Department of Student Services & Alternative Programs

Child Find

In accordance with federal regulations, Wolcott Public Schools assumes responsibility for the location, identification, and evaluation of all Wolcott children from birth through age 21 who require special education and related services. All children who are suspected of having a disability and who are in need of special education are part of the Child Find process in the Wolcott Public Schools' district. This includes students who are advancing from grade to grade;  enrolled in private elementary or private secondary schools, including religious schools, and highly mobile, such as migrant and homeless children. In addition, the Wolcott Public Schools' district identifies students (kindergarten through grade 12) who may be gifted or talented.

resources for parents

There are many resources available to parents of children with special educational needs. The following organizations and web sites are just a few of the places parents and professionals can seek information.

Please Note: Parents may need to create a free account in order to access some of the parent information/handouts.

Parents Guide to Special Education in Connecticut

A Parent's Guide to Special Education 2021 (

Una guía de educación especial para los padres de Connecticut 

Easing into Secondary Transition: A Comprehensive Guide to Resources and Services in Connecticut has been revised and is available electronically at:

State Education Resource Center (SERC)
State Education Resource Center (SERC), Middletown, CT. SERC is a library dedicated to providing parents and professionals an abundant collection of education resources. SERC also sponsors many workshops for parents and professional staff during the year. If you ask to be added to the mailing list, you will get the quarterly updates of all workshops offered. Contact SERC at (860) 632-1485 to be put on the mailing list and to get directions to the library. You can also visit the web site at

Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC)
Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center (CPAC) Niantic, CT. CPAC is a statewide organization providing information and support to parents of children with special needs. CPAC can answer your questions and lead you to appropriate services or information. They offer a lending library, parent newsletter and parent training and workshops. Call (800) 445-2722 for more information or go to

Autism Spectrum Resource Center (ASRC)
Autism Spectrum Resource Center (ASRC) offers information and support to parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder. Parents can join the ASRC by calling 787-3676 (New Haven), or visit their web site at

CT Department of Education Bureau of Special Education

CT Council for Developmental Disabilities

CT Birth to Three System

IDEA: Building the Legacy IDEA 2004

Infoline 211


Speech and Language

Mission Statement
The mission of the Wolcott Public Schools Speech and Language Department is to provide comprehensive services for the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, and intervention of communication disorders related to educational success, in accordance with federal and state regulations.

About Us
The Speech and Language Department is staffed by state licensed and certified speech-language pathologists (SLPs).  These SLPs are professionally trained to consult, screen, assess and provide intervention for persons with, or who are at risk for, communication disabilities in the areas of articulation, fluency, voice, and language.  SLPs provide a variety of services for the students with identified speech and/or language disabilities.  They also consult with classroom teachers, parents, school staff and others on ways to improve the language skills and communication of children in general.

Identification Process
Students require a comprehensive evaluation by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) prior to receiving services.  Students who are eligible for services must demonstrate a speech/language impairment based on evaluation results, demonstrate that the impairment adversely affects educational performance and must meet state guideline eligibility criteria as set forth by the State of Connecticut Department of Education, Speech/Language Guidelines.

Service Delivery Models
Speech-Language Pathologists utilize a variety of service delivery models depending on the unique needs of the student.  Students can be seen outside of the classroom (pull-out), inside of the classroom (push-in) or both.  Services can be direct or indirect or a combination of the two.  Consultation and collaboration with other professionals is vital to ensure meaningful curricula access and generalization of communication skills.  The Speech-Language Pathologist plays an important role on the educational team in order to facilitate academic success for all students.

Age appropriate speech/language development:


Other helpful parent resources:

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Index: 

Autism speaks:

Hearing impairment: 


Mommy Speech Therapy – For Early Language:

Super Duper Inc. – Short, informational handouts for parents:

Unified Sports

This program offers special needs students the opportunity to train and participate in team sports activities paired with regular education students. It operates under the direction of the CIAC, the governing body for high school athletics in Connecticut. Wolcott High School has one coed basketball team. Program goals include athletic play, sportsmanship, and building friendships.

For more information, view this Unified Sports Video

CIAC Special Olympics Unified Sports(r) Promo

Preschool Program

Wolcott Public Schools' preschool is an inclusive and interdisciplinary early childhood education program. It offers learning experiences, which foster personal/social, creative, physical, and cognitive development through multi-sensory activities. It will provide a developmentally appropriate program for preschool students identified for special education and for children who are typically developing. It will facilitate competent and capable learners in a nurturing and supportive environment. Emphasis is placed on meeting academic benchmark standards while providing a least restrictive setting for all students. Families are encouraged to actively participate in the education of their young children. Program staff members and families work collaboratively to ensure that children are provided with optimal learning experiences. Each child's learning is encouraged through exploration of the educational environment with age-appropriate experiences. Modifications are made to accommodate every child.

The mission of the Wolcott School Readiness Council is to provide leadership to high quality programs for children in the town of Wolcott, to empower all young children to be effective, enthusiastic, and socially competent learners, through on-going professional development, consultation, and collaboration and by linking resources to families, the school, and the community.

