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2/6/2007 12:00:00 AM

Summary of CP of NYS Education Committee Meeting - January 31, 2007

Subject: Summary of CP of NYS Education Committee Meeting - January 31, 2007

 For further information, contact: Judi Gerson, Vice President, Policy & Program Services

Summary of CP of NYS Education Committee Meeting

January 31, 2007

Attending: Cathy Voyer & Debby Holman ( Aspire-WNY), Karen Macri (Center for Disability Services), Susan Krogstad-Hill ( Ulster), Judy Katzen (Westchester), Phil Grajko (Enable), Jody Scriber & Sue Hirschberger (Racker Center), Kathy Albee ( HCA), Lynne D’Amico & Sue Williams (Happiness House), Jeanne Herbert & Edna Cintron (Inspire), Jerry Staller, Nancy Rosensweig & Joan Maurer (Jawonio), Sally Filicetti & Kathy Bee ( Prospect), Nancy Glass (Queens), Stephanie Muller ( Suffolk – by phone), Diane Berger ( Nassau – by phone), Carolyn Hund, Christine Spano & Jim Weaver (Utica), Judi Gerson ( CP of NYS - Affiliate Services)

SED / Preschool & School-Age

  • Teacher Certification
    • Most of the Affiliates attending the meeting reported that most or all of their teachers are appropriately certified. Several however, reported difficulty filling current vacancies and/or teachers with certification in different areas than their current placement.
    • All agreed that the problem is likely to get worse as teachers with the older “permanent” certification leave and teachers with newer “professional” (age-specific and more restrictive) certifications enter the workforce. 
    • The recent survey from SED asked for information from the 2005-2006 school year and some Affiliates are experiencing more problems now than in that year. Mike Plotzker, from SED, clarified that programs not eligible for the extra funding next year may be able to qualify in future years. 
    • There were reports of a lot of difficulty communicating with SED’s Office of Teacher Certification, getting clarification on questions, and in getting all the required paperwork in order.  CP of NYS will try and establish a contact within that office for assistance with specific cases. 
    • Several Affiliates reported more difficulty attracting teachers to their school-age programs and some have instituted a salary differential in order to attract these teachers. Others have created a career ladder with financial support for aides to become assistants, and assistants to become certified as teachers. 
    • There were also problems identified with local Universities not offering all the various certification categories – for example SUNY New Paltz does not have a 0-6 concentration for preschool teachers, SUNY Binghamton has a Masters level program, but no Bachelor’s program, in the Utica area a satellite program from SUNY New Paltz was recently discontinued. 
    • All agreed that finding qualified therapists is becoming increasingly more difficult, especially with the new doctoral requirements for PTs and Audiologists, as therapy applicants are requiring much higher salaries.
  • Hiring & Employment Practices
    • There was variation among Affiliates in 10 month vs. 12 month teachers, with pros and cons of each discussed.
  • Teacher Aides / Assistants
    • Although there is no “requirement” on the part of SED for classrooms to have certified assistants, programs should be aware of the difference in responsibilities which can be assigned to each category of paraprofessional.
  • Behavioral Interventions and Aversive Therapy
    • Amendments to the new Regulations have been finalized and have been forwarded via email to all Affiliates
  • Approvals / Requests to Modify or Expand Programs
    • Remember to complete applications and submit to SED for new or expanded classrooms as well as for modifications, change of location, etc. Programs are also encouraged to check their records or the SED website to be sure that actual programs operating are consistent with SED approval.

OCFS / Day Care – Suzanne Sennett (Office of Children & Families) and Mike Plotzker (SED)

  • Behavioral  Interventions
    • Suzanne clarified that behavioral interventions developed according to a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and included in a student’s IEP would be permitted in day care settings. All DSS staff may not yet be aware of this and need to be trained.
    • Interventions for children whose FBA is in progress and /or IEP plans are not yet implemented need to be discussed further.
    • If there is disagreement with a licensor regarding a report, programs should ask for report to be put on hold pending further discussion / clarification and involvement of regional supervisor. 
    • Emergency intervention to ensure safety of child and /or others is also permitted within reason.
    • Because there is often confusion of terms and procedures between the two systems and there is a need to develop clearer guidelines, Suzanne suggested a follow-up meeting with representatives from CP / special ed and day care to discuss further.
  • OCFS oversight of non-day care programs ( not serving more than 6 children for more than 3 hours or other non-related programs) located in same building as day care programs
    • The sharing of space and access to children are the main issues here. If children share common spaces and staff, all would be under OCFS jurisdiction.
    • If the day care is a separate entity within a larger building and essentially self-contained, other areas of the building are not under OCFS.
  • Credentialing Requirements for therapists / clinical staff delivering IEP services.
    • Similar issues as above; if therapists are employed by the day care program and/or have ongoing contact / access to all the day care children, they must be OCFS credentialed.
    • “Itinerant” therapists, not employed by the day care or employed by another different department of the agency who are not counted in the day care “ratio” would not need to be credentialed.
    • 30 hours of training (every 2 years) for all staff, including clinical staff is required, although depending on the staff qualifications & experience, certain topics may be waived and replaced with others. Training requirement can be met by in-service, conferences, CEU’s, college courses, etc.
  • Mix of ages older and younger than 3 years
    • Current DSS regulations allow for children 2 years, 9 months to attend a group for 3 year olds if it is “developmentally appropriate for the child”. For children younger than 2 yrs, 9 months, a waiver can be requested with documentation of appropriateness. Staffing ratios must be consistent with the youngest child’s age in the group. (see DSS regulation 418-1.8(f) that follows, which Suzanne referenced)
    • 418-1.8 (f) “For children over 18 months of age, the child day care center may determine the group placement for a child based on the child's developmental readiness, within three months before or after the child's birth date except that, with parental permission, and in consultation with Early Intervention or Special Education staff working with the family, the child day care center may exercise greater discretion in the placement of a child with a developmental delay or disability based on consideration of such factors as the child's developmental readiness, appropriateness of the classroom environment, the level of care the child requires and the needs of the other children in care.”
  • Streamlining of review & approval process ( SED and OCFS /DSS) for new programs or programs changing  location
    • It was acknowledged that the process often does not happen as quickly as desired. Programs are encouraged to notify DSS as early as possible when a location is expected to change or be added and to prepare necessary paperwork. Suzanne offered her assistance in situations with extremely lengthy delays.

Early Intervention Updates

  • Marketing Standards -  have recently been forwarded by email
  • Clinical Practice Guidelines for Motor Disorders – available now from DOH / Early Intervention Program; also CD version
  • Training Curricula / Evaluation & Eligibility Resource Manual – will be forwarded to all Affiliates by mail

Please feel free to contact Judi Gerson at the Affiliate Services office if you have any questions or need additional information.

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