The New York Institute For Special Education

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Parents » Middle/High School Program Parent Meeting

Middle/High School Program Parent Meeting

Middle School/High School Program Parent Meeting

April 12, 2022




COVID has been a challenge for everyone and I hope you and your family are doing well.  I want to thank you for trusting us with your child during this time.  We have tried to make the school as safe as possible and to follow the rules from the CDC, NYS Health Department and the NYC Health Department.


The following statistics will give you an update on COVID-19 issues at NYISE:

        100% of the staff are vaccinated

        In grades 6 to 12 62% of the children are vaccinated

        Overall in the Schermerhorn Program in grades kindergarten to 12th grade 58% of the students are vaccinated.


I encourage you to consider having your child vaccinated and notifying Health Services when they are vaccinated. This will help when your child is a close contact. If they are vaccinated and show no symptoms they can continue coming to school. We have not had any reports that children at NYISE reacted poorly to the vaccine.  



Since September 2021 the virus has effected the following groups:


  • Students -  13

   Teachers   - 25

       Non Instructional   - 3


We have 498 individuals on campus:  236 students, 198 teachers, assistants and related service providers and 60 non- educational staff.


The number of staff and students getting sick from COVID-19 has been low.  Our facilities and housekeeping staff work every day to keep the school disinfected and sanitized.


Our current plan for the mask wearing is as follows:

  • Outdoors -  masks are optional
  • Indoors -  we will review the use of masks on April 27th
  • Masks will be required indoors when there is a large gathering (Spring Performance and Graduation) or when COVID-19 cases in NYC increase or if there is an increase at NYISE
  • Self- Test Kits will be sent home with your child Spring each month to help control students coming to school sick.




Funding from New York State


The 4201 Schools (NYISE is a member) advocated for the following priorities:

  • An increase to our current budget
  • 30 million dollars allocated for the 11 schools over a 3-year period of time to raise the salaries of the direct care staff
  • Creation of a reserve fund if a school does not spend all the money allocated during the fiscal year
  • Consistent transportation for NYISE students when our calendar and the school district’s is different


As you know the Budget for 2022-23 passed.  The Association is disappointed that only a $2 million increase was made for the 11 schools.


We advocate each year for our funding but funding is important for  NYISE.  However, I don’t want anyone to worry that certain activities will be canceled or that we have trouble paying our bills. 





In addition to the NYS funding we have several fundraising campaigns for special projects:


Giving Tuesday Fundraiser -  the Tuesday after Thanksgiving


Writing grants


Various appeals during the school year


If you are not registered with Amazon Smile, you might consider this.  As you shop on Amazon a small amount is donated to NYISE.


Memorial/tribute gifts


Something to consider for Schermerhorn Students:

The pandemic has been challenging for the students and they missed out academically and especially socially.  Think about this  -  if your child was in 6th grade when the pandemic occurred they are now in 8th grade and ready for high school – but are they really ready?  If your child is in the 9th grade they were only in the 7th grade.  So I encourage you to think about not rushing high school.  Students with an IEP are able to receive education until age 21.  If you feel your daughter or son needs more support this should be discussed with Margherita and Jason.  There is no need to rush – the important thing is that they are prepared and ready for college, work or a training program.  Once a student completes school they are no mandated services.  Your daughter or son has to qualify for college or be sponsored by the Commission for the Blind for training opportunities. 


Some possible activities we wanted to get feedback from the parents.


  1. Virtual tutoring after-school for students.  If families are interested they would let us know and we can see if this is something we could offer. The number of tutoring opportunities will depend on the number of tutors and the overall cost of the program.  We fundraise for the tutoring program.
  2. The possibility of virtual enrichment activities. Activities might include daily living activities, cooking, game night and seasonal activities.
  3. Saturday in-person activities at NYISE. Some of the opportunities could include: golf, track/field, cooking, games, seasonal events. Transportation would be arranged by the family or students could use Access-a-Ride.

Please let Margherita Manz know if you are interested in any of the activities.



To have more connection with NYISE.  We can place updates in the parent portal on the website as well as using the School Messenger App to text information.  A Zoom meeting format might allow for greater participation and the meeting could be recorded.