Special Education – Information for Families

Lori Cimeno, Director of Student Services

June Ouellette, Administrative Assistant

781-446-6210 x5629

Special education within the Wellesley Public Schools encompasses a wide range of services for eligible students with disabilities, ages 3 – 22. In accordance with federal and state laws and regulations, students identified as eligible for special education have an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) that is designed by a Team of individuals that includes district professionals, the parents/guardians, and the student, when appropriate. Each IEP is developed to meet the unique needs of the student and includes information of what services will be provided, where the services will be provided, and the goals set for the student.

The Wellesley Public Schools provide a wide range of specialized instruction that represents a continuum of service delivery options. In keeping with the federal mandate of Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), Teams will always consider providing specialized instruction in the general education classroom first. The vast majority of our special education students receive their specialized instruction within an inclusive environment, spending more than 80% of their day in the general education classroom. When the appropriate level of services requires instruction outside the general education classroom, the Team will consider other placement options, such as a Learning Center, a district program, or special education programs outside the Wellesley Public Schools in a state approved special education school.

District programs are developed when a cohort of students have like needs of a more intensive nature. Throughout each level (preschool – post high school), highly specialized programs exist for students with autism, language-based learning disabilities, emotional/behavioral challenges, and for students whose disabilities cross domains, resulting in a need for an integrated Team approach.

Special education is a highly regulated and complex process. The special educators work closely with families and encourage a collaborative relationship. In addition, the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) provides support to families through regularly scheduled meetings and parent networking. For more information about the PAC, you may use this link provided. www.wellesleypac.org

Each level, preschool through high school, has a Department Head that coordinates special education services. The following provides contact information should you have questions regarding special education processes or procedures:


Department Head: Rebecca Zieminski zieminskir@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6222 x2800

Secretary: Isabel Cashman cashmani@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6222 x2800


Interim Department Head: Kristen Stacy stacyk@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6210 x5625

Team Chairs:

  • Jamie Morrison morrisonj@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6210 x5625 (Fiske, Hardy, Hunnewell &  Upham)
  • Astrid Mazariegos mazariegosa@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6210 x5625 (Bates, Schofield & Sprague)

Secretary: Cheryl Rose rosec@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6210 x5625

Middle School

Department Head: Mimi Feerick feerickm@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6210 x5714

Team Chair: Cristina Malinn malinnc@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6250 x3622

Secretary: Melanie Friedman friedmanm@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6250 x5715

High School

Department Head: Debi Levine levined@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6290 x4627

Team Chair: Katie Lynch lynchk@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6290 x4630

Secretary: Barbara Newton newtonb@wellesleyps.org

Out-of-District / Transition Coordinator

Michael McIntyre mcintyrem@wellesleyps.org 781-446-6210 x5893

Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology Specialist: Patti Weismer weismerp@wellesleyps.org (all schools except PAWS)

Assistive Technology Specialist: Mary Gaynor gaynorm@wellesleyps.org (PAWS, Hunnewell, Upham, WMS, WHS)

Teacher of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing: Liz Wheeler wheelere@wellesleyps.org (all schools)

Another source of parent information is the Parent’s Notice of Procedural Guidelines (in multiple languages). I encourage all parents to become familiar with this Notice. Please follow the link provided to view this document.

On behalf of the special education department, I wish each student a rewarding school year.