Office of Special Programs

Experience and outstanding customer service are delivered when you contact the Office of Special Programs located at 21 Page Avenue in Cohoes. The staff works diligently at being responsive to the needs of students and parents to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations while providing the best possible service outcomes in each Individualized Education Program (IEP).

In an era of high expectations for all students, including those with disabilities, our job is made easier by the incredible special education teaching staff and administrators in each of our schools who understand the unique needs of students with IEPs and strive daily to assist students in achieving their program goals.

Philosophy 

The goal of the Cohoes City School District is to provide a continuum of appropriate educational services in the least restrictive environment to all students with disabilities in need of special education. In providing these educational services, the Cohoes City School District is responsive to the continually evolving nature of the relationship of special education to general education.

Further, it is believed that appropriate special education services for students with disabilities is best achieved by working to cultivate ongoing parental involvement (i.e., natural/adoptive parents, legal guardian, or surrogate parent). Parent involvement in all aspects of the design and delivery of educational services is invited, encouraged and desired. For students to receive special education services a parent’s written consent is required.

A continuum of educational services is based upon the following principles:

  • The educational services received by Cohoes students are determined through response to intervention and evaluations that identify the level of support, related, and/or instructional services required to meet the individual educational needs of students;
  • The educational services are provided in the least restrictive environment which is appropriate to meet the students’ special educational needs;
  • The educational services emphasize the individual educational needs of students rather than focus on the disability as the basis for appropriate grouping.

These principles reflect the approach and philosophy of the Cohoes City School District.

Mission Statement 

The Cohoes City School District, a partnership of school, parent and community, is to prepare its students for success in tomorrow’s world.  We believe in high expectations for all, a positive school climate and culture, future-ready knowledge and skills, and the efficiency of resources.  In keeping with this mission, the overall goal of the Cohoes Special Programs Department is to provide specialized instruction that supports students in achieving the standards established by the district and New York State, and in successfully engaging in life after high school.  The district seeks to accomplish this by:

  • Identifying pupils who qualify for special education and providing appropriate services.
  • Providing services that allow students to be educated with their age-appropriate peers in the least restrictive environment.
  • Ensuring that students with disabilities have access to all educational programs provided by the school district, including extracurricular programs and activities.
  • Ensuring that student needs are identified and provided for through the use of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
  • Promoting programs of instruction that focus on character development and high expectations for students.
  • Providing students with the knowledge, skills, and strategies they will need to secure and maintain employment, and be responsible, productive citizens.
  • Guaranteeing due process procedures with regard to identification, evaluation and placement of students.
  • Guaranteeing the confidentiality of records and all personally identifiable information.

Goals for Special Education 

  1. Comply with Federal Laws, State Regulations, and Board of Education Policy pertaining to the education of students with disabilities.
  2. Provide staff development for all personnel who work with students with disabilities.
  3. Classify students according to eligibility criteria as set forth by Part 200 Regulations of the Commissioner (Section 1-22(I-13).
  4. Modify curriculum and provide accommodations as determined by students’ needs and state standards.
  5. Encourage parental involvement and – as appropriate – student voice in the IEP process and day to day instruction.
  6. Facilitate transition from school to adulthood including career awareness activities (e.g., class instruction, work-study, job shadowing, job coaching, and internships), exploration of continuing education opportunities, and connection to community organizations.
  7. Provide assistive technology for communication and access to general education curriculum.

Inclement weather and Committee on Special Education meetings

If you have a Committee on Special Education (CSE) meeting scheduled for a day that school is canceled or delayed, please be aware of the following information:

If school is closed:

  • All meetings and presentations, both day and evening, will be canceled.

If school is delayed 2 hours:

  • Preschool CPSE meetings will run as schedule
  • Elementary CSE meetings will begin with the 11 a.m. meeting
  • Middle School CSE meetings will begin with the 10:30 a.m. meeting
  • High School CSE meetings will begin with the 10 a.m. meeting
  • If your CSE meeting was scheduled before the times above, your meetings will be canceled and you will be notified of the rescheduled date and time

If school is delayed 1 hour:

  • Preschool CPSE meetings will run as schedule
  • Elementary CSE meetings will begin with the 10 a.m. meeting
  • Middle School CSE meetings will begin with the 9:30 a.m. meeting
  • High School CSE meetings will begin with the 9 a.m. meeting
  • If your CSE meeting was scheduled before the times above, your meetings will be canceled and you will be notified of the rescheduled date and time
Preparing our students for success in tomorrow’s world.

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