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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


District to host March 31 fair for children and families affected by autism

The City School District of Albany will host a fair on March 31 for Capital Regional children and families affected by autism spectrum disorder.


This free event will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. at Montessori Magnet School, 45 Tremont St.


The fair will feature sensory stations for the kids, performers, dozens of community and state agencies that can help, raffles for great gifts and refreshments. (MORE)


April 14 session to focus on autism

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, April 14 from 6-8 p.m. in the media center at the Harriet Gibbons Student Services Center, located at 75 Watervliet Avenue. The topic is, "Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder." The workshop will provide an overview of autism spectrum disorder and the characteristics associated with it that may affect child's learning in school, home and community. The responsibility for educating children with autism spectrum disorder involves a partnership among schools, families and communities. The better-prepared we are to provide quality learning environments with adequate support for children with autism spectrum disorder, the more likely they are to reach their individual potential.


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 sixth of seven parent workshops for the 2014-15 school year. The next workshop is May 12 and the topic will be determined by parents.


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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