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Special Education

Debby Sharpe-Defries, Director of Special Education
75 Watervliet Ave.
Albany, NY 12206
Phone: 475-6150

Fax: 475-6136


Jan. 13 parent workshop topic: preparing for your child's annual review committee meeting

The City School District of Albany's Special Education Department will offer a series of trainings and information sessions throughout the school year for parents of children with disabilities.


The next workshop will be held Tuesday, Jan. 13 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the media center at the Harriet Gibbons Student Services Center, located at 75 Watervliet Avenue. The topic is, "Preparing for Your Child's Annual Review Committee on Special Education meeting." The workshop is designed to give families of students with disabilities the tools and tips they need to help prepare for their child's Annual Review Committee on Special Education meeting. Parent involvement in the development of an individualized education plan (IEP) is critical, and the training will cover all sections of the IEP and how they relate to the annual review meeting.


The workshop is free and refreshments will be served. Transportation assistance also is available. For more information, contact Debby Sharpe at 475-6140 or


This will be the third of seven parent workshops for the 2014-15 school year. The next workshop is Feb. 10 and the topic is, "Strategies for Supporting a Child with ADHD."


State reviewing special education services

The New York State Education Department's Office of Special Education has initiated a Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) Programs and Services Focused Review in the City School District of Albany. The purpose of this review is to assess the district's compliance with selected federal and state laws and regulations governing the education of students with disabilities.


The review will be conducted by the SEQA Eastern Regional Office and will include district representatives. The review process will involve a review of school records of selected students with disabilities, classroom visitations and interviews. In addition, meetings of the Committee on Special Education will be observed. Further information may be obtained by contacting the SEQA Eastern Regional Office at (518) 486-6366 and by contacting the district's Special Education Department at (518) 475-6135.


Special education services

The City School District of Albany is committed to making sure all students receive a quality education that fits within the framework of their individual needs. The Special Education Department provides specially designed instruction, services and programs to help meet the unique needs of students with disabilities.


The district provides a full range of special education services including:

  • Speech and audiology

  • Psychological therapy

  • Physical therapy

  • Occupational therapy and counseling

  • Consultant teacher services

  • Resource room services to provide supplemental instruction

  • Transitional support services

  • Integrated class services, full-time in-class support

  • Day treatment

  • Residential program

  • Home or hospital instruction

Determining Special Education placement

All special education placements are determined by the Committee on Special Education, the Subcommittee on Special Education and the Committee on Preschool Special Education.


These committees, in conjunction with parents and teachers, help develop Individual Education Plans (IEPs) for each school-age or preschool-age pupil with a disability on an annual basis.


The IEPs include information about the unique learning needs of each student, such as learning rate, levels of social and physical development and the students' management needs. The document also includes annual goals and short-term objectives in academic, social and other areas for the student's school year. The IEP will serve as a curriculum plan of action and a source of evaluation for the student's progress during an entire school year.


Equal rights

All students with disabilities are given access to school activities, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Art

  • Music

  • Library

  • Adaptive and regular physical education

  • Career skills

  • Technology

  • Conversational French and Spanish

  • All extracurricular activities

In addition, the district conducts an annual district-wide speech screening system to insure appropriate detection of speech impairments. Programming for pupils with speech impairments is made available through in-district speech programs provided by 19 speech therapists.


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