Special Education Department Overview
The South Colonie Central School District is responsible for providing special education services to all resident students who qualify for such supports. These services are coordinated by the district’s Pupil Services Department, which encompasses the district’s Committees for Special Education at the preschool, elementary and secondary levels. The Pupil Services Office also oversees the district’s health (nurses), counseling and mental health (social workers and school psychologists) services for all resident students.
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.
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.
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.
SEPTA helps parents of Children With Special Needs
The South Colonie Special Education PTA or SEPTA is a special PTA unit chartered in 2009 to help parents advocate for children with special needs. Special Education provides a free appropriate education in the least restrictive environment for children who require differentiated programs and/or special services beyond what is typically provided by the general education school program. Visit the SEPTA web page for more information.
Family supports through OPWDD
The New York State Office of People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) provides families with a variety of services like respite, family reimbursement, recreation, counseling, training and support. For more information, visit the OPWDD website.
Notice to parents regarding inclement weather and Committee on Special Education meetings
If school is delayed or cancelled, the information will be sent over the district’s Emergency Telephone Notification System, in addition to being posted on this website and distributed to several local media outlets for their websites and/or broadcasts. If you have a Committee on Special Education (CSE) meeting scheduled for a day that school is cancelled or delayed, please be aware of the following information:
IF SCHOOL IS CLOSED
- All meetings and presentations, both day and evening will be canceled
IF SCHOOL IS DELAYED ONE HOUR
- High School and Middle School CSE meetings will begin with the 9 a.m. meeting
- Elementary CSE meetings will begin with the 9:30 a.m. meeting
- Preschool CPSE meetings will begin with the 10 a.m. meeting
- If your CSE/CPSE meeting was scheduled before the times above, your meeting will be canceled on that day and you will be notified of the rescheduled date and time
IF SCHOOL IS DELAYED 2 HOURS
- High School and Middle School CSE meetings will begin with the 10 a.m. meeting
- Elementary CSE meetings will begin with the10:30 a.m. meeting
- Preschool CPSE meetings will begin with the 11 a.m. meeting
- If your CSE/CPSE meeting was scheduled before the times above, your meetings will be canceled on that day and you will be notified of the rescheduled date and time
Publications and links for Special Education parents and students
Note: The State Education Department has recently revised the special education regulations to come into compliance with the 2004 IDEIA. These regulations do not reflect the most recent State changes in law (Chapter 378 of the Laws of 2007).
Special Education Guide – The go-to resource for mastering the terminology, procedures and best practices in special education.
Parent Guide to Special Education – A Parent’s Guide to Special Education provides information for parents, guardians and other family members about laws, regulations and policies affecting special education programs and services. Spanish translation also available at this site.
IDEA 2004 – Individuals With Disabilities Education Improvement Act 2004 information.
Information for Parents of Preschool Students with Disabilities AGES 3-5 – Website with information for parents of preschool children suspected of having a disability.
Resolving Concerns About Your Child’s Special Education Services – Website with information and steps to resolve concerns regarding your child and his/her special education programs or services.
Are you the parent of a Child with a Disability? – Web site with information relating to access to the general education curriculum and the safety net for students with disabilities who pursue a Regents or local high school diploma.
Special Education Mediation – Real Solutions Where Everybody Wins – Website describes a cooperative way to help resolve differences of opinion between parents and school districts regarding special education programs and services.
Parts 200 and 201 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education – Website with information on the responsibilities of school districts and provides definitions as related to services for students with disabilities.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services for High School Students – Website offering a question and answer resource for parents with information on eligibility for vocational rehabilitation services and placement services including job-seeking skills training, employer referrals, work tryouts and on-the-job services.
Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities – The New York State Education Department web site for individuals with disabilities.
Learning Disabilities Association of New York State – LDA of New York State is a nationally affiliated non-profit parent/professional organization chartered by the New York State Board of Regents in 1958 to promote the education and general welfare of individuals with learning disabilities. LDA of New York State membership includes parents, educators, adults with learning disabilities and professionals from a variety of related fields.
NYS Technical Assistance Parent Centers – There are 13 Special Education Parent Centers across New York State. These centers provide parents of children with disabilities information, resources, and strategies on a variety of topics.