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Special Education

The West New School District, through the Department of Special Services, provides a full continuum of special education programs, related services, and placement options to students ages three to twenty-one found to be eligible for special education services.

What is Special Education? 

The term "Special Education" means that instruction is specially designed through adapting the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction, to address the unique needs of the student, which result from the student's disability. These adaptations, modifications, supports and services are provided to ensure that the student with disabilities has access to the general education curriculum (Core Curriculum Content Standards), so that he/she can meet the educational standards that apply to all children.

What is Least Restrictive Environment?

The Least Restrictive Environment or LRE is the overarching framework that guides the Child Study Team's work with students found to be eligible for special education and related services. We are committed to educate West New York students with disabilities in the general education setting with their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate.

"to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities . . . are educated with children who are not disabled, and that special education classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids can not be attained satisfactorily." [IDEA Section 612(5) (B)].

Who is the Child Study Team and how do I access their services?

The Child Study Teamsof West New York are composed of an interdisciplinary group of professionals consisting of a School Social Worker, School Psychologist, Learning Disability Teacher-Consultant, and a Transition Specialist for students 14 years of age and older. The Child Study Team accepts referrals from parents, teachers and other professionals who believe a student may have a disability that adversely impacts his/her ability to learn.

The Child Study Team may conduct an evaluation of a student, with parental consent, to determine if the student has a disability which impacts his/her ability to learn and meets specific categories delineated by the New Jersey Department of Education. Upon completion of a thorough evaluation of the student, the Child Study Team, with the input of the parent(s) and teacher(s), determine whether the student is eligible for special education and related services. If the student is found to be eligible for services the Child Study Team helps to develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the student.

What is an Individualized Education Program or IEP?

The student's Individualized Education Program or IEP delineates the types of supplementary supports, services, accommodations, and/or modifications the student requires to access the general education curriculum. The Child Study Team case manager monitors and manages the implementation of the student's IEP and the student's progress in the IEP.

What are related services?

Related services are provided to students found eligible for services according to the student's IEP when such services are required for the student to benefit from his/her educational program. The following are the most typical related services provided to classified students: Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech/Language Therapy, Counseling, Assistive Technology, and Transportation.

What are transition services?

Beginning at age 14, or younger if appropriate, students who are found eligible for special education are provided Transition Services. The high school Transition Specialist assists students with identifying their career interests, preferences, a career path, and a plan of activities/strategies for reaching their transition goal(s). The transition plan is incorporated into the student's IEP and is updated every year.

What is Project Child Find?

Children ages 3 to 21 years, who are experiencing physical, sensory, emotional, communication, cognitive and/or social difficulties may be eligible for special education and related services. Parents should contact the West New York Department of Special Services at (201) 553-4000 Ext. 7152 for more information.

Infants from birth to 3 years of age, who are thought to have a developmental delay, may receive assistance from Special Child Health Services of Hudson County. To access this service, parents should contact Child Find at (201) 915-2514.

How can I get more information about special education programs and services?

Parents can start by contacting their child's school office to speak with the school administrator and/or the school's Child Study Team. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Department of Special Services office at (201) 553-4000 Ext. 30028 and speaking with Christian Cardenas, Director of Special Services, Joanne Winters, Special Assistant to the Director. You may also visit the Special Services Dept website.

WNYPAC Minutes

Click here for the WNY Parent Advisory Council (WNYPAC) Meeting Minutes.