure 

Parent Resources

Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI)
The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) is in the process of developing Autism Internet Modules (AIM) in partnership with the Autism Society of America (ASA), the Nebraska Autism Spectrum Disorders Network, The National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders, the Organization for Autism Research, and Geneva Centre for Autism, Toronto, Canada. In addition Arizona Department of Education, the Indiana Resource Center, and the University of Miami Center for Autism and Related Disorders are collaborating on content development for the AIM project.
The AIM project will develop a series of 60 online modules on ASD by the time the project is complete including characteristics, diagnosis, interventions and supports, transition, and employment. Module authors will include experts in ASD from across the nation. These modules are available at no cost, in an open-source format to any computer or digital telephone user. Thus, these modules are available throughout Ohio and on a global basis.
Ohio Department of Education
Students with Disabilities Department
Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (RSC): Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (BVR)
BVR provides services leading to employment for people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.
Summit County Board of Developmental Disabilities
The County of Summit Board of Developmental Disabilities (CSBDD) provides services to more than 2,900 individuals with disabilities and their families in Summit County. Services can be provided from the time an infant is diagnosed with a developmental disability, or prior to age 22, if an incident should occur that results in a disability.
Summit County Transition Resource Group
The mission of the Summit County Transition Resource Group is to promote the sharing of transition information and resources with students, parents, educators and other professionals.

A Parent's Guide

A Parent's Guide

Getting Ready for When Your Teen Reaches the Age of Majority: A Parent’s Guide

Tip Sheets for Parent - The tip sheets developed by the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition in collaboration with the Center for Parent Information and Resources are meant to help children with disabilities successfully reach adulthood.

The tip sheets include information on financial management, healthcare and independent living.

Introducing PBIS

Positive School Climate with the implementation of the use of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).  If you have questions, please contact the Building Administrators or the Director of Student Services.  Please also read the attached PBIS Brochure:  
Department of Special Education Staff

The Norton City Schools Department of Special Education includes a director, an administrative assistant, four school psychologists, and four speech language pathologists.

Dennis Oswald
Director of Special Education
[email protected]
Phone: 330-706-2733

Jackie Flechler
Administrative Assistant
Phone: 330-706-2733

School Psychologists

Lindsay Akers
School Psychologist
Norton Elementary School (Grades 2-4)
Phone: 330-825-3828, ext. 532408

Seth Gaines
School Psychologist
Norton High School (Grades 9-12)
Phone: 330-825-7300, ext. 532143

Katharine Richter
School Psychologist
Norton Primary School (PS-K) & Norton Elementary School (Grade 1)
Phone: 330-825-5133, ext. 532319

Mariah Rossiter
School Psychologist
Norton Middle School (Grades 5-8)
Phone: 330-825-5607, ext. 532658

Speech Language Pathologists

Maryann Arnold
Speech Language Pathologist
Norton Middle School (Grades 5-8) & Norton High School (Grades 9-12)
Phone: 330-825-5607, ext. 532653

Katie Lowe
Speech Language Pathologist
Norton Elementary School (Grades 2-4)
Phone: 330-825-3828, ext. 532405

Holly McLaughlin
Speech Language Pathologist
Norton Primary School (Grade K) & Norton Elementary School (Grade 1)
Phone: 330-825-5133, ext. 532321

Rachel Smith
Speech Language Pathologist
Norton Primary School (Pre-School)
Phone: 330-825-5133, ext. 532334

Do you think your child has a disability? Please read this brochure and/or call for an evaluation

Norton's Developmental Preschool is no longer accepting applications for the 2022-2023 school year.  You may complete the online request form if you would like to be put on a waiting list.

If you require further assistance or would like to open an Initial Request for Evaluation because you and/or your child's physician feels the need - email Jackie - [email protected] or call 330.706.2733.

Family ECHO for Parents and Caregivers of children with developmental disabilities including autism.

United Way / Imagination Library

United Way / Ohio Govenor's Imagination Library / Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
What is it?
United Way of Summit County's Imagination Library is a 60 volume set of books beginning with the children's classic The Little Engine That CouldTM.  Each month a new, carefully selected book will be mailed in your child's name directly to your home.  Best of all, it is FREE!   The books are provided through United Way of Summit County - there is no cost or obligation to your family.
Who is Eligible?    
Preschool children ages birth to their fifth birthday who are residents of Summit County.
What are My Responsibilities?
1. Be a legal resident of Summit County, OH.
2. Submit an official registration form, completed filled out by parent or guardian.
3. Notify United Way of Summit County any time your address changes.  Books are mailed to the address listed on the offical registration form.  If the child's address changes, please update it using the contact information on this card in order to continue receiving books.
4. Read with your child.
When will I Receive Books?
Eight to ten weeks after your registration form has been received, books will begin arriving at your home and will continue until your child turns five or you move out of Summit County. 


Do you have a student starting Kindergarten and wonder ... 
How will teachers get to know my Kindergarten child? 
How will teachers share the assessment results with families? 
What are some examples of the assessment activities my child will experience?
Where can I find more information? 
Click on the link below to see the Who, When and How of Kindergarten: