A Quarterly Newsletter From the Parent Network of the Capital Region (PNCR)
PNCR's mission is to provide parents with knowledge, skills, and resources to facilitate productive relationships with their school districts, ensuring an appropriate education for their child.  All services are offered at no cost.
In This Issue...

Question of the Quarter

Upcoming Events

Events, News, and Notes

Recommended Reading 

Recommended Reading  
*This quarter's featured book and many more resources are available at PNCR's resource lending library! 
Click on the book cover below to read reviews and look inside at 
"Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism" by Ron Suskind 

"Life, Animated is the author's amazing memoir of his family's 20-year, struggle to connect with their autistic son. This is the book that readers who have no one in their lives affected by autism and who would otherwise never it pick up should definitely read. Eyes will tear. Hearts will cheer. In these pages, Owen is every reader's son." (Don Oldenburg, USA Today)
To Inquire About Availability or Borrowing,
Contact the PNCR Office @ 518-640-3320.

The Capital District online guide to everything for kids, teens, & families.


An online resource for special needs services, offering practical resources for home, school and community.

Connect with PNCR


Spring Issue 
March/April 2017


Recently, we distributed a survey asking you, our PNCR families and community partners, to provide us with feedback and suggestions regarding our current website content and what information would be most useful in a redesigned model. It was also an opportunity to provide us with specific information, concerns, and topics that are important to you. Participation was very good and we look forward to using your responses to help guide the design and content of PNCR's new website.  

Survey participants had the option to enter a random drawing for one of several $25 gift cards.   The following individuals are our winners. Congratulations to: Maxine B, Heather L, Debra S, and Amy V.  Thank you again for your contributions!

The PNCR Team.
Bonnie, Liz, Mary, and Sheri 
Question of the Quarter

Topic:  NYS Assessments grades 3-8
The PNCR office was recently contacted with the following question from a parent.

Q: "NYS Assessments are scheduled over the next several weeks.  Based on her disability, my daughter qualifies for NYS Alternate Assessments and will not participate in the regular State or local assessments.  My district has asked me to keep my daughter home on the days the regular NYS Assessments will be administered.   Should the school be asking me to do this?  Do I have to keep my child home?"

A:  The answer to both questions is NO!  School districts should not ask or suggest that a family keep a student with disabilities home on assessment days.  Students with disabilities who are not participating in NYS Assessments should report to school as usual.  Instruction must be provided to the student on these days.  Below is the specific guideline detailing this information and can be found at (         

"Days on which New York State Assessments are given are days on which attendance must be taken and which count toward the 180 required days of session. Under no circumstances may pupils be excused from the daily instructional requirement.

Some students with disabilities, who are in general education classrooms, do not participate in regular State or local assessments as determined by the Committee on Special Education. When students with disabilities are not participating in particular regular State or local assessments, instruction must be provided to them during the days that other children are being assessed in these regular assessments. Instruction must be provided regardless of what special education services the student receives or the setting in which that student's special education program is provided. The instruction may be provided by such individuals as a general education teacher, special education teacher or teacher assistant."
Events, News and Notes

Scholarship Information
Ruby's Rainbow scholarships are available to individuals with Down Syndrome seeking higher education or post-secondary enrichment classes. Deadline to apply is April 28th.   CLICK HERE for more information.

PNCR Facebook (FB)  
Stay connected with the latest resources, activities, events, and trainings.  If you frequent FB but haven't liked our page yet, you ARE missing out !!   Visit and like PNCR's page . You'll be glad you did! 

Upcoming PNCR Events
PNCR's scheduled training events begin to wind down in the late spring and summer months.  We use the "slow" months as a time to review our training offerings and make adjustments as needed.  During that time, we also reach out to our current and prospective community partners and begin the process of exploring, planning for, and scheduling trainings for the 2017-2018 school year.   We are looking forward to collaborating with you in the coming months. Until then, if you would like to see a specific topic added to our training list or would like to get a jump on the 2017-2018 schedule, please email Sheri Gaylord at or call 518-640-3333.  

Below are trainings that we currently have scheduled.  Simply click on the training title for more information or to register. Please remember, registration typically closes 48 hours before the training date.  For the latest schedule, please visit our TRAINING CALENDAR.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM 
@ Saratoga Springs Public Library

What is an FBA? Does my child need one? FBA/BIPs are formal ways for parents, teachers, & other professionals to work together to determine the best way to support a student who has significant behavioral difficulties at school. Participants will explore components of an FBA/BIP, basic principles of behavior, & discuss related NYSED regulations.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM 
@ Community Library (Cobelskill)

Join us to learn about graduation & diploma options available to students with disabilities including the Career Development & Occupational Studies Credential (CDOS) & the Skills & Achievement Commencement Credential (SACC). Discover essential skills needed for life after high school & how to use your student's IEP transition plan to achieve them.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
@ Harriet Gibbons Media Center in CSD Albany

This workshop will look at the characteristics of ADHD and how they impact a child's learning at home and in school. We will explore and discuss different strategies to support your child, how your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan can provide support, and the importance of developing effective IEP annual goals.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
@ Saratoga Springs Public Library

This workshop will share resources and promote a dialogue with parents of students with disabilities, regarding how they can help their children develop self-determination skills and find their voice. Participants will leave with useful materials and suggestions to facilitate and promote their child's self-determination and skill building efforts.
Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM
@ Cohoes Middle School (Cohoes City SD)

Children cannot learn well when they are anxious and depressed. This workshop will provide an overview of anxiety and depression in children. Join us to learn what each might "look" like and discover some tools and strategies to help kids in the home and school environments.

New York State Education Department (NYSED)
  • Regents Examination Schedule for June, 2017 can be found HERE.
  • "The 2017 Grades 3-8 New York State Assessments: What Parents Need to Know" can be found HERE.
  • Parents FAQ about grades 3-8 NYS annual Math and ELA tests can be found HERE.
  • Multiple day administration of state assessments - revised procedures can be found HERE.
  • Questions & Answers on Individualized Education Program (IEP) Development can be found HERE
  • 2016-2017 Grades 3-8 NYS Assessment Schedule can be found HERE.
  • 2017-2018 Grades 3-8 NYS Assessment Schedule can be found HERE.
  • Superintendent Determination of Graduation with a Local Diploma (updated) can be found HERE.  
  • Parent Request For Superintendent Determination of Graduation With a Local Diploma-Model Form can be found HERE. 
  • Superintendent Determination of Graduation with a Local Diploma can be found HERE. 
  • Superintendent Determination of Graduation with a Local Diploma Q & A (Updated February 2017) can be found HERE. 
Have a comment or idea for a future issue?   
Contact Sheri at: