COOKSHOP for Families at PS 373R – a FREE Nutrition Program!

CookShop for Families – Join our program!

What is CookShop for Families?

A series of 6 free monthly cooking and nutrition workshops for parents and guardians! CookShop for Families is the adult version of the CookShop Classroom program being taught to students at your school. At each workshop participants will prepare a recipe, learn nutritional tips and discuss money-saving techniques to help your family eat well on a limitied budget. Each month participants will receive ingredients to cook simple and delicious recipes at home with your families.

Who should join the program?

Parents and guardians of children at PS 373R Robert Randall School. NO COOKING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!

Why participate?

Workshops are a perfect place to build cooking skills, learn from other parents and bring home fun and easy recipes to make with your children.

How do I sign up?

Call Kirsten Rorke at 718-816-8897 press “1” then “3” or email at

RCSN Comments on the Proposed OPWDD Five Year Plan

RCSN Comments on the Proposed OPWDD Five Year Plan

The New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has put forth a Five Year Plan that will change how crucial services are delivered and funded. These changes will have a significant impact on families with children with disabilities. As a parent organization, RCSN recognizes that families are the primary providers of support for the vast majority of individuals with disabilities. Therefore, the successful implementation of the Five Year Plan and person-centered and directed services depends on the informed partnership of families.

We believe that this transition is a new and important opportunity to ensure that people with developmental disabilities in New York receive support that is truly individualized and person-centered. However, we urge OPWDD to maintain its commitment to the most vulnerable people in our community by assuring that the promise of choice and control does not come at the expense of the families who most need support. Last week RCSN joined other advocates and concerned parents to weigh in on proposed changes.

For the full text of RCSN’s testimony, click here…

NEW IEP Diploma Information for Parents of Children in Alternate Assessment NYC DOE Programs

Your Child’s Best Champion

Parents: Your Voice is Needed to Help Shape New Graduation Requirements for Youth With Special Needs in NY State!

The New York State Education Department has proposed to eliminate the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Diploma. The IEP diploma is not a standards-based diploma, and is not recognized as equivalent to a regular high school diploma. A student who exits school with an IEP diploma is likely to be significantly limited in his/her post-secondary education opportunities, employability, and earning potential. Elimination of the IEP diploma provides the opportunity to create a more meaningful graduation requirement for youth with an IEP.

The proposed Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential would replace the IEP Diploma and would be available beginning in the 2013-14 school year for students with significant cognitive disabilities who have taken the NYS Alternate Assessment, and who are not eligible for a regular diploma.

The NY State Education Department has requested comments from organizations and parents on this transition. The time to submit your comments is between now and November 21! (Link below)

Here is a summary of RCSN’s view on the development process of a new graduation requirement:

The elimination of the IEP Diploma affords an opportunity to create a more meaningful credential that could drive curriculum development. In our view, discussion of the proposed Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential should take place in the context of all the diploma options available, and needs to be part of a continually expanding array of options.

There are several issues we would like to have addressed as the state moves forward:

  • Concerted, ongoing outreach to parents on the options available and the implications of this transition must be a central part of the development and rollout of a new credential
  • We are concerned that the appropriate time and staff development be provided so that the new credential will be individualized to each student
  • If the in-depth skills assessment is to be used to drive curriculum development, it needs to be integrated into a student’s transition planning process, preferably as early as Middle School
  • In order for the credential to meaningful, the higher education and business communities must understand its value; therefore consistent outreach to these communities should be built into its implementation
  • Students identified for this credential should have access to the general curriculum

For the full text of RCSN’s comments, click here.

To write your own comments, click here.

Mark Your Calendars for RCSN’s 27th Annual Special Camp Fair
Saturday January 28!

Camp fair photoWinter is the time to think about summer camp! Most camps open registration in the winter, and space and financial assistance is limited. Attending RCSN’s Special Camp Fair is one of the best ways you can ensure a positive and productive summer for your child. Parents can meet experts from over 60 summer programs serving children and youth with special needs at RCSN’s free Annual Special Camp Fair on Saturday, January 28, 2012 (11AM-3PM, Church of St. Paul the Apostle, Columbus and West 60th Avenue, Manhattan).

The Fair features day camps (New York City) and sleepaway camps (Tri-State area). The Fair also offers information on travel programs, remedial education programs, volunteer and job opportunities, and early childhood programs. Spanish and sign language interpreters will be available.

Visitors to the Fair will receive a free copy of RCSN’s Camps 2011-12 Directory. Parents can register for the special Camp Fair prize drawing. Camps and programs register here.