School Readiness

The Wolcott School Readiness Council is accepting applications for two parent positions for the current School Year.  If interested, please print and fill out the attached application.  Call 203-879-8178 (Student Services) with any questions.

Staff List by School



Alcott Preschool Personnel
Curcio, Andrea Pre K Teacher (3-4 year olds) 203-879-8160
Leonard, Brittany Pre K Teacher (3-4 year olds) 203-879-8160        Palmer, Shelby Pre K Teacher (3-4 year olds) 203-879-8160        Morek, Danielle Speech/Language Pathologist 203-879-8160
Cianchetti, Tony Social Worker (all Elem/Tyrrell)
Hogrefe, Sara OT (Alcott/Frisbie/Tyrrell)
Jackson, Cindy PT (Elementary & High School)
Cameron, Tammy School Nurse                                 203-879-8160

Alcott Elem. SPED Personnel
 Klemenz, Lisa       Project Explore (all 3 Elem.)
Baranowski, Judy School Psychologist                 203-879-8160
Morek, Danielle Speech/Language Pathologist 203-879-8160
Gilchrist, Kelly SPED Teacher                         203-879-8160
Jackson, Barbara SPED Teacher                         203-879-8160
Cianchetti, Tony Social Worker (all Elem/Tyrrell)
Hogrefe, Sarah OT (all schools)

Chipelo, Christie    OT
Owens, Marge PT 
Cameron, Tammy School Nurse                                203-879-8160

Frisbie Elem. SPED Personnel
 Klemenz, Lisa       Project Explore (all 3 Elem.)
Gray, Monica          School Psychologist               203-879-8146
Cleary, Lisa          Speech/Language Pathologist 203-879-8146
Allison, Lauren SPED Teacher                       203-879-8146
D'Ettore, Amy SPED Teacher                       203-879-8146
Vaivoda, Linda SPED Teacher                       203-879-8146

 Gomez, Shannon   SPED Teacher                            203-879-8146
Cianchetti, Tony Social Worker (all Elem/Tyrrell)
Chipelo, Christine OT
Hogrefe, Sarah OT
Owens, Marge PT 
Conner, Mary-Alice School Nurse                      203-879-8146

Wakelee Elem. SPED Personnel
Klemenz, Lisa             Project Explore (all 3 Elem.)
Goodman, Deborah   School Psychologist              203-879-8154
Kerkhoff, Victoria      Speech/Language Pathologist   203-879-8098
Hamel, Michael      SPED Teacher                             203-879-8154
Sells, Suzanne           SPED Teacher                             203-879-8154
Gress, Christin           SPED Teacher-Life Skills     203-879-8154
Currier, Kara                Social Worker 
Hogrefe, Sarah       OT

Chipelo, Christine       OT
Owens, Marge       PT
Mello, Alejandra       School Nurse                                203-879-8154

Tyrrell Middle SPED Personnel
Conway, Pam Project Explore Teacher 203-879-8151
Gorton, Amanda School Psychologist         203-879-8151
Hilibert, Jennifer Speech/Language Pathologist 203-879-8151
Rioux, Gwynne SPED Teacher (abc room) 203-879-8151
Jasulavic, Diane SPED Teacher                 203-879-8151
Burksa, Alyssa SPED Teacher                 203-879-8151
Merrill, Nicole SPED Teacher                 203-879-8151
Artigliere, Alison SPED Teacher/BCBA                 203-879-8151
Stango, Bethany Life Skills SPED Teacher 203-879-8151
Barberet, Taylor School Counselor                         203-879-8151
Salustro, Wendy School Counselor                         203-879-8151
Lynch, Michael School Counselor                         203-879-8151
Cianchetti, Tony Social Worker
Chipelo, Christie OT 
Hogrefe, Sarah OT 
Owens, Marge PT
Green, Joshua School Nurse                         203-879-8151

WHS SPED Personnel
Sweeney-Bizier, Kristin School Psychologist 203-879-8157
Barrett, Anamarie Speech/Language Pathologist 203-879-8157
McOmber, Sarah SPED Teacher                         203-879-8164
Majewski, Audra SPED Teacher                         203-879-8164
Russo, Stephanie SPED Teacher-Life Skills         203-879-8164
Daniele, Briana SPED Teacher-STEP                 203-879-8164
Fell, Julie         SPED Teacher                          203-879-8164
Nanfito, Allysia SPED Teacher-Phoenix         203-879-8164
Garguilo, Brittany SPED Teacher-18-21 year olds  203-879-8164

Aldridge, Sabrina  SPED Teacher                               203-879-8164

Ametli, Monila       SPED Teacher                               203-879-8164

Ferguson, Kristin SHAPE                                         203-879-8164
Giedra, Alyssa Guidance                                 203-879-8157
Villano-Corso, Taryn Guidance                         203-879-8157
Brochu,Kelley Guidance                                 203-879-8157
Wursthorn, Mark Guidance Director                         203-879-8157
Fontanella, Jill Social Worker                         203-879-8157
Hogrefe, Sarah OT 

Chipelo, Christie    OT

Owens, Marge PT
Guinipero, Lori School Nurse                                 203-879-8171

as of 10.05.2021