Allison Emig

Happy New Year!!! There is nothing more exciting than starting off a fresh new school  year. As eager as parents are with getting their children back to school, believe it or not, the children are secretly excited as well! Familiar smiling faces awaits the children in September along with routines and structure. We are thrilled to be back and have wonderful things ahead for the school year.

This year, Lower Rye Lake Campus includes our AIIM programs located in the Decagon and our three elementary Therapeutic Support Programs located in our extension buildings. Our AIIM programs will continue to focus on building daily living, vocational, and functional academics. We will continue to ground our work using the curriculum and framework “Essentials for Living”. Additionally, we have included new technology in all classrooms: new Touch Boards and enough iPads so that every student can have their own!! Because we are committed to creating classrooms that are active, engaging and relevant, we will begin a work program that will include onsite and offsite work. During the summer, we began an onsite work program where students worked with the cafeteria staff and  prepared all the breakfast bins for all the students on Rye Lake Campus. Students logged their minutes and filled out their time-sheets just as if they were employed by an outside business. It was a huge success and we plan to continue the work program throughout the year.

We also are thrilled to have K-4 TSP programs on our lower campus as well. These classes encompass two major components: the social emotional growth of the students and building their academic knowledge and skills. We have one dedicated social worker who will work with each class throughout the day in small groups or with one student at a time. Emphasis during therapy sessions include coping, play and self regulation.  As part of our academic program, we will be using Math in Focus mathematics  which leads students toward a developmental progression:  from the concrete, to the pictorial and the abstract phases of understanding mathematics. We will also use a balanced literacy approach focusing on building foundational reading skills including decoding, encoding, fluency, vocabulary development, building background knowledge and comprehension.  Programs such as Orton Gillingham Preventing Academic Failure will be used or System 44.

We also have an Intensive Day Treatment Program where we partner with Rockland Psychiatric to ensure students have a smooth transition back to home districts. We are committed to caring for the students by providing a safe environment where students continue to focus on academics while receiving therapy and counseling.

Lower Rye Lake Campus is an active and fun environment for the students. There isn’t a moment where you won’t see children playing on the playground, or using our sensory room. You will also see children baking in the kitchen, or doing vocational work such as packaging and assembling tasks as they prepare for outside employment. You will also see students engaged in the latest technology and applying it in ways to communicate more effectively. Rye Lake Campus is a special place where our focus is on learning and growing together.

Allison Emig


  • Tappan Hill Student Excited to Vote in Presidential Election

    Friday, Oct. 9, was an exciting day for Tappan Hill School student Christopher Thompson because he independently filled out an application to become a registered voter.

    Chris, who is often discussing current events and politics, has been talking about registering to vote for a long time. During a recent counting/graph lesson about voting, Chris said he wanted to be counted “for real” and exercise his right to vote. His interest led to a social studies/civics lesson on current civil discourse, said Erroll Rivera, Chris’ teacher.

    News Feed - Center for Special Services
  • Back to School Fun at Tappan Hill

    The students have returned to Tappan Hill, reuniting with old friends and meeting new ones. They are having fun exploring the new playground and enjoying the nice weather.

    News Feed - Center for Special Services
  • Tappan Hill student's big brother raises funds for research

    A lemonade stand in Chappaqua raised funds for research into a rare condition that affects a student at our Tappan Hill School. The Examiner newspaper tells the story of the fundraising effort by the student's big brother. 

    Center for Special Services
  • Tappan Hill School goes virtual for Field Day

    Tappan Hill School educators didn't let a little thing like distance learning get in the way of their annual Field Day celebration. They just got a creative with it. Watch it here on YouTube. You may want to keep a tissue handy!
    News Feed - Center for Special Services
  • A note regarding summer instruction

    Dear PPS Directors and Partners in Districts,

    In case you were unable to join us at yesterday’s SWBOCES PPS Directors’ meeting, we wanted to make you aware that after going through a process of considering the Governor’s latest executive order and whether it would be possible to provide in-person services in accordance with safety guidelines, we have determined that we need more planning time before opening our campuses.  Therefore, we will be offering ESY in a remote environment this summer.

    As we had previously shared in a letter to all districts, our program will run from July 6 – August 14. Summer hours for students are from 8:30am-2:00pm.

    We look forward to continuing to serve students and families.

    Best regards,
    Andrea Byrne and Jim Gratto

    Center for Special Services
  • We celebrate and thank our 2020 American Dreamer Award recipients

    Students in our Special Services programs rely on the support of a community that extends beyond our classrooms and campuses and into the cities, towns and villages of Southern Westchester. Each year we honor community partners whose extraordinary efforts make a meaningful difference in the lives of our students. We call these honors the "American Dreamer Awards." View the 2020 awards program here. Thank you for your support! 

    Center for Special Services
  • Special Services remote learning document updated

    The Remote Learning General Information document, attached here, has been updated at

    Center for Special Services
  • Virtual Art Class "at" Valhalla Center

    See the photo linked here for a glimpse of what virtual art class looks like for students, teachers and aides in our Center for Special Services program from our Valhalla campus, where Leslie Handler is principal. So proud of our students and our instructional team!

    Center for Special Services
  • Pocantico Hills staff tell students: 'We miss you!'

    Staff at our Pocantico Hills program really miss seeing their students in person. So they put together this video compilation to let them know just how much.

    News Feed - Center for Special Services
  • Teaching Together: Embracing Distance Learning

    During this very stressful time, parents are trying to keep their families safe, dealing with the anxiety of being apart from loved ones, and attempting to keep some sort of normalcy within their household. Under the current circumstances, many are now nurses to their very fragile children, in addition to being mom or dad, chefs and housekeepers. Now throw into the mix having to work from home and be a teacher, too.


    News Feed - Center for Special Services
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