Special Education News

Learning curve | October 5, 2017

The ASD Nest model is designed to “nest” children with autism in fully inclusive classrooms.

Chapter news | October 3, 2017

The DOE advised us that SESIS payments for OT/PTs will be issued as scheduled on Friday, Oct. 6. But the DOE just informed us that it is being done as a supplementary payment, which is why you do not yet see it in the payroll portal.

News | September 28, 2017

UFT-represented employees who averaged more than five minutes per week of SESIS use between January 2013 and June 2016 will receive payment for their work in SESIS on the Sept. 29 payroll (for in-service employees on the Q bank) or the Oct. 6 payroll (for in-service employees on the H bank). Retirees will receive their check via a supplementary payoll.

News | September 11, 2017

The following FAQ answers the most common questions that UFT members have about the $33 million being paid to members for SESIS work as a result of the settlement of a union arbitration.

News stories | September 7, 2017

The Department of Education will pay out $33 million in compensation this fall to 37,000 UFT members who had to put up with the headaches and frustration of logging data about students with disabilities into the Special Education Student Information System because of the DOE’s failure to address the digital tracking system’s flaws.

Feature stories | June 1, 2017

Bright blue glow-sticks lit up the evening sky as 800 students, parents and community members circled the PS/MS 124 track in South Ozone Park, Queens at the Light It Up Blue Autism Walk on April 28.

What I do | June 1, 2017

Liz Galvin at PS 46 on Staten Island is tasked with identifying and addressing learning issues before students are referred for evaluation for special education.

Around the UFT | June 1, 2017

Nine students were honored alongside the educators who had helped them become successful at the Queens District 75 Public School Proud celebration on April 27.

Around the UFT | June 1, 2017

Colorful art and creative projects lined the walls of the union’s Shanker Hall this year for the union’s 11th annual Better Speech and Hearing Month celebration on May 11.

Feature stories | May 4, 2017

A Bronx pair perfects the art of co-teaching. What makes their partnership successful?

Feature stories | May 4, 2017

PS 721, a District 75 school in Manhattan, held a rally to salute its very own Olympians — eight students who were part of the unified floor hockey team that beat China to win a bronze medal in the Special Olympics Winter Games in Austria in March.


Feature stories | May 4, 2017

Those with disabilities today have “a world of opportunity ahead of them,” said Dr. Mary McInerney, the principal of the Richard H. Hungerford School on Staten Island, speaking of people like Marianna Pastena, a graduate of the District 75 school and now a paraprofessional there.

Chapter news | April 20, 2017

In June 2016, the Regents created a new local diploma option for students with disabilities who did not meet graduation standards through the existing appeal and safety net options.

News briefs | April 6, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on March 22 that public schools must do more to accommodate students with disabilities in one of the most significant special education cases­ to reach the high court in decades.

Chapter news | March 28, 2017

Schools are no longer required to request prior approval from the State Education Department to administer state assessments over multiple days. And beginning with the 2017 test administration, students with disabilities who have the “tests read” accommodation on their individualized education programs (IEPs) or Section 504 accommodation plans (504 plans) must be provided with this accommodation for all sections of the test.

News stories | March 2, 2017

Students and staff at PS 32 in Great Kills, Staten Island, performed a new version of Snow White written and directed by one of the school's paraprofessionals.

Editorials | February 2, 2017

The six million students with disabilities in public schools around the country will suffer the most if Betsy DeVos expands for-profit charters and private-school vouchers nationwide.

News briefs | January 5, 2017

Students with disabilities will have an easier time requesting accommodations during tests, starting on Jan. 1.

Feature stories | January 5, 2017

In most classrooms, you’ll find one or two teachers. In Alexandra Hernandez’s classroom, there are 16.


News stories | January 5, 2017

Students with reading disabilities will now have a chance to demonstrate what they know on New York State English Language Arts assessments, thanks to a new state policy that will allow the entire test — not just directions — to be read aloud to them.


News stories | December 1, 2016

The UFT and the DOE on Nov. 18 signed an agreement that addresses the challenging working conditions that speech teachers have faced when documenting their work with children with speech and language delays in the SESIS system.

News stories | December 1, 2016

The DOE on Nov. 18 agreed to provide $33 million in back pay to thousands of UFT members who have spent many hours outside their regular workday since Jan. 1, 2013 logging student data onto the DOE's SESIS system.

News | November 22, 2016

In accordance with federal law, the programs and services in a student’s IEP — which may include special education programs (e.g. Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) classes) — are legally mandated.

Q & A on the issues | November 14, 2016

See questions and answers on the Nov. 18, 2016 memorandum of agreement between the DOE and the UFT on SESIS issues and Medicaid reimbursement for speech and language services.

Inside my classroom | November 3, 2016

The K–2 students in my self-contained 6:1:1 class love our morning meetings.

Vperspective | November 3, 2016

The centrally funded IEP teacher role has been reenvisioned to focus on identifying and addressing learning issues before students are referred for evaluation.

News stories | November 3, 2016

At the UFT’s prodding, the city and the Department of Education have finally moved to upgrade the troubled SESIS system to stem both the ongoing loss of over $300 million a year in Medicaid reimbursement for student services and to address the thousands of UFT member complaints that have poured in since the system was launched five years ago.


Know your rights | November 3, 2016

Here are some important things to know if you work with students with disabilities.

Teacher to teacher | September 8, 2016

Here’s what I learned in my first year of co-teaching about building and sustaining a productive and positive relationship.

Feature stories | July 7, 2016

Everything in Yvon Milien’s architecture class at the Brooklyn School for Career Development in Brooklyn is designed and constructed by his students, from the landscapes to the buildings to the miniature artwork inside small-scale models.

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