Special Education and Support Services
At PS 154, we want to ensure that children with all types of learning styles and needs are set up for success. We have the following related services available for eligible students:
Speech and language therapy
Vision and Hearing
We provide a continuum of instructional services across all grades
Academic Intervention Services (AIS) or At-Risk Services
A certified educator provides pull-out targeted instruction in ELA and/or Math.
English as a New Language (ENL)
A certified ENL teacher provides pull-out or push-in support.
Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS)
A special education teacher provides pull-out or push-in support.
Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT)
1 special education teacher and 1 general education teacher, class can consist of up to 40% of students with IEPs. (Maximum of 10 students with IEPs in Kindergarten/ Maximum of 12 students with IEPS in Grades 1-5)
Here is some useful information exploring the various instructional models incorporated into an ICT classroom.
Frequently ask questions
I think my child might benefit from special education services. What steps should I take?
Talk to your child’s teacher to get a sense of how they are performing in school. If you are in agreement that your child could benefit from additional support the teacher can refer your child to PS154’s Child Study Team. This team of educators will review student data and work samples and develop an action plan that may include a related service screen, academic intervention services or at-risk services. Each case runs on a 6-8 week cycle. If at the end of the initial cycle progress has not been made the team will recommend a full Special Education Evaluation.
If at any time you feel that a full evaluation is justified you can make a formal, written request for an evaluation. A hard copy letter or email can be directed to the classroom teacher or Mr. Jason Foreman. A model letter can be found at Sample Letter of Referral for First Time Requests.
Can my child’s teacher or another professional at the school also request an evaluation of my child?
Yes. A professional such as a teacher can request an evaluation. But a parent needs to give consent for an evaluation to be initiated.
Who conducts the evaluations?
Our school based support team (SBST)conducts all school-based evaluations. The team is comprised of the following professionals:
Dr. Sharon Budd, School Psychologist
Margie Dotter, Social Worker
Fredline Jean, Family Worker
How does the evaluation process work?
The school must evaluate a child within 60 days of a parent giving consent for the evaluation. Your child will likely be given an evaluation by the school’s educational psychologist, who will assess all of his or learning needs. Other specialists may observe or evaluate your child too. Parents will work with the school’s social worker and provide background information about their child’s learning and development. The more information parents provide, the better.
After these observations, the school and family will meet to discuss the evaluation and make recommendations. If your child is approved for services, let the team know what services you think your child can benefit from.
This resource outlines the entire special education referral process: Special Education Process
How are children deemed eligible for special education services?
Not every child who is evaluated will be deemed eligible for services. I.D.E.A., the federal law that governs special education in the U.S., says that a child can be considered eligible if he or she has a recognized disability and that disability adversely affects the child academically. If your child is deemed not eligible for special education services at the school, they can still receive Academic Intervention Services and/or At-Risk services (e.g. counseling) If you think your child needs additional help, we urge you to speak to your child’s teacher and explore Academic Intervention Services or the morning/afternoon academic, extended day programs.
What is an IEP?
IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. This is a legal document that specifies the services a child an receive including the frequency and setting of those services. No changes can be made to a child’s IEP without parental consent.
What is a 504 plan?
A 504 plan allows for a child with diagnosed disabilities, such as particular medical conditions, to receive extra accommodations in the classroom. For example, a child with severe food allergies may receive the help of a paraprofessional. A child with Attention Deficit Disorder may be given extra time for testing or be allowed to sit in the front of the classroom. A 504 plan is distinct from an IEP and is covered by a separate law. If your child has a specific medical condition or disability and needs extra assistance, please reach out to your child’s teacher or an administrator for documentation and next steps.
What if I disagree with the determination made by the special education committee?
If you are not satisfied with the determination, you can seek either mediation or an impartial hearing with the school district. Mediation and Impartial Hearings
My child has an IEP and/or a 504 plan. Now what?
At the beginning of the school year, check in with your child’s new teacher(s) to make sure they have read your child’s IEP and/or 504 plan and understand the accommodations. Schedule regular check-ins. Remember that classroom teachers are contractually required to set aside Tuesday afternoons for parent meetings or phone calls. Make sure that your child’s IEP is reviewed annually and your child is re-evaluated every three years.
Additionally, if you feel that your child’s needs are not being met please don’t hesitate to contact the classroom teacher an administrator. You have the right, at any time, to request a reevaluation.
For example, if your child has an IEP and you feel that perhaps assistive technology would be beneficial then you would request a reevaluation using the same process as noted above. The School Based Support Team would evaluate the student and meet with you to discuss recommendations.
What if my child is not receiving all of the services mandated by the IEP?
The school is legally bound to adhere to your child’s IEP. Please notify your teacher, the school-based support team and an administrator if you think your child isn’t receiving the correct services.
Can my child receive academic interventions at the school if he or she doesn’t have an IEP?
Yes. Some children are given additional instruction in particular academic areas in a small-group setting.
At PS 154, Academic Intervention Services (AIS) are provided in both English Language Arts (ELA) and Math. Teachers will pull-out small groups of students and support ELA and/or Math content, using a research based program. Students are assessed every 6-8 weeks and data is analyzed to determine growth and next steps. Notification letters are sent to families of students who are eligible for AIS services. If you feel that your child could benefit from academic intervention services please reach out to the classroom teacher or an administrator.
PS 154 SUPPORT TEAM
Dr. Sharon Budd, firstname.lastname@example.org
Irene Vazquez, IVazque@schools.nyc.gov
Margaret Dotter, email@example.com
Mr. Jason Foreman, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Michael Buckley, email@example.com
NYCDOE Special Education Resources
Family Guide to Special Education Services for School-Age Children
Specialized Programs- eg. ACES, NEST, Horizon
Preschool and the Turning Five Process
Promotional Criteria for students with IEPs
FAMILY GUIDE TO SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES
download the NYC DOE's Parent Guide