•  Office of Special Education

    Barbara Butler
    Director of Special Education                   
    Ext. 18116
    Georgia Patchen
    Asst. Director of Special Education
    (845) 457-2400 Ext. 18138
    Dawn Moore, District Psychologist
    (845) 457-2400 Ext. 18124
    Melanie Montenora, District Psychologist
    K-12 Behaviorist
    (845) 457-2400 Ext. 13641
    FAX NUMBER: 845-457-8590


    Special education provides specially designed services and programs for children with educational disabilities at no cost to parents or guardians. It is intended to meet individual needs and enhance strengths. Students and parents are introduced to special education in various ways. Some disabilities can be identified when children are very young. Others are not identified until children show difficulty in regular school programs. Special education programs and services are designed to assure that children with disabilities receive appropriate and equal opportunities for educational growth.


    Related services include: speech therapy, audiology, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, services from the Teacher of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, services from the Teacher of the Visually Impaired, counseling services, parent counseling and training, school health services and, school social work services.


    The need for special education for students ages 5-21 is determined in the following manner:

    • A student thought to be educationally disabled is referred to a multidisciplinary team called the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
    • The CSE evaluates the student’s abilities, and based upon State and Federal laws and regulations, determines if the student is eligible to receive special education services.
    • If so, the CSE recommends an appropriate Individualized Education Program (IEP) based on evaluation results, and the student’s individual needs.
    • The program is implemented upon Board of Education approval.
    • The IEP is modified or adjusted by the CSE once a year at an Annual Review Meeting.

    The student has a Reevaluation (every three years) to assure that he or she continues to require special education programs and services and that the IEP continues to be the appropriate educational plan.

    This process occurs sequentially with each step building upon the previous one. In this way, comprehensive information regarding the student is obtained and considered. Timelines are in place so that delays are avoided. Parents are an integral part of this process and parental involvement is encouraged.


    To prepare our students with disabilities to develop their fullest potential, it is incumbent upon the Valley Central School District to aim to achieve the following goals and objectives which reflect the mandates of the revised Regulations of the Commissioner of Education of the State of New York.


    • To provide a free appropriate educational program and as necessary, related services for each child with a disability requiring special education, from age three through twenty-one years.
    • To provide activities that foster social development and, to the maximum extent possible, assimilation into regular school and community activities.


    • To provide to each resident preschool child, identified as having a disability, the opportunity to participate in an approved preschool program within a reasonable distance from the child's home, or to receive the appropriate related services.
    • To provide a coordinated and comprehensive instructional program from kindergarten through high school.
    • To provide appropriate related services to students with disabilities as needed.
    • To encourage parental involvement and understanding of special education programs.
    • To provide appropriate vocational services to students with disabilities.
    • To provide Transition Services and develop a post secondary school plan for each student with a disability.

    CONTINUUM OF SERVICES                           

    To implement LRE, the CSE of the Valley Central School District recommends programs of Special Education along the continuum of services, beginning with the least restrictive environment (LRE) and moving down the continuum as necessary.

    • Regular Classroom/Related Services
    • Consultant Teacher Services
    • Collaborative Teaching Model
    • Resource Room
    • Special Class (Part time)
    • Self-Contained Class
    • BOCES
    • Special School (Private Day Placement)
    • Residential School
    • Home Instruction

    Committee on Preschool Special Education

    The New York State Education Department, Office of Vocational and Educational Services for the Individuals with Disabilities (VESID) oversees a statewide preschool special education program with school districts, municipalities, approved providers and parents. Evaluations and specially planned individual or group instructional services or programs are provided to eligible children who have a disability that affects their learning. Funding for these special education programs and services is provided by municipalities and the State.

