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Schalmont Special Education Report 2017

10/4/17

Printable Files

Below are copies of Schalmont's Special Education Update, District Plan and Powerpoint presentation given to BOE in September 2017.

Click here to download the Special Education Data Packet
and District Plan PDF

Click here to download a copy of the Special Education Powerpoint Presentation PDF

If you are having accessibility issues with any of these documents, please contact Program Assistant Genienne Bakuzonis at (518) 355-9200 x 4018 or gbakuzonis@schalmont.net.

District Plan for Special Education

The Schalmont Central School District is committed to providing a quality education for all students. The Special Education Department offers a continuum of services that afford students access to the general education curriculum in accordance with their own individual capabilities. Programs are designed so students may receive the highest quality of services within the general education setting, among age appropriate peers, to the greatest degree possible.

Goals of the Special Education Department

To provide services utilizing an inclusive model within the general education setting that enables all students to achieve their highest potential.

To provide a continuum of services that address academic, social, emotional, physical and management needs in order for all students to achieve their highest potential.

To develop positive working relationships with parents and members of the school community throughout the entire intervention and special education process.

To teach the Common Core curriculum and work toward the high level of achievement expected across all programs while providing challenging educational learning opportunities.

To develop interpersonal skills and increase capacity to think critically, solve problems effectively and apply the skills to “real-life” situations.

To develop, within special education students, essential skills and competencies for students to be college and career ready in order to be successful in postsecondary experiences.

Committe on Preschool Special Education and Committee on Special Education

The Schalmont Central School District Committee on Special Education (CSE) and Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) are comprised of a chairperson, school psychologist, the child’s general education teacher, the child’s special education teacher, the child’s parent or person in parental relation, school physician (when requested), related service providers and parent member, when regulations require. The committees are responsible for initiating formal evaluations and implementing recommendations for each referred student according to specified guidelines and time frames.

Preschool Children with Disabilities

The Schalmont Central School District Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) coordinates referrals and evaluations for children between the ages of three and five years old. Children may be referred if there are concerns regarding development in any of the following areas:

Cognitive Development: How a child learns, retains information and generalizes skills
to new learning situations.

Language Development: (Communication) How a child uses or understands language.

Physical Development: How a child demonstrates use of fine and gross motor skills in daily activities.

Social-Emotional Development: How a child relates to peers and adults and perceives him/herself.

Adaptive Development: How a child is able to complete daily living activities such as dressing, grooming, eating, toileting etc.

Committee membership for CPSE includes the chairperson, general education teacher, child’s parent or person in parental relation, county representative, agency evaluators and/or special education service providers and a parent member, when regulations require.

If a child demonstrates a significant weakness in any one or more of the areas, he/she may be eligible to receive intervention to improve skills in the developmental area.

Committee on Special Education

The Schalmont Central School District provides a wide range of preventative services for the purpose of utilizing all general education supports prior to initiating a referral to the Committee on Special Education. At the building level, Instructional Support Teams consisting of various school personnel, typically the principal, school psychologist, general education teacher, special education teacher and school social worker, meet on a regular basis to assess, plan and monitor the needs of identified at-risk students.

Related service providers are also invited to attend the Response To Intervention Support Team Meetings to provide input into planned intervention strategies. In this way, all available and appropriate services can be provided in order to address the specific needs of students within the general education setting to the greatest degree possible.

Implementation of “Response To Intervention” mandates are required as of July, 2012. When provided with appropriate instruction, if the student does not adequately achieve grade level standards in reading and math and is not making sufficient progress toward meeting those standards when provided with appropriate instruction through the district's Response to Intervention Program, a referral to special education is submitted.

CSE Membership

The Committee on Special Education is comprised of the student’s parent or person in parental relation, chairperson, general education teacher, special education teacher, school psychologist, related service providers and parent member, when requested by the student’s parent. Together, the Committee determines eligibility and the types of supports and services the student will receive if he/she is identified as having a disability. When identified, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed in accordance with Part 200 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. The IEP/ student program and services are reviewed on an annual basis.

