Special Education addresses the education needs of children who have identifiable disabilities from age 3 until age 21, or until they receive their high school diplomas. In accordance with New York State requirements, NYC DOE arranges for multi-disciplinary evaluations. Evaluations are conducted in a school setting with a school psychologist or parents can supply an evaluation from an outside agency as well.
Following an evaluation, children ages 5-21 receive school-based services through school staff, which includes special education teachers, psychologists, and physical, occupational, and speech therapists.
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 (Annual Review) and a comprehensive re-evaluation (Triennial) is conducted every three years.
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 or a District 75 setting if a child’s need cannot be met in a community school setting. Special Education is also 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, neurological conditions, severe allergies, etc,) and need an environment or assistance that addresses their physical limitations. For those students, a 504 document (named after Section 504 of the Americans with Disabilities Act) is given to meet their needs.
In our school, there are four self-contained classes (two monolingual and two bilingual) and three ICT classes (one in each grade).
The bilingual self-contained teachers are Ms. Mendez and Ms. Ureňa, the monolingual self-contained teachers are Mr. Brito and Ms.Young. Our ICT teachers are Mr. Firicano and Ms. Ramirez.