     The Referral 

    If your child received early intervention services as an infant or toddler up to age three, and may still need special education, your service coordinator will assist you with transition planning and making a referral to the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
    If your preschool age child (3-5 years old) did not receive early intervention services, but has some delays or lags in development such as difficulty in talking, moving around, thinking or learning or is facing physical or behavioral challenges you, or professionals who know your child, may make a referral to the chairperson of your school district's Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) who will assist you in completing the referral process.
    Please note: For ALL referrals to the Committee on Preschool Special Education, you must, first register with Janine Maridou, Central Registrar. Please see the Registration webpage for more information.
    The CPSE includes the parent of the child, a General Education Teacher (if the child is or may be participating the regular education environment) a  Special Education Teacher or Related Service Provider, a representative of the local school district who serves as the chairperson of the CPSE, an individual who can interpret evaluation results, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise about the child, an additional parent member (unless the parent(s) of the child request that this person not participate), and a licensed or certified professional from the Department of Health's Early Intervention Program (for a child in transition from the Early Intervention Program). A certified or licensed preschool representative from the municipality must be notified of scheduled meetings; however the CPSE meetings can be held whether or not the municipal representative attends.

    Committee on Special Education (CSE)

    • A multidisciplinary team which reviews evaluations, determines eligibility, recommends programs and services, and develops appropriate IEPs for students with disabilities.
    • Each member brings information and a unique perspective to the discussion of the student's strengths and needs.
    • The Committee is comprised of a chairperson, school psychologist, general education teacher, special education teacher, parents of the student, additional parent member, individuals with knowledge or special expertise about the student, school physician ( if requested) and a student (beginning at age 14).

    Individualized Education Program (IEP)

    • The IEP is the cornerstone of the Special Education process for each individual student with a disability 
    • It is the tool to document how a student's special needs will be met within the context of an educational environment.
    • The IEP is a legal document that ensures a student with a disability has access to the general education curriculum, and is provided with opportunities, accommodations, adaptations, specialized services the appropriate learning supports need for the student to progress towards achieving learning standards, and to meet his or her unique needs related to the disability.
    • The IEP must be implemented as recommended by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) 
    • Each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider, and other service provider who is responsible for the implementation of a student's IEP shall have access to a copy of the IEP and be informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the IEP, and the specific accommodations, modifications and supports that must be provided for the student in accordance with the IEP. (Part 300 Section 300.342 of the Federal Regulations and Part 200.4(e)(3) of the New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education).

     Annual Review

    At least once a year, you and other members of the Committee will review your child’s IEP.  Together, you will make decisions about any necessary changes to your child’s program. This is called an annual review.

    At least once every three years, we will reevaluate your child. This is called a reevaluation (formerly called the triennial evaluation). 

    CSE Meetings and School Closings


    All Committee on Special Education (CSE) and Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) meetings are cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date.


    In the event of a two (2) hour delay, the following procedure will be followed for Committee on Special Education (CSE) and Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE):

    • Elementary CSE meetings will begin with the 11:00 AM scheduled meeting and continue through the day.
      • For example: Your child’s meeting was scheduled for 9:00; 9:30; 10:00; 10:30 the meeting is cancelled.
    • Middle School CSE meetings will begin with the 10:23AM meeting and continue through the day. 
      • For example: Your child’s meeting was scheduled for 8:10; 8:53; 9:38, the meeting is cancelled.
    • High School CSE meetings will begin with the 9:37am meeting and continue through the day. 
      • For example: Your child's meeting was scheduled for 7:25; 8:11; 8:54, the meeting is cancelled
    • Preschool (CPSE)/Parochial/BOCES/Private Day/Residential/A.L.C meetings will begin with meetings scheduled after 11:00AM and continue through the day
      • For example: Your child's meeting was scheduled for 9:00; 9:30; 10:00; 10:30, the meeting is cancelled.

