Special Education

Rosemary Kennedy

Rosemary Kennedy School

CoSer: 232.040, 232.060, 232.070, 232.010 (Woodward), 232.020 (Island Trees)
John Picarello, Principal

Bonnie Heller, Principal

(516) 396-2600
Fax: (516) 781-0733
District-based classes: Woodward Pkwy. Elem. (Farmingdale), Island Trees Middle School, JFK HS (Bellmore), Manhasset HS
Student Disability: Moderate to Severe Developmental Disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders, intellectual disabilities and multiple disabilities.
Student Age: 9 to 21 years

The Rosemary Kennedy School provides a creative and diverse curriculum for students from
9 to 21 who have moderate to severe developmental disabilities.

The curriculum areas are directly linked to the New York State Standards for Students with Severe Disabilities. The program emphasizes independence in daily living skills, developing an effective means of communication, increasing social interactions, decreasing interfering behaviors, improving functional academic skills, cultivating vocational skills and the expanding of recreational/leisure skills in order to help our students formulate a positive self image.

The program uses research-based methodologies including: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Visual Strategies (including individual and group schedules), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), augmentative communications systems, functional behavioral assessment and Positive Behavioral Supports.

Students are grouped within three departments: Elementary, Middle and High School within RKS as well as in self-contained classes in the Woodward Parkway Elementary School in Farmingdale; the Island Trees Middle School; and the John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore. District based classes provide intense mainstreaming opportunities for our students while continuing to focus on life skills and vocational training.

Instruction is individualized to meet each student's IEP goals and classes are grouped to provide for the specific needs of the students within each cluster. Learning takes place within the classroom, in life skills rooms set up as kitchens/apartments within the building, in school vocational settings and in the community.

Community-based instruction is an essential part of the curriculum. Students participate in recreational activities (libraries, bowling), life skills (grocery shopping, restaurants), volunteer work sites (Mercy Hospital, Hofstra University) and vocational enclaves (fast food restaurants, retail stores) in the community. The goal of community-based instruction is to provide experiences for students to generalize the skills they have learned within the classroom to natural environments.

Each student is taught by an interdisciplinary team comprised of the classroom teacher, teacher aides, psychologist, social worker, related service personnel, curriculum teachers and administrators. Parents are encouraged to participate in their child's programming through daily communication notebooks, conferences, visits, parent training sessions and parent support groups.

Transition planning for students from 12 to 21 is carried out by vocational rehabilitation counselors and social workers as part of the IEP process. Students and their families review all the options available including Day Habilitation programs, Center Based Adult Programs and registering with VESID (Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities) prior to graduation.

The Rosemary Kennedy School provides a variety of special activities for the students' enjoyment. These include a department shows, field days, Jason Immersion Program, glee club, dances (for youngsters over 13), overnights at the life skills house (located on the grounds of RKC), field trips, Special Olympics and PTA-sponsored cultural events. Many of these programs are carried out in conjunction with students from local area general education programs allowing RKS students to interact with typically developing peers. These programs enhance the art, music and adapted physical education activities that are essential components of the program.

The program at the Rosemary Kennedy School is geared to developing each student's confidence and capabilities so that they can become productive members of society.

The Rosemary Kennedy School is located at 2850 North Jerusalem Road, Wantagh, NY 11793.

Additional Contacts:
Bryna Bloom, Assistant Principal

Flora Cohen, Assistant Principal
(516) 396-2600
Fax: (516) 781-0733