Continuum of Special Education Services

BH-BL’s Special Education Continuum of Services & Guidelines

Consultant Teacher (CT) Services

CT services are defined as direct and/or indirect services provided to a school-age student with a disability in the student’s general education classes, including career and technical education classes, and/or to such student’s general education teachers. Direct CT services mean specially designed instruction provided to an individual student with a disability or to a group of students with disabilities by a certified special education teacher to aid the student(s) to benefit from the general education class instruction. Direct CT can be combined with indirect CT services.

Indirect CT services mean consultation provided by a certified special education teacher to a general education teacher to assist the general education teacher in adjusting the learning environment and/or modifying his/her instructional methods to meet the individual needs of a student with a disability who attends the general education class. Indirect CT can be combined with direct CT services.

Resource Room (RR) Program

Resource room program is a special education program for a student with a disability registered in either a special class or general education class who is in need of specialized supplementary instruction in an individual or small group setting for a portion of the school day. Resource room programs are for the purpose of supplementing the general education or special education classroom instruction of students with disabilities who are in need of such supplemental programs. This means that instruction is not provided in place of the student’s regular academic instruction.

Special Class

Special class means a class consisting of students with disabilities who have been grouped together because of similarity of individual needs for the purpose of receiving specially designed instruction in a self-contained setting, meaning that such students are receiving their primary instruction separate from their nondisabled peers. The maximum class size for those students whose special education needs consist primarily of the need for specialized instruction which can best be accomplished in a self-contained setting cannot exceed 15 students. Special Classes are available for students in grades K-12 for ELA, Math and in many cases Social Studies and Science.


Behavioral Support Programs

SOAR (Social Opportunities Academic Responsibility) Elementary Level & Skills Development II (SDII) for Middle & High School Levels

To provide a flexible program that can respond to the social/emotional and behavioral needs of the child which can interfere with the child’s learning in the general education environment.  Students have behavioral intervention plans in place. Services can range from indirect support in the general education setting to having access to a small highly structured environment in a separate setting, when needed.


Specialized Academic/Functional Life Skills Programs

Achieve Program, Beginnings Program, CDS Program (Elementary), Connections Program (Middle School) and Transitions Program (High School)

Students are provided primary instruction in reading, English, Math, Social Studies, Science and career development skills (HS) in a self-contained setting, separate from their non-disabled peers. Program focus is also on developing basic skills in academic, social, communication and functional domains. Students are provided opportunities for integration into the community. Students are oftentimes eligible for the New York State Alternate Assessment.

Pathways (Alternative) Program for High School Students

Alternative Education program that provides students with individualized academic plans that focus on credit recovery, psychological counseling, career counseling and work placement assistance.

Related Services

Related services are those that assist a student in benefiting from other special education services or assist the student in accessing the general curriculum. Related services means developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a student with a disability. Related services include, but are not limited to speech-language pathology, audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling services, orientation and mobility services, evaluative and diagnostic medical services to determine if the student has a medically related disability, parent counseling and training, school health services, school nurse services, school social work, assistive technology services, appropriate access to recreation, including therapeutic recreation, other appropriate developmental or corrective support services, and other appropriate support services and includes the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in students.

School districts have the Responsibility to provide students with disabilities with Specially-Designed Instruction and Related Services in the Least Restrictive Environment NYSED, December 2015

The individualized education programs (IEPs) of students with disabilities must be developed in conformity with the LRE requirements as follows:

  • placement must be based on the student’s IEP and determined at least annually;
  • placement must be as close as possible to the student’s home, and unless the student’s IEP requires some other arrangement, the student must be educated in the school he or she would have attended if not disabled;
  • in selecting the LRE, consideration must be given to any potential harmful effect on the student or on the quality of services that he or she needs; and
  • a student with a disability must not be removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general education curriculum.

Each school district must ensure that the Committees on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and Committees on Special Education (CSE), including parents, understand their responsibilities for LRE determinations and that each annual review include consideration of special education services and supplementary supports and services that would support the student to receive education services in the student’s regular school and in age appropriate general education classrooms.