SOMERS, N.Y. – Nearly one-quarter of Somers’ school children receive some sort of special education service, ranging from assistance with physical handicaps to academic issues to social/emotional and behavioral problems, said Laura Cabo, president of the Somers Special Education PTA.
“Special Education is a hot button in the school district and in budget decision-making,” Cabo said. “Somers has one of the strongest programs in the region."
Each child in the program is treated personally, according to an Individual Education Plan. “Some are in smaller classes led by special ed teachers, others go to regular classes and get special guidance. The point is that each plan has its own goals and objectives,” she said.
Cabo described the association as “a strong support organization. It’s where parents can learn the challenges of having a special needs child and what’s available in the district and outside the district. Things ranging from camps down to great babysitters. Parents learn how to work with the schools and the district to create sound objectives and be effective.”
Last spring, the association taught 16 parents about the pertinent laws and what their kids are entitled to under the law. The more educated you are in any subject, the better off you are, Cabo said.
Anyone can join the group and every parent can benefit from the information it disseminates, Cabo said. “Broader issues include bullying and how to become a better reader."
The association is an all-inclusive organization, embracing all four Somers schools.
“We function like most PTAs,” Cabo said. “We have fundraisers, speakers, scholarships, and so on. Unlike the general education PTA, we don’t have field trips and school pictures. We focus on education and parenting programs. How the brain organizes, how we prioritize, how we learn.”
The group currently has about 275 members, including faculty and parents. It counts about 625 special students on its roster. For more information, go to the SEPTA website.