• Guidance Department

    Guidance services are an integral part of our school program. There are two full-time guidance counselors at the Concord Road Elementary School, three at Ardsley Middle School, and four at Ardsley High School. These services are designed to provide opportunities for all students to achieve their maximum growth intellectually, socially and emotionally through self-understanding and the development of life skills. The guidance staff plans a counseling program to deal appropriately with the needs of each student around issues related to academic planning, personal development and adjustment, as well as college and vocational planning. Group guidance programs provide students with developmentally appropriate strategies to enhance study and time-management skills, conflict resolution, and decision-making.

    School Psychology

    School psychologists provide a broad range of services to all students, including the assessment of individual needs and problems, consultation with teachers, administrators and parents, direct intervention with students, and program development for students, parents and staff. There are 2.5 school psychologists in each of our three buildings. The psychologists serve on the Child Study Team, coordinate the screening of new entrants, serve as the case managers for students receiving special education services, and are mandated members of the Committee on Special Education. Using classroom observations, interviews and formal testing, the psychologists identify the issues affecting academic performance and behavior, and develop strategies in cooperation with the school, family and student to address the situation. School psychologists work with teachers, parents and outside resources to promote academic success, reduce behavior problems and enhance the personal well-being of all students.

    Nursing Services

    Full-time registered nurses are assigned to Ardsley Middle School and Ardsley High School; there are 1.5 nurses at the Concord Road Elementary School. The nurse serves as a health counselor for students, parents and staff as well as the liaison with physicians or health agencies whose treatment of students is relevant to their school progress. The nurse administers first aid as required and performs annual vision and hearing screenings. Scoliosis screening is performed for students ages 8 to 16. The school nurse is also responsible for making sure that a physical examination is on record for pupils in grades 1, 3, 7 and 10, as well as for new students and candidates for athletic teams. The school nurse monitors the certification of medical immunizations and communicable disease control. She is responsible for daily student attendance records, incident reports and student insurance.

    Special Education

    Special education services are provided by certified special education teachers to those students determined by the Committee on Special Education to have special needs that interfere with educational progress. Students who need special education support in order to succeed may receive this help through collaborative/integrated assistance within their regular classroom or through the support of a special educator in a resource room setting. Students who require more intensive service are supported in a special class program where instruction is delivered by a special educator in specific curriculum areas. 

    What is the Committee on Special Education?

    The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is a multi-disciplinary team that identifies children in grades K-12 with special education needs such as learning disabilities, speech and language impairments, physical disabilities, emotional disturbance, mental retardation, etc. The CSE recommends programs and services to support the academic program. The Committee is composed of personnel from the Ardsley schools including a chairperson, school psychologist, special education teachers, school physician, and a parent of a student receiving special education services. Although it is natural for parents and staff members to be concerned about designating a child as having special education needs, such designation provides assurance that a specially designed program will be provided to the child by the District.

    What is the Committee on Preschool Special Education?

    At the preschool level, the responsibility of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is to determine if students ages 3-5 are eligible for special education or related services.  A child can be referred to CPSE by his/her parents.  If your child is younger than three, please refer to Westchester County’s Early Intervention Program. Your child must first be registered with the Ardsley Union Free School District to be referred to CPSE.

    To register preschool children, please visit the District Homepage to access New Student Registration Information under the Parent tab, or click here: "New Student Information".

    We will be happy to discuss full the process with you, so please call our office prior to registering your child.

    Once the CPSE office receives the registration packet from the District Office, we will contact you to determine the types of evaluations your child will need and then have you sign consent for the appropriate evaluations. All evaluations take place only after consent is received.  The committee then meets to review the multidisciplinary evaluations in order to determine if the child is eligible for special education.  At that meeting, the child's strengths and concerns are discussed.  If it is determined that the child is eligible, the child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is drafted.  The IEP includes goals and objectives, and service recommendations based on those goals and objectives.  The plan is reviewed yearly at a CPSE meeting to review the child’s progress, determine ongoing eligibility, and update goals.

         Resources for the Committee on Preschool Special Education

    What is an Individualized Education Program?

    An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a formal document enumerating the special services planned for a student who has been designated by the Committee on Special Education or Committee on Preschool Special Education. The IEP contains a summary of the student’s strengths and weaknesses, present levels of performance and specific educational goals. It also indicates the nature of the disabling condition and the recommended program and placement. The IEP is the teacher’s guide for instruction and states the criteria used to determine the effectiveness of the instructional plan.

    What is the Child Study Team?

    In each school, a team of staff members, known as the Child Study Team (CST), meets regularly to plan for any student whose performance and/or behavior is a cause for concern. Upon referral by a staff member or parent, the team discusses all aspects of the problem and may recommend further evaluation, classroom intervention, parent contact, teacher consultation or other strategies. If the CST believes the student needs special support and services, it will refer the student to the Committee on Special Education or the Section 504 Committee.