The ARISE Coalition, a group of parents, educators and advocates seeking to improve special education in New York City, this week released a guide for parents on the latest reforms to special education.

The Department of Education is set to roll out the reforms in 265 schools in September; the remaining city schools will implement the reforms in 2011-12.

Under the new policy principals will have greater flexibility in deciding the types of classroom settings and support services needed to meet the individual needs of all their students.  For students with special needs it means that their neighborhood or chosen school will, in most instances, have to accommodate them by either providing the specific classroom setting and range of services required by their Individual Education Plan, or suitable substitutes. Read what the principal of one of the 265 schools implementing the reforms this fall has to say about them in Principal's Perspective.

Parents wanting to learn more about how the latest reforms will impact their children should read the ARISE guide here (scroll down the homepage).

Parents can learn more about their rights by reading the DOE's Parent's Guide to Special Education Services for School-Age Children. And check out a helpful listof resources and organizations on the ARISE website.