Our Special Needs classes serve students, from preschool to twenty-one years of age, who have developmental and communication challenges. The low student-to-staff ratio ensures that our students receive a high level of instruction and attention.
The Special Needs classes serve students who are deaf and have additional disabilities. Our philosophy is to work with students and their parents to identify and build on students’ strengths.
Communication is the key. Communication skills help our students comprehend and interact with their world. Communication between home and school is vital to the success of the educational program. We partner with families to provide the best possible outcomes for our students.
Students are grouped by age and taught in self-contained classrooms. This promotes peer-to- peer interaction and socialization. Each student has an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) and teachers and instructional assistants work closely with families so that educational, social and behavioral goals are carried over to the home and community.
Students are expected to wear hearing aids/cochlear implants consistently at school and at home. All classrooms have FM amplification systems.
The school day starts at 8:10 a.m. and ends at 2:35 p.m., Monday through Friday, from September through June. There is a six-week, full-day summer school program in July and August.
Each classroom is staffed by a certified Master’s level teacher and two assistants
Small class size with 6 students per class
Free bus transportation
Breakfast and lunch provided
Tuition-free (funding is provided by the student’s home school district)
Lexington uses the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA), which is an alternate assessment developed as part of the No Child Left Behind Act to ensure that students have access to the general education curriculum.
Eligibility for taking the NYSAA is determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE) for the student’s home district.
The NYSAA is a datafolio-style assessment in which students with severe cognitive disabilities demonstrate their performance toward achieving the New York State learning standards.
Student performance is recorded through direct observation and documentation (e.g. student work products, photographs, audios, videotapes).
The NYSAA requires that students demonstrate achievement in the areas of English language arts, math, social studies and science.
Students must be assessed once a year beginning in the school year they become 9 years-old through the school year they become 14 years-old. A secondary level NYSAA is given during the school year they become 17-18 years of age.
The curriculum focuses on functional skills in the areas of:
English language arts - reading, writing, communication (e.g. focus on using pictures, print, sign or spoken language to maximize the student's ability to understand information and express themselves)
Mathematics (e.g. identifying and using numbers in the environment, measurement, time and money skills)
Science (e.g. understanding and planning for weather, identifying changes in the environment, using science for cooking, safety)
Social studies (e.g. identifying family, friends and school staff; making and following a schedule/routine, social behavior)
Health/Family Living (e.g. personal hygiene, planning and creating a healthy diet, simple cleaning and housework, planning and participating in recreational activities)
Students in the Special Needs classes obtain a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC) instead of a high school diploma. They usually enroll in a day habilitation or adult services program upon completion of the high school program.
The Special Needs students enjoy participating in special events and celebrations during the school year. These events enhance the academic curriculum and provide an opportunity to practice communication and socialization skills. Examples of events include:
- Deaf Awareness Week (DAW) - Book Fair - Signing Santa - Pick a Reading Partner (PARP) - Multicultural Celebration - Spirit Days
Each classroom utilizes a research-based approach, Thinking Maps, to support learning. Thinking Maps are visual patterns linked to eight specific thought processes. By visualizing their thinking, students create concrete images that support critical and creative thinking. Thinking Maps are used throughout the entire Special Needs curriculum.
For additional information regarding the Special Needs program, please contact: