Special Education Plan

Accepted by the Board of Education on July 2, 2019

Quick Stats | What’s New? | Annual Review Process | Adaptive Physical Education | Special Education District Plan Description | Continuum of Services at Niskayuna Central School District | Programs for School-Age Students | Programs for Preschool Students with Disabilities | Parentally Placed CSE | Space Allocation | Availability of Instructional Materials in Alternate Formats | Classification Rate |

Quick Stats

The Niskayuna Central School District acknowledges its responsibility to educate all of our children with disabilities in the least restrictive, appropriate environment. If a student’s needs necessitate placement in a program the District is unable to provide within its own school buildings, the goal of the Committee on Special Education is to return the child to District placement as soon as possible.

The CSE declassified 41 students last year. The year prior we declassified 40 students. Declassification occurs when a CSE student has made enough progress through special education support and/or the student is no longer eligible for classification. This area is tracked by state aid.

School | CSE Register | 504 Plans

  • Birchwood | 40 | 4
  • Craig Elementary School | 36 | 8
  • Glencliff Elementary School | 39 | 7
  • Hillside Elementary School | 39 | 10
  • Rosendale Elementary School | 56 | 6
  • Iroquois Middle School | 61 | 28
  • Van Antwerp Middle School | 47 | 17
  • Niskayuna High School | 143 | 76

School | CSE Register

  • Full-Day BOCES | 11
  • Scotia Glenville | 1
  • Langan | 2
  • Crossroads | 3
  • Home | 3
  • Move Program | 1
  • Oak Hill | 1
  • North East Parent and Child | 2
  • Wildwood | 7
  • Springbrook | 1
  • Tradewinds | 1
  • Vanderhyden | 1

What’s New?

CDOS – Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential. This new commencement credential is based on instruction, coursework, and work-based learning (WBL). “This credential recognizes each individual student’s preparation and skills for post-school employment.  Where in the past, many students graduated with an individualized education program (IEP) diploma, this credential provides a more meaningful substitute for these students. For students with disabilities who are exiting with a regular high school diploma, it provides them with the additional opportunity to exit school with a credential that also recognizes the students’ work readiness skills” (June 2013 memo from James DeLorenzo, NYSED).

In Grade 9 students begin documenting their 216 required hours of CTE Training and/or Work­Based Learning experiences. At least 54 of the 216 hours must be work-based learning experiences. Students continue to have meaningful access to the general education curriculum as part of their requirements to earn the credential. Students with disabilities who earn a Regents or local diploma and who meet the CDOS credential requirements may exit school with their diploma and a certificate that certifies their work readiness skills. Students with disabilities who do not earn a Regents or local diploma will graduate with the CDOS commencement credential.

a diagram of career studies

Annual Review Process

  1. 10 days before meeting paperwork is submitted by the case manager to the Director. Draft IEP and related reports are read by the Director.
  2. Feedback is given to special ed teachers regarding paperwork and IEP. Discussions held and revisions are made, as needed. Case Managers are expected to reach out to parents to discuss their recommendations with parents and to get input from them as well.
  3. Paperwork returned to the Director with corrections. Draft of IEP sent to the family before the meeting.
  4. Paperwork organized for meeting. The Director reviews paperwork again to make sure items are complete and we are prepared for the meeting.
  5. Meeting held. IEP draft is reviewed by the group. Changes are suggested by the committee and parents. The Director records those on paperwork. The Director takes minutes at the meeting
  6. After meeting, the Director prepares paperwork to be given to clerical staff and requests follow up items (testing, information, etc.).

chart for guiding principals for IEP development

APE Plan

Committee members came together and collaborated on the Adaptive PE plan for the district.  This includes new processes and procedures for qualifying for APE services, data collection on progress and exiting the service.