CSE Referral Process

A referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) is initiated after all the available general education supports and services have been exhausted and/or when a student is not responding, as expected, to an increase in frequency and duration of instructional interventions. A referral may be made by a student’s parent or person in parental relationship, a student who is over eighteen years of age, and designated members of the school district. Staff, outside agencies and physicians may direct a request for referral to a district designee for consideration.

Once a referral is made to the CSE, formal evaluations and assessments are conducted to obtain a student profile for the purpose of ascertaining the extent to which special education services may be necessary. All Response to Intervention data is collected.

If the CSE determines that a student qualifies for special education services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed in accordance with Part 200 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and includes the following components:

-Classification of the disability
-Present levels of performance and individual needs
-Least restrictive environment
-How the disability affects student’s progress in the general education setting
-Special education program and related services
-Extent of participation in the general education setting
-Annual goals and related objectives (where appropriate)
-Specialized equipment and adaptive devices
-Alternative testing procedures
-Transition goals, if appropriate

SCHOOL AGE STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES CONTINUUM OF SERVICES - IN DISTRICT

Schalmont Central School District offers a continuum of programs and services to school-age and preschool students with disabilities ranging from related services only to highly specialized programs in segregated settings. A description of the nature of special education programs and services currently available includes:

RELATED SERVICES

Certified providers offer a range of services to students with disabilities. Such services include, but are not limited to the following:

-Medical/Nursing Services
-Occupational Therapy
-Physical Therapy
-Speech/language Services
-Counseling/Social Work Services
-Hearing Impaired Services

The district employs the following specialists to provide the above listed services:

 Three (3.5) Nurses-(1) JES, (1) MS, (1) HS and (.5) District
One (1) Occupational Therapist
One (1) Physical Therapists
Four (4) Speech Language Pathologists
Four (4) School Social Workers (1.5) JES (1) MS (1.5) HS
Five (5) Guidance Counselors (2) MS (3) HS
Two (2) Sign Language Interpreters

SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER SERVICES

Consultant Teacher Services are available at all schools and all grade levels within the district. Consultant teacher services means direct and/or indirect services provided to a student with a disability within the regular education classroom. Consultant teacher services must be provided by a certified special education teacher. A Teacher of the Deaf, although specialized in Deaf Education, also assumes a consultant role.

The total number of students with disabilities assigned to a consultant teacher shall not exceed 20.

Each student with a disability requiring consultant teacher services shall receive direct and/or indirect services consistent with the student's IEP for a minimum of two hours each week, except that the committee on special education may recommend that a student with a disability who also needs resource room services in addition to consultant teacher services, may receive a combination of such services consistent with the student’s IEP for not less than three hours per week.

Resource Room programs shall be for the purpose of supplementing the regular or special classroom instruction of students with disabilities who are in need of such supplemental programs and are taught by special education teachers.

Each student with a disability requiring a resource room program shall receive not less than three hours of instruction per week in such program, except that the committee on special education may recommend that a student with a disability who also needs consultant teacher services in addition to resource room services, may receive a combination of such services consistent with the student’s IEP for not less than three hours per week.
Students shall not spend more than 50 percent of their time during the day in the resource room program.
An instructional group which includes students with disabilities in a resource room program shall not exceed five students per teacher.

The composition of instructional groups in a resource room program shall be based on the similarity of the individual needs of the students according to: levels of academic or educational achievement and learning characteristics; levels of social development; levels of physical development; and the management needs of the students in the classroom.

The total number of students with a disability assigned to a resource room teacher at our elementary schools shall not exceed 20 students.

The total number of students with a disability assigned to a resource room teacher who serves students enrolled in grades seven through twelve or a multi-level middle school program operating on a period basis shall not exceed 25 students.

