Special Education Services
Welcome to the Special Education Services web page.  Our office can help you with questions you may have concerning Special Education. 

Special Education News

  • For juniors and seniors:  Have you filled out your VESID (Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities) application yet?  This program provides services to help individuals learn skills to obtain employment.  Call the special programs office if you need help.

What is Special Education? 

  • Students between the ages of 3-21 who are approved by the District’s Committee on Special Education (CSE) can receive special education services and participate in programs appropriate for their needs.  This also includes resident students who attend private schools or are home-schooled.  These programs and services are determined by the Committee on Special Education and outlined on the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  These include special classes, inclusion programs, resource rooms, consulting services, as well as related services of speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling services.  Program modifications and testing accommodations may also be available to your child.
  • Sackets Harbor Central School District employs appropriately trained and certified special education staff members to insure that all special education services as indicated on the student’s IEP are provided.

Office of Special Services Informational Links 

Student and Family Resources
Parent's Guide to Special Education
A Parent's Guide to Resolving Concerns about Special Education 
Information for the parents of preschool children 
Special Education Mediation 
Transition Resources
U.S. Department of Education

Special Education Staff
Ms. Gaffney Director of Special Education
Ms. Barkley Psychologist, CSE/CSPE Chairperson
Mr. Berie Special Education Teacher
Mrs. Tocornal Special Education Teacher
Mrs. Piiparinen Special Education Teacher
Mrs. Martin Speech Therapist
Ms. Henry Speech Therapist
Mrs. Derouin Occupational Therapist
Ms. Donders Physical Therapist
Ms. Woodward Teacher of the Hearing Impaired
Mrs Warden Audiologist
Mrs Lennox Secretary/CSE/CPSE

Glossary of Terms


CSE--Committee on Special Education

CPSE--Committee of Preschool on Special Education

ECDC--Early Childhood Direction Centers

FAPE--Free Appropriate Public Education

FERPA--Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ("Buckley Amendment" on Confidentiality)

504--Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Public Law 93-112, Section 504)

IEP--Individualized Education Plan

IHO--Impartial Hearing Officer

JTPA--Job Training Partnership Act

LD--Learning Disabled

LEA--Local Educational Agency

LRE--Least Restrictive Environment

NRCR-Northern Regional Center for Independence Living

OMH--Office of Mental Health

OMRDD--Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities

OT--Occupational Therapy

PINS--Person in Need of Supervision

P.L. 94-142--The Education of All Handicapped Children Act (EHA), renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

PT--Physical Therapist

RA--Regional Associate

SED--State Education Department

SETRC--Special Education Training and Resource Centers

SRO--State Review Officer

SSI--Supplemental Security Income

TDD--Telephone Device for the Deaf

VESID--Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities




Listen to what the child is saying. * Use a slow, relaxed rate in conversational speech. * Give appropriate verbal responses to what the child is saying as well as nonverbal cues such as head nods and smiles. * Keep natural eye contact when the child is talking. * Don't rush the child by interrupting or finishing words for him or her. Sackets Harbor’s speech and language program consists of a full-time Speech- Language Therapist, Sharon Martin and a parttime Speech Language Pathologist, Lindsey Smith who provide services to elementary students with communication disorders. All Kindergarten students are screened during the school year. Students in Kindergarten and grade levels 1-5 are screened or tested on a teacher referral system. The following information describes what the teacher should observe in order to determine if a student needs speech-language services. These descriptions are limited. The speech therapists should be consulted for further information or clarification.

Articulation - A student who cannot produce speech sounds correctly in conversation. A student's speech is difficult to understand because of an omission, addition, distortion or substitution of sounds. Student's seven and a half years old and younger may experience developmental articulation errors as opposed to having a communication disorder. Developmental articulation errors include sounds that a child is not expected to produce due to the student's age. For example, a student who is five years old is not expected to articulate the /r/ sound correctly until the age of seven. When this student reaches the age of seven, and is not producing the /r/ sound correctly, this child is referred for an evaluation. Sackets Harbor Central uses developmental norms derived from the Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation to differentiate between developmental and disordered communication.

Language - A student who has difficulty comprehending or producing language for communication purposes. Also known as receptive or expressive language skills, a student with a receptive language disorder may have problems with auditory memory for spoken directions, comprehending spoken language, following directions and attending during listening activities. Expressive language includes conversational competence, and expressing thoughts and ideas appropriately. Other receptive and expressive language examples can be obtained by consulting with the speech therapist.

Fluency - A student who is experiencing difficulty with the flow of speech in connected discourse. Interrupted speech flow can be observed when a student repeats, prolongates or hesitates during production of syllables, whole words or phrases. Some students can be observed to have facial or other body struggling behaviors while speaking. Some students will also avoid speaking situations.

Voice - A student who is experiencing hoarseness, harsh or raspy voice that interferes with communication during conversation. If this is a recurring or consistent problem, the student should be referred.

Listening - Follow 1-2 simple directions in a sequence Listen to and understand age-appropriate stories read aloud Follow a simple conversation
Remember information Respond to instructions Follow 2-3 step directions in a sequence.
Follow 3-4 oral directions in a sequence Understand direction words (e.g., location, space, and time words) Correctly answer questions about a grade-level story


Speaking - Be understood by most people Answer simple "yes/no" questions Answer open-ended questions (e.g., "What did you have for lunch today?") Retell a story or talk about an event Participate appropriately in conversations Show interest in and start conversations

Be easily understood Answer more complex "yes/no" questions Tell and retell stories and events in a logical order Express ideas with a variety of complete sentences Use most parts of speech (grammar) correctly Ask and respond to "wh" questions (who, what, where, when, why) Stay on topic and take turns in conversation Give directions Start conversations

Be easily understood Answer more complex "yes/no" questions Ask and answer "wh" questions (e.g., who, what, where, when, why) Use increasingly complex sentence structures Clarify and explain words and ideas Give directions with 3-4 steps Use oral language to inform, to persuade, and to entertain Stay on topic, take turns, and use appropriate eye contact during conversation Open and close conversation appropriately


Child Find

Attention residents with children between birth and age 21:
If your child has a disability or you suspect that he/she may have a disability,
your child may be entitled to Special Education services without cost to you. 


Please contact Carol Barkley at:
Sackets Harbor Central School

P.O. Box 290
Sackets Harbor, NY  13685

or call 646-3575 to register your child or obtain further information


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