Special Education

The District’s special education program and services provide equity and access for students with disabilities to be involved in and participate and progress in the general education curriculum. All students with disabilities will continue to have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs. The special education program in the Katonah-Lewisboro Union Free School District is integrated in the overall education program. The District recognizes its obligation to comply with federal and state laws and regulations regarding the identification, placement, and program development for students with disabilities. In addition, the District believes that instructional programs, in order to be effective, must be geared towards meeting the individual differences and needs of each student and, as much as possible, should be presented within general education classes. Toward this end, the District welcomes and actively seeks parental involvement and collaborative efforts on the part of general and special education staff. In order to provide an appropriate instructional environment in the least restrictive environment that would safeguard the rights of all children with disabilities, the District has authorized the development of multiple options and support systems enabling all students to participate successfully in instructional programs. The Katonah-Lewisboro Union Free School District provides in-district programs based on the continuum of services found in Part 200 Regulations.

Provision of FAPE consistent with the need to protect the health and safety of students with disabilities and those providing special education services.

If KLSD opens in September in a hybrid model, all students with disabilities in grades K-12 will have access, at minimum, to a hybrid model. Consideration will be given to creating a model that will allow students to transition between in person and remote learning as may be necessary relative to guidance from NYSED and/or Department of Health. All students with disabilities will receive special education and related services integrated within their regular program. When possible and when consistent with state guidance, certain groups of students with disabilities will attend school in-person four days a week and will receive virtual instruction one day a week. During virtual instruction, students with disabilities will receive instruction based on the academic schedules they are assigned. Special education and related services will be provided to address student IEP goals. The District will ensure that students have access to the necessary modifications, accommodations and supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology) to meet their unique needs. Flexibility as needed related to IEP implementation for the delivery of services during school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as permitted by the State, will be utilized. Any need to change modifications or accommodations will be reviewed by the CSE. Students who have related services on their IEP will be provided the related services as stated on their IEP either in person or virtually.

Documentation of the programs and services offered and provided to students with disabilities

All students with disabilities will be monitored including keeping data on delivery of services based on their IEP and recorded in the District’s management system. Contact time for related services delivery will be completed by the therapist in the District’s management system.

Communications with parents

All special education staff will contact parents of students assigned to their caseload in the beginning of the year and will continue to be available for communication throughout the year. At the start of the year, special education case managers will also elicit information regarding their students’ strengths, preferences, and interests as well as any parent concerns.

Parent engagement in the parent’s preferred language

Staff will be available to parents to review their child’s progress and IEP via email, phone, videoconference, or written communication. Translation services are available for parents whose preferred language is one other than English.

Collaboration between the committee on preschool special education (CPSE) and committee on special education (CSE) and program providers

Collaboration between the committee on preschool special education (CPSE) and committee on special education (CSE) and program providers, plan for monitoring and communicating students’ progress, and commitment to sharing resources.

District Chairpersons who chair the CSE and CPSE work collaboratively with parents and student placements. They review the placement of all the CSE/CPSE students as well as visit the programs these students attend as needed. Communication is in place to ensure there is an understanding of services, resources and monitoring of student progress. The District will document collaboration with parents on any contingency plans that may be necessary during an extended school closure.

Access to the necessary instructional and technological supports, accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology

Access to the necessary instructional and technological supports, accommodations, modifications, supplementary aids and services, and technology (including assistive technology).

All students with disabilities are assigned to case managers. Among their responsibilities, case managers make recommendations to the CSE if they believe adjustments to the IEP are needed.

Documentation of programs, services, and communication with parents will be in place, including district tools such as the District website and Blackboard Connect, as well as documentation via IEP Direct.

Teachers and related service providers will collect data and use this data to monitor student progress towards goals and evaluate the effectiveness of services. Reports of student progress will be made to parents at regular intervals.

Child Find/Eligibility Determination/Annuals Review Meetings

All parent referrals and annual review meetings will be addressed under standard procedures. However, per state guidance, if the reason for the referral is due to a change in the provision of education and/or school closures, a referral may not be warranted.