Integrated Co-Teaching Classes

Integrated co-teaching services means the provision of specially designed, academic instruction provided to a group of students with disabilities and non-disabled students. It is a means through which students with IEPs receive some or all of their specialized instruction and related services in the context of the general education classroom.

 In this model, two professionals with teaching certification are co-teachers, one who is a general education teacher and one who is a special education teacher. Both professionals participate fully, although differently, in the instructional process. General educators maintain primary responsibility for the content of the learning instruction; special educators hold primary responsibility for facilitating the learning process. Co-teaching is one mechanism for facilitating effective inclusion.

Special Class

A student with a disability shall be placed in a special class for instruction on a daily basis to the extent indicated in the student's individualized education program. This can be done by period in the middle and high school, or by content are in the elementary school. A special class shall be composed of students with disabilities with similar individual needs. The maximum class size for those students whose special education needs consist primarily of the need for specialized instruction which can best be accomplished in a self-contained setting shall not exceed 15 students, 12 students, or 8 students, depending on the approved class ratio.

The chronological age range within special classes of students with disabilities who are less than 16 years of age shall not exceed 36 months, unless it is a class for students with more significant disabilities with a student/adult ratio of 3 students to one adult. The chronological age range within special classes of students with disabilities who are 16 years of age and older is not limited. The majority of students in all of our district’s self contained programs participate in the same state assessments as their typical peers, however some do qualify to take the NYS Alternate Assessment for Students with Severe Disabilities.

District Special Classes

Schalmont's self-contained special education program continuum consists of a variety of special classes. Special class means a class consisting of students with disabilities who have been grouped together because of similar individual needs for the purpose of being provided specially designed instruction as defined. These self-contained programs may be multi-aged and/or multi-graded. Special classes, or self-contained programs, are available to students with disabilities at Schalmont’s elementary, middle, and high school campus’ as well as out of the district when appropriate (i.e. BOCES placements, private schools or day treatment programs). District sponsored self-contained programs include the following:

Early Intervention Skills Class/Primary Skills Class (12:1:1)

Named the Language Concepts Class, this class is designed for young students with disabilities in grades K and 1. This program provides intensive development of language skills, social skills, and other developmental skill areas in order to prepare the student to achieve academic and social success. A speech-language pathologist works intensively with students in this program to support the development of important communication skills. Occupational therapy, physical therapy, and school social work are also available to students as needed. Students may be mainstreamed when recommended by the committee on special education. Classroom aides support students within the program, during special area classes (music, art, PE, or library) or otherwise in the mainstream when appropriate. Some students in this class also receive Integrated Co-Teaching Services as a way to give them special education support while in the general education setting. The class is currently housed at Jefferson Elementary School.

Challenge Program/Intermediate Skills Class (12:1:1)

The Challenge program provides special education instruction to students with disabilities in grades 2 through 5. Taught by a certified special education teacher, this program provides students with academic support through a modified curriculum in a smaller classroom setting. Academic programs are streamlined to meet each student’s academic and behavioral needs. Students are mainstreamed into special area classes (art, music, PE, and library) with general education students. Mainstreaming or auditing opportunities in academic classes are also available to students as appropriate and when designated on the student’s individual education program. The Challenge program is supported by three classroom aides as well as related services. It is currently housed at Jefferson Elementary School.

Behavioral Development Class (8:1:2)

This class is located at Jefferson Elementary School and currently services students in grades one through three. This may fluctuate from year to year. Students demonstrate specific behavior components, especially active non-compliance (refusal). Students in this setting often need a highly structured environment and a day that allows for breaks in demands and requested activities in order to keep behaviors under control. A school social worker is an integral part of this program.

Functional Skills Program (12:1:1)

Housed at Schalmont Middle School, this program is designed for middle school students with disabilities who benefit from a smaller classroom setting and continue to require intensive development of skills in order to succeed in core classes (English, science, social studies, and math). Students are mainstreamed for special area classes with support when necessary. Functional life skills and social skill instruction are incorporated into this program. Related services are available as needed.

