Special Education Programming and Services

Special Education Continuum of Services

Special Education Continuum of Services
The continuum of special education services for school-age students with disabilities is an array of services that work to meet student’s individual needs. A student with a disability shall be provided with appropriate special education in the least restrictive environment, as defined in Part 200 of the Commissioner’s Regulations. To enable students with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate,the continuum of special education services for school-age students with disabilities is an array of services to meet an individual student’s needs that includes:

  • consultant teacher services (direct and/or indirect);
  • resource room services;
  • related services;
  • integrated co-teaching services; and
  • special class. 

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.


Consultant teacher 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.  


Integrated co-teaching services, as defined in regulation, means the provision of specially designed instruction and academic instruction provided to a group of students with disabilities and nondisabled students. School districts may strategically determine, based on the needs of its students, to offer such services at certain grade levels, or in certain subjects. Implementation of integrated co-teaching could be gradually phased into a school district. The maximum number of students with disabilities that can be on the class roster of a class where integrated co-teaching services is provided is 12, unless a variance is provided pursuant to section 200.6(g)(1)(i)-(ii) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.


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 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. Special class size is defined as the maximum number of students who can receive instruction together in a special class and the number of teachers and paraprofessionals assigned to the special class. If the student’s IEP indicates a special class, the IEP must describe the special class size. Special class programming may be described as 15:1:1, 12:1:1 or 8:1:1 on the student’s IEP. 


Outside the District Special Class Programs. The District provides special class programs. Special class programs are taught by a special education teacher outside of the general education setting. Board of Cooperative Extension Services (BOCES) Program placements based on individual student needs. 


Home and hospital instruction. Students with disabilities who are recommended for home and/or hospital instruction by the committee on special education shall be provided instruction and appropriate related services as determined by the committee on special education in consideration of the student’s unique needs. Home and hospital instruction shall only be recommended if such placement is in the least restrictive environment and must be provided: 


  • Minimum of 10 hours per week at the elementary level, preferably two hours daily 
  • Minimum of 15 hours per week at the secondary level, preferably three hours daily 


Continuum of Special Education Services for School-Age Students with Disabilities