Special Education

Special Education is not a place, it is a service

The goal is to provide all students with a disability the services necessary for success in the least restrictive classroom environment. We have a strong emphasis on raising expectations and standards of excellence for all PK – 12 students culminating in graduation. Through the partnership between parents, teachers, administrators, and related service providers we will achieve excellence in teaching and learning for every one of our students.

Children with Disabilities

A child with a disability means a student under the age of 21 who is entitled to attend public schools and who, because of mental, physical or emotional reasons can only receive appropriate educational opportunities from a program of special education. A child is not considered as having a disability if his or her educational needs are due primarily to unfamiliarity with the English language; environmental, cultural or economic factors; or lack of appropriate instruction in reading or mathematics.

The district recognizes the existence of individual differences in the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of children attending school at OESJ. In recognizing these differences, the Board of Education supports a system of services offered in the least restrictive environment for children with disabilities which includes:

  • Not requiring any student to obtain a prescription for a drug or other substance identified as a controlled substance by the federal Controlled Substances Act as a condition of receiving services
  • Education in regular classes with or without support services, education in a resource room, education for part of the day in a special class, full time education in a special class, home instruction and education in a residential setting
  • Providing for the education of students with disabilities with non-disabled peers to the extent appropriate
  • Taking measurable steps to recruit, hire, train and retain highly qualified personnel to provide special education programs and services
  • Adoption of written policies and procedures ensuring that students with disabilities are provided appropriate opportunities to earn a high school diploma in accordance with Commissioner’s regulations
  • Allocation of appropriate space within the District for special education programs that meet the needs of students with disabilities
  • Assurance that appropriate space will be available to meet the needs of resident students with disabilities who attend special education programs provided by BOCES

Preschool Children with Disabilities

The district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is responsible for ensuring that parents are aware of the opportunities available for evaluation of children 3-5 years old who are suspected of having a disability, and for services to preschool children with disabilities. The committee consists of representatives from preschool special education agencies, county administrators, parents and district staff. All recommendations for services are made to the Board of Education. If you have concerns about your child’s development, or would like more information, please call the Special Education office at (518) 568-2014 ext. 115.

Committee on Special Education (CSE)

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is sanctioned and regulated by New York State. It acts as a multi-disciplinary team to evaluate the management, academic, physical and social needs of the referred child and determines if there is an educational disability. The CSE must then decide on an appropriate program or placement for the student and the need for related services (i.e. occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, counseling, etc.) if necessary.

IEP Plan

The Committee on Special Education must develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for all students who are eligible for special education services. In developing the IEP, the committee considers evaluations, student strengths, concerns of the parent and, where appropriate, student performance on state and district assessments. An IEP documents the following: present level of performance; how the student’s disability impacts his/her participation in the general curriculum; classification of the disability; annual goals; recommended programs and services; whether or not the student will participate in state or alternate assessments; a list of any alternative accommodations; a list of any assistive technology devices; and transitional goals at the appropriate time.

Information for Parents/Guardians