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Concepts in 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
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
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 a student with a disability in the least restrictive environment shall:
- Provide the special education needed by the student;
- 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
- Be as close as possible to the student’s home.
Student with a Disability
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 1 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 13 categories of eligibility are:
- Emotional disturbance
- Hearing impairment
- Learning disability
- Intellectual disability
- Multiple disabilities
- Orthopedic impairment
- Other health-impairment
- Speech or language impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Visual impairment including blindness
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 meet the following criteria:
- Have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge;
- Meet the standards of the State educational agency;
- Include an appropriate preschool, elementary, or secondary school education in the State involved; and
- 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 through high school graduation (up to age 21).
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 a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). After a student is determined eligible for supports under Section 504, a multidisciplinary team creates an Accommodation Plan to support his or her needs.
Monticello’s continuum of services enables students with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate.
This continuum is comprised of the provision of specially designed instruction and supplementary services in a variety of settings as determined appropriate by the Committee on Special Education.
Related services only shall be recommended by the committee on special education to meet specific needs of a student with a disability and include but are not limited to speech/language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, social work, teacher of the deaf and/or teacher of the visually impaired. The frequency, duration and location of each service shall be indicated in the student IEP. A student with a disability may be provided with more than one service in accordance with the need of the student. Related services may be provided in conjunction with a regular education program or with other special education programs and services.
Speech and Language Therapy
Speech-language Therapy is provided to students who have been diagnosed as having a disorder or delay in communication (articulation, fluency, language, or pragmatics). Speech therapy involves direct intervention with students and consultation with teachers about the most effective ways to facilitate the child’s communication in the class setting. Speech/language therapy is generally provided in small groups, however may be provided individually when needed. Speech/language therapy as a related service is available to both disabled and nondisabled students. The district employs 5 full time speech therapists.
Occupational Therapy (OT)
Occupational Therapy (OT) involves the functional evaluation of the student and the planning and use of a program of purposeful activities to develop or maintain adaptive skills. Activities are designed to achieve the student achieve maximal physical and mental functioning in his or her daily life tasks. Fine motor/self-help skill development, sensory processing, and functional life skills are addressed in occupational therapy. Evaluation, direct service, indirect service (monitoring), and consultation are provided to assist students in accessing the educational environment. Occupational therapy as a related service is available to students with disabilities who are identified through the CSE and the Section 504 committee. The district provides OT services through a contract with Protherapy.
Physical Therapy (PT)
Physical Therapy (PT) is a related special education service provided to students in the areas of gross motor skill development, functional mobility, positioning, and environmental adaptations. Evaluation, direct service, indirect service (monitoring), and consultation are provided to assist students in accessing the educational environment. Physical therapy as a related service is available to students with disabilities who are identified through the CSE and the Section 504 committee. The district employs one full time physical therapist, and contracts out additional PT services to PT Procare.
School Social Work
School Social Work provides counseling to students with disabilities as well as nondisabled students. This service also provides classroom consultation, crisis intervention, and referrals to outside agencies. School social workers are often part of the assessment process for special education students. School social workers consult with teachers and administrators and participate on educational teams within our schools. The district employs 6.6 school social workers.
Teacher of the Deaf
The teacher of the deaf designs and implements specialized instruction to meet the needs of students with varying degrees of hearing impairments. The district has a cross contract with Sullivan County BOCES for these services.
Other Special Education Services
Transition Planning: Life After High School
The process of applying for adult service agencies should begin in high school, if not sooner, to ensure a smooth transition to adulthood and the continuation of needed supports. Visit the Transition Planning page for resources and information about the main providers of services for individuals with disabilities.
Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)
The purpose of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is to determine if a preschool-aged child between the ages of 3 through 5 is eligible for preschool special education and services and to ensure that they receive the support necessary to prepare them to enter kindergarten.