The Department of Educational Services and Curriculum provides a wide scope of services to students in the HCSD. These services include remedial education; special education; educational enrichment programming; and pupil personnel services, such as social work counseling, psychological testing, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.
Academic Intervention Services (AIS)
The New York State Education Department has mandated that schools provide AIS to students who demonstrate weaknesses in the content areas. In grades 1-5, the Herkimer Elementary School has specialists working with and supporting the classroom teachers in and out of the classroom setting. At times, your child may be working with these teachers if a specific weakness is shown or if your child missed areas of instruction because of illness. Students become eligible for the program as a result of their performance on both state and district tests. In kindergarten, the intervention teacher and/or classroom teacher provides services for skill development in the area of phonemic awareness. Parents/guardians are notified if their children are eligible to receive services and the type and amount of service they will receive, and will receive progress reports from each child’s AIS teacher.
A Comprehensive Special Education Program is made available to all students identified as educationally handicapped by HCSD’s Committee on Special Education (CSE). Mrs. Bethany Rickard is the chairperson for the CSE. The committee also consists of the child’s parent/ guardian, teacher, the school psychologist, social worker, special education teacher, the occupational therapist, the speech therapist, and a parent representative. Both self-contained special education classes and resource programs, along with supplemental help, are available to these students at all grade levels. In addition, related services in speech therapy, counseling, and occupational therapy are offered. The type and amount of service each child receives are recommended by the CSE after a comprehensive evaluation of the child’s ability has been conducted. Most students receive their programs in their home schools.
Social Work/Counseling Services
The school social worker provides a variety of services both to HCSD’s students and parents. These services include consultation, referrals, and counseling. A referral is made to the school social worker, who then makes a determination of the services the student will receive. Parental permission for this service is required.
The school psychologist provides evaluation services for students who are referred to the Committee on Special Education (CSE). Parental permission is required for a psychological evaluation, which primarily includes intellectual testing and an educational achievement assessment. In addition, the school psychologist provides consultation to teachers, parents, and students and may be involved in providing counseling services to students.
The speech and language pathologist provides speech and language screening and/or evaluations for new students and students who are referred. HCSD also provides speech and language therapy for students who are identified as in need of this service. The comprehensive speech and language therapy services presently offered include articulation therapy, voice therapy, fluency therapy, and therapy to improve students’ receptive and expressive language skills.
HCSD’s physical therapy services are available to educationally handicapped students who have been identified as needing the service through a physical therapy evaluation. This program seeks to improve students’ gross motor skills to successfully participate in classroom, gym, and playground activities. Intervention targets a child’s motor coordination, speed, strength, endurance, running, and strength.
HCSD’s occupational therapy services are available to educationally handicapped students who have been identified as needing the service through an occupational therapy evaluation. This program seeks to improve students’ fine/visual motor and visual perceptual skills. Intervention includes addressing foundational skills delays/difficulties that are impacting a child’s ability to successfully engage in/complete functional classroom tasks.