•   Office of Students with Exceptionalities        Children

      18 South Perry St.
      Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
      (845) 451-4900, Ext. 3473 (General Number)

      (845) 383-8570 (Fax)




    District Mission

    We are champions of children who inspire and nurture the whole child by providing innovative, high-quality educational opportunities that prepare all students to embark on individual paths of success in a globally diverse community.

    The Office of Students with Exceptionalities is responsible for a wide range of programs and student support. We coordinate the district's Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) initiative, including the MTSS teams throughout each of our schools. Additionally, we coordinate all support required for students with educational disabilities, through the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE), the Committee on Special Education (CSDE), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Our office manages all homebound instruction services for students, and coordinates the student disciplinary hearings (Superintendent's Hearings) for the district.

    Our department is committed to service to the students and families of Poughkeepsie. We are here to help answer your questions and provide guidance for parents around all of the areas within our department. Below is a list of key personnel who can help to assist you with specific questions about MTSS, 504, Special Education, Homebound Instruction and Superintendent's Hearings.

    - Executive Director 

    Dr. Iris Goliger

    - Coordinator 

    Michelle O'Gara, Ext. 5723

    • Special Education & 504 plan administrative contact for the following schools: Krieger, Warring, & Poughkeepsie Middle School


     Triesha Foglia-Edwards, Ext. 5724

    • Responsible for programs for pre-school children with disabilities, as well as arranging placements when the children attain school age. 
    • Special Education & 504 plan administrative contact for the following schools: ELC, Clinton, Private Schools & BOCES programs

    - Coordinator

      Alisa Balestrino, Ext. 5728 

    • Special Education & 504 plan administrative contact for the following schools: Morse & Poughkeepsie High School

    Office Staff

    Solita Moran-Frye, Secretary to the Executive Director, Ext. 5721

    Parents who have questions regarding an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Accomodation Plan, should contact the appropriate person listed below:

    Laura Hamedl,  Ext. 5725
    • Contact for: PMS & BOCES programs
    Lisa Velez, IEP Typist, Ext. 5720
    • Contact for: Poughkeepsie High School, out of district and parentally placed students

    Cora Davis, Ext. 5719

    • Contact for: Clinton, Morse and charter schools

    Sherry Yohe, Ext. 5722

    • Contact for: ELC and preschool

    Yinet McClendon, Ext. 5727

    • Contact for: Krieger and Warring

    Aurora Porto, district advocate, Ext. 1365  

    District-Wide CSE Chairpersons

    Kimberly Ross, Ext. 1366

    Homebound Tutoring

    Ms. Nyato Murray, Ext. 5726

    This office is responsible for assigning Homebound Tutors to students who are unable to attend school because of suspension or medical requirements. 


    Contact: Da'ron Wilson, Executive Director of Parent Engagement

    Parents may exercise their right to provide required instruction at home under Education Law, section 3212(2).

    Home Schooling

    Home Schooling Process & Procedures: Part 100.10

    Section 504 Accomodation Plans

    US Dept of Education - 504 Resource Guide

    Other Relevant NYS regulations

    For the New York State regulations on Home Schooling, click here.
    For the New York State regulations on Homeless Students, click here.
    For the New York State Information about Students With Disabilities (Special Education in NYS for Children 3-21 - A Parent's Guide).

    MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) Coordinator, TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment)
    Andrew Rao, Ext. 1498
    • Provides support to building MTSS Committees for Academic and/or Behavioral Support needs, and works within the Office of Students with Exceptionalities to support students suspected of having learning difficulties. 

    MTSS Building Committees- (Formerly referred to as Instructional Support Team)

    Parents are sometimes concerned that their child is not making adequate academic progress. Often, parents are not sure where to turn for guidance and seek extensive testing for their children. In most cases, testing is not warranted and only places undue stress on the child. Many learning concerns can be addressed through your child’s building’s MTSS Committee (IST Team). The MTSS Committee is comprised of professionals within your child’s school, and may include personnel such as: school psychologists, regular education teachers, special education teachers, speech and language therapists, building administrators, social workers, nurses, etc. The goal of the MTSS Committee is to identify strategies/ accommodations/ services that will help your child be successful in school. Recommendations may include interventions such as: remedial services, instructional strategies, classroom modifications, behavioral interventions, etc. The  MTSS Committee will reconvene to review the strategies/interventions that they implemented. Parent input is highly valued and is necessary for the MTSS Committee process to work properly. To have your child reviewed by the MTSS Committee, contact your child’s Principal, teacher (elementary school) or guidance counselor (secondary school).

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