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Pupil Support Services & Special Education

Contact | Vision | Mission | CPSE | CSE | McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act | NYS Continuum of Services | Shaker-Siena College Transition Program | Extended School Year (ESY) Program | Special Education PTA

Mission Statement

Our mission is to cultivate opportunities to engage in challenging, purposeful experiences in a supportive environment which promotes lifelong learning tailored to the individual needs of all our students. As a collaborative team of teachers, families, administrators, and staff, we will work together to foster students’ independence as they grow to become empowered contributors to society.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to inspire a culture of inclusivity and acceptance, where students with special needs are celebrated for their strengths, supported in their areas of growth, and equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in school and beyond. By promoting equity and accessibility, we aim to ensure that every student receives an equitable and exceptional education, paving the way for a bright and inclusive future.

Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)

The district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is responsible for ensuring that parents are aware of the opportunities available for evaluation of children 3-5 years old who are suspected of having a disability, and for services to preschool children with disabilities. The committee consists of representatives from preschool special education agencies, county administrators, parents and district staff. All recommendations for services are made to the Board of Education.

If you have concerns about your child’s development, or would like more information, please contact the district CPSE chairperson.

Committee on Special Education (CSE)

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is sanctioned and regulated by New York State. It acts as a multi-disciplinary team to evaluate the management, academic, physical and social needs of the referred child and determines if there is an educational disability. The CSE must then decide on an appropriate program or placement for the student and the need for related services (i.e. occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, counseling, etc.) if necessary. If you have any concerns or would like more information, please contact the Pupil Services Assistant Director in your child’s building.

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth.

McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students. Under McKinney-Vento and state law, students are considered homeless if they lack a nighttime residence that is fixed, regular, and adequate.

To help determine if a student is eligible, the school district asks two questions when a student enrolls:

  1. Is your current address a temporary living arrangement?
  2. Is this temporary living arrangement due to loss of housing or economic hardship?

If you believe you may qualify for services under the McKinney-Vento Act please contact either:

  • Tricia Doyle (Director of Counseling and Mental Health, Homeless Liaison) by phone at 518-785-8591 x 3142 or via email.
  • Casey Bardin (Director of Pupil Services, Foster Care Liaison) by phone 518-785-8591 x3144 or via email.
  • Student Registrar via phone at (518) 785-8591 x 3135.

NYS Continuum of Services

Thecontinuum of special education services for school-age students with disabilities is an array of services to meet an individual students’ needs:

  • Related Services
  • Consultant Teacher
  • Resource Room
  • Consultant Teacher Combined with Resource Room
  • Integrated Co-Teaching
  • Special Class

Research on specially designed instruction clearly supports high quality instruction provided to the greatest extent possible to meet the student’s individualized education program (IEP) in the general education classrooms where students with disabilities have the greatest likelihood of receiving curriculum content delivered by highly qualified teachers.  Schools may utilize a variety of combinations of special education supports and services to serve students with disabilities in general education settings and promote meaningful access, participation and progress in the general curriculum, including consultant teacher services, paraprofessional support, resource room services and integrated co-teaching.

Learn more about New York State’s Continuum of Special Education Services for School-Age Students with Disabilities.

Shaker-Siena College Transition Program

The Shaker-Siena College Transition program is for Shaker High School special education students who have demonstrated independence during their time at Shaker High School and are ready to have an adult experience on the Siena college campus. They are valued members of the Siena College community who make a difference in North Colonie.

Shaker High School students who attend this program:

  • need little to no support
  • are able to independently navigate the Siena College campus on their own
  • go to their assigned jobs as scheduled
  • audit college classes
  • make meaningful connections with Siena students, faculty and staff

Extended School Year (ESY) Overview

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) must determine whether a student requires extended school year special education services in order to prevent substantial regression. Substantial regression would be indicated by a student’s inability to maintain developmental levels due to a loss of skill, set of skill competencies or knowledge during the months of July and August. In accordance with section 200.6(k) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, students must be considered for twelve-month special services and/or programs to prevent substantial regression if they are students:

  • whose management needs are determined to be highly intensive and require a high degree of individualized attention and intervention and who are placed in special classes;
  • with severe multiple disabilities, whose programs consist primarily of habilitation and treatment and are placed in special classes;
  • who are recommended for home and/or hospital instruction whose special education needs are determined to be highly intensive and require a high degree of individualized attention and intervention or who have severe multiple disabilities and require primarily habilitation and treatment;
  • whose needs are so severe that they can be met only in a seven-day residential program; or
  • receiving other special education services who, because of their disabilities, exhibit the need for twelve-month special service and/or program provided in a structured learning environment of up to 12 months duration in order to prevent substantial

Special Education PTA

The Special Education PTA’s mission is to create a network of parents, educators and administrators who work cooperatively and constructively to meet the needs of all students who receive special education services. We will strive to ensure that the students learn in an appropriately integrated environment, with the proper supports in place, and are valued members of the school community.

The North Colonie Special Education PTA was chartered in January 2008 with 31 members. The North Colonie Special Education PTA is the first of its kind in the Capital Region and serves special education and gifted students in grades K–12. New members are welcome to join by attending meetings or by contacting the president, Mary Alber.

Special Education services are administered by Pupil Services. If you have a child that receives services from the District pursuant to an IEP or 504 Plan, then join us for an opportunity to meet the members of Pupil Services. This is an opportunity to meet the District administrators that oversee the programs and get an overview of the process. We will review:

  • Who are these administrators and what is their role for your child?
  • What happens if I think my child needs special education services?
  • What are the steps, if I feel an existing plan is not working or there is a problem?

If you have questions about the meeting, please email the Special Education PTA.

Pupil Support Services & Special Education

91 Fiddlers Lane
Latham, NY 12110

Casey Bardin
Director of Pupil Services
518-785-8591 x 3147

Patricia Skeals Comas
Office Coordinator
518-785-8591 x 3156

Meghan Stevens
Secretary to the Director of Pupil Services
518-785-8591 x 3147

Marrianne Collins
PPS Medicaid & STAC Coordinator
518-785-8591 x 3142

Heather Quinn
Assistant Director of Pupil Services (BC, BH, Southgate)
518-785-8591 x 3124

Amber Manke
Assistant Director of Pupil Services (FF, LR, LO)
518-785-8591 x 3121

Elizabeth Pomerville
Assistant Director of Pupil Services at SMS
518-785-1341 x 4519

Sheila Potter
Secretary to Ms. Pomerville
518-785-1341 x 4519

Ryan Collins
Assistant Director of Pupil Services at SHS
518-785-5511 x 3400

Tricia Doyle
Director of Counseling & Mental Health
518-785-8591 x 3124

Visit the Mental Health Services page to view our list of psychologists, social workers and student assistance counselors.


Dr. Tia Pressey
CPSE Chairperson, CSE Co-Chairperson, Assistant Director of Pupil Services
518-785-8591 x 3149

Jasmine Carr
CPSE Secretary
518-785-8591 x 3150