Skills Development I (12:1:1)

The Skills Development I (SD I) program is housed at the High School and is designed to meet the needs of students with significant learning issues. Students generally receive instruction in self-contained classes for English, Math, Social Studies, and Science. Resource room support is provided on an as-needed basis as per IEP recommendations. When appropriate, students are mainstreamed with adult support in elective classes. Some students in this program attend Vo-Tec in their Junior or Senior years to obtain vocational training. Social work, speech/language services, occupational therapy, and physical therapy are provided as appropriate. Several students in this program elect to remain in our school until they are age 21. This is their right under IDEA guidelines.

Departmentalized Special Class Programs at the Secondary Level/Skills Development II (15:1:1)

In the departmentalized secondary level program at the middle school and high school, students may take 1 or 2 special education classes per day. These are designated as Intermediate Skills English or Intermediate Skills Math. Students in this program may attend a period of resource room for additional support. Students are mainstreamed for Science class and electives with the assistance of adult support as needed. Supportive social work services are provided to all students on an as needed basis. Students in this program are working towards achieving a regents or local diploma.

OUT OF DISTRICT PLACEMENT SERVICES

Capital Region BOCES

Contracted services are provided through Capital Region BOCES for students whose needs dictate programs and/or services not currently available in-district. Most of these focus on behavior and management need and are housed in other public school buildings or in a BOCES self contained building. Some others are set up for students with multiple severe deficits such as cerebral palsy, genetic or chromosome abnormalities and significant intellectual disabilities.

Students with disabilities often need support beyond the classroom instruction. Schalmont students who are receiving services in BOCES placements in or out of district may utilize staff for:

Vision Services as a related service provided by a certified teacher of the visually impaired

Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy Services

Behavioral Support Services, Counseling, Social Work Services and Psychological Services

Parentally Placed Private/Parochial School Students with Disabilities

Students who require services under the CSE and have been parentally placed in a private or parochial school will receive special education services from the school district of the private school’s location. The school district of the student’s residence continues to be responsible for transportation and ultimately will be required to fund the special education services provided by the district of location.

Methods of Evaluations

The evaluation of the progress of students with disabilities as well as the evaluation of special education programs and services includes but is not limited to the following information:

-Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals and objectives.
-Results of standardized tests and other assessment instruments as indicated on the IEP.
-Reports submitted by special education teachers, general education teachers, the school psychologist and/ or related service providers.
-Information obtained from Pupil Data (PD) Reports.
-Information obtained from the New York State School Report Card.
-Percentage of students with disabilities who participate in occupational education programs and workforce preparation programs.
-Drop out rates of students with disabilities.
-Percentage of students with disabilities who graduate with Certificates, Local or Regents Diplomas.
-Feedback from staff, parents and administration.

SPECIAL EDUCATION STAFF FOR 2017 -2018 (FTE)

Building Special Education Teachers Teaching Assistants Speech/Language Pathologists Social Workers Psychologists Special Education Teacher Aides Transition Coordinator
Jefferson Elementary 6 4 2 1.5 2 6 NA
Middle  School 7.2 7 1.5 1 1 4 NA
High School 9 8 0.5 1.5 1 0 0.5

District-wide Special Education Staff
Occupational Therapist - 1

Physical Therapist - 1

SPACE ALLOCATION FOR SPECIAL EDUCATION

Policies and Practices to Insure Appropriate Space Will be Continually Available
The Schalmont Central School District ensures that adequate and appropriate space is available for special education according to 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 by April of each year by building principals and the PPS director.

-The CSE Chairpeople and PPS Director monitor out-of-district facilities to ensure appropriate conditions for instruction of students with disabilities through site visitations;

-The District has allocated space to the Capital Region BOCES for special educational programs as it is available. Currently this happens at Jefferson Elementary School where one BOCES class is housed.

