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Members and families seeking accurate and accessible information about the special education process and services for students with disabilities of all ages will find a wealth of information on the DOE's recently revamped special education website.
Current topics available through the Family Resources link include information on special education services for preschool and school age children, students with disabilities entering kindergarten and in gifted and talented programs, and assistive technology. Detailed information about specialized programs for students who are English language learners, are on the autism spectrum or have intellectual or multiple disabilities is also available. Most publications and forms are available in multiple languages.
The Provider Resources link provides a cornucopia of information on a wide range of topics. Look here, for example, to find out about everything from evidence-based practices for related services to timekeeping procedures and forms. Extensive information about District 75 instructional programs and practices can be accessed here.
The following is a small sample of the information available on the DOE’s special education website.
Continuum of Services and Special Education Standard Operating Procedures Manual
The Continuum of Services describes the programs and services available for students with disabilities in the New York City Public Schools. It sets out the DOE’s vision for a “single, seamless and unified service delivery system” together with an expectation that services will be provided in various combinations to more closely address individual student needs.
The DOE’s new SOPM provides up-to-date information about the DOE’s policies and procedures. Unlike its predecessor, it covers a wide range of topics. Unlike the previous manual, it is only available online. This provides a number of advantages, such as a detailed table of contents that links directly to relevant information and the ability to readily access other related documents through embedded links. The new SOPM is a “living” document that will be updated regularly to reflect the most current information. The SOPM is available on the DOE’s public website as well as on the DOE intranet.
Implementation Memoranda and Guidance
The DOE has updated guidance on use of promotion criteria for students with disabilities. Under the new guidance, most students with disabilities are expected to meet standard promotion criteria. Modified promotion criteria should only be considered for students who are unable to meet the promotion benchmarks when assessed using multiple measures, and provided with specially designed instruction, special education supports and services and accommodations. Decisions on changes made to an IEP must be based on the individualized needs of each student.
The FAQ addresses a number of “hot button” issues in special education. Topics addressed include the obligation of schools to recommend programs and services based on student need regardless of availability in the building, funding, staffing, space and other considerations; the role of School Implementation Teams (SITs); participation in IEP team meetings; Chapter 408 requirements and a number of issues related to integrated co-teaching services.
This memo clarifies the required participation of general and special education teachers at CSE meetings. As described on pp.70–72 of the SOPM, a required CSE (IEP team) member may be excused from all or part of an IEP meeting, other than an initial IEP meeting, only if the parent consents to the member’s absence in writing.
Special education teachers and providers for these services must serve each student as mandated and may not be assigned to other duties (like exam scoring or coverage/proctoring for other classes) that would prevent them from doing so, except in extraordinary circumstances. An earlier memo addressed the same topic.
This memo, dated May 26, 2010, provides information regarding the frequency, duration and location of related services. It clarifies that travel time may not be included as part of the direct service time. It also clarifies that related services can be provided in a location outside of the classroom for students who receive instruction in special classes and provides new information about how location of service must be documented on the IEP.
The Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) service delivery model was implemented in New York City through an innovative program waiver. The waiver process included consultation with the UFT. This letter describes how concerns that were raised by the UFT during the program evaluation process were resolved as well as additional agreements reached between the UFT and the state during the consultation process. The latter included agreements regarding group size in collaborative team teaching classes and paraprofessional services.
Special Education Guides
This Guide is designed to help families work with school staff to develop the most appropriate program for their child. For school staff, this guide provides an excellent and highly readable overview of the special education process.
Moving from preschool to kindergarten marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the life of a young person with a disability and his or her family. Families and school staff often have questions about this transition and many of them will be answered here.
This comprehensive guide provides detailed information about the preschool process from referral to committee on preschool special education (CPSE) meetings as well as a description of the supports and services that are available for preschool children with disabilities.
This short pamphlet is designed to help middle school students and families plan for the transition to high school and the high school admissions process.
This guide provides information about how families can obtain assistive technology (AT) and accessible instructional materials (AEM) to help their child access his or her educational program. In addition to defining both topics, this guide explains the evaluation process, IEP documentation of recommendations, and how equipment and materials are provided, maintained and used both in and outside of the instructional setting.
This guide provides information for families about how promotion decisions are made for students with disabilities who participate in standard assessments at all grade levels. It explains the difference between standard promotion criteria, which is the expectation for most students with disabilities, and modified promotion criteria.
Compensation for Loss of Preparation Period to Attend IEP Team Meeting
Please be advised that when a teacher loses his/her preparation period due to attendance at an IEP conference, this conference shall not be considered an "emergency", therefore the teacher must be compensated.
When a teacher loses his/her preparation period due to attendance at an IEP conference, this conference shall not be considered as an "emergency." Consequently, the teacher must be compensated.