Special Education

Our Philosophy

The Stillwater Central School District is committed to providing a quality education to each and every student. As a result of the dedication and commitment on the part of the Stillwater Central School District Board of Education and faculty, the programs and services offered to students with educational disabilities are proactive and comprehensive. The special education faculty receive professional development and training on a regular basis. Additionally, the collaborative efforts between the general education and special education faculty are continuously supported.

The district subscribes to the philosophy that all students can learn with the appropriate instruction and educational environment. Students with disabilities should be provided instruction in the least restrictive environment appropriate. By learning with non-disabled peers, students with educational disabilities have access to quality classroom instruction, high expectations, and meaningful cooperative learning experiences.

We recognize that not all students learn in the same way on the same day. In other words, students may differ in their learning styles, academic strengths and weakness, previous learning experiences, and preferences. It is by recognizing these differences that our faculty can most effectively meet the needs of all learners. Meeting the needs of diverse learns and differentiated instructional practices has been the focus of many recent professional development opportunities.

Procedural Safeguards Notice

The CSE/CPSE is responsible for developing recommendations for special education programs and services for your child. You must be given opportunities to participate in the CSE/CPSE discussion and decision-making process about your child’s needs for special education. The following information concerns procedural safeguards that are your legal rights under federal and State laws to be informed about and involved in the special education process and to make sure that your child receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Read the full Procedural Safeguards Notice here.

Preschool Children with Disabilities (CPSE)

The district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is responsible for ensuring that parents are aware of the opportunities available for evaluation of children 3-5 years old who are suspected of having a disability, and for services to preschool children with disabilities. The committee consists of representatives from preschool special education agencies, county administrators, parents and district staff. All recommendations for services are made to the Board of Education. If you have concerns about your child’s development, or would like more information, call (518) 373-6100, ext. 30181. View a list of online resources.

Committee on Special Education (CSE)

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is sanctioned and regulated by New York State. It acts as a multi-disciplinary team to evaluate the management, academic, physical and social needs of the referred child and determines if there is an educational disability. The CSE must then decide on an appropriate program or placement for the student and the need for related services (i.e. occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, counseling, etc.) if necessary.

Individual Education Program

The Committee on Special Education must develop an Individual Education Program (IEP) for all students who are eligible for special education services. In developing the IEP, the committee considers evaluations, student strengths, concerns of the parent and, where appropriate, student performance on state and district assessments. An IEP documents the following: present level of performance; how the student’s disability impacts his/her participation in the general curriculum; classification of the disability; annual goals; recommended programs and services; whether or not the student will participate in state or alternate assessments; a list of any alternative accommodations; a list of any assistive technology devices; and transitional goals at the appropriate time.