Pupil Services Department creates safe + supportive learning environments for all MLS students

J. C-G

Madison Local Schools is proud to be a district that supports every single one of its students, whether it be in their academic and extracurricular lives, or their personal ones. We all know that each of our students are unique, not only with their own strengths and skill-sets, but their own learning styles, home-lives, experiences, aspirations, and goals. The Pupil Services Department plays a large part in ensuring all MLS students are supported and secure throughout their time in our buildings. 


“I describe Pupil Services as an ‘umbrella’ that encompasses all of the situations that arise which fall outside of typical education services,” explains Jen Catanese-Grimes, Director. 


The Pupil Services Department encompasses many areas, including: 

  • Special Education students in and out of the district

  • Students who are in the juvenile justice system

  • Students in mental health crisis

  • Students in drug treatment programs

  • Students on scholarship 

  • Homebound tutoring

  • Summer School/Summer Camps

  • Mental Health Programs District-Wide

  • Legal issues involving Special Education

  • Support of the Title IX Coordinator


Ms. Catanese-Grimes adds, “You never know depending on the day! Each of our staff members have defined roles within their area, but we all have to be flexible and roll with the tide as situations arise, which can change daily.” 


Within the department, Ms. Catanese-Grimes manages the Special Education staff, which includes Intervention Specialists, Educational Aides, and other related services such as Occupational Therapists, Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants, Physical Therapists, Speech/Language Pathologists, and Behavior Specialists. She also monitors the Special Education Budget, Curriculum, Discipline, Graduation, and the district’s Special Education Profile. 


Ms. Catanese-Grimes is a former English teacher, Athletic Director, Assistant Principal, and Principal, and uses these experiences to remain in touch with students and staff. 


“My role is to keep it ‘real’ with the students, develop trusting relationships, and give them the extra support they need when they are faced with difficult situations,” she says. “In my opinion, in order to do this job well, you have to be flexible, expect the unexpected, and be solution-oriented. It takes compassion, skill, and the ability to communicate and work well with others.” 


This 2022-23 school year, the Pupil Services Department is working toward a few goals, including: 


  • Tier 1 & 2 Interventions done with fidelity to support students with learning deficits who are not identified with a disability

  • Behavior Interventions district-wide to support students in crisis who exhibit atypical behavior

  • Understanding students with a disability and appropriate discipline using multiple supportive strategies based on the individual student


Angela Smith, Superintendent, states, “MLS could not function without the Pupil Services Department. This Department goes out of their way every single day to ensure our students are valued, supported, and secure in their education and opportunities, regardless of their personal lives.” 


MLS would like to extend our gratitude for the dedicated individuals that staff the Pupil Services Department as they work to create a safe environment for all MLS students. We couldn’t do this without you! 


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