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Special Education and Student Services (SESS)

Department Overview

The Bethlehem Central School District is responsible for providing special education services to all resident students who qualify for such supports. These services are coordinated by the district’s Special Education and Student Services Department, which encompasses the district’s Committees for Special Education at the preschool, elementary and secondary levels. SESS also oversees the district’s health, counseling and mental health services for all resident students.

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Bethlehem Central’s Special Education Program Principles

  • We provide special education services that meet the individual needs of the child, are developmentally appropriate and strength-based. These services are planned in collaboration with all the child-serving systems involved in the child’s life and are provided in a supportive learning environment.
  • We recognize that the child’s family is the primary support system for the child and participates in all stages of the decision-making and planning process.
  • We recognize and respect the behavior, ideas, attitudes, values, beliefs, customs, language, rituals, ceremonies and practices characteristic of the child’s and family’s ethnic group.
  • We will bring special education expertise to the student in the general education learning environment to the greatest extent possible.
  • All special education instruction will be based on the New York State learning standards.
  • Student data will be used to inform and improve instruction.
  • Related services provided to special education students will be educationally relevant, evidence-based and will support the student’s learning. These services will be provided to the student in a manner that is least disruptive to the child’s learning.
  • Special education services and supports will be based on peer-reviewed research and will be evaluated regularly to ensure that they continuously improve.

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Curriculum

The context in which adults work with young people influences the choice of intervention strategies and the professional framework around decision making. The activities and focus of TCIS are on providing a framework for administrators, teachers and support people in schools to positively utilize prevention and intervention strategies at times of crisis For more information regarding TCIS: http://rccp.cornell.edu/tcischoolsmainpage.html

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Rubrics

Find out how student success is measured at Bethlehem and see specific class rubrics.

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Annual Reviews

If you have any specific questions about Annual Review, please contact your student’s Case Manager or your CSE Chairperson.

Preparing for Annual Review:

We continue to use IEP Direct for annual reviews, so the documents should all be familiar to you. As in the past, pre-meetings and preparing for the meeting makes for a smoother Annual Review meeting. Please read our program description [PDF], which may help you prepare. Students who demonstrate substantial regression may be eligible for Extended School Year (ESY.) Your child/students case manager will discuss this with you prior to the annual review meeting. In preparing for Annual Reviews we hold numerous transition nights in February; usually Pre-K to Kindergarten, Grade 5 to Grade 6 and Grade 8 to Grade 9.

What to do if your student’s Annual Review is planned on a day with a school closing or delay due to the inclement weather:

In case of inclement weather please check the School News Notifier (SNN) if you were scheduled for a Committee on Special Education (CSE) meeting.

If school is closed:

  • All meetings and presentations (both day and evening) will be canceled and you will be notified of the rescheduled date and time

If school is delayed one hour:

  • High School and Middle School CSE meetings will begin with the 9 a.m. meeting
  • Elementary CSE meetings will begin with the 9:30 a.m. meeting
  • Pre-school CPSE meetings will begin with the 10 a.m. meeting

If your CSE/CPSE meeting was scheduled before the times above, your meeting will be canceled on that day and you will be notified of the rescheduled date and time.

If school is delayed 2 hours:

  • High School CSE meeting will begin with the 9:36 a.m. meeting
  • Middle School CSE meeting will begin with the 10:35 a.m. meeting
  • Elementary CSE meetings will begin with the 10:30 a.m. meeting
  • Pre-school CPSE meetings will begin with the 11a.m. meeting

If your CSE/CPSE meeting was scheduled before the times above, your meeting will be canceled on that day and you will be notified of the rescheduled date and time.

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Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Schools (TCIS)

The purpose of the TCIS system is to provide a crisis prevention and intervention model for school organizations that will assist in:

  • Preventing crises from happening
  • De-escalating potential crises
  • Effectively managing acute crises
  • Reducing potential and actual injury to children and staff
  • Learning constructive ways to handle stressful situations
  • Developing a learning circle within the organization.

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Due Process

Procedural Safeguard Notice

As a parent, you are a vital member of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) in New York State. 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. View BCSD’s Procedural Safeguard Notice [PDF].

Use of Private Health Insurance

If your child participates in a private health insurance program, the district may use those benefits to pay for services required to provide your child with a free appropriate public education, including an Independent Educational Evaluation, with your written consent. If there is any out-of-pocket expense such as co-pay or a deductible, the district will make that payment. The district will contact you to obtain your consent each time it proposes to access your private insurance. Denial of the district’s request to access your private insurance does not relieve the district of its obligation to ensure that all required evaluations and services be provided to you at no cost.

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Private School Services

Pursuant to Education Law section 3602-c, the District will arrange for certain special education and related services to students who are residents of this school district and who attend nonpublic schools, provided that you file your request for services with the Board of Education or Committee on Special Education or before the first day of June preceding the school year for which the request is made within 30 days of notice from the District that your child has been initially identified as a child with a disability or within 30 days of establishing residency.

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