Special Education Team

  • Cardinal O’Connell Early Learning Center

    CSA Program

    Special Education Team


    Evaluation Team Chairperson (ETC) - Tracy Bowers

    Evaluation Team Chairperson (ETC) - Kim Travis

    Psychologist - Marin Cleary

    Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) - Krystal Gratta

    Occupational Therapist - (OT) - Krista Siopes-Clark

    Occupational Therapist - (OT) - Jillian Masse

    Physical Therapist - Barbara Stryker

    Behavior Specialist BCBA - Megan Chane


Available Special Education Programs

  • The Early Childhood Center at the Cardinal O’Connell provides early childhood education to all children and houses the Early Childhood Department staff.  Lowell Public Schools provides preschool to children that turn 4 on or before September 1st as well as young children with eligible disabilities upon their 3rd birthday.

    The Early Childhood Center at the Cardinal O’Connell is the first such early childhood center in Lowell.  The Center is focused on welcoming young children and their families into the school district.  It houses 2 full-day integrated preschool classrooms, 3 half-day integrated preschool classrooms, 3 sub-separate classrooms, and our Parent Child Home Program staff that provides home visits to 36 families in Lowell each year, in addition to weekly playgroups throughout the city.

    The Early Childhood Center at the Cardinal O’Connell is unique in its focus on providing high quality early education to young children and their families.  Our staff is committed to helping all children develop school readiness skills prior to kindergarten entry. We provide rich content through an integrated curriculum that offers children the opportunity to participate in whole group, small group, and center-based learning. This is linked to early learning standards that focus on social emotional learning, language and literacy, self-help, fine and gross motor skills, science and technology, history and social science, and arts. 

    Our goal at the Early Childhood Center at the Cardinal O’Connell is to strengthen the role families play as a child’s first teacher, while providing children with intentional learning opportunities that provide young children with the prerequisite skills known to positively impact school achievement.


    • CSA Program

      Program Components: The Program for Children with Autism (CSA program) is a full day, five-day a week program during the school year with extended year services available with the team's recommendation. Instruction takes place in a small, highly structured environment with integrated therapeutic instruction embedded within the curriculum with goals established through assessment and data collection to reflect the individual needs of students. The program offers a small staff to student ratio where students are taught using a combination of small group and individualized instruction. Related support services include Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational and Physical Therapy as recommended by the Educational Team. Related service providers, building based teams (social worker, psychologist, ETC), BCBAs, District Behavior Specialists and the Autism Support Specialist collaborate with classroom staff to support the development and integration of skills throughout the school day. 

      The District Autism Support Specialist and the BCBA/District Behavior Specialists consult to our programs, attend IEP meetings, provide home support, and consult with parents and outside providers, as needed. They provide on-going staff training and in class support through modeling and coaching techniques. 

      Home component services can be provided using a consultation or direct in home service method. Staff work collaboratively with families to determine which method of home component services will best meet the needs of the family and student to provide the greatest benefits.