The New York Institute for Special Education's mission is to provide quality educational programs and support to students and families in a safe, caring environment, to awaken and inspire student curiosity, lifelong learning, and fulfillment .

A complete list of embedded links found within this email is located at the bottom of this page .


Over the years, I've often heard this question:

What does NYISE give its students? 

If I had to choose one-word to answer this question today, it would be hope .

  • hope that they can accomplish their goals by receiving an individualized education at NYISE;

  • hope that they can succeed and thrive because of and not in spite of their disabilities, and 

  • hope that they can learn how to overcome any challenge they face no matter how big or small. 

Though hard to accurately quantify, hope is a powerful gift that helps each of our students get through the days when they struggle and recognize the moments when they thrive.

At this moment, I'm hopeful that you find joy in reading about our graduates below, including Kevin Figueroa, who was featured in past issues of this e-newsletter.

I also want to thank you for reading, for caring about the children we serve, and for helping make it possible for us to continue to give our students hope .

Till next time, all the best wishes to you and yours.  

Many thanks,
Dr. Bernadette Kappen, PhD
Executive Director
PS: Looking for a gift for a graduate in your life? Click here to make a tribute gift in support of Camp Wanaqua , NYISE's free summer camp for NYC children ages 5-15 who are blind or visually impaired that kicks off on July 8.

Congratulations to our graduates!
We're proud to share that 13 eighth graders and ten seniors in our Schermerhorn Program received their diplomas last week as part of our annual graduation ceremony and celebration.

We look forward to welcoming these eighth graders when they enter high school in the fall as NYISE freshman and congratulate our seniors; three of who are finalizing their plans for September and seven of whom will pursue Associates or Bachelor degrees at the following colleges in the fall: 

New York City College of Technology (City Tech) - 
Hostos Community College - Queens College - 
Brooklyn College - Bronx Community College - 
School of Visual Arts

During this same ceremony, six Van Cleve students received their diplomas. In the fall, each of these students will move on to a high school best suited to serve their needs. Best of luck to all our graduates!
Under the loving gaze of parents, caregivers, and extended families, as well as their teachers, Readiness and NYISE staff, our youngest graduates received their diplomas and a cuddly stuffed graduation bear earlier this month.

In the fall these children will enter either a public or private school suited to address their special needs and help them with their developmental delays by providing the individualized attention and support they need.

We wish all of our little students and their families the best of luck as they take their next steps in advocating and supporting their child throughout the years ahead.

Click here to learn about the Readiness Educational Program and click here for more pictures from this year's graduation ceremony.
Graduate Kevin Figueroa (pictured here in his cap and gown) will be attending Manhattan's School of Visual Arts in the fall to pursue his dream of becoming a filmmaker.

You may remember reading about Kevin in past editions of this newsletter as he progressed here at NYISE, while simultaneously pursuing two of his passions: film and photography.

To read more about his work thus far, click here to watch the short film he created as part of the New York Film Academy’s summer filmmaking program and click here to read about the time he received press credentials for a Westchester Nicks basketball game.

We congratulate Kevin and his fellow graduates for reaching this important milestone, and wish them all the very best for their next adventures, both in academics and in life.
Each year we hold an Employee Recognition Day to thank our teachers and staff for their commitment and dedication to our students and mission, as well as say farewell to those who are retiring, some of whom have been with us for decades.

As a fine tuned team, our staff work tirelessly to ensure our students have what they need to reach their potential.

From individualized lessons and after-school tutoring to ice-free sidewalks in the winter, the latest technology in the classrooms, and a beautiful campus that requires a dedicated crew of skilled professionals to keep up and running, we are grateful to each and every team member for making what we do possible. Thank you!

To see more photos from the day, click here .

Kicking off in two weeks on July 8, Camp Wanaqua is the only free summer day camp for blind and visually impaired children ages 5-15 in the NY metropolitan area.
Providing an enriching, nurturing, and supportive environment where campers can explore the outdoors and have fun, Camp Wanaqua strengthens self-esteem, resilience, and independence by providing opportunities for campers to grow, learn, and explore new interests at their own pace.

Stay tuned to learn more about camp activities that will take place this summer, and thank you to those who have already made a gift in support of our campers this summer. We couldn't do it without you!
For students who are not yet ready to graduate, we hold our Schermerhorn Moving Up Ceremony and Van Cleve Academic Awards .

During these separate events, each student receives a certificate to mark the completion of the school year and recognize their commitment to their studies, as well as the areas in which they excel.

Marking an important milestone, both ceremonies provide much needed closure to the school year while simultaneously recognizing the necessary work each student must complete before moving forward academically.

Congratulations to all of our students - your hard work does not go unnoticed!
Our Readiness students are budding artists in their own right and were delighted to share their work during our annual Readiness Art Show .

A celebration of different artistic styles and tactile mediums (paint, glue, and cotton balls to name a few) this collective body of work demonstrates just one example of the activities we use to help strengthen students fine motor skills while simultaneously expand their understanding of what it means to create art and how art has changed over the years.

Click here for photos of this year's projects inspired by Vincent Van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Kandinsky Wassily, Todd Parr , Eric Carle , Sue Fliess , and Bob Staake , among others. 

July 8 - August 15 : Camp Wanaqua 2019 

July 8 - August 16: Summer School

September 4: First Day of School

For a complete schedule of events, click here .

Letter from Executive Director

Schermerhorn & Van Cleve


Camp Wanaqua

Student Highlight
Westchester Nicks basketball game:

Moving Up Ceremony

Readiness Art Show
Bob Staake:

Upcoming Events