• Special Education


    Special Education logo with yellow writing on a green background


    Special Education Overview


    BOCES offers a broad and diversified range of programs and service offerings to meet the unique needs of each of our component districts.  The types of programs range from totally self-contained special education classes operated by BOCES to the provision of ancillary services for classes operated by and in the districts.  The programs are as follows:


    Academic & Career Development Skills

    The 12:1:1 program is designed for students with moderate disabilities. Students who attend this program are typically unable to benefit from instruction in a Regents high school program due to a combination of cognitive and behavioral deficits. This program serves students who require a structured classroom setting and modified academics. At the intermediate level, the goal is to develop skills and positive attitudes in the areas of academics, including language development and social-emotional growth. Aside from academics, students also participate in pre-career exploration. The academic program stresses functional reading, math and language arts. Functional skills such as using money, telling time, consumer education and health are incorporated into daily lessons. Related services such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and counseling are also available.

    This program is designed to provide students with a half day of academic content which is then complemented by a half day vocational program. The goals of this program include competence in both functional academic skills and independent living skills, as well as preparation and training for future employment.


    Career Awareness

    This program provides community-based vocational training and life skills instruction to students with mild special needs between the ages of 16 and 21. Career Awareness is designed for students who will be seeking entry level community employment upon completion of their school program and are in their last two or three years of school. Ideally, students will have completed some type of school based vocational or pre-vocational training prior to entry into this program. All students in this program are referred to ACCES-VR and other appropriate adult service agencies. Pre-employability skills are taught cooperatively with employment agencies in the area. Job search, development and placement activities are provided in the last semester of school prior to graduation. Individualized transition planning meetings with students, family and community agencies are held on a regular basis. The purpose of this program is to provide students with an awareness of job requirements, expectations and specific tasks in a variety of community settings. Also, students are given the opportunity to develop confidence and social skills necessary for success in community employment settings.


    Career Preparation

    This program provides students instruction in daily living and simple job skills within an in-school program. This program is most suited for students with mild to moderate special needs, between the ages of 14 to 21. These are generally students who will leave school with a SACC certificate (Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential), and be referred to community service agencies for post-high-school planning and service provision. Instruction covers basic personal safety; kitchen and food preparation safety; hand tool safety, proper storage of tools and cleaning supplies; and safe work practices. The purpose of this program is to provide basic daily living skills, along with some fundamental job skills. This program aids students in developing their self-confidence and social skills. Individualized transition planning meetings with students, family and community agencies are held on a regular basis.


    Elementary and Middle Level Behavioral Adjustment (K-8)

    This program serves elementary and junior high students who have been determined to be in need of a highly structured behaviorally focused program by their district’s Committee on Special Education. The student to teacher ratio enables students to be more successful. Students are provided with academic instruction within a structured behavior management plan. An individualized behavior plan focuses on developing socially appropriate behaviors and teaching strategies for students to reduce negative behaviors. Classrooms utilize rewards and a points systems to keep students motivated and to encourage and teach positive behaviors. Teachers in this program are trained in Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI) techniques and strategies and have a licensed clinical social worker available to assist with development and implementation of behavior plans. As student behaviors improve, students are integrated back into general education classes when academically appropriate. The ultimate goal of this program is to mainstream students back into the general education classrooms for all academic areas. Related services are available based upon the individual needs of the students.


    Intensive Behavioral Management

    The higher staff to student ratio required in this class reflects the more intensive services that these students require. This is a highly structured, behaviorally focused program where students are provided with academic instruction within a structured behavior management plan. The individualized behavior plans typically focus upon developing socially appropriate behaviors and teaching strategies for students to reduce negative behaviors. Students are integrated into the mainstream when appropriate. Related services are available based on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).


    Primary Level 6:1:1

    This program serves primary level students with autism spectrum disorder. The program provides a clearly organized, structured and modified environment with an emphasis on visual learning modalities. Students learn to follow visual schedules, participate in structured teaching and work systems to meet individual needs. Students are provided with clear behavioral and social expectations that are clearly communicated with parents. Teachers in this program have had the opportunity to train with the TIM Academy and have the expertise of a core group of trained professionals available to manage and address specific characteristics of autism. A multi-disciplinary team approach is utilized to ensure progress and success for all students. Related services are provided per the student’s IEP.


    12:1:1 Primary and Intermediate Academics Class

    The 12:1:1 program is designed for students with moderate disabilities. Students who attend this program are typically unable to benefit from instruction in a general education program due to a combination of cognitive and behavioral deficits. This program serves students who require a structured classroom setting and modified academics. Students in the 12:1:1 program are assessed using the New York State Alternate Assessment or the New York State Grades 3-8 Common Core Assessments based on their individualized education plan and specific student needs. The curriculum exposes students to Common Core Standards at the appropriate grade level while making material accessible at students’ appropriate academic level. Teachers utilize differentiated instruction and small group time to meet the individual needs of students at a variety of academic levels within the same classroom.


    Learning Integrated with Functional Experiences (L.I.F.E) 12:1:3:1

    The students in this program have a need for a high level of therapeutic intervention due to their severe developmental delays. Their multiple disabilities require a highly skilled multidisciplinary team approach to instruction. The team consists of the special education teacher, the physical therapist, the occupational therapist, the speech pathologist and the nurse. Intervention is aimed at developing some level of independence in meeting their needs. Major goals include the following areas: gross and fine motor development, sensory stimulation, communication and socialization.


    OTHER SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES


    Transition Services

    BOCES provides Transition services to students of school districts in compliance with special educational and SED  requirements. The service will consist of a full range of Career Interest assessments and the reporting of the final professional analysis to the school district which requested it.


    Extended School Year:

    A six-week summer program provides continuity for students who have disabilities that require 12-month programming to prevent regression and maintain development levels. Classroom programming and related services are provided based on the student’s IEP.