The Special Education District Plan

The New York State Commissioner of Education Regulations Part 200.1(c)(2) requires the District Plan to include the following components:

  • A description of the nature and scope of special education programs and services currently available to students and preschool students residing in the district. Including but not limited to descriptions of the district’s resource room programs and each special class program provided by the district in terms of group size and composition;
  • Identification of the number and age span of students and preschool students to be served by type of disability, and recommended setting;
  • The method to be used to evaluate the extent to which the objectives of the program have been achieved;
  • A description of the policies and practices of the board of education to ensure the continual allocation of appropriate space within the district for special education programs that meet the needs of students and preschool students with disabilities;
  • A description of the policies and practices of the board of education to ensure that appropriate space will be continually available to meet the needs of resident students and preschool students with disabilities who attend special education programs provided by boards of services;
  • A  description of how the district intends to ensure that all instructional materials to be used in the schools of the district will be made available in a usable alternative format, as such term is defined in paragraph (10) of subdivision  (b) of this section, for each student with a disability at the same time as such instructional materials are available to non­disabled students. To meet this requirement, the district plan may incorporate by reference the plan paragraph (10) of subdivision (b) of this section.
  • The  estimated  budget to support  such plan; and
  • The date on which such plan was adopted by the board of education.

Continuum of Services at Niskayuna Central School District

Services  provided within the general  education
Related  Services push  in
Consultant Teacher

Services  provided outside the general  education
Related Services pull out
Resource Room

Self­-contained  classrooms
8:1:3
12:1:2
15:1

BOCES Placements

Day Treatment Programs

Residential Treatment Facilities

Programs for School-Age Students Operated by the Niskayuna Central School District

Related Services

  • Related services of speech/language therapy are available to both disabled and non­disabled  students. The district employs 8 full-time and 1 part-time speech therapist.
  • Related services of occupational and physical therapy are available to disabled students as identified by the CSE/CPSE or building level  Section 504 Committees. We also provide OT and PT improvement to general education students, when possible. We currently employ 2 full-time Occupational  Therapist, 1 part-time Occupational Therapist and 1 full-time Occupational Therapist Assistant. The district employees 1 full-time physical therapist and contracts the other PT services needed through outside agencies.
  • We contract with  BOCES for the following related services: Teacher of Deaf and Hard of  Hearing, Audiology.
  • Counseling is available to both disabled and  non­disabled students. Currently, the District employs 6 full-time school psychologist, 11 full-time social workers, and 11 full-time counselors.

Consultant  Teacher Services

Consultant teacher services, as defined in section 200.1(m)  of the regulations, shall be for the purpose of providing direct and/or indirect services to students with disabilities who attend regular education classes, including career and technical education classes,  and/or to such students’ regular education teachers. Such services shall be recommended by the committee education to meet specific needs of such students and the student’s individualized education program (IEP)   the regular education classes in which the student will receive consultant teacher services.

  • Direct CT services mean specially designed instruction provided to an individual student with a disability or to a group of students with disabilities by a certified special education teacher to aid the student(s) to benefit from the general education class instruction. Direct CT can be combined with indirect CT services.
  • Indirect CT services mean consultation provided by a certified special education teacher to a general education teacher to assist the general education teacher in adjusting the learning environment and/or modifying his/her instructional methods to meet the individual needs of a student with a disability who attends the general education class. Indirect CT can be combined with direct CT services.
  • Each student with a disability requiring consultant teacher services receives direct and/or indirect services consistent with their IEP for a minimum of two hours per week
  • Consultant teachers may have a maximum caseload of 20 students at the elementary level and 25 at the high school level.

Resource Room.   Resource Room programs are taught by a special education teacher outside of the general education setting.

  • No more than 5 students may be placed in a resource room at any one time.
  • Students are assigned to resource room programs for not less than three hours per week and not more than 50% of the school day.
  • Students are assigned to resource room groups based on the similarity of individual needs according to levels of academic achievement, learning characteristics, social and physical development and management needs.
  • A teacher assigned to teach resource room full time may have a maximum caseload of 20 students. If the teacher is assigned to teach resource room and other special education classes, the caseload is prorated based on time in each assignment area.
  • The resource room program supports general education through small group review and reinforcement of skills, remediation of learning deficits and pre ­teaching of new concepts.

Special Class The District provides special class programs. Special class programs are taught by a special education teacher outside of the general education setting. The chronological age range within special classes for students less than 16 years of age may not exceed 36 months. If circumstances arise which would result in an age range greater than 36 months, the district would apply to the commissioner for a variance to Part 200.6(g)(5).

