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Pupil Personnel

Welcome to the NCS Special Education and Student Support Department

Director of Pupil Personnel Services:  
Mrs. Katie Piedici

Special Programs Secretary: 
Michelle Bradley

School Psychologists:
Ms. Melissa Andalaro                   Mrs. Tammy Matthews               Dr. Brian Meteyer
374-7915                                      374- 7900 ext. 7939                   374-7900 ext. 7958

HS Special Education Teachers: 
Mrs. Jerri Jensen                    Mr. Brian Battle                Mrs. Rebecca Slade            Mrs. Colleen Healey               Mrs. Brenda Boylan
374-7900 ext. 6108             374-7900 ext. 6152          374-7900 ext. 6100             374-7900 ext. 6116                 374-7900 ext. 6123

Elementary Special Education Teachers: 
Mrs. Jennifer Lester           Mrs. Jodi Schwartz               Mrs. Kyle Inda               Ms. Hannah Fox               Ms. Lauren Eisinger               Mrs. Natalie Ball
374-7900 ext. 6263         374-7900 ext. 6205          374-7900 ext. 6186     374-7900 ext. 6231       374-7900 ext. 6234            374-7900 ext. 6147

Mrs. Alinda Gangi                     Mrs. Laurie Fitzgerald                Mrs. Anneshia VanBortel
374-7900 ext. 6233              374-7900 ext. 6237                 374-7900 ext. 6160

Speech and Language:
Mrs. Cathy Thayer                         Mrs. Jodi Gleichauf
374-7900 ext. HS 6127/ES 6149   374-7900 ext. 6204

Occupational Therapy: 
Mrs. Nicole Dillon
374-7900 ext. 6172

Physical Therapy: 
Mrs. Stephanie Storms

374-7900 ext. 6189

Our special education services provide for the individual needs of the student including academic, social, physical and management needs,in the least restrictive envonment as possible.

If you have questions related to Special Education at Naples Schools, please direct them to Katie Piedici, 374-7910 

Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)

The Naples Committee on Preschool Special Education is appointed by the Board of Education and is responsible for identifying preschool children with disabilities and arranging for the delivery of special education services. Educational programs and services for preschool children with disabilities from the ages of three to five are the responsibility of the school district in which the child resides in accordance with New York State Education Law, Article 89. Mandated committee members of the CPSE include a special education representative from the school district who serves as Chairperson, a parent of a preschool or elementary aged child with a disability who resides in the district, a professional who participated in the evaluation of the child or the child's teacher, the county representative, and, if the child is transitioning from the birth to two program provided by the county of residence, an early intervention coordinator.

Members of the Naples Committee on Preschool Education:

  • Director of Pupil Personnel
  • A Parent Member
  • A professional who participated in the evaluation of the child
  • A certified or licensed professional designated by the agency charged with the responsibility for the child in the birth to two system, if any
  • The Parents of the child
  • A regular education teacher of the child
  • A special education teacher of the child
  • Other person having knowledge or special expertise regarding the child

Committee on Special Education

The Committee on Special Education is a multidisciplinary team mandated by Commissioner’s Regulations Part 200 that makes recommendations to the Board of Education concerning the classification and special education services that students receive. The responsibilities of the Committee on Special Education include: 

  • The determination of whether a student is eligible for special education services or programs;
  • The determination of the educational needs of the student relative to the student's academic achievement, learning characteristics, social development, physical development and management needs in the classroom;
  • The recommendation to the Board of Education of special education services and/or programs based on the stated needs of the student with a disability

Members of the Naples Committee on Special Education:

  • Director of Pupil Personnel
  • School Psychologist (of the building the child atttends)
  • General Education Teacher (if Elem- the child's classroom teacher, if Jr/Sr HS- a CORE subject area teacher)
  • Special Education Teacher
  • Parent
  • Any related services therapists involved with the child's education
  • Other persons the parent wishes to bring that have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student
  • The student, if appropriate

IEP (Individualized Education Program)

Central to the tenets of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990 (IDEA), which amended the Education of All Handicapped Children Act of 1975 (EHA), is the provision of an Individualized Education Program for each student with a disability in order to provide a free and appropriate public education for that student. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written program that specifies the special education programs and services to be provided by the school district to meet the educational needs of a student with a disability. The IEP must include:

  • the individual needs of the student including academic, social, physical and management needs;
  • the classification of the disability of the student;
  • annual goals that are consistent with the student's needs and the short-term objectives necessary to meet the annual goals;
  • the recommended program including class size and the extent that the student will participate in regular education;
  • the projected date for the initiation and the review of special education and related services, and the amount of time the student will receive such services;
  • a description of any specialized equipment needed for the student to benefit from education;
  • program modifications;
  • a list of testing modifications to be used by the student; and,
  • the recommended placement for the student.

The program of each student with a disability is reviewed annually and a re-evaluation is completed every three years to determine current individual needs and continuing eligibility for special education.

