Services Offered

  • The North Tonawanda City School District is committed to providing all students with a free and appropriate public education. In order to meet the needs of a diverse population, the district offers alternative programs, supplementary and supportive services, and special education services.
    Special Education consists of specifically designed instruction for students (ages 3-21 years) who are identified by either the district committee on Preschool Education (CPSE) or the Committee on Special Education (CSE) as having a disability which interferes with learning. The CPSE and CSE are multidisciplinary teams of parents and professionals responsible for determining eligibility, coordinating evaluations, and recommending programs or services.  Members of the committee can include the child’s parent(s), a school psychologist, a special education teacher, a general education teacher, a parent of a child with a disability, and an administrator. Additional participants, such as a building principal, speech/language pathologist, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, County Representative and the school physician, may also be present.

    The committees, responsible to the Board of Education, hold meetings on a regular basis to respond to initial referrals. The District is committed to identifying children with disabilities and providing necessary, appropriate services and support within the least restrictive environment. If you suspect your child has a disability, please contact your building principal, the Director of Special Education or the Director of Student Services.

    In addition, all children receiving special education services are entitled to a review at least once yearly. The purpose of this annual review is to recommend the continuation, modification, or termination of the provision of special education programs and supports.  Parents are strongly encouraged to attend these annual reviews, typically held at the child’s school of attendance.

Committee on Special Education (CSE)

  • The CSE is a multidisciplinary team of school professionals and parents whose membership is appointed by the Board of Education and they are responsible for the identification and recommendation of appropriate programs for all students, ages 5-21, who qualify for special education services.

    If a parent is interested in a referral to the CSE or has concerns that may warrant assessment of student progress, they are encouraged to first discuss concerns with their building principal and school psychologist, as each building as an Student Support Team (SST) that should first address student needs.  This process is recommended by law, and is often more meaningful to the students’ immediate needs.

    Building-based CSE meetings

    For the past several years, we have conducted CSE meetings at the individual buildings. This approach has been extremely successful as it allows parents and professional staff to have enhanced communication and input in meeting student needs. You will be notified by mail, well in advance of a scheduled CSE or CPSE meeting regarding your child.

Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)

  • The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) determines special education eligibility for children 3 to 5 years of age. An evaluation can begin at age 2 years 6 months. Children are identified as a Preschool Student with a Disability by meeting eligibility criteria as outlined by the New York State Education Department. Eligibility is determined by individual evaluations administered by a multidisciplinary team. If eligible, special education services are provided within a continuum of services from least restrictive to a restrictive setting. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is developed for each child meeting the eligibility criteria. The child’s program is reviewed at least once a year.

    Referral to the CPSE 

    Referrals are made in writing by the parents or the Superintendent’s Designee, who are concerned about a child’s development. A referral can also be initiated by calling the CPSE office.

    Children transitioning from the Department of Health’s Early Intervention Program that serves infants and toddlers, birth through age two (2) may be referred to the CPSE by the parent.

    *NOTE: All students receiving evaluations and/or services by the district need to be registered prior to parents registering the evaluations and/or services.

    Evaluation Components:

    • Written parent consent is obtained before any evaluation is conducted. An evaluation must include the first four (4) components listed below.
    • Social History
    • Psychological Evaluation
    • Education Evaluation, including an observation within the child’s preschool or day care setting
    • Medical History
    • Supplemental Evaluations: Depending upon the concerns for the child, these may include a speech-language evaluation, occupational therapy evaluation, physical therapy evaluation, a Functional Behavioral Assessment, or an audiological assessment. A child may receive one (1) or several of these evaluations.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973

  • Some students with disabilities who do not require special education services may receive accommodations, special instruction, or related services under Section 504 and ADA, consistent with the district’s policy against discrimination on the basis of disability. For more information, please see the link below for the New York State Education Department’s VESID resources.

Common Special Education Acronyms

  • There are many new/old acronyms used. For your information, the following are most commonly used.

    AAC Alternative Augmentative Communication     
    ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
    ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
    ADHD   Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    ADLs Activities of Daily Living
    AFO  Ankle Foot Orthosis
    AIS Academic Intervention Services
    APE Adaptive Physical Education
    ASL American Sign Language
    AR  Annual Review
    AT  Assistive Technology
    AU Autism
    BIP Behavioral Intervention Program/Plan
    CA  Chronological Age 
    CAPD  Central Auditory Processing Disorder 
    CF   Cystic Fibrosis 
    CP  Cerebral Palsy 
    CPSE  Committee on Preschool Special Education 
    CSE   Committee on Special Education
    DB  Deaf-Blind 
    DS Down Syndrome 
    ED  Emotional Disability 
    EI  Early Intervention 
    ESL  English as a Second Language 
    ESY  Extended School Year 
    FAPE  Free Appropriate Public Education 
    FAS  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome 
    FBA  Functional Behavioral Assessment 
    FERPA  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 
    FOIL  Freedom of Information Legislation 
    GE General Education
    HI  Hearing Impairment 
    IAES  Interim Alternative Educational Setting 
    IDEA  Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 
    IEP  Individualized Education Plan 
    IHO   Impartial Hearing Officer 
    LD  Learning Disability 
    LEA  Local Education Agency 
    LEP   Limited English Proficiency 
    LOTE   Language Other Than English 
    LRE  Least Restrictive Environment 
    MDR  Manifestation Determination Review 
    MD  Multiple Disabilities 
    MR  Mental Retardation 
    OCD  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder 
    ODD  Oppositional Defiance Disorder 
    OHI   Other Health Impairment 
    OI  Orthopedic Impairment 
    O & M  Orientation & Mobility 
    OT   Occupational Therapy 
    PDD  Pervasive Development Disability 
    PLEP  Present Level of Educational Performance 
    PT   Physical Therapy 
    RS  Related Services 
    RTI  Response to Intervention 
    §  Section (as in §300.7 in IDEA) 
    SB  Spina Bifida 
    SE   Special Education 
    SED  State Education Department 
    SI  Speech Impairment 
    S/LT   Speech/Language Therapy 
    TBI  Traumatic Brain Injury 
    TDD  Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf 
    TS  Tourette Syndrome 
    TTy  Teletypewriter (phone system for individuals with deafness) 
    VI  Visual Impairment