TECHNOLOGY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION

Schalmont routinely purchases updated technology within the special education budget for use by students with disabilities. Currently, students have access to desktop and laptop computers, Smart Boards, document cameras and projectors and chromebooks, ipads and ipod touch devices. In addition to hardware, staff utilize a large variety of software with students as well as supervised access to internet available applications for instructional purposes. Schalmont also maintains an organizational membership with Bookshare. This membership supports our efforts to provide text to speech opportunities for our students with print disabilities.

SPECIAL EDUCATION BUDGET FOR THE 2017-2018 SCHOOL YEAR

2015-16 Actual Budget 2016-17 Actual Budget 2017-18 Appropriated Budget
$6,334,183.54 $6,423,534.78 $6,616,413.91

Addendums

1. Important Special Education Concepts Fact Sheet

2. Link for Part 200 Regulations and Link for updated Procedural and Safeguards

 Addendum 1

Important Special Education Concepts

What is Special Education?

Special education is specially designed individualized or group instruction or special services or programs provided to a student with a disability (SWD) as determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE).

Individualized education program (IEP) means a written statement, developed, reviewed and revised in accordance with section 200.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner, for purposes of meeting the unique educational needs of a student with a disability.

Least restrictive environment (LRE) means that placement of students with disabilities in special classes, separate schools or other removal from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that even with the use of supplementary aids and services, education cannot be satisfactorily achieved. The placement of an individual student with a disability in the least restrictive environment shall:

(1) provide the special education needed by the student;

(2) provide for education of the student to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the student with other students who do not have disabilities; and

(3) be as close as possible to the student's home.

Student with a disability means a student with a disability as defined in section 4401(1) of Education Law, who has not attained the age of 21 prior to September 1st and who is entitled to attend public schools pursuant to section 3202 of the Education Law and who, because of mental, physical or emotional reasons, has been identified as having a disability and who requires special services and programs approved by the department. The thirteen categories of eligibility are:

 (1) Autism

(2) Deafness

(3) Deaf-blindness

(4) Emotional disturbance

(5) Hearing impairment

(6) Learning disability

(7) Intellectual Disability

(8) Multiple disabilities

(9) Orthopedic impairment

(10) Other health-impairment

(11) Speech or language impairment

(12) Traumatic brain injury

(13) Visual impairment including blindness

Classifications for Students with Disabilities are abbreviated as follows:

ED - Emotionally Disturbed

ID - Intellectual Disability

LD - Learning Disabled

OHI - Other Health Impaired

SI - Speech Impaired

MD - Multiply Disabled

OI - Orthopedically Impaired

HI - Hearing Impaired

AU - Autistic

VI - Visually Impaired

DE - Deafness

DB - Deaf-Blind

TBI - Traumatic Brain Injury

Continuum of Services Students with disabilities shall be provided special education in the least restrictive environment, as defined in section 200.1 (cc) of the commissioner’s regulations. To enable students with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate, specially designed instruction and supplementary services may be provided in the regular class. Such services may include, but are not limited to, consultant teacher services and other group or individual supplemental or direct special education instruction.

Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

The term 'free appropriate public education' means special education and related services that—

(A) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;
(B) meet the standards of the State educational agency;
(C) include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary school education in the State involved; and
(D) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program.

Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal law that secures special education services for children with disabilities from birth until high school graduation (up to age 21).

Section 504

Section 504 is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Section 504 ensures that a student with a disability has equal access to an education (a FAPE). After a student is determined for eligible for supports under Section 504, a multidisciplinary team creates an Accommodation Plan to support his or her needs.

Addendum 2

Part 200 Regulations can be located on the internet at the following web address:
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/lawsregs/part200.htm

Part B-Procedural Safeguards can be located on the internet at the following web address:
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/formsnotices/documents/NYSEDProceduralSafeguardsNoticeJuly2017v2.pdf