Outside the District Special Class Programs. The District provides special class programs. Special class programs are taught by a special education teacher outside of the general education setting. WSWHE Program placements based on individual student needs.

Approved Day Treatment Programs. The District provides program placement in approved Day Treatment programs based on individual student needs.

Approved Residential Programs. The District provides program placement in approved Residential Treatment programs based on individual student needs.

Programs for Preschool Students with Disabilities

The Niskayuna  CSD does not operate special education preschool programs. A continuum of special education and related services are made available to district preschool students with disabilities in programs located in private school settings, typical preschool programs or at home. Preschool special education programs and related services available to district students are described as follows:

Related Services. Related services for preschool students with disabilities may be provided in a variety of settings including home, typical preschool/nursery school programs, Head Start or a hospital and include:

  • Speech/Language Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Counseling

Special Class in a Segregated Setting. Special class programs in segregated settings do not include non­disabled students. Special classes in segregated settings are available to preschool children with disabilities from 2.5 to 5 hours per day.

Special Education Itinerant Teacher. This is a special education service in which the special education teacher provides support to the preschool child with a disability in the setting the child would be in if he/she did not have a disability such as home or nursery school.

Parentally Placed CSE

River Run and St. Kateri’s are private schools within the Niskayuna CSD attendance zone.  This obligates the CSD to oversee all special education needs and referrals from the Truthville School. This includes testing students suspected of having a disability. We provide special education teacher services, speech, and language and counseling to IEP students at River Run and St. Kateri’s.

Number of students to be served Parentally Placed Private or Parochial Schools:

  • District of Residence – CSE student lives in our district but attends private school outside of the district: 6
  • District of Location – CSE student that attends the St. Kats school and we provide IEP services to: 9

Space Allocation for Special Education

Niskayuna Central School District ensures that adequate and appropriate space is available for special education according to the New York Commissioner of Education Regulations NYCRR 200.2(c)(iv) and (v) in the following ways:

  • Adequate and appropriate space to meet the needs of special education programs and students is assessed each April when the Superintendent requests waivers of Board of Education policy if needed, from building principals;
  • The Special Education Directors/Director of PPS  monitors out of district facilities to ensure appropriate conditions for the instruction of students with disabilities through site visitations;
  • Allocation of Space for Special Education Programs and Services is a recommended BOE policy.

Availability of Instructional Materials in Alternate Formats

Pursuant to New York Commissioner of Education Regulations NYCRR 200.2(b)(10), the Niskayuna Central School District will use the following procedures to ensure that all instructional materials to be used in the schools of the District are available in a usable an alternative format for each student with a disability in accordance with the student’s educational needs and course selections at the same time that such materials are available to non­disabled Students:

  • When purchasing instructional materials, the District will give preference to vendors who agree to provide such instructional materials in alternative formats;
  • When an electronic file is provided, the format will be accessed by students, or converted to an accessible format, using District technology and/or equipment available in the school building and/or through the Library/Media Specialist and/or Technology Coordinator;
  • The needs or anticipated needs of students with disabilities for instructional materials in an alternative format will be reported to the building principal by the Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education yearly, or as soon as those needs are known, to provide sufficient time for planning and budgeting;
  • When considering the purchase of instructional materials, building principals will consult with  the Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education to identify the needs of students with disabilities residing in the District to ensure that alternative format materials are ordered and available at the same time as regular format materials are available;
  • When a student with a disability who requires materials in an alternative format moves into the District during the school year, the Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education will immediately notify the building principal of that student’s needs and assess whether appropriate materials are currently available. If appropriate materials are not available in the District’s inventory, such materials will be acquired as soon as possible and without undue delay.

District Classification Rates

2016-2017    10.6%

2017-2018    10.2%

The objectives of the overall special education program are described State Performance Plan indicators assigned by Regional Special Education – Technical Assistance Centers (RES­TACs) each year.

Additional methods of evaluation include student based assessment of the progress of each student with a disability in the spring using individual measures of academic achievement such as standardized tests, curriculum-based assessments, and state testing.