Columbia School District

Special Educaton and Student Services

Barbara Wilson

Director of Special Education and Student Services

860-228-0585 x175

Deborah Dupuis

Administrative Assistant to the Director of Student Services

860-228-0585 x 172 Office Fax: 860-228-8593

Special Education and Student Services

The Student Services Department is committed to providing a continuum of specialized instruction, related services, and accommodations for students with disabilities that affords them the opportunity to meet the demands of the general education curriculum.

Through the collaboration of special and general education teachers and related services staff, we provide individually designed instruction that addresses both academic and social emotional learning.

We believe the most successful student outcomes will be the result of collaborative work between the student, parents and staff.

September 4, 2020

The Columbia School District will use current (and future) guidance from the Connecticut State Department of Education's Adapt, Advance, Achieve Reopening document in determining appropriate programming for our students. Addendum 3 to the state document discusses how to plan for students with high needs during the upcoming school year. Per the document, students who may need individualized plans during in-person, hybrid or fully remote, including those students whose program might allow attendance more frequently during hybrid periods, include student who:

  • have experienced significant challenges accessing remote educational opportunities as a result of the impact of their learning challenges, behavior, and level of engagement;

  • require constant or consistent supervision by adults, often with an adult to student ratio of 1:1 or 2:1;

  • require physical assistance to learn and attend to their basic safety, health, and self-care needs (e.g., mealtime supports, toileting, medical interventions);

  • often present with skill deficits with functional communication via both verbal and nonverbal means, thus limiting their ability to effectively express feelings and symptoms of illness. Undetected illness may pose a safety risk to themselves and others;

  • exhibit significant behaviors that, at times, require an escort to safe areas or, in the case of emergency and only as a last resort physical restraint; and

  • may not be able to wear personal protective equipment (PPE), practice social distancing (in accordance with), or abide by other Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and CSDE reopening guidance

Special Education Teachers and Student Services Staff

Barry, Tim

Grades 7–8 Special Education Teacher

Guzman, Jennifer

Grades K–4 Special Education Teacher

Murdock, Misty

Physical Therapist, EASTCONN

Lapsis, Amy, (M.A. CCC-SLP)

Speech Language Pathologist

Martin, Karen

Grades 5–6 Special Education Teacher

McLeish, Lorraine

Specialized Resource Room

Polakowski, Corey, (MS)

School Counselor

228-9493 x180

Rinaldi, Roserie

Reading Teacher

Rivard-Lentz , Cheri


860-228-0585 x157

Rogers, Devon

Occupational Therapist

Spear, Kristin, (LMSW)

School Social Worker

860-228-0585 x181

Wilson, Barbara

Director of Special Education and Student Services

860-228-0585 x175

The Columbia Public School District does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religious creed, sex, age, national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability (including, but not limited to, intellectual disability, past or present history of mental disorder, physical disability or learning disability), genetic information, or any other basis prohibited by Connecticut state and/or federal nondiscrimination laws.