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Office of Special Education

Special Education addresses the educational needs of children in the District who have identifiable disabilities, from age 3 until age 21, or until they receive their high school diplomas. In consonance with New York State requirements, the District arranges for multi-disciplinary evaluations. For 3-5 year-olds, these are conducted by County-approved providers, and for school-age children age 5-21 by District personnel, supplemented by outside specialists when appropriate.

Following evaluation, children age 3-5 receive educational and therapeutic services which are arranged by the District through contracts with County-approved agencies. Children ages 5-21 receive school-based services through District staff, which includes special education teachers, psychologists, and physical, occupational, and speech therapists. For children who need additional resources not available within the District, arrangements are made with other school districts, the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), or State-approved private schools.

An Individual Educational Plan (IEP), which addresses the unique needs of the individual learner, is prepared for all children who have difficulties affecting their ability to learn. The IEP for every student is reviewed annually; the District conducts a comprehensive re-evaluation every three years. On average, about 400 school-age children and 100 pre-school children with identified disabilities have IEP's to guide their education each year. 

The fundamental principle guiding Special Education’s work is to offer services in the least restrictive environment. What that means is, to the maximum extent appropriate, providing an education in the same manner as it is provided to every other child, alongside peers, and in a general educational environment -- in their home district, in their home classrooms. Exceptions occur only if a multi-disciplinary team concludes that a child's needs are not being addressed in the general classroom; in those instances, the child will be placed in a special education setting for some part or all of the day.

Special Education is often called upon for another population of students: those who do not have disabilities requiring specialized instruction, but who have certain medical conditions (such as cardiovascular or neurological conditions or severe allergies) and need an environment or assistance that addresses their physical limitations. For those students, a school-based team (called a 504 Committee, after Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act) devises a plan to meet their needs, which is most often implemented by Special Education.

The Board of Education of the Hendrick Hudson School District does not discriminate in the educational programs and activities, which it operates as per the requirements of the Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. If you suspect that your child has a disability that may require special education services or accommodations in order to access our educational and/or extracurricular programs please contact: Lisa Schuchman, Executive Director of PPS: phone 914-257-5147 or email.

For further information contact:

Lisa Schuchman
Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services
Email
914-257-5147

Ellen Garguilo
Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services
Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE-5)
Grades K-5 (Buchanan-Verplanck Elementary, Frank G. Lindsey Elementary, Furnace Woods Elementary)
Email
914-257-5143

Christopher Moreno 
Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services
Grades 6-12 (Blue Mountain Middle School, Hendrick Hudson High School)
Email
914-257-5143

Linda Cohen-Stumer
Administrative Assistant to Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services
Email
914-257-5147

Meghan Hooley
Administrative Assistant to Assistant Directors of Pupil Personnel Services Preschool-5th
Email
914-257-5144

Cassandra Munoz
Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Director of Pupil Personnel Services, 6th-Age 21, Spanish Language Speaker
Email
914 257-5145

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Education Law amendment now requires parents to be notified of their rights to a referral and evaluation of their child

(2/8/15) Section 4402 of the Education Law has been amended by adding a new subdivision, effective July 1, 2015, requiring public schools to notify every parent of their rights regarding referral and evaluation of their child for the purposes of special education services or programs upon their child’s enrollment in public school.

This amendment requires school districts to notify every parent or person in parental relation of their rights regarding the referral and evaluation of their child for the purposes of special education services or programs. This notification shall be provided to the parents of all students in the district (with and without disabilities) upon their child’s entry into public school.

This field advisory (PDF) provides information on this change which includes the legal citation(s), a summary of the changes, an effective date, and the corresponding statutory language. The field advisory is also posted at:
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/timely.htm

In addition, the new requirement has been included in A Parent's Guide to Special Education in NYS (PDF).