About Special Education

A comprehensive array of programs are available to meet the instructional needs of students with exceptionalities who are not able to be educated in their home districts.

Care is taken to ensure students are placed—based on their individual learning characteristics and other needs—in programs and with teachers who best support their learning, growth and personal success.

Curriculum is adapted to meet New York state learning standards through individualized instruction. Students are provided the opportunity to access the general education curriculum and to fully participate, when appropriate, in the New York state assessment program. Students (age 6-21) are taught in public school settings and stand-alone, BOCES-operated facilities in the Capital Region. 

Based on their Individualized Education Program (IEP), students have the option to work toward a Regents diploma, CDOS Commencement Credential, Skills and Achievement Credential (SACC) or Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC), formerly GED. 

We also offer extensive support services to help districts more successfully educate students in their home school districts, including itinerant related services, consultation services and staff development.

Our Principles 

All of our special education programs, services and supports reflect the following principles:

Family Involvement

  • We respect that the student’s family is the primary support system for the child and encourage participation in all stages of the decision-making and planning process.

Special Education Services

  • We provide special education services that meet the individual needs of the child, are developmentally appropriate and strength-based. These services are planned in collaboration with all the child-serving systems involved in the child’s life, and are provided in a supportive learning environment.

Evidence Based Services

  • We provide interventions to students that are educationally relevant, evidence- based and support students’ learning needs.

High Quality Instruction

  • Special education services are planned by a multi-disciplinary team that is committed to providing a high quality, supportive learning environment.

Least Restrictive Environment and State Standards

  • We will ensure that students have access to the general education curriculum, and their educational experiences will be based on the New York State Learning Standards.


  • Collaboration between BOCES special education staff, administrators, public school districts and community agencies is essential to providing rigorous instruction and social emotional supports for students with disabilities.


  • Student data will be used to identify student needs and improve instruction.