Special Education News from OCM BOCES Instructional Support

April 2016


Mid-State Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Center (RSE-TASC) at OCM BOCES is one of ten technical assistance centers across NYS funded through an NYSED federal grant. The RSE-TASC provides regional workshops to districts in OCM BOCES, TST BOCES, Cayuga-Onondaga BOCES, CiTi and the Syracuse City School District free of charge. Workshops include topics on behavior, transition, nondistrict programming, special education regulation, and special education service delivery.

The intent of this newsletter is to provide you with research-based practices in the realm of special education, resources, and NYS Office of Special Education updates and initiatives. I encourage you to forward our Special Education eNews to teachers, support staff, administrators, and anyone else you feel may benefit from the information.

To sign-up for this and other OCM BOCES Enews offerings click here.

Please contact me at jpayette@ocmboces.org to request additional topics of interest, comments or feedback.

Janel Payette

RSE_TASC_WorkshopIconThe RSE-TASC offers a wide variety of workshops at NO COST to school districts.

  • Click here for a printable list of
    2015-2016 workshops and to register!
  • Click here for a listing of 2015-2016 workshops and to register!

Spring Featured Workshops - Register Now!

News & Updates

Special Education Blog

This month’s special education blog is entitled, A Beautiful Day. Read about the influence of Fred Rogers on the development of social and emotional health in children and how his message links to current initiatives in education.

Link to SED Updates

SED updates

Special Education Service Delivery:

Consultant Teacher Direct vs. Consultant Teacher Indirect…What’s the difference? There is actually quite a big difference between these two service delivery models. According to 200.6 (d) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education,

  • 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.

The IEP must specify the general education class(es) where the student will receive the service.

To make this a bit easier to understand:

Transition and CDOS Spotlight

Ninth grade students in Mr. Robert Stokes’ class at Westhill High School have been completing Project Based Learning activities throughout the school year. These PBL activities have helped to provide his students with the soft skills that are considered desirable by employers and also integrate the New York State CDOS Learning Standards.

The most recent project challenged the students to build a model of a hurricane proof skyscraper that was cost effective. Each team was comprised of four departments: Project Manager, Marketing, Engineer and Financial Advisor. The students had to develop a plan, shop for supplies at a store, track expenses, build the model, market it and then “sell” the idea to a group of investors, whom were comprised of Westhill’s own teachers and administrators!! This provided the students with many “real life” work opportunities which an actual employee of an architecture firm would encounter.

The following soft skills were practiced:

  • Collaboration: Each member of the team had a job and had to work with the other members in order to complete the job successfully.
  • Time Management: There were deadlines that had to be met, as well as, students were responsible for keeping track of time worked and their progress.
  • Communication: Team members had to communicate with each other throughout the project and then had to present their final product to the judges.
  • Problem Solving: Students were presented with a problem and had to develop solutions as a team. Each solution was different, and teams were able to interpret the rules differently and find loopholes.
  • Conflict Resolution: Because the project was open ended, differences in opinion surfaced concerning different aspects of the project. Members were able to discuss and compromise on these differences.
  • Budgeting: Each team had to track their expenses.

The development of these soft skills will enable students with the ability to transfer those skills to their other classes and experiences, as well as gain more confidence, which will lead to better success.

For more information, check out Mr. Stokes’ website at: http://pblinresource.weebly.com/


There are certain vulnerable groups of children within our schools who are more easily emotionally impacted by high stakes testing. These groups could include students with learning difficulties, who may have a negative perception of tests in general. Read this article for information on test anxiety and its symptoms, its effect on student performance, main sources of test anxiety, and strategies for supporting students in a way that minimizes the negative impact that anxiety can have.

Special Topics

Are you practicing Mindfulness in the Classroom? Have you taught your students how to be mindful? If you have you are on your way to improving executive function and self-regulation in your students. If you have not considered how mindfulness can play a role in your classroom here is a post from Juliann Garey from the Child Mind Institute on how Mindfulness has been successful in several schools. Mindfulness doesn’t have to take up a lot of time but students and teachers can benefit greatly from developing mindfulness skills. Check it out!

Bilingual Special Education

Are you looking for research-based strategies to use with English Language Learners, students with disabilities and ELLs with disabilities? Check out this link to a document with over 70 “Go To Strategies” for scaffolding in the K-12 classroom which focus on the 5 principles of second language instruction and specific teaching and learning strategies for each. There are several strategies under each of the following categories: community building, reading, writing, teaching, vocabulary and interactive strategies. This will soon become your “go to” document to use in daily lessons. Go To Strategies PDF

Preschool Behavior

Looking for the research to support what you do in classrooms every day can be a daunting task: particularly when it comes to social emotional development. We know that a critical component of helping preschoolers with disabilities to “close the achievement gap” relies heavily upon teaching social emotional skills. Read this summary of a recent study, which provides longitudinal evidence of the impact of our work in teaching social skills. The implications support the work we do in preschool every day!


The federal government has officially launched the Open eBooks App in an effort to ease the burden of purchasing books on school budgets, promote learning through the use of technology and increase students access to alternate pathways to reading materials. Open eBooks App is offering $250 million worth of books in a digital format for use on smartphones and tablets to Title 1, military base schools and special education programs. To learn about the Open eBook App click here.

Email Janel Payette at jpayette@ocmboces.org to request additional topics of interest!

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