South Orangetown Middle School

Continuum of Services

The South Orangetown Middle School is committed to providing instruction that is aligned with the New York State standards, prepares students for Regents Examinations and expands the cognitive horizons of our students – pushing them to new levels of thinking and achieving. The District is dedicated to providing the necessary supports and resources to ensure that every child is provided appropriate educational programming and academic supports in order to achieve the highest academic standards. This handbook provides an overview of what SOMS has to offer our students, including academic intervention services, ELL, and Special Education services; recognizing the unique strengths of students and knowing that not all children learn at the same rate or in the same manner.

Academic Intervention Services are designed to provide students with low, moderate, or high intensity support depending on their needs.

  • ELA Enhancement
    • Focus is on increasing reading skills and strategies
    • Some ELA prep activities: Reading, Listening, and Writing
  • Math Enhancement
    • Focus is on increasing skills and concepts
    • Some Math prep activities
  • Reading Support is offered daily for foreign language exempt or deferred students
    • Exempt Students: Foreign language exemption is provided for students who have a documented language disability. This is usually documented by an average or higher performance IQ and a verbal IQ that fall below the average range.
    • Language Deferred: Principal’s discretion. Student needs to take a foreign language in high school. This deferral is given to students new to the school and/or students who need the extra reading period.
    • Reading Support Services are available to all students through the RTI process.
  • Academic Centers
    • Provide academic support for identified students. Pre-teaching, re-teaching and emotional supports offered daily or alternate days.
    • Focus can be on getting students organized and prepared to get homework completed.
  • Skills Groups
    • Small groups meet with our Prevention Counselor or School Social Worker to develop and strengthen social skills.
  • Peer Tutors
    • Eighth grade honor students volunteer their help for students needing support in a particular subject.

Students sometimes have difficulty achieving success in courses, finals, etc. at the middle school level. We have a program called Response to Intervention (RTI). The team of teachers, the student, the parent, and the guidance counselor will create a plan to address the needs of the student. Each plan will be customized based on the individual student’s needs and will be coordinated by a RTI teacher. Parents will meet with counselors to review the plan. Our goal is to increase student success. There is a direct correlation between student success in middle school and their future success in high school; therefore, the time for change is now. Additional information will be distributed to the family if any student needs this type of help. Please contact your child’s guidance counselor for additional information.

Following is a visual representation of RTI services, in progressive order from low to moderate to intensive need:

  1. Tier 1: Differentiation intervention
  2. Tier 2: More targeted interventions, such as Math/ELA enhancements and Academic Center
  3. Tier 3: If Tiers I & II interventions are inadequate, consideration for special education services


  • Challenge Lab
    • During periods seven, eight or nine students have the opportunity to work with the teacher of the gifted and other students who share common interests in academics. Students who were identified for gifted services at the elementary level are invited to participate. Other students who are interested are welcome to join. Students, teachers or parents can nominate/request that a student be included. Classes concentrate on the following areas of interest: problem solving, creative writing, word study, history and/or research. Many of these students participate in contests and are encouraged to enter work for publication.
  • Peer Tutors
    • High achieving students have the opportunity to volunteer to help other students. They receive community service credit for this experience.
  • Music Opportunities
    • Instrumental Music Opportunities: Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Concert Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra. Students can begin an instrument or continue with their instruments.
    • Choral Music Opportunities: Chorale, Concert Choir, Treble Chorus: All students have the opportunity to participate.
    • Performing Music Groups meet 6×6 or 3×6.
    • Grades 6, 7 and 8 students receive instrument lessons, six lessons per quarter.
    • Grades 6, 7 and 8 students receive chorus lessons, six lessons per quarter.
    • Lessons are taught as pullouts from class. If a student is in more than one group they still only attend six lessons per quarter.
  • Team Meetings
    • Interdisciplinary teams meet weekly to monitor students’ progress and to coordinate instructional activities.
  • Child Study Team
    • This is a multidimensional team of professionals that include administrators, psychologists and special education teachers. The team meets weekly to discuss students. All recommendations for Special Education services must go through this team.
  • Evaluation Process
    • Child Study Team may request a psycho-educational screening to determine if special education services are needed.
    • Committee on Special Education (CSE): Includes psychologist, counselors, regular education teachers, special education teachers and parents. The committee meets to make decisions related to Special Education services.
    • 504 Plan: Accommodation Plans addressing instructional support services may be developed for students not classified as students with disabilities.


  • Academic Center Daily or Alternate Days: The ratio is 15:1. Students who are more independent are recommended for 3×6. These students are transitioning towards less service. Students who need structure and support in various subjects attend 6×6. The focus is on skills development, organizational issues, and study skills.
  • Consultant Classes: There are consultant sections at every grade level and for the four core subjects. Consultant teachers and classroom teachers plan together each week. The consultant teacher provides insight into modifications and adaptations that will be needed based on the student’s IEP and learning styles. Each grade level team has special education teachers to provide consistency for students and curriculum consistency.
  • Integrated Co-Teach Program: Students are placed in this program for core academic subjects and mainstreamed as appropriate. Careful attention is given to mainstreaming children in foreign language class and the explore cycle (Art, Music, P.E., Technology). Mainstreamed classes are selected to enhance student success.
  • English Language Learners (ELL): There are five levels of Services: Entering, Emerging, Transitioning, Expanding, and Commanding. Units of study are based on the student’s language level.
  • Wilson Reading: This is a specialized reading program delivered in a small group (5 or less). This program is Orton-Gillingham based and develops decoding skills for students who are significantly below grade level in this area.
  • Speech/Language Services: This service is delivered to students with language disabilities or deficiencies in the area of receptive and/or expressive language.
  • Occupational Therapy: Services designed to achieve maximum physical and mental functioning of a student in daily tasks. Services are determined by the CSE after a functional evaluation of the student is completed.
  • Physical Therapy: Services provided to students with a physical impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. Services are determined by the CSE.
  • VI or HI Services: Services provided to students with a hearing or vision impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance. Services are determined by the CSE.

Following is a visual representation of Special Education services, in progressive order from least restrictive to more restrictive:

  • Academic Center 3×6 >> Academic Center 6×6
  • Reading >> Reading Workshop (foreign language exempt) or Wilson Reading
  • Consultant Classes (ELA, Math, Science, Social Studies) >> Integrated Co-Teach Program
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