August 23, 2019

Special Education

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Hartford School District is committed to providing high quality special education services to all students who qualify to receive such services..  We have a proud history of strong special education programs in our five schools and our early childhood special education program. We proudly off more specialized programs through the Hartford Area Regional Collaborative programs that we host.   All HSD special educators work collaboratively with families, general educators, related service providers and even outside agencies to ensure that our students’ needs are met through a variety of service delivery models, and successful inclusion in our general education programs.

What is Special Education?

The intent of special education is to ensure that students with disabilities have access to the general curriculum in the least restrictive environment with their non-disabled peers.  

Special education is a service for students ages 6-21 who have been identified as having a disability and the disability adversely affects the child’s educational performance in at least one basic skill area.  In addition, it must be determined that student demonstrates a need for specialized instruction that is not available through the school’s comprehensive list of services available to all students.

Special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability. This is often referred to as a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Special education services can be provided in a variety of settings, such as in the classroom, out of the classroom, or in an alternative setting.  

The current federal law that governs all Special Education Services is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires equitable education to students with disabilities. The Rules and Regulations for Special Education in Vermont is contained in the State of Vermont Special Education Rules.

There are thirteen categories of disabilities under IDEA.  They include:

  • Autism
  • Deaf or Blindness
  • Developmental Delays
  • Emotional Disturbance
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Orthopedic Impairments
  • Other Health Impairments
  • Specific Learning Disabilities
  • Speech and Language Impairments
  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Visual Impairments

Find out more about eligibility for special education services, available services, and transition services by contacting one of the special educators in your local school district.



The BRAVE CHALLENGE is coming to Hartford High School this September. This challenge is an obstacle course designed for people with cognitive, developmental, physical and emotional disabilities. Learn more at

Sensory UV

The Hartford Autism Regional Program has teamed up with folks from the Dartmouth Autism Research Initiative, the Special Needs Support Center and Keene Perspectives to create "Sensory UV." Sensory UV's mission is to create sensory friendly events around the Upper Valley to help strengthen the autism community and autism awareness around our region. Please check out the website at: Read more

Family Night in Special Education

Dear HSD Families, It is with great excitement and pride that I write this letter of introduction to you as the newly appointed Director of Special Services for the Hartford School District.  I am honored to be a part of a school district with such a proud and rich tradition of providing high quality special education programs and services for students with disabilities.  I have worked in the field of special education for ove...

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Contact Information
Hartford District
Office of Special Education
64 Hebard Street
White River Junction, Vt. 05001
Collaborative Programs

Hartford School District is the host for the Hartford Area Regional Collaborative. Area schools, including Hartford's, may refer students and their families to one of these organizations for specialized programs or future career and life-path planning.