Special Education Office

283 North Street
Springville, NY 14141

Kathy TownsendDirector of Special Education and Pupil Services716-592-3256
Diane McWhirterDepartment Secretary716-592-3256
Kendi KesterDepartment Secretary716-592-3255

Welcome to the Special Education Department at Springville-Griffith Institute

Special Education means specially designed instruction, programs, and services provided to help meet the unique needs of students with disabilities, as determined by the Committee on special Education (CSE).

Committee on Special Education

The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is a multidisciplinary team that is approved by the Board of Education. This committee meets after a referral has been made and a multidisciplinary evaluation has been completed to review the information and determine if a child has a disability. This committee is responsible for students who are between the ages of 5-21. The committee determines eligibility, develops the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and places the student in the least restrictive environment. If a student is eligible for classification, this committee will meet at least once a year to review the student’s programs and services. Every three years a student will undergo a re-evaluation proves to ensure that the student continues to qualify for services as a student with a disability.

Multidisciplinary Team

The multidisciplinary team consists of the following people:

  • District representative
  • Parent(s) of the student
  • Regular education teacher
  • Special education teacher
  • School psychologist
  • An individual who understands and can explain evaluation results and how the results affect instruction
  • A parent member who has a child with a disability, unless the parent requests that the parent member not be presented
  • School physician, if requested by the parent
  • Any other people who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, as requested by the parent or the school district
  • The student, if appropriate

It is important that the parent(s) be at the student’s meetings. The parents are the key to helping this whole process be successful and we encourage you to be a part of it all. Please let us know what we can do to make sure that you are informed and a part of all that we do to help your child.

Multidisciplinary Evaluation

After a referral has been made, many professionals must evaluate the student to determine his/her strengths and weaknesses. The professional included, but are not limited to: School Psychologist, School Nurse, Service Providers (Speech, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, etc), Counselors, and School Physician.

Referral Process

A student suspected of having a disability shall be referred in writing to the Director of Special Education, Kathy Townsend A referral may be made by:

  • A student’s parent
  • A professional staff member of the school district in which the student resides (principal)
  • A licensed physician
  • The commissioner or designee of a public agency with responsibility for welfare, health or education of the children,
  • For purposes of referring one’s self, a student who is over 18 years of age or older, or an emancipated minor, who is eligible to attend the public schools of the district.

A referral submitted by anyone other than the parent, student, or judicial offer shall:

  • State the reasons for the referral and include any test results, record or reports which the referral is based that may be in the possession of the person submitting the referral
  • Describe in writing the intervention services and programs or instructional methodologies used to re-mediate the student’s performance prior to referral (SST process- see below)
  • Describe the extend of parental contact or involvement prior to the referral

Initial Evaluation

An initial evaluation must be completed in 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation. This evaluation will include:

  • A physical examination
  • An individual psychological evaluation, except when a school psychologist determines after an assessment of a school-age student, that further evaluation is not necessary
  • A social history
  • An observation of the student in the educational placement
  • Other appropriate assessments or evaluations


The student must meet the qualifications for at least one of the 13 classifications established:

  • Autism
  • Deafness
  • Deaf-Blind
  • Emotional disability
  • Hearing impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Learning disability
  • Multiple disability
  • Orthopedic impairment
  • Other health-impairment
  • Speech/Language impairment
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Visual impairment

A student cannot be determined eligible for special education if:

  • There was a lack of appropriate instruction in reading
  • There was a lack of instruction in math
  • Limited English proficiency
  • It does not negatively impact the child’s education

Notice is hereby given to all district residents with children between birth and age 21; If your child is disabled or you suspect he/she may be disabled, you may be entitled to special education and related services without cost to you. Please contact the school’s Special Education Office at 592-3256 for information.Notice is in compliance with IDEA “Child Find” requirements Education Law 4402 (1) (a)