“The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.”

Robert M. Hutchins


Posts Tagged ‘Independent Private Special Education Schools’


April 22nd, 2011

Private Special Education Schools are centered in NYC. Find out about Approved and Independent private special ed schools in NYC in Skyer Law’s blog series.

New York City is the epicenter of Private Special Education Schools.  As I explained in the last blog, Private Special Education Schools,  there are two categories of Private Special Education Schools -  Approved and Independent.   Here is an abridged list of some of the Independent Special Education Private Schools serving special needs students:  Aaron, Bay Ridge Prep, Brooklyn Center for Autism, Children’s Academy, Columbia Grammar LRE, Cooke Center and Academy, Dwight Quest, Eagle Hill, Forman, Forum, Foundation, Gateway Middle, Gersh, Hear our Voices, Ideal, Imagine, Manhattan Children’s Center, Manhattan Day, Mary McDowell Friends School, McCarton School, Reach for the Stars,  Rebecca, Robert Louis Stevenson,  Smith School, Stephen Gaynor, Sterling, West End Day, Windward, Winston Prep, Vincent Smith, Xaverian Legacy and Equity, Y.E.S.S., York Prep Jumpstart.

The salient feature that sets these Independent Special Education Private Schools apart from the Approved  special education private schools is that they do not appear on the New York State list and therefore they cannot be recommended or funded directly through the school district.  There are also other noteworthy distinctions.  The Independent Private Special Education Schools are not bound by many of the restrictions of the State Education Department, and thus can set their own admissions criteria, class size, curriculum, staffing requirements.  Since they do their own screening they rely heavily on the reports of private evaluators.  Many of these private special education schools provide parents with a list of evaluators that are familiar with their school and whom they recommend.  The independent schools are not required to follow a child’s IEP, and don’t even require that a child have one.

An Independent Private Special Education School can set their own tuition rate, and since they require payment from the parent they each set their own terms of enrollment and most require a parent to enter into a contract with them.  Many of the parents who enroll their children in these independent special education schools hire attorneys and bring a lawsuit against their school district seeking tuition reimbursement.  These lawsuits are based on parents’ belief that the school district failed to offer their special needs child a “FAPE” (Free Appropriate Public Education).  Any parent that is thinking about this route regarding special education schools should consult an attorney who specializes in this area of law early in the process. Many parents are under the misconception that there is an automatic reimbursement program – this is simply not the truth and my next blog will attempt to clarify this myth….so stay tuned….