South Colonie charters SEPTA

Not all classes will meet all children's needs, and, by the same token, not one Parent Teacher Associations will do for all students either.

This train of thought was what lead to South Colonie Central School District's first Special Education Parent Teacher Association which was chartered in the district on Monday, June 1.

Mary Ann Chesky, the district's PTA Council president, said she started looking into bringing a SEPTA to South Colonie after seeing the North Colonie Central School District charter their own.

About a year-and-a-half ago when North Colonie first announced plans to develop the SEPTA for their district, I, of course, was watching, she said.

Chesky had gone to their charter night and learned about the special needs children in the North Colonie Central School District, and began thinking about the needs that were closer to home.

"The numbers [of special needs children] are going up, they're not going down, and maybe we should look into servicing our parents by doing it this year," Chesky said she remembers thinking before trying to bring the SEPTA to South Colonie.

Before a SEPTA could be chartered, Chesky had to evaluate whether district parents were interested in being part of the association. She put a notice on the district's Web site asking interested parents to contact the district. Finally, Chesky said, the district had more than 25 parents interested and was able to proceed with the group, who met for the first time in March.

While the SEPTA, which has five officers, will deal mostly with the issues of special-needs children, Chesky said it will also handle talented and gifted children, or children who excel beyond the average student. This means looking into ways to create a more effective educational experience for students who do not fit into the mainstream mold.

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