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Overview

Erie 1 BOCES Special Education provides programs which are designed for students with disabilities whose instructional needs cannot be appropriately served by their local school district.  Special education classes, for students ages 5-21, are hosted within our component school districts. 

 A team effort by related services itinerant professionals supports the classroom teacher in meeting the demands of the New York State Common Core Learning Standards.  The following itinerant services are provided, based on the student’s IEP:  speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, itinerant hearing services, itinerant vision services and social work counseling.

Special programs exist to specifically meet the needs of students with autism, behavior disorders and students who have previously not been successful in a traditional public school setting.  Transition services are an important part of the curriculum for all Special Education students.  Students have an opportunity to participate in a simulated workshop and in community internships.

For all students, learning is based on the New York State Common Core Learning Standards.

Special Education
Partnership prepares special education students for the workplace

Nearly a year ago, the leadership at Erie 1 BOCES desired to enhance special education offerings for students within the region. However, the organization needed a public education partner, with appropriate space, in order to move forward. Maryvale Union Free School District answered the call and by September Erie 1 BOCES special education students filled their available classrooms.

Erie 1 BOCES’ new Work Readiness program at Maryvale offers 40 special education students a center-based program focused on work readiness skills. The students, in grades 9-12, travel to Maryvale from their home school districts such as Cheektowaga-Sloan, Tonawanda and Williamsville.

“The number one reason we moved to Maryvale was the location,” Justin DeMartin, associate director of Special Education at Erie 1 BOCES. “First, having a central location was important to us as well as the schools we serve. Second, Maryvale’s facilities best allowed our students to integrate.”   

The goal of the Work Readiness program is to allow students to practice job skills that interest them to ultimately seek out and maintain employment post high school.

“In the afternoon, some students may go to worksites and others will continue to refine their skills in the job skills training room,” said Gina Dailey, principal of BOCES’ Maryvale Work Readiness site.

Marlo Reyes, a Williamsville student in his fourth year with Erie 1 BOCES, discovered an interest in building careers during a series of class projects. Paul Wekarski, Marlo’s teacher, saw BOCES’ move to Maryvale as an opportunity for Marlo to practice his skills.

"Mr. Wekarski put me on computer program for measuring called Ricky Spears Ruler Game. It helped me learn how to measure in the shop and to build these desks," said Marlo referencing the desks in his new Maryvale classroom.

Another benefit to students attending Maryvale High School is the opportunity to interact with Maryvale High School students on a regular basis.

“Social interaction is a key component to any workplace,” said Dailey. “Although these students are in a separate academic program, they integrate into lunches, study halls, physical education, art, music and chorus classes with students at Maryvale High School.” 

Wekarski concurs with Dailey, adding that, “Marlo is much more comfortable with people in general than when he first started in the program.”

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