Welcome to the Center for Special Services!

Southern Westchester BOCES Center for Special Services programs support the needs of students with disabilities by offering specialized instruction tailored to the learning needs, individualized educational plans and life goals of each student. Our six school programs offer environments in which social emotional and academic learning are integrated so that students develop confidence, self-esteem, self-reliance, and resiliency. We believe a growth mindset is the key to progress.

Our classrooms feature small staff-to-student ratios that provide for individualized support and attention. Staff and students develop positive learning communities where students can connect with peers and form friendships.

Our curriculum is aligned with New York State and Next Generation standards which aids in a smooth transition when students may be ready to return to their home districts.  Our instructional professionals implement a comprehensive program that accounts for unique student learning styles and needs. Programs are therapeutic in nature and build in positive behavior supports and reinforcement.

Our clinicians and related service providers include psychologists, social workers, school counselors, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, teachers of reading and the deaf and visually impaired and crisis intervention specialists. Transition is a primary focus so school counselors and social workers support students and families in planning and readiness for returning to district or post-secondary experiences, including adult programming, vocational placements and college or career training. Our  work with families is paramount to our students’ success. We partner with them in navigating community supports and services.

The Center is comprised of six schools on five campuses. Each program serves a diverse group of students ages 5-21 and offers opportunities in the visual arts, music instruction, technology, and physical education. Students also participate in health and wellness learning, community trips, and activities that build social skills.

 

News from our schools

  • Campus adds fifth section of TSP-I program for elementary students

    Meeting a need, Rye Lake Lower Campus program continues to grow

    The TSP-I program at Rye Lake Lower Campus, which serves students with greater needs for social-emotional support, is growing as demand increases and Southern Westchester BOCES is looked to for its leadership and high-caliber programming. The campus added its fifth section in mid-February, and students are already well acclimated within an instructional setting that meets their needs. 

    "It's really a reflection of the fact that we are providing the supports and services students need, and our families and districts recognize that," Principal Julia Dolan said of the growing program. 

    News Feed - Rye Lake Lower Campus
  • Tappan Hill School opens doors to learning for Black History Month

    Tappan Hill School celebrated Black History Month as each door was decorated, including classrooms, offices and the Gym, each featuring historic Black figures. Classes went on learning walks around the building to celebrate and acknowledge the these individuals, who continue to make an impact on our society!

    News Feed - Tappan Hill
  • Tappan Hill celebrates a Happy Valentine's Day with flowers and a dance

    Tappan Hill School staff and students enjoyed a wonderful, kindness-themed Valentine's Day Dance where they enjoyed the opportunity to socialize and exercise together. All classes even exchanged tokens of kindness with their class buddies. This festive day, which featured students and staff dressed in red, pink, and purple, was organized by the Connected Learning Team with help from Coach Diane Storm and Kemar Hopkins, who organized the playlist. 

    What's more, Southern Westchester BOCES district leaders were the recipients of Valentine's bouquets, courtesy of Teacher Erroll Rivera's MD Vocational program at Tappan Hill.

    Southern Westchester BOCES district leaders received red-and-white bouquets. They include: District Superintendent Harold Coles, Deputy Superintendent/COO Brendan Lyons, Assistant Superintendents James Gratto and Steve Tibbetts, Human Resources Director Suzanne Doherty, Director of Special Services Jessica Walker and Assistant Director Alexandria Connally. Students completed the two-week project with the assistance of mentors from Volunteer New York. The project concluded with a fun dance party with Donald Stephens from the Music Conservatory of Westchester.

     

     

    News Feed - Tappan Hill
  • Rye Lake MS/HS kick off 100 days of Kindness on Valentine's Day

    Rye Lake Middle and High School students took part in a Valentine's Day kickoff for 100 days of Kindness thanks to the schools' Community Events Committee! There was a variety of activities to celebrate the community and opportunities for kindness and connection. Students selected the activities they wanted to participate in, with staff assistance. Activities included Valentines or Kindness card making, ice breaker/friendship maker bingo, kindness chain, mindfulness coloring, friendship bracelets/jewelry, and tile art for a building mosaic.

    News Feed - Rye Lake Middle/High School
  • Chili Cook-Off a healthy competition and a Rye Lake tradition

    Students and staff alike sampled piping hot and sometimes spicy concoctions from slow cookers and crockpots. Servers dished out cilantro and cheddar, fluffy rice and crispy tortilla chips. The annual Chili Cookoff at Rye Lake Middle-High School lured visitors with an aroma that filled the air. With the Super Bowl days away, this preview of gameday fare was as fierce a competition as the Chiefs and Niners could hope to cook up.

    From the spicy recipe of Mr. Crump, to the creaminess of Mr. Mule’s chili, to the elegant presentation of Ms. Rivera’s secret recipe, to Ms. Carpiniello’s rich and innovative take on classic chili, there were no two offerings alike. A sample of each left the judges unsure how to pin a blue ribbon on the winner. Any of these offerings would be welcome come Sunday’s kickoff. After a wave of students had their fill – a few running for their water bottles to wash down the hot pepper flavor – staff poured in for the lunchtime event. Everyone took their time. The portions were small enough not to be filling but big enough to give a proper tasting. 

    In the end, just like in football, only one could come out on top while the worthy competition could only hold their heads high for having played hard. It was Ms. Rivera that the judges decided was this year’s champion.

    News Feed - Rye Lake Middle/High School
  • Tappan Hill students visit Valentine's 'Bake Shop'

    Students from Adriane Lomupo's and Linda Liebman’s classes at Tappan Hill School gathered in Ms. Liebman's classroom one day this week for a Valentine's 'Bake Shop' activity. The students worked in multiple roles, as cashier, waiter, customer and chef, as they practiced social skills, math money skills, communication skills and pretend play. 

    News Feed - Tappan Hill
  • Quarterly honors now a recurring celebration

    Rye Lake MS/HS takes honors celebration to a higher level

    Nineteen students, including seven previous honorees, were recognized Feb. 2 for their academic achievement in what is becoming a familiar ceremony on the Rye Lake High School campus.

     “This ceremony is about recognizing academic success but also about these kids learning what they’re capable of achieving,” Principal Eric Ford said.

    News Feed - Rye Lake Middle/High School
  • Tappan Hill enjoys 'Snowy Day Pajama Read Aloud'

    The weather outside was rainy last week, but inside Tappan Hill School it was a 'Snowy Pajama Day' as classes gathered in the Gym in their pajamas for a Snowy Day Pajama Read Aloud.

    Students participated in a winter warmup on the Lu projector prior to listening to "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats. Following the story, a special guest joined students and staff — Olaf! It must have been the snowy story that brought Olaf in.

    Special thanks to the Connected Learning Team, Coach Diane Storm and all the staff for making this event so special for students!

    News Feed - Tappan Hill
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