It is a fundamental belief at Oxford Academy
that all students should be challenged to their full potential. They should be
encouraged to strive for achievement and to appreciate the importance of growth
and development. In addition, all students should be provided comparable levels
Although educational programs vary from student
to student based upon individual needs, equity is imperative across the
spectrum. Consistent with these beliefs, inclusion becomes the foundation for
special education. In an inclusive educational environment, each student can
learn, each student has unique contributions which enrich us and each
student can achieve through involvement in a thoughtful and caring community of
Students who receive special education are
educated in the least restrictive environment. Whenever possible, they are
included in the regular classroom with typical students. Ideally, their
educational programs incorporate classroom accommodations so they can function
in a regular classroom setting without assistance.
Yet some students need additional adult support.
In a least restrictive environment, this support is established initially at a
minimal level, and, if necessary, based on need rather than benefit, increased
over time. Thus, support is provided only to the level appropriately necessary,
so that special education is directed toward academic achievement, personal
growth and self-reliance.
Special education is provided on a continuum
from supplementary aids, such as related services, teacher consultant, and
resource room programs in conjunctions with regular classroom placement to
special classes, special schools, residential settings, or hospitals. Inclusion
is a required partnership with each member of the staff having an important and
specific role. Primary responsibility for the educational program of an
included special education students rests with the special education teacher.
Coordination of instructional goals and collaboration with regular education
teachers are essential components of the special education teacher’s role.
Similarly, regular education teachers help
special education students develop independence by fostering natural peer
groups within the classroom. An inclusive school environment requires the
commitment of all, accords with our fundamental beliefs, serves the best
interests of students and is the end to which our district is dedicated.
education programs/related services
Eligibility for special education and all
special education programs/related services are determined by the Committee on
Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
These committees, in conjunction with parents and teachers, help develop
Individual Education Programs (IEPs) for each school-age or preschool-age pupil
with a disability on an annual basis. These IEPs include information about the
unique learning needs of each student, such as the present levels of
performance in the academic, social and physical development and the student’s
management needs. The IEP document includes annual goals in the student’s areas
What is special
Special education means specially designed
individualized or group instruction or special services/programs to meet the
unique needs of students with disabilities. Special education services and
programs are provided at no cost to the parents. In New York State, special
education is provided for preschool students (ages 3 to 5) and school-age
children (ages 5 to 21).
Who receives special
Special education services are available to
any students with a mental, physical or emotional impairment which adversely
affects his or her educational performance. For school-age children, the 13
handicapping conditions are: autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, emotional
disturbance, hearing impairment, learning disability, mental retardation,
multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairments,
speech/language impairment, traumatic brain injury or visual impairment
How are special
education services provided?
Special education services and programs may be
provided individually to a student or in a group with other students who have
similar educational needs. Every school district is required to form a
Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) for children ages 3-5; and a
Committee on Special Education (CSE) for children ages 5-21.
When a parent or teacher believes a child
might qualify as an educationally disabled student, the district’s committee
plays an important role. It reviews referrals from parents and teachers through
the Student Support Team (SST), arranges for student evaluations, reviews the
results and makes a determination regarding eligibility and necessary
In consultation with the student’s parents,
the committee makes recommendations about what a student needs in the way of
special education services and programs, which are described in detail in a
written plan for each child, known as the IEP.
The IEP determines the specifics of a child’s
special education program, such as specific classroom set-up, curricula,
support services and educational goals. A child’s IEP is reviewed annually to
ensure that it is still meeting the child’s needs. Students are re-evaluated at
least once every three years to determine if continued eligibility is