Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services

Special Education Services during school closure

This letter was mailed to families on March 18, 2020 via USPS

Dear Families,

We appreciate your patience and understanding during these difficult times. While schools are closed during this public health crisis, the school district must ensure that students with disabilities also have equal access to distance learning opportunities provided to general education students.

You can expect your child’s special education teachers and related service providers to be in contact with you and your student via phone, email, Google Classroom, or other virtual connections. Teachers and related service providers will be providing a variety of resources, materials, and activities designed to continue to allow your child to work on academic skills and activities they were working on prior to the school closure. They are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have with accessing the materials or information shared. There will be no in-person therapy or services provided during this school closure.

Upon the reopening of schools, we will resume regular programming and services. We will work with you and your child’s educational team to determine appropriate next steps. Please continue to regularly check the district’s website for updates. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time. We look forward to having your children back in school as soon as possible.

Janelle O. Yanni
Director of Programs and Pupil Services
Watervliet City School District

Watervliet City Schools believes in placing students in programs that are in the least restrictive environment which is consistent with New York State Education Department (NYSED) regulations. This means that a student with disabilities is provided with special education and services to the maximum extent appropriate with other students who do not have disabilities and as close as possible to the student’s home.

Special education services are available to any student with a mental, physical or emotional impairment that affects his or her educational performance. For school-age children, this may include autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, learning disability, intellectual disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment (including blindness).

The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) establishes a prominent and active role for parents and teachers in planning and implementing educational programs for students with disabilities. Parents work hand-in-hand with their child’s teachers and other district staff to formulate their child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP).