The Brocton Central School District is committed to a safe and supportive learning environment that strives to maximize educational opportunities for all students, faculty, staff and community members. The Board of Education recognizes the individual differences in the intellectual, social, emotional and physical development of the students attending school within the District and strives to nurture responsibility, creativity, energy, and open-mindedness to empower successful contributors to a global society. The district is committed to the development and implementation of an appropriate education for students with disabilities.
Special Education Department Personnel
Director of Special Education
Special Education Secretary
Dr. Johanna vonKorff
School Social Worker
Elementary Special Education Teachers
Secondary Special Education Teachers
What is Special Education?
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Special Education is defined as: "Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability." Special education provides additional services, support, programs, specialized placements or environments to ensure that all students' educational needs are provided for so academic progress can be made. The 13 categories under IDEA include:
Who provides special education services?
There are many services available to students that need special assistance. Knowing what services exist and how to access these services is key in helping your child succeed academically and socially. If you suspect that your child has difficulties in any area, start by discussing these concerns with the classroom teacher. It takes an entire team of professionals to provide both regular and special education services. Your child will receive the best education possible when all educational professionals work together.
Special education teachers have specialized training to work with students who have learning, behavioral, emotional, and/or physical disabilities. A special education teacher primarily works with students who qualify for special education assistance. Special educators work in a variety of settings depending on the needs of their students. Some special educators have their own classroom (e.g., resource room), pull the students out of their regular classroom, and assist them at particular times during the school day with their individual learning needs. Others may work in the regular education classroom with the general education teacher to support the students with special needs. Some special educators have a group of students with more complex behavioral, emotional, learning, or physical disabilities in a “self-contained” classroom. These students’ needs are greater and may require the assistance of additional qualified teachers and assistants. Regardless of the setting, all of the special educator’s students have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
A speech-language pathologist (SLP) is a highly trained professional who evaluates and treats children and adults who have difficulty with speech or language. Although people often think of speech and language as the same thing, the terms actually have very different meanings. If your child has trouble with speech, he/ she struggles with the “how-to” of talking—the coordination of the muscles and movements necessary to produce speech. If your child has trouble with language, he/she struggles with understanding what he/she hears or sees. Your child may struggle to find the right words and/or organize those words in a meaningful way to communicate a message or hold a conversation.
An occupational therapist (OT) is a highly trained medical professional who evaluates and treats children and adults who have difficulty participating in meaningful activities (or “occupations”) relevant to their daily lives. Although many people often think of “occupation” as work or a job, occupation can mean any activity a person engages in. This can include self-care, play and leisure activities, and work. For a child, “work” often involves playing, learning, and going to school. Children make up a large part of the population receiving OT services. Treatment often focuses on improving a child's development in the areas of fine motor skills (e.g., stringing beads, cutting with scissors, buttoning buttons), play skills, social skills, and self-care skills (e.g., dressing, bathing, grooming, and feeding).
The physical therapist (PT) is a professional specially trained to work on motor (physical movement) and neuromuscular difficulties. When a child experiences difficulty performing everyday activities, the PT finds ways to accommodate the child’s physical difficulties so that the task may be completed. PTs help children regain movement, function, and independence in daily activities. A PT often works with individuals who have been severely injured to help increase their range of movement.
The school psychologist is professionally trained in psychology, education, mental health, child development, learning styles/processes, and effective teaching. He/she works on creating connections between the school and home environment. School psychologists also administer cognitive and achievement tests to children in order to help determine eligibility for special education services. School Psychologists, along with school counselors, provide training in social skills, provide crisis management, and promote healthy school environments.
A school counselor or social worker helps children who have emotional or behavioral challenges. These difficulties can be due to a traumatic brain injury, depression, impulsiveness, or hyperactivity. When these problems affect a student’s ability to function in school and maintain relationships with teachers and peers, a counselor or social worker may intervene.
Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities - Assistance for Parents
U.S. Department of Education - Parent Resources
Parent Network of WNY - Parents helping parents and professionals enable individuals with disabilities to reach their own potential.
What does that abbreviation mean?
· Frequently used Special Education Acronyms