Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00
At a public meeting of the Manhasset Board of Education on Feb. 7, Allison Rushforth, executive director of district special education programs and services, Jodi Shapiro, assistant director of CPSE (preschool) and elementary special education, and Stewart Grabelsky, assistant director of secondary special education, presented a comprehensive analysis of the district’s special education programs and services. The presentation provided an historical perspective, a thorough summary of the programs and services being provided during 2012-2013, and the anticipated needs for the 2013-2014 school year.
Rushforth highlighted what has been accomplished to date, noting that these accomplishments were building blocks that needed to be further enhanced to meet the needs of the children in 2013-2014; that the individual programs and services are being provided in compliance with the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education in New York State, Part 200 Students with Disabilities; and the importance Federal and State Regulations have, in mandating the members and roles of the Committees for Preschool Education (CPSE) and Special Education (CSE), defining the 13 disabilities or educational classifications, framing the appropriateness of a child’s programs and services, establishing due process procedures, and providing critical elements of a child’s individual educational plan (IEP).
As the New York State Education Department (NYSED) continues to propose and eventually adopt additional regulations to meet the federal requirements of IDEIA 2004, each public school district must evaluate their current policies and procedures or best practices and determine what must be incorporated into existing programs or services. Public school districts do not have the option to say to the State “Not interested.” Manhasset must adhere to the regulations and find a balance between meeting the needs of the children and being fiscally responsible and accountable to the community. This is a delicate balance, Rushforth noted, one that is changing daily and often, many times within a day. The presentation stressed the importance of having accurate student information to help the district project the associated costs of serving the children, working with Manhasset’s staff of teachers, teacher assistants, aides, speech pathologists, school psychologists, school social workers, and administration to implement the full continuum of special education program, services and supports.
The following points were highlighted during the presentation:
Each child is different and has individual needs. Their educational program is developed on an individual basis.
Services are provided to students with disabilities (SWD), ranging in age from 3 years to 21 years. The budget of 2012-2013 was built to service a total of 500 SWD of which 480 SWD were reported as actually receiving services to the NYSED in October 2012.
3. Of the 480 children:
41 are preschoolers, ages 3 and 4 years
439 are school-age children, ages 5 through 21 years
382 or 87 percent of SWD receive their special education programs and/or services in our district schools; Munsey Park, Shelter Rock, and secondary school.
25 or 6 percent of SWD are in CSE out-of-district (OOD) recommended schools; BOCES, other public schools, NYSED approved private schools.
32 or 7 percent of SWD are parentally placed in one of the three non-public schools located within the district’s geographical boundaries: Our Lady of Grace, St. Mary’s Elementary School and St. Mary’s High School.
8 of 51 or 16 percent students classified as Autism are in OOD placements with 84 percent attending in-district programs or parentally placed in one of the three non-public schools.
7 of 9 students classified as emotional disturbance are in OOD placements with 2 students attending in-district programs.
1 of 131 or .7 percent of students classified as learning disability are in OOD placements with 99.3 percent attending in-district schools or parentally placed in one of the three non-public schools.
10 of 29 or 34 percent of students classified as multiple disabilities are in OOD placements with 66 percent attending in-district schools or parentally placed in one of the three non-public schools.
100 percent of students classified as other health impairment are attending in-district schools or parentally placed in one of the three non-public schools.
100 percent of students classified as Speech or Language Impairment are attending in-district schools or parentally placed in one of the three non-public schools.
Shapiro and Grabelsky discussed the continuum of services highlighting the various programs and services within each school.
Rushforth discussed the upcoming 2013-2014 school year, with a focus on the anticipated increase in staff needed to implement the programs and services required as indicated in each child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). She stressed that many of the annual committee meetings have not occurred, and so the projected information in the presentation will continue to fluctuate, until the majority of individual education plans have been finalized. She reminded us that these are children who are always developing and progress each at their own rate.
Rushforth and her staff will continue to look at the needs of the children, adhere to the regulations and as a result will continue to find a balance between providing the essential programs and services for each child, and being fiscally responsible and accountable to the Community. Rushforth stressed that this is a delicate balance, one that is changing daily and often, many times within a day.
Allison Rushforth’s presentation can be found on the district’s website at http://www.manhasset.k12.ny.us/board.cfm?subpage=17077.
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:00
Submitted by Manhasset Post 304 American Legion
Matthew Falcone, commander of the Manhasset Post 304 American Legion, and James Brooks, parade chairman, have announced the parade order and schedule for the 2013 Manhasset Memorial Day Parade and Memorial Services. All Manhasset residents, their families and friends are invited to join the Legion in this remembrance of the great sacrifices of our American heroes. The theme of the parade this year, “Honoring Those Who Serve in Special Operations,” is a reminder that, while Memorial Day honors all deceased veterans, the intention is to remember service personnel engaged around the world in an effort to preserve American freedom and way of life from global terrorism.
A memorial service in honor of Manhasset’s war dead will be held at the Community Reformed Church, 90 Plandome Rd., on Sunday, May 26, at 10 a.m. Pastor Steven D. Pierce will officiate. All are urged to attend and to join with the Legion in the remembrance of the great sacrifice of our military.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
That first meeting, culminating in the May 2 ribbon-cutting for organic vegetable and herb gardens at all three Manhasset school campuses, was in September 2012.
Two organizations, both formed under the auspices of the SCA, were involved: Planet Manhasset, which under president Angela Classi and officers Merilyn Donnelly, Zari Ginsburg and Connie Parsons, spearheaded the construction of each site and Project Share, the which will distribute the produce raised to families in need. Classi, during the ribbon-cutting, told the students they were limited only by their imagination, and encouraged each one to embrace the secondary school garden as their own.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Gymnast Alexis Stern, an eighth-grader at Manhasset Middle School, represented New York State in the Junior Olympic National Championships held in the Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek, MI the weekend of May 3. Competing against the top Level 9 gymnasts in the country, Alexis took home a bronze medal on the balance beam with a 9.45 and finished 12th in the country with an impressive 36.80 all around score (bars, beam, floor, and vault). Alexis earned her spot on the Junior Olympic team with a third place finish at the Level 9 North East USAG Regional Championship held in Springfield, MASS and was also recognized as one of New York’s top Level 9 gymnasts. Alexis trains five days a week at Gold Medal Gymnastics Center in Greenlawn under the tutelage of Hall of Fame Coach Tammy Marshall.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
On April 7, the Manhasset High School Crew Team held its first 5K Walk/Run fundraiser, which started and ended in the Flower Hill Village Park. More than 300 participants came out to race or stroll through Flower Hill, while raising funds for two great causes.
Proceeds from the event will fund additional equipment for the growing MHS crew team, with 10 percent of monies raised contributed to the Manhasset UFSD Fields Initiative, a fund created to re-turf the MHS Stadium Field and create a new field at Shelter Rock Elementary School. Barbara Thermos, who organized and coordinated the 5K event, noted, ”It was a great way for the community to come together for these causes, connecting with neighbors and friends while getting some exercise on a gorgeous, crisp sunny morning. Both causes support healthy athletic opportunities for Manhasset’s youth.”