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Special Services

Rhonda Young, Assistant Superintendent of Special Services

Rhonda Young
Assistant Superintendent of Special Services

April Seneus, Assistant to the Director of Special Services, Secondary

April Seneus
Assistant to the Director of Special Services, Secondary

Garvin P. Romane, Assistant to the Director of Special Services, Elementary, & Department Head for Speech & Hearing Services

Garvin P. Romane
Assistant to the Director of Special Services, Elementary
Department Head for Speech and Hearing Services

Sean Coffin, Coordinator of Health, Psychological and Social Work Services

Sean Coffin
Coordinator of Health, Psychological and Social Work Services

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Special Education Program

The Special Education Program provides assistance for any school-aged students with disabilities through a variety of accommodations, services, supports and programs. After a Committee on Special Education has reviewed evaluations and all information pertinent to the students individualized academic, social/emotional, physical and management needs, a recommendation is made to the Board of Education. Special Education programs, services and placements both within the district and outside of the district are implemented by the Board of Education within a timely manner. Each student's progress is reviewed at least annually to determine continued eligibility for such services. Please call (631) 434-2143 for further information about these programs. The Special needs of preschool students are addressed through the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE). Through a referral to the CPSE, the parent/guardian of a preschooler who is suspected of having a disability, can arrange for the child to receive a comprehensive evaluation at a preschool evaluation site of the parent's choice, provided that it has been approved by New York State. Brentwood Public Schools is fortunate to have a program for preschoolers with disabilities that has been approved by New York State as both an evaluation site and a special education preschool program. Three and four year old students who have been evaluated are screened by the CPSE and recommendation for services and/or placements are made as appropriate. These recommendations are presented to the Board of Education for review and implementation.

Speech and Hearing Services

The Brentwood Department of Speech and Hearing Services provides comprehensive speech, language and hearing services to the students of Brentwood who have been identified through the Committee on Special Education. The Speech Therapist in each building throughout the district works closely with the building administrators and classroom teachers to provide curriculum-based speech therapy plans for students requiring services. Additionally, they work in conjunction with the school nurse and audiologist to appropriately refer students for a complete audiological evaluation at the district Hearing Resource Center located in the Special Services building. Contact the Office of Speech and Hearing Services at (631) 434-2215 for further information regarding these programs.

Health, psychological and social work services are available as student support services within our schools. The district provides a multitude of evaluative and diagnostic services for students.

School Nurses provide a wealth of information to parents/guardians and students. Materials on numerous health issues are provided by school nurses. The nurse may be the key person to answer your questions concerning first aid procedures, possible hearing and vision defects, immunization, or children's nutrition. Even questions about special transportation, the school-lunch policy, home teaching, and protection of children from child abuse and neglect are concerns of the health staff. Obviously, the school health office is a place in which sensitivity and confidentiality are valued. When a child becomes ill or is injured in school, parents/guardians are notified immediately. Emergency cards are utilized to contact a neighbor or relative if parents/guardians are not home. While first aid is given promptly to injured students, and a child may be taken directly to a hospital, the rights and obligations of the family to choose their own physician for follow-up treatment is honored. Parents/Guardians should have their children examined by their family doctor and the results reported on a convenient form provided by the health office. Each child entering school for the first time, or entering grades Pre-K, kindergarten, 2, 4, 7 and 10 must have an examination before October 1. Students not being examined by family physicians will automatically be scheduled for examinations by the school doctor or nurse practitioner. Brentwood is fortunate in having a part-time school physician. His responsibilities include the supervision of the district nurse practitioners, and special examination for children participating in sports or who seek working papers. In addition, nurse practitioners provide similar services in collaboration with the school physician.

Health Appraisal Form

The psychologists and social workers assist families and students in addressing common concerns – not just of the exceptional child, but of all children. While they primarily work with children who display learning or emotional difficulties, they also service youngsters whose "problems" are a normal part of maturation. Psychologists and social workers are an integral part of crisis intervention support when needed. *They also work with building teams to develop appropriate functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) and behavioral interventions plans (BIPs) when necessary. Upon learning of a significant disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic groups with respect to suspension of students with disabilities, revisions to district procedures with respect to FBAs and BIPs have occurred.

Many parents/guardians want to know if their child is ready for school, or if he/she can handle different types of "discipline." Some parents/guardians want to meet with other adults, just to share family child-rearing experiences. Still other parents/guardians and students want a chance to resolve fears or worries or personal decisions with a person who demonstrates understanding, and sensitivity. The Office of Health, Psychological and Social Work Services can be reached at (631) 434-2583 to answer any questions regarding these services.