Written by Betsy Abraham, email@example.com Friday, 21 December 2012 00:00
The New Hyde Park Board of Education discussed the district’s progress on the five-year plan pertaining to special education during a meeting held on Monday, Dec. 10 at Manor Oaks School.
Dr. Raymond Brodeur, director of Pupil Personnel Services for the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District, shared with the board and community members that the district is fully on track with meeting its goals for the five-year plan in regards to special education. The district offers numerous services to special needs students, including co-teaching services, resource room services, speech, language and physical therapy, counseling, hearing and vision help and behavior intervention services. It also emphasizes the idea of the “least restrictive environment,” which means that students are placed in special classes or schools only if their disability prevents them from learning in a regular classroom, but still allows for maximum contact and interaction with non-disabled peers, as well as the same opportunities.
“The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park Board of Education subscribes to the concept that all students must be provided with quality instruction and opportunities for academic achievement. We are concerned about utilizing all the resources both within and outside of the district to be able to provide quality education to the students,” Brodeur said.
One such resource is technology, which plays a large role in the seven self-contained classrooms located throughout Garden City Park School, the Hillside Grade School and the New Hyde Park Road School. The district is in the first year of using iPads with special education students, and has also incorporated SMART Boards and SMART tables in the classroom. Brodeur says that these new resources are an additional motivator and they also provide a more interactive approach to learning.
“I think it really enhances the student’s motivation. We are living in a media tuned 21st century. Because a student is able to see a variety of media being presented via the SMARTBoard, the SMART table or the iPad, the child is able to utilize a variety of learning styles and learning approaches and is able to master what is appropriate for his or her program,” Brodeur said.
Parents have been very involved in ensuring the success of the district’s special education program. Brodeur notes that SEPTA has already held two evening meetings this year that have been very successful, with more than 35 parents in attendance at each of the meetings. One meeting discussed resources for parents, and the other featured an educational therapist who discussed enhancing study tools for the special needs child. Future meetings will cover topics such as the legal aspects of special education and attention deficit disorder.
Brodeur also noted that an instructional support team met on a weekly basis to coordinate responses to intervention and academic intervention services.
At the meeting, Superintendent Robert Katulak also noted that New Hyde Park-Garden City Park students and staff were currently preparing for the New York State assessments. Clinics for students needing math help will be held Jan. 14 to Feb. 4, and English Language Arts clinics will begin Feb. 25 and continue to March 18.
Katulak also announced that the first public budget input session would be held Jan. 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Garden City Park school. The meeting will be followed by the next New Hyde Park Board of Education meeting at 8 p.m.