Least Restrictive Environment
Least restrictive environment means that placement of students with disabilities in special classes, separate schools and other removal from the general educational environment occurs only when the nature of severity of the disability is such that, even with the use of supplementary aids and services, education cannot be satisfactorily achieved.  The placement of an individual student with a disability in the least restrictive environment shall:

  • ·Provide the special education needed by the student;
  • ·Provide for the education of the student to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the student with other students who do not have disabilities; and
  • ·Be as close as possible to the student’s home.
  •  If the student can be educated satisfactorily in the general education classroom, with aids and services, then that is the student’s LRE.

About Disabilities

Student with a disability means a student with a disability as defined in section 4401(1) of the Education Law, who has not attained the age of 21 prior to September 1st and who is entitled to attend public schools pursuant to section 3202 of the Education Law and who, because of mental, physical or emotional reasons, has been identified as having a disability and who requires special services and programs approved by the department.  The terms used in this definition are defined as follows:

(1)  Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.  Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.  The term does not apply if a student's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the student has an emotional disturbance as defined in paragraph (4) of this subdivision.  A student who manifests the characteristics of autism after age 3 could be diagnosed as having autism if the criteria in this paragraph are otherwise satisfied.

(2)  Deafness means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.

(3)  Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for students with deafness or students with blindness.

(4)   Emotional disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a student’s educational performance:

(i) an inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.

(ii) an inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;

(iii) inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;

 (iv)  a generally pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or

(v)  a tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

The term includes schizophrenia.  The term does not apply to students who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.

(5)  Hearing impairment means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects the child's educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in this section.

(6)  Learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which manifests itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, as determined in accordance with section 200.4(j) of this Part.  The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia.  The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage.

(7)  Mental retardation means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.

(8) Multiple disabilities means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness, mental retardation-orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which cause such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments.  The term does not include deaf-blindness.

(9)  Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a student's educational performance.  The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g., clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputation, and fractures or burns which cause contractures).

(10)  Other health-impairment means having limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems, including but not limited to a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, diabetes, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or tourette syndrome, which adversely affects a student's educational performance.

(11)  Speech or language impairment means a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a student's educational performance.

(12)  Traumatic brain injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or by certain medical conditions such as stroke, encephalitis, aneurysm, anoxia or brain tumors with resulting impairments that adversely affect educational performance.  The term includes open or closed head injuries or brain injuries from certain medical conditions resulting in mild, moderate or severe impairments in one or more areas, including cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing, and speech.  The term does not include injuries that are congenital or caused by birth trauma.

(13)  Visual impairment including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a student's educational performance.  The term includes both partial sight and blindness.

Related Services 
These are developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as required to assist a student with a disability as recommended by the CSE.  

The following are descriptions of some of these services:

Speech/Language Therapy:  Service provided by a licensed speech-language pathologist who is responsible for the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of children with communication deficits and disorders that interfere with a student’s ability to speak, understand, or use language. 

Physical Therapy: Service provided by a licensed Physical Therapist (PT) who identifies the physical conditions which interfere with a student’s educational program.  PTs conduct assessments of mobility skills, daily activities, positioning, posture, muscle strength, and sensory-motor performance during activities in the school environment.  They may collaborate with teachers and parents to determine physical therapy goals that will allow the child to benefit from individualized instructional program. 

Occupational Therapy: Service provided by a licensed Occupational Therapist (OT) who provides direct service either individually or in a small group.  OTs help students to learn, re-learn, and adapt skills to be as functional as possible in their daily lives including but not limited to; school performance, self-care, and play / leisure activities. 

Vision Services:  Service provided by a certified teacher of the blind/visually impaired (TVI) who provide instructional support to classroom teachers and students with visual impairments.  Teaching strategies, environmental modifications, Braille instruction, specifically deigned materials such as large print exams, computer adaptations, and professional development opportunities are provided. 

Orientation and Mobility Services:  Designed to meet the needs of students with visual impairments in mobility and orientation training in a variety of settings.  A certified teacher for the blind/ visually impaired teaches strategies to help students successfully navigate through their environment.

Audiology Services: Consultation services, evaluations for hearing acuity, middle ear dysfunction, educational FM amplification, and central auditory processing disorders are included in this area. 

Autism Services:  Training, consultation, transition assistance, and assessments support for parents and staff working with students with autism.  Strategies are shared to increase the student’s learning, communication skills, adaptive behaviors, and levels of independence. 

Behavioral Support Services:  Services provided for students with severe emotional and /or behavioral difficulties including mental health support, prosocial skills training, and therapeutic crisis intervention.  This may include the development of a Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavioral Intervention Plan.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services:  There are a variety of services offered including; Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TOD/ HH) with direct service, consult services, interpreting, sign skills coach, note taking, speech/language therapy and audiology. 

Assistive Technology Services:  These services offer students a variety of options to assist in the selection, acquisition, or use of assistive technology devices. 

Programs and Placements

Consultant Teacher Services (CT): direct and/or indirect services provided to a student with a disability in the student’s regular education classes for a minimum of two hours per week. 

Integrated Co-Teach (ICT): A special education program with one special education teacher and one general education teacher who share responsibility for the instruction of all students.  A minimum of 12 students can be placed in an integrated classroom. 

Resource:  Resource room programs shall be for the purpose of supplementing the regular or special education instruction of students with disabilities who are in need of such supplemental programs for a minimum of three hours per week.