Students with disabilities participate in the general curriculum at Amherst Central High School to the maximum extent possible. Students are classified by the Committee on Special Education and a comprehensive Individual Education Plan, or IEP, is developed based on the individual needs of each student.
Special Education teachers also work on transition planning with all classified students. The following include potential special education services.
15: 1 Integrated Co-Teaching
15: 1 Academic Inclusion
12: 1:1 Functional Inclusion Program
Section 504 Students
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act allows for the provision of reasonable accommodations for those students who demonstrate a life impairing disability which substantially limits a major life function, but who are not classifiable as a special education student by the Committee of Special Education. Such students do not receive a period of resource room or academic support, but are monitored by a case manager through the Student Services office and the student’s school counselor.
For more information about 504 Plans and the referral process, please see one of our counselors in Student Services.
The Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential
Beginning with the 2013-14 school year and thereafter, the New York State (NYS) individualized education program (IEP) diploma will be replaced by a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential for students with severe disabilities who are eligible to take the New York State Alternate Assessment (NTSAA).
The Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential will provide this group of students who are exiting school after attending at least 12 years, excluding kindergarten, with a commencement certificate similar in form to the diploma issued by the school district. The Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential must be accompanied by documentation of the student’s skills and strengths and levels of independence in academic, career development and foundation skills needed for post-school living, learning and working.
The Career Development and Occupational Studies Credential
The New York State (NYS) Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential will recognize each individual student’s preparation and skills for post-school employment. Where in the past, many students graduated with an individualized education program (IEP) diploma, this credential provides a more meaningful substitute for these students. For students with disabilities who are exiting with a regular high school diploma, it provides them with the additional opportunity to exit school with a credential that also recognizes the students’ work readiness skills.
Effective transition planning and services for students with disabilities includes appropriate assessment of a student’s needs, preferences, strengths, and skills; realistic identification of post-secondary goals; development of an infrastructure to support instruction in the CDOS learning standards, participation in career exploration and work and community-based learning experience; increased opportunities for students to earn a diploma; and collaboration among regional partners responsible for the transition process and early referral to adult agencies. The establishment of a Regents-endorsed graduation credential that recognizes the accomplishments of students in these areas emphasizes the importance of this instruction for schools, helps to focus student commitment to career exploration and development, and provides potential employers with documentation on which students are exiting school with demonstrated knowledge and experience for entry-level employment.
Safety Net for Students with Disabilities
Students with disabilities have the following safety net options available to meet testing requirements for a local high school diploma: the Regents Competency Test (RCT), the 55-64% passing score on Regents examinations, and the compensatory option.
- The RCT safety net has allowed those students with disabilities who fail one or more of the required Regents examinations (i.e. English, Mathematics, Science, Global History, and U.S. History) to meet the testing requirements for the local diploma by passing the corresponding RCT(s) or its equivalent. The existing RCT safety net is, by regulation, only available to students with disabilities entering Grade 9 prior to September 2011. The RCTs are available to these students until they graduate or until the end of the school year in which they turn 21.
- The 55-64% passing score option provides an additional safety net for all students with disabilities. Under this safety net, a score of 55-64% on required Regents examinations meets testing requirements for a local diploma. Although the 55-64% local diploma option was phased out for general education students entering Grade 9 in 2008 and thereafter, the 55-64% passing score option continues to be available to students with disabilities.
- The compensatory option provides an additional option for a student with a disability who entered Grade 9 in 2005 and thereafter if the student:
- Scores between 45-54% on one or more of the five required Regents exams, other than the English Language Arts (ELA) or Mathematics exam1, but scores 65% or higher on one or more of the required Regents exams, in which case the lower score(s) can be compensated by the higher score(s)2; and
- Obtains a passing grade, that meets or exceeds the required passing grade by the school, for the course in the subject area of the Regents examination in which he or she received a score of 45-54%; and
- Has a satisfactory attendance rate, in accordance with the district’s or school’s attendance policy, for the school year during which the student took the examination in which he or she received a score of 45-54%, exclusive of excused absences; and
- Is not already using a passing score on one or more RCTs to graduate with a local diploma. (A student may not use the compensatory score option if he or she is using a passing score on one or more RCTs to graduate with a local diploma.)
The following students qualify for the safety net:
- Students with disabilities identified through a Committee on Special Education. Specific language regarding the availability of the safety net does not have to be indicated on the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP).
- Students with disabilities identified through the Section 504 Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) if recommended and documented by the MDT on the student’s Accommodation Plan.
- Students with disabilities declassified while in grades 8-12 if recommended and documented by the Committee on Special Education on the student’s IEP.
The safety net has been extended to allow additional time to gather data on how students with disabilities are doing on the required Regents examinations and the effect of requiring students to take multiple Regents examinations. It will also provide more time for general and special education teachers to receive training in instructional strategies and curriculum modifications and for students with disabilities to receive academic intervention services to assist in achieving State learning standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science.
1 A score of at least 55% must be earned on both the ELA and Mathematics exams.
2 A score of 65% or higher on a single examination may not be used to compensate for more than one examination for which a score of 45-54% is earned.