Student Services

What's Special About the Novi Community School District?

An overview of programs and services for students with special learning needs.


The Novi Community School District offers a full continuum of program/service options designed to meet the individual needs of eligible students with disabilities from birth through age 26.  Novi Community Schools’ Special Education programs operate in accordance with all state and federal guidelines.  Novi’s special education programs assist students with a variety of social, emotional and learning impairments.  Emphasis is placed on educating all students in traditional classrooms in their neighborhood school, to the maximum extent appropriate based on their individual needs.  All decisions regarding programs and placement are made by an Individualized Educational Planning Team.  Parental involvement in the development as well as implementation is an integral part of programming.


What is Early On® Oakland?

Early On® Oakland is a network of services for families of children birth to age three who are developmentally delayed, or are at risk of developing delays because of an established medical condition, or who have a disability.
Early On® Oakland is based on a partnership between families and Service Providers, and helps the families find the support they need for their child. There are no income restrictions for eligibility.
If that little voice inside your head is telling you that something isn't "quite right" with your baby or toddler, don't wait to reach out for help. The first years of a child's life are too important to let slip by. Don't wait to see if your little one "outgrows" your concern. Working on delays and concerns early means that children have a good chance for a great start in life.
Put your mind at ease, and give your child the help he or she may need by visiting Early On® Oakland today!

For free information and resources about your child's development, call 248.209.2084 or toll-free at 866.456.2084.



The Student Support Team (SST) is a problem-solving process that may be used by teachers and parents to help address learning or behavioral differences. At the SST meeting, specific learning challenges are identified and intervention strategies are decided upon. The SST may reconvene as many times as necessary to resolve the concern. 


Novi Community Schools provides evaluations for students who are suspected of having a disability under IDEA (the federal special education law) and/or Section 504. If there is reason to suspect that the student has a disability, staff may use the SST process to recommend an evaluation. Parental consent will be requested prior to evaluation. Following the 504 or special education evaluation, a team meeting is held to review the evaluation data and develop an appropriate program for the student.


Resource programs are available in all buildings. All these programs serve students with a variety of disabilities including emotional, cognitive, speech/language, hearing, vision, physical/health impairments and learning disabilities. Teachers in these programs are endorsed in one or more areas of special education. The amount and type of support that the student will receive from the resource program is determined by the IEP Team.

At all levels the resource programs are departmentalized; students may move from class to class and may see more than one resource teacher based on the subjects they are taking within the special education department. In grades 5-8 the resource program sometimes provides support through a model known as coteaching. In this situation general education and resource teachers share responsibilities in the general classroom. Placement in a coteaching team or classroom is a decision made by the IEP Team. At the Middle School and High School, options such as an Integrated Studies class and the Academic Support Center assist students in achieving the high standards set by the Michigan Merit Curriculum.

At Orchard Hills, Parkview, Novi Woods, Novi Meadows, the Middle School, and the High School there are resource programs for students who have more significant challenges and need most of their instruction in a special education classroom. These programs focus on basic academics, life skills, and prevocational education, and might include students who have been found eligible under the categories of cognitive impairment, physical impairment, autism, emotional impairment, or any other disability which requires intensive support from a team of educators.

An Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program serves preschool-aged children with disabilities who require a specialized classroom setting (i.e., their needs cannot be met in a typical preschool or day care setting.) This program is housed at the ITC, adjacent to the Community Education Preschool classrooms, and runs for four half-days per week.


A wide range of related services is available within Novi Community Schools to meet the individual needs of eligible students. These include speech/language therapy, school social work services, occupational and physical therapy, and teacher consultant services. Transition plans are developed for all eligible students beginning at age 16 or younger if appropriate. One of the High School resource teachers oversees community placements for secondary students who have that need. Functional Behavior Assessments are conducted for students at all levels whose behavior impedes their own learning or the learning of others, and Behavior Intervention Plans are developed as necessary by the IEP Team. Appropriate related services are identified through the IEPT process.


Oakland Schools, the intermediate school district of which Novi is a part, currently provides a variety of services to students, parents and staff. The Student Support Center at Oakland Schools currently provides consultation in the areas of hearing and audiology, vision, speech/language, augmentative communication, and assistive technology. Itinerant teacher consultants provide services to students who have hearing, visual or physical impairments, and orientation/mobility specialists provide training to students who are blind/visually impaired. All referrals for Oakland Schools services are processed through the Director of Student Services in the resident district.


Some students have specific needs which are best addressed in specialized settings. These students are identified through the IEP Team process. Novi students have access to several center-type programs which are operated by neighboring districts through cooperative agreements and tuition arrangements. These may include programs for students who have been identified under the categories of cognitive impairment, severe multiple impairment, autism, hearing impairment, and physical impairment. Prevocational training is available at the post-secondary level. Novi's youngest residents, those ages 0-3, may be served through Early Intervention services provided by the Walled Lake School District. Additional out-of-district placements also may be available through contractual arrangements with other agencies, depending on the needs of the student as identified by the IEP Team. Referrals to all out-of-district programs are handled through the Director of Student Services in the resident district.


For evaluations of infants and toddlers (ages 0-3) call:
Laurie Leonard at Early On Oakland
Phone: 248-209-2084 or
Toll Free (866) 456-2084

For evaluations of Birth - 3 and preschoolers (ages 3 -5) call:
Jen Ellis, Child Find Coordinator
Phone: 248-675-3434 Ext. 9108

For new families moving to Novi (requiring information for Special Education), call:
Cindy Pingel (k-12, Adult Ed.)
Phone: 248-449-1200 Ext. 2030

For records request, call:
Nancy Turner
Phone: 248-449-1207

For evaluations of students in grades K-12, call:
Shailee Patel, Director of Student Services
Phone: 248-449-1413

For Section 504 evaluations, call:
Darby Hoppenstedt, 504 Coordinator
Phone: 248-449-1418

Please note the following resources which are available to assist parents in understanding their rights relative to state and federal disability laws:

It is the policy of the Novi Community Schools not to discriminate on the basis of religion, race, national origin, sex or handicap in educational programs, activities or services. All students shall have an equal opportunity to participate in, and benefit from, all academic and extra-curricular activities and services.

Revised 04/16