Our Services

The Student Services Department of the Northampton Public Schools oversees Special Education, English Language Education, Family Engagement and Early Childhood departments in the Northampton Public Schools. Additionally the department ensures compliance with the 504 process in the district and supports homeless and foster students. Supports provided through the Student Services Department continue to be aligned with the established regulations of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and policies and laws for educating students with limited English proficiency.

Special Education

The Northampton School District maintains a continuum of services for eligible students with special needs. Services include modifications and accommodations provided within the general education classroom to support children with special needs in general education, specialized instruction in special education classrooms, substantially separate special education programs, and related services. Related services include speech/language, occupational, and physical therapy, psychological evaluation, assistive technology, specialized consultation, behavioral supports, and school adjustment counseling. Special education programs within the Northampton Public Schools are designed to ensure that eligible children receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

District special education programming conforms to the requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal education program enacted in 1975 to improve educational opportunities for children with disabilities, as well as to the requirements of the Massachusetts Special Education Regulations. Programs provide special education and related services to children who qualify as a child with a disability including:

  • Autism
  • Developmental Delay
  • Intellectual Impairment
  • Sensory Impairment
  • Neurological Impairment
  • Emotional Impairment
  • Communication Impairment
  • Physical Impairment
  • Health Impairment
  • Specific Learning Disability

If you have concerns regarding your child, you can contact the following individuals:

Additional information is available from the Massachusetts Department of Education www.doe.mass.edu, your child’s school, or the Northampton Student Services Office:

Early Childhood

The Early Childhood Center is located at 40 Main Street, Suite 206, in Florence. Our mission is to support the families and young children of Northampton. Please call us at 413-587-1471 or email earlychildhood@northampton-k12.us with any questions – We are here for you and your children!


During the school year, we support local parents in any way we can, with programs like:

  • Family fun events and parenting workshops
  • Daily morning playgroups Mon-Thurs in locations in Northampton, Florence or Hadley
  • Preschool and childcare support in Northampton both in the Northampton Public Preschool and with the Preschool Partnership, helping locate programs and connect to financial aid
  • Free toys and books through enrollment in the ParentChild+ Home Visiting Program
  • Developmental screening and support for children who are referred for evaluation for special services

During the summer, we run other playgroups and continue to support parents in any way we can.

Northampton Public Preschool (Mon-Thurs)

The Northampton Public Schools Preschool offers a half day (morning or afternoon) preschool program for 3- and 4-year old children who live in Northampton, Florence, and Leeds. There are limited 4-day full school day spaces for 4-year old children, chosen by lottery. 


The Early Childhood Program follows the Northampton Public School calendar.

  • Mon-Thurs (4-day) 1/2 day program either am or pm (3 or 4 years old):  2.5 hours/day
  • Mon-Thurs (4-day) full school day program (4 year old only):  6 hours/day (limited spaces)

We have preschool programs at both Bridge Street School and Leeds Elementary School. The program integrates children who are typically developing with those with special needs. This Northampton integrated preschool setting allows all children to participate to their fullest capacities in the mainstream of education. Special support services are provided within the classroom as needed.

Students whose street addresses place them at either Bridge Street School or Jackson Street School for K-5 attend the BSS preschool program. Students whose street addresses place them at either Leeds Elementary School or RK Finn Ryan Road Elementary School for K-5 attend the Leeds preschool program.

Please email us at earlychildhood@northampton-k12.us with any questions and to find out how to apply. You can download our Preschool Application below.

EL Education

The English Learner Education program is designed to support students whose first language is not English. Students who are screened and found eligible for EL services receive English Language Education (ELE) instruction from a certified EL educator. They also receive Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) from their core content teachers. These two components of the ELE program provide a comprehensive educational experience for English Learners.

As a school district and community, Northampton strives to recognize, embrace and welcome multilingual and non-native English speakers from all cultures. NPS educators continue to enhance the academic and social experiences of incoming students in the district and seek to enrich the relationships with their English Learner (EL) families.

El programa de Estudiantes de inglés (EL) está diseñado para apoyar a los estudiantes cuyo primer idioma no es el inglés. Los estudiantes que son evaluados y elegibles para los servicios de EL reciben instrucción de Educación del Idioma Inglés (ELE) de un educador certificado en EL. También reciben inmersión en inglés protegida (SEI) de sus maestros de contenido básico. Estos dos componentes del programa ELE brindan una experiencia educativa integral para los estudiantes de inglés.

Como distrito escolar y comunidad, Northampton se esfuerza por reconocer, acoger y dar la bienvenida a hablantes de inglés multilingües y no nativos de todas las culturas. Los educadores de NPS continúan mejorando las experiencias académicas y sociales de los estudiantes entrantes en el distrito y aspiran a enriquecer las relaciones con sus familias de Estudiantes de inglés (EL).

Health Services

  • Full-time nursing services are available in all Northampton Public Schools. 
  • All NPS nurses are licensed to practice nursing in Massachusetts.
  • All building nurses are certified by the Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. The responsibilities of school nurses include:
    • evaluating and managing the health needs of all students
    • monitoring and administering medications and medical procedures as prescribed by a student’s primary care provider/medical specialist
    • providing first aid and emergency care
    • identifying and managing students with special health needs
    • working with other school staff to provide safe and healthy environments
    • managing the surveillance of communicable diseases 

Parents/caregivers can assist the nurse in providing care for your child by:

  • making sure the nurse knows if your child has any health conditions or any health care needs during the school day
  • communicating with the nurse if medication or health needs change
  • providing a copy of your child’s annual physical exam, including up-to-date immunizations 
  • updating your child’s emergency contact information at the school so the school can always reach you


Karen Schiaffo, DNP, MSN, RN
Interim Director of Health Services
Phone: (413) 587-1557
Fax: (413) 587-1563
Email: kschiaffo@northampton-k12.us

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