Office of Student Support Services

Notice to Parents | Due Process | Private School Services | Annual Reviews | TCIS

The Office of Student Support Services provides academic and social-emotional support to all students K-12. The department includes special education, counseling and social work and instructional support and intervention.

Special education in the Bethlehem Central School District is structured around the district’s Committees for Special Education at the preschool, elementary and secondary levels. 

Notice to Parents

If you suspect that your child may have a physical, cognitive, or emotional disability, you have the right to refer your child to the District’s Committee on Special Education for an evaluation, and a determination as to whether your child is eligible to receive special education services and programs.

More information regarding your rights is set forth in the New York State Education Department’s Parent’s Guide to Special Education in New York State for Children Ages 3-21 [PDF].

To obtain more information regarding the District’s special education services and programs, please contact:

Jennifer Szpila
Director of Student Support Services
Phone: (518) 439-8886, Ext. 1

To refer your child to the Committee on Special Education, please contact:

Sarah Flannery
Assistant Director of Student Support Services
Phone: (518) 439-8886 Ext. 1

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.

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.

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, 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 Messenger 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 cancelled. Meetings will be rescheduled to a later date.

If school is delayed:

  • All meetings and presentations, both day and evening will be cancelled. Meetings will be rescheduled to a later date.

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.