    In the event of a three (3) hour delay, the following procedure will be followed for Committee on Special Education (CSE) and Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE):

    • Elementary CSE meetings will begin with the 1:00 PM scheduled meeting and continue through the afternoon.
      • For example: Your child’s meeting was scheduled for 9:00; 9:30; 10; 10:30; 11:00; 11:30, the meeting is cancelled.
    • Middle School CSE meetings will begin with the 1:23 PM meeting and continue through the afternoon. 
      • For example Your child's meeting was scheduled for 8:10; 8:53; 9:38; 10:23; 11:08, the meeting is cancelled
    • High School CSE meetings will begin with the 12:29 PM meeting and continue through the afternoon 
      • For example: Your child’s meeting was scheduled for 7:25; 8:11; 8:54; 9:37; 10:20, the meeting is cancelled.
    • Preschool (CPSE)/Parochial/BOCES/Private Day/Residential/ALC meetings will begin with the 1:00 PM meeting and will continue through the afternoon.
      • For example: Your child’s meeting was scheduled for 9:00; 9:30; 10:10:30; 11; 11:30…the meeting is cancelled


    To be eligible for Special Education services, a school-age student must meet the criteria to be classified in one of the following categories:

    Autistic  -   means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a student's educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a student's education performance is adversely affected primarily because the student has an emotional disturbance as defined in paragraph 4. A student who manifests the characteristics of autism after age 3 could be diagnosed as having autism if the criteria in this paragraph are otherwise satisfied.

    Deafness  -   a hearing impairment which is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, which adversely affects educational performance.

    Deaf-Blindness -   a concomitant hearing and visual impairment, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that the student cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for students with deafness or blindness.

    Emotional Disturbance  -   means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a student's educational performance:

        -   an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

       -   an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.

       -   inappropriate types of behavior or feeling under normal circumstances.

       -   a generally pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or

       -   a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

    The term includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to socially maladjusted students unless, it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.

    Hearing Impaired-  a hearing impairment, whether permanent or fluctuating, which adversely affects the child’s educational performance but which is not included under the definition of deafness in this section.

     Learning Disabled  -   a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which manifests itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The term does not include students who have learning problems which primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage, a student who exhibits a discrepancy of 50 percent or more between expected achievement and actual achievement determined on an individual basis shall be deemed to have a learning disability.

    Intellectual Disability -   significantly sub average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a student's educational performance.

    Multiply Disabled  -   concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.) the combination of which case educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness.

    Other Health Impaired - limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems, including but not limited to a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia lead poisoning, leukemia diabetes, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or Tourette Syndrome, which adversely affects a student's educational performance.

    Orthopedically Impaired   - means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputation, fractures and burns which cause contractures).

    Speech  or Language Impaired   -  a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment or a voice impairment, which adversely affects a student's educational performance.

    Traumatic Brain Injury   -   means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or by certain medical conditions such as stroke, encephalitis, aneurysm, anoxia or brain tumors with resulting impairments that adversely affect educational performance. The term includes open or closed head injuries or brain injuries from certain medical conditions resulting mild, moderate to severe impairments in one or more areas, including cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities. psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech. The term does not include injuries that a congenital or caused by birth trauma.

    Visually Impaired including Blindness   -   impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.


    Procedural Safeguards

    Click this link, Procedural Safeguards, to be redirected to NYSED page

    Federal laws protect the educational rights of a student with disabilities. These rights are exercised through due process of law which helps to balance decision making among various adults. The result is a legal responsibility for parents and educators to work cooperatively and to resolve disagreements for the benefit of the student. Due process in special education involves the parent's right:
    - to be fully informed and knowledgeable about the actions to be taken
    - to participate
    - to consent
    - to file a complaint
    - to request in independent evaluation
    - to challenge
    - to appeal
    - to request an impartial hearing


    Parent Member of CSE/CPSE

    School districts are required to have as a member of the Committee on Special Education (CSE)/Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), a parent of a child that has been identified as a student with disability.

    The CSE/CPSE parent member is a valued member of the Committee team. This person is present to provide a parent’s prospective and insight that only a parent of a disabled child can.

    If you are interested in service as a CSE/CPSE parent member, please contact our Special Education Office at 457-2400 Ext. 18112. We will provide any training that may be needed so that you are comfortable and well informed about your role on the CSE/CPSE.











Last Modified on January 23, 2020