The Hartford Public Schools’ Special Education Department supports the District’s mission to support the full potential of each and every student. Our goal is to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to and benefit from the general education curriculum.

The Office of Student Support Services falls under the Office of Academics. The Special Education Department is led by a Senior Executive Director and six in-district Special Education Directors. The Special Education Directors work closely with all HPS schools. 

We support students who have been identified as requiring special education in district schools, CREC magnet schools, LEARN magnet schools, Open Choice, and neighboring communities if they are Hartford residents.

Special education programming and support includes accommodations and modifications of the general education curriculum and environment, individualized goals and objectives (in an IEP), coordinated transition services, assistive technology, and related services. Related services include psychological, speech and language, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, visual and hearing support, and specialized transportation services. All services and supports are identified at the PPT (Planning and Placement Team meeting) and included in the IEP.

Please see the materials and forms in our Special Education Document Library if you have specific questions or concerns. 


Special education programming includes:

  • accommodations and modifications of the general education curriculum and environment
  • personalized goals and objectives
  • coordinated transition activities
  • assistive technology

Related services include:

  • psychological services
  • speech and language
  • social work services
  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy
  • services for students with visual and/or hearing impairments
  • specialized transportation

The Sparkler App: Developmental Support for Children Ages Birth to 6 years

Sparkler is a mobile app-based service brought to Connecticut families by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood. It promotes healthy early childhood development for children starting at birth to age 6.

Learn more here, and get the app using the links below.

To use Sparkler:
Download the Sparkler: Play for Parenting app at Google Play Store or the Apple App Store

Building Healthy Families’ Early Learning Provider Code: Hartford



Jennifer Hoffman, Senior Executive Director of Special Education

Karen Russ, Executive Assistant to the Senior Executive Director

Michelle Keegan, Director of Compliance 

Nelson Rivera, Ph.D., Lead Psychologist

Mary Cristofaro, Special Education Director

Sherlye Jackson, Special Education Director 

Lida Mendez, Special Education Director

Alison Ward, Special Education Director 

Joanne Tremblay-Jackson, Director of Student Support Services, Social, Behavioral, Title IX Coordinator

Pam Even, Out Of District (OOD) Director 

Susan Bazzano, OOD Specialist 

Denise Congdon, OOD Specialist 

Noreen Trenchard- OOD Specialist 

Sharon McCutcheson- OOD Specialist 

Rajni Salvaggio – OOD Specialist 

Charity Smith- OOD Specialist