General introduction to special education
Parents who wish to learn more about the Committee on Special Education will benefit from reading “Special Education in New York State for Children Ages 3-21, A Parent’s Guide”, available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/parentguide.htm . This site also links parents to a variety of State and Federal resources.
Parents of children with disabilities may benefit from information concerning procedural safeguards that are their legal rights under Federal and State law in “Procedural Safeguards Notice”, available at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/psgn1211.htm
Non-public school students
Parents of students with disabilities or of students suspected to have disabilities may wish to review the information on special education for students who are parentally placed in non-public schools in New York State at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/nonpublicparent.htm
Parents of students with disabilities or of students suspected to have disabilities who home school may wish to review the most current information on the coordination of special education services to homeschoolers at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/homeinstructed708.htm
Mediation of disputes
Parents of students with disabilities may request special education mediation to assist parents and school districts to resolve disagreements. Learn more about special education mediation at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/mediationbook.htm
The Rensselaer City School District collaborates with the Rensselaer Health Department to reach out to families even before students are of school age.
Early Intervention and Preschool Programs of Rensselaer County seek to identify children ages birth to three years of age who are at risk of developmental delays. The program provides developmental screening and therapeutic and support services for children with special needs up to three years of age. Families and primary care providers are encouraged to make referrals to the program if they have concerns about the development of children in their care. Evaluations and services are available to eligible children at no expense to families. The early intervention program and preschool services program can be reached at 270-2626.
The Committee on Preschool Special Education is a cooperative venture between the Rensselaer City School District and Rensselaer County Department of Health to serve students with special needs from three years of age to school- age. If parents notice that their preschool child does not develop skills such as walking, talking, or playing like other young children, they should discuss their concerns with their family doctor. The doctor may reassure parents that children develop at different rates and the child is within the range of typical development. However, if the doctor is concerned or the parents believe a disability to be present, a referral may be made to the Committee on Preschool Special Education. Parents may contact the Office of Special Education at 465-6440 to ask questions about the Committee on Preschool Special Education or to initiate a referral.