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Special Education

Welcome to the Special Education Department!

The goal of the Center Moriches Special Education department is to provide a nurturing environment that ensures that all students are provided the opportunity to reach their highest level of academic and social success. Our dedicated staff is committed to creating a student-centered educational environment. Our programs emphasize high expectations to address the physical and social-emotional needs of students that present with a variety of ability levels and learning styles. We strive to maintain an active partnership involving our students, parents, staff, and community to develop a love for learning that embraces our diversity and unique talents in a challenging, respectful, and safe learning environment.

Contact Information
Click on a staff member's name below to send them an email.

Dr. Ricardo Soto
Asst. Superintendent for Student Services, Personnel, and Instructional Technology

Caitlin Dittmeier
Districtwide CSE/504 Chairperson

Katherine Cunningham
School Psychologist

Marissa Morris
Special Education Chairperson (8:1:1 Program)

Ashley De Luca
Districtwide School Psychologist

Tracy Sigerson
Transitional Coordinator

Lynda Trujillo
School Psychologist

Christina McCluskey
Office Assistant

Regina Bergh
Principal Office Assistant

Committee on Special Education

The primary function of a CSE is to identify, evaluate, review the status of, and make recommendations concerning the appropriate educational placement of each child with a disability. A CSE must include the following members for a full committee and/or a sub-committee under specific conditions:

  • The student's parent(s)/guardian(s)
  • At least one of the student's regular education teachers
  • At least one of the student's special education teachers
  • A school Psychologist
  • A representative of the school district (CSE Chair)

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Committee on Pre-School Special Education

Preschool student with a disability is a preschool child as defined in section 4410(1)(i) of Education Law who is eligible to receive preschool programs and services, is not entitled to attend the public schools of the school district of residence pursuant to section 3202 of the Education Law and who, because of mental, physical, or emotional reasons, has been identified as having a disability and can receive appropriate educational opportunities from special programs and services approved by the department. Eligibility as a preschool student with a disability shall be based on the results of an individual evaluation which is provided in the student's native language, not dependent on a single procedure, and administered by a multidisciplinary team.

To be eligible as a Preschool student with a disability, the student must exhibit a significant delay or disorder in one or more functional areas related to cognitive, language and communicative, adaptive, socioemotional or motor development which adversely affects the student's ability to learn. Such delay or disorder shall be documented by the results of the individual evaluation which includes but is not limited to information in all functional areas obtained from a structured observation of a student's performance and behavior, a parental interview and other individually administered assessment procedures, and, when reviewed in combination and compared to accepted milestones for child development, indicate:

  • a 12-month delay in one or more functional area(s); or
  • a 33 percent delay in one functional area, or a 25 percent delay in each of two functional areas; or
  • a score of 2.0 standard deviations below the mean in one functional area, or a score of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in each of two functional areas.

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The Purpose of Special Education Services

Special education services and programs are designed to meet the individual educational needs of disabled students. The individual needs of the student are determined by the CSE, based on the student's present levels of performance and expected outcomes.

For more information on the CSE process or how to make a referral to the CSE, please contact your School Psychologist or the Special Education Chairperson of the building that your child attends.

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