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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


May 12 session topic: anxiety and depression

The City School District of Albany's Special Education Department on May 12 will offer the last of seven workshop this year for families of children with disabilities.


The session will be held Tuesday, May 12 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the media center at the Harriet Gibbons Student Services Center, located at 75 Watervliet Avenue. The topic, "Anxiety and Depression in Your Child," was selected based on parent feedback.


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


State requires review of suspensions

The State Education Department has notified the City School District of Albany that it has been identified for VESID State Performance Indicators related to the suspension of students with disabilities. The specific indicators are:

  • High suspension rates for students with disabilities for more than 10 days in a school year

  • Significant discrepancy in the rates of suspensions and expulsions of more than 10 days by race and ethnicity, specifically black students

    • Hispanic and white students are at-risk, meaning we are close and likely to meet the criteria for notification in subsequent years unless data patterns change

The district is required to complete a self-review monitoring process, which is a review of the district’s policies, procedures and practices relating to the development of Individual Education Plans (IEPs), the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and procedural safeguards. Results of this process are required to be sent to the state by May 31.


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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