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Planning underway to redesign BOCES special education division  

Posted April 27, 2017

Planning is underway to make significant changes that will strengthen Capital Region BOCES’ special education program over the next three to five years.

Redesign & Implementation Team Members

Melissa Eberhardt
Kristen Lashway
Brent Pierce
Sharon Swain
Stephanie Warlik
Related Service Providers
Lucy Brady
Flora Fasoldt
Kimberly Patterson
Teaching Assistants
Colleen Condolora
Natalie Powell
Jalinda Soto
Component District Representatives
Kellee deOlde, Guilderland
Kenn Handin, Scotia-Glenville
Mary Neitzel, Duanesburg
Janelle Yanni, Watervliet
County Agency Representatives
Norine Hodges, Schoharie
Elizabeth C. Bruce, LMHC, Schenectady

A 17-member redesign and implementation team is guiding the work ahead under the direction of BOCES’ leadership and consultants Rita Levay, Ed.D, and Diane Albano, Ed.D.

The team’s work will align with recommendations from the consultant’s review of the special education division earlier this school year. Membership includes special education faculty and staff, representatives from component districts and county agencies.

The team is participating in eight full-day work sessions through June 2017, and expects to create a final redesign and implementation plan by September 2017. However, there will be no changes to major programs at that time.

The development of internal processes and procedures will begin in fall 2017; and changes will be implemented beginning in the 2018-19 school year.

Periodic updates will be shared to keep families, students and other stakeholder groups informed about the work and planning ahead. 


To best-prepare our BOCES to serve students with complex needs, the redesign and implementation team will:

  • Redesign the student intake process to align with the development of learner characteristics for each program description.

  •  Redefine programs to more accurately reflect the needs of individual students, both academically and behaviorally.

  •  Guide the development of a curriculum and instructional plan that includes jobembedded

  •  Guide the development of entrance and exit criteria for all related services and define the program models for these services based on relevant research.

  •  Design learner characteristics of hard to place students; identify and provide the supports students, staff and families need.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact Capital Region BOCES Deputy Director of Special Education Peter Taormina at or 518-464-6319. 

Information on the Independent In-depth Review of Special Education Division

In fall 2016, consultants Rita Levay, Ed.D., Diane Albano, Ed.D. and Amanda McNeal, M.S. conducted an independent in-depth review of the special education division. A copy of their final report is now available, which includes the nature of work; deliverables; methodology; strengths and assets; findings on teaching and learning; and recommendations. Download the Independent In-depth Review of Special Education Division Final Report[PDF]

If you have any issues accessing the report above, please contact Brooks Brown, by email at or at 518-862-4934. Please provide information on the location of the page or document you were attempting to access. Be sure to include your name, email address and phone number so that we may contact you to provide the information in another format.

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