Tag Archives: Special Education

CDOS is NOT a diploma!

Parents, would you want your child to complete their academic “career” with only this?


It’s not a diploma.  It’s not a license.

It’s a piece of paper that says your child attended school but for whatever reason was not able to graduate.

What it also says is YOUR CHILD IS A DISABLED CHILD!

This violates their privacy rights.  This violates their medical information.

It’s difficult enough for folks with GED’s to get a more than minimum wage job or entry into community college or the military. What will this really do?  Community colleges have already stated it’s not a recognized document for acceptance/matriculation. So what’s then point?

This document explains the new certificates available to special Ed students.  The CDOS and SACC are NOT diplomas and in our opinion are a violation of FERPA, basically telling employers that this person has a disability.

New York’s diplomas leave too many kids out

This opinion piece says a lot about what is going on with our kids in New York and their diplomas. Many kids who would have gotten a diploma now will be left with a CDOS. That is basically a certificate of attendance, stating that the student took a course of study in a particular field. What it also does do is point out that the student has a disability and that is discriminatory. No community college or employers view this certificate as a credible means for schooling or employment.

By 2022, students will not only have to pass five Regents Exams to graduate, they’ll have to score at least 75 percent on the English exam and 80 percent on the math exam. Get set for graduation rates to fall even further.

And the new Common Core exams are even more difficult, with reading material usually encountered in college, if not graduate school. Fair enough for the university-bound — but our schools are full of fine kids who aren’t.

Not every student wants or needs to attend a four-year liberal arts college to enjoy a successful career or a meaningful life.

Read the article for the details of how regular-ed students who can’t pass the Regents exams and special ed students will both be left with no diploma.

IEP Development – Demystifying the process

An informative presentation on Individualized Education Program (IEP) development will be held for all parents/caregivers/staff in the Kingston City School District on Wednesday February 11, 2015 6:00 – 7:30pm at the Cioni Building on Crown Street.

The presentation is being hosted by the Kingston Special Education Parent Group in partnership with the Kingston City School District and Resource Center for Accessible Living, Inc. (RCAL).

Please RSVP YES to kingstonsepg@gmail.com if you are planning to attend.

Contact Kingston Special Education Parent Group with any questions about the presentation on facebook www.facebook.com/KingstonSEPG or kingstonsepg@gmail.com

Photo: Please RSVP YES to kingstonsepg@gmail.com!


TA Center will be a new ally for college students

This article is for students with disabilities entering college. There is a new TA center that colleges will offer to help these students.

A little background is helpful to understand why the TA Center is needed. There are no IEPs in college, says James H. Wendorf, executive director of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). “The system of supports and rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act doesn’t extend past high school.” However, every college and university must provide accommodations to students with disabilities. They must also provide information to ensure “fair recruitment and admission” of students, says Wendorf.

But it’s often hard for students to find out what’s available and ask for support. Many colleges are also at a loss for how to best serve these students’ needs. Some administrators don’t know “how to comply with the law,” says Lindsay Jones, director of public policy and advocacy for NCLD. “It’s a confusing process for both students and universities.”

Please read the article and pass along. People need to know that there is help for people with disabilities in the college setting.

RTI and Parental Rights

I spoke to the Board of Education on Wednesday November 19, 2014 regarding the RTI (Response to Intervention) program and parental rights. If your children are in this program you have the right to go to CSE (Committee on Special Education) at any time. Here it is….

My Name is Maria Maritsas, I attended Coffee and Conversation on Monday and spoke with Dr. Padalino regarding the RTI program. He explained how the program consisted of 3 tiers, the teacher would first use simple strategies to help the struggling student and then see if the student needed additional supports for success. When asked about evaluations, he stated that parents could request their child be evaluated at any time and the teacher had the right to request an evaluation also. I am happy to hear that this district seems to be complying with the law. The US Department of Education sent letters to all state directors of education stating that RTI could not delay the evaluation process. I am quoting from their letter:

“It is critical that this identification occur in a timely manner and that no procedures or practices result in delaying or denying this identification. It has come to the attention of the Office of Special Education programs that, in some instances, local educational agencies may be using Response to Intervention strategies to delay or deny a timely initial evaluation for children suspected of having an disability. States and local education agencies have an obligation to ensure that evaluations of children suspected of having a disability are not delayed or denied because of implementation of an RTI strategy.” 

This brings me to one of the new goals* for teaching and learning. It is concerning to me that one of the goals is to reduce the Special Education Initial Classification Rate by 10% annually for the next three years. It is impossible to predict what will come in the future and to place a number on how many evaluations will be requested. Teachers have an obligation under IDEA to request a timely evaluation for their students if they suspect their student has a learning disability and for the student to have a free and appropriate public education. RTI data does not provide sufficient data to rule out or identify a disability. Parents have the right to request an evaluation at any time and I am hoping that the consent form for RTI reflects the information that parents CAN refer to CSE at any time in the process.

I have copies of the letter from the United stated department of education for you to view if you so choose. Thank you.

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*goals presented at November 5, 2014 Board of Education meeting – click here