Special Education

Like all schools districts, students with disabilities are actively involved throughout the Liberty school community. These students frequently receive additional services or participate in special programs to accommodate their disabilities while facilitating their success in school and life.

What follows is a brief explanation of some of Liberty’s programs, plans and resources for students with disabilities and links to additional resources.

Child Find

If you are a parent or guardian of a child aged 3 through 21 who is living in or attending a public or private school within the LCSD during the upcoming school year and suspect that this child may have a disability, please contact the Student Services Office at 845-292-5400 ext. 5106. You must register in the district and meet with a representative from the Student Services office.

Programs for Students with Disabilities

Consultant Teachers

Consultant teachers are special education teachers who work with the regular classroom teachers to help  students find success in the general education environment. Consultant teachers, for example, may co-teach lessons, restructure assignments, provide special accommodations and follow-up with students and teachers after class. Since the goal is to provide a quality education in the least restrictive environment, most disabled students learn side-by-side with their non-disabled peers in general education classrooms. Having consultant teachers helps LCSD achieve that goal.

Resource Room

The resource room is staffed by special education teachers who provide additional instruction to strengthen the skills of disabled students. Resource room teachers also work closely with students’ regular classroom teachers to provide students with necessary accommodations and modifications. This is also a time where they monitor the student’s progress.

Special Classes

While all disabled students are encouraged to participate in general education classes, for some this environment proves to be very restrictive. Some students require the additional support and structure of special classes designed to address their unique instructional needs. These classes have low student-to-teacher ratios and allow for more individualized instruction.

IEP Plan

The Committee on Special Education must develop an Individual Education Plan (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 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. Parents are encouraged to attend all meetings as a member of the committee.

Information about Assistive Technology

Assistive technology is any item, piece of equipment, or product system; whether purchased, modified, or created that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of an individual with a disability. Assistive technology is used in the classroom first and foremost, but multiple environments must be considered as well. The purpose is to address the life skill areas of communication, mobility, recreation, vocation, independence, and therapy/rehabilitation. Assistive technology is considered for all students with an IEP. Students with a 504 classification, or students who receive some services that are considered specialized education, may be considered for the use of assistive technology.

As a result of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) legislation, students with disabilities must have an equal opportunity to participate in and benefit from a school district’s programs and activities. The need of a student who requires assistive technology is evaluated on an annual basis and could be considered at any time.

Graduation Requirements

High School Diplomas

  • Regents Diploma: Must earn 22 credits distributed across specific courses and pass with at least a 65 on 5 Regents Exams (ELA, Math, Science, US History, Global History)
  • Local Diploma: Must earn 22 credits distributed across specific courses and pass 5 Regents Exams via Safety Net, which allows students with disabilities to pass exams with at least a 55 or (NEW) students may score less than a 55 on one or more of the required science and history Regents exams, if they have scores higher than a 65 on other required Regents exams and meet attendance and course requirements.

High School Credentials (does not lead to an HS diploma)

  • Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC): For students with disabilities who have been assess with the NYS Alternate Assessment and attended 12 years of school, excluding kindergarten.
  • Career Preparation and Skills Credential (CDOS): For students with disabilities who have participated in meaningful career development opportunities, in consideration of student preferences and interests that provide real work experience. Specifically, 2 units of study (216 hours) in Career and Technical Education coursework, at least 54 hours of work based learning, and has at least 1 completed employability profile.

Web Resources

Scholarship Guide for Students with Disabilities

The financial burdens of medical care can make it difficult for many students with disabilities to pursue higher education but this article may help you find a scholarships and grants and offers tips on how to apply for them.

Education and Special Needs

ADDitude Magazine
A quarterly consumer publication about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It contains feature and service articles about ADD, ADHD and learning disabilities like dyslexia

A database of searchable articles on education primarily directed to educators but may be of interest to parents.

The Center for Discovery
An educational, health, day school and residential facility for children and adults with severe disabilities and medical frailties.

NYS Department of Education
NYS Department of Education home page

A service of The Learning Project at WETA, a public radio station in Washington, D.C. It contains access to articles, other sites, and a bulletin board to discuss special needs issues.

Sullivan County BOCES
A good site for curriculum, standards and assessment resources.

Sullivan ARC
A not-for-profit agency dedicated to providing support and services to over 800 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to their families. A chapter of NYSARC, Inc., SullivanArc is at 162 East Broadway in Monticello.

SUNY Orange BRIDGES Program
An inclusive post-secondary education experience for young adults (age 21 or have exited high school) with ID, DD, and ASD.

Sullivan County Early Intervention Services
Evaluates and tests for developmental delays for children ages newborn to 3 years. Services include speech, occupational and physical therapy, special education, and case management for eligible children. Referrals can be received from any concerned parent, health care provider, family member or agency.

New Hope Community
Offers programs for families such as summer and weekend recreational respite, clinical services and benefit coordination for children diagnosed with intellectual or Developmental Disability.

Autism Resources

Autism Speaks
A site is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.

Center for Disease Control — Autism
This website is maintained by the CDC and offers a number of links to other websites.

DO-IT Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology
Provides information and links for Accommodation Resources for people who have Autism Spectrum Disorders or Asperger Syndrome.

Estate Planning for Parents of Children with Autism
This website discusses what it means to plan your estate when you have a child with autism. It addresses the basics as well as what documents you need to have in order in your estate planning, which documents your child needs to be successful and in compliance with the law, and how to proceed.

Indiana Resource Center for Autism
Provides, among other resources, teaching tips for children and adults with autism.

Sesame Street and Autism
“Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children” is a nationwide initiative aimed at communities with children ages 2 to 5. Developed with input from parents, people who serve the autism community, and people with autism, this site offers families ways to overcome common challenges and simplify everyday activities.

Operation Autism
Directly supports U.S. military families touched by autism and autism spectrum disorders but has valuable information for all families.

Social Solutions for Children with Autism
A social skills group for young adults with Autism and/or other Developmental Disabilities.

Parent Support

Action Toward Independence
Offers advocacy, parenting classes, peer counseling, independent living skills, resource assistance and benefits advisement. Groups specific to Sullivan County are Autism Parent Support, Autism Social Skills Program, Mental Health Peer Advocacy, Mental Illness and Chemical Addition Advocacy.

The Advocacy Center
A non-profit organization that provides education, advocacy and support for individuals with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and their families in New York.

Parent Center Hub
A family-friendly information and research-based materials on key topics.

Through Understood, 15 nonprofit organizations have joined forces to support parents of the one in five children with learning and attention issues.

Software Reviews

Superkids Software Reviews
Reviews about educational software for kids.