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
Elks Embody Spirit of Giving Year Round
Picture of males student asking questions to two menComparable to a news conference, student-reporters fired off questions to their visitors from the Ken-Ton Elks Lodge #1942. The inquiries centered around learning more about the organization that has gifted their class with annual field trips for the past four years. For the students in Cynthia Kramer’s class, every outing provides valuable life lessons as well as fun memories.

“It is important for our youth to interact with the community,” said Kramer. “Before and after each excursion we utilize the experience to support instruction. Today the students developed and wrote appropriate questions. Other times they study a location’s history, write letters or compose journal entries.”

The class, operated by Erie 1 BOCES at Kenmore East High School, is a 12:1:1 special education program that aligns instruction to a student’s individual education plan. Through a grant from the Ken-Ton Elks, various Erie 1 BOCES special education classrooms based in Kenmore have visited places such as Buffalo Science Museum, Buffalo Botanical Gardens, Old Fort Niagara, Buffalo Zoo, Coca-Cola Field and many more.

Edwin Stuhmiller, Ken-Ton Elks member and retired music teacher, requests funding each year. He was present for the student-led interviews and detailed how the funding is secured.

picture of two males from the Elks lodge speaking to students“The money is awarded to our lodge from the national organization in Chicago, then we decide as a committee how to distribute the funds,” said Stuhmiller. “Enriching the lives of the community we serve is very important to our organization.”

Richard Donn, secretary of Ken-Ton Elks, has joined the students on most of their class outings. He joined Stuhmiller in speaking to the students about the grant-funded experiences. While looking at a student drawing of the various locations they’ve visited together, he recounted a memory.

“I really enjoyed our trip to the science center,” said Donn. “One student had been to the center previously with his grandmother. He was excited to be there and shared with me many of the details he learned.”

Stuhmiller and Donn intend to offer grant-funded field trips into the future. The grants pay for bussing and the entrance fees. When possible, the various classrooms and schools collaborate to contain costs and stretch the funding further.

“We work very closely with our colleagues in the school districts to ensure we’re maximizing our resources for the benefit of as many students as possible,” said Kramer. “For example, when there’s extra space on a bus we extend an invitation to neighboring classes.”

One student, Kelsey Thuman, asked how many people belong to Ken-Ton Elks Lodge. Upon hearing 102 members, the class bubbled with chatter and pride as it was evident a great number of people cared about their success. 

Community members interested in joining the Ken-Ton Elks Lodge #1942, whose outreach helps children and veterans, may pick up an application at 2805 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore, NY 14217 or call for an application at (716) 871-9097.

About Exceptional Education at Erie 1 BOCES
From emotional and social challenges to mental and physical impairments, Erie 1 BOCES Exceptional Education can address a variety of student needs that fall outside the scope of a traditional school setting. The degree of support required for students with exceptional needs can often be cost prohibitive for one school district to  tackle completely on its own. At Erie 1 BOCES, we pool the resources of multiple school districts to provide full service, quality programing by sharing the expense. The result, unique opportunities and exceptional results. Learn more at www.e1b.org.
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