The goal of the Special Education Department is to provide programming and services for students with special needs. We aim to support students struggling with success in the classroom. Through the Committee on Special Education (CSE) process we can create a plan that provides for each student’s individual academic, social, and physical needs in accessing the general education curriculum.

Special Education Contact Information

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Jacqueline Hill
Director of Student Services

Jill Hanrahan
Pupil Personnel Staff/Special Education Contact
(518) 732-2523

Jennifer Delaney-Nalewjka
School Psychologist (Maple Hill Jr./Sr. High School)
CSE Subcommittee Chairperson

Lauren Simon-Friedfel
School Psychologist (Castleton Elementary School)
CSE Subcommittee Chairperson

Understanding the Special Education Process

Initial Steps to Identify Concerns

Per NYS law, we are required to ensure every effort is made to support students through the resources available within the school’s general education program before a referral for special education.

  • Step 1: When a student has difficulty meeting educational expectations, a parent/teacher conference is set up to discuss the concerns.
  • Step 2: The student’s teacher refers the matter to the Building Level Child Study Team to discuss possible strategies to address the concerns.
  • Step 3: A parent conference with a teacher/principal is set up to plan and create a written pre-referral strategy plan with agreed upon assessment and evaluation timelines.

If the student continues to experience difficulty and a disability is suspected, the following steps are followed.

Referral to Pupil Personnel Services Department

A referral is made to the Pupil Personnel Services Department by a parent, teacher, administrator, or physician.

Parent Contacted

Referral packet is sent to parent/guardian, which includes:

  • Referral Letter
  • Test Descriptions
  • Consent for Evaluation
  • Parent Handbook
  • Due Process Rights
  • Social History Profile
Parent Signs Consent for Evaluations to Be Conducted

Committee has 60 days from signed consent to complete the following steps:

  • Psychological Evaluation
  • Educational Evaluation
  • Evaluations in all areas relating to suspected disability (i.e., Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT), Speech)
  • Classroom observation
  • Review Social History
CSE Meeting/Recommendations

Parent is notified in advance of date, time and place of CSE meeting.

  • Committee convenes to review all evaluation information
  • Committee determines whether the criteria for eligibility have been met
  • Committee develops an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) (if eligible)
  • Committee recommends services (if eligible)
  • Recommendation is sent to the Board of Education for approval
Parent Signs Consent for Service

Once consent has been received and the Board of Education approves the recommendation, services begin (within 60 days from the CSE receipt of consent to evaluate).

Annual Review

The CSE meets at least once each school year, generally in the spring, to discuss the student’s progress and review the IEP. Recommendations are made for the following school year and the IEP is updated.


Every three years, per New York State law, CSE students are reevaluated in all areas of services. Parents sign consent for this process. All testing results are discussed with the family and providers at the annual review meeting and it is decided to continue or discontinue services.

Parent Resources