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Approved Private, Special Act, State-Operated and State-Supported Schools in New York State

Welcome to the New York State Education Department (NYSED) website for day and residential programs for school-age students with disabilities.  Listings of New York State's (NYS) approved private schools are available by type of program and includes information regarding Special Education Quality Assurance (SEQA) Region, day or residential programs and/or disabilities served.

Types of Program

  • NYS approved private 853 schools, created by Chapter 853 of the Laws of 1976, are operated by private agencies and provide day and/or residential programs for students with disabilities. A Committee on Special Education (CSE) may recommend a placement of a student with a disability in the approved private school when it determines that the student can not be appropriately educated in the home school district, a neighboring district or in the programs of a board of cooperative educational services (BOCES) program.
  • Special Act School Districts, which are considered public schools, were created by special action of the legislature for the purpose of providing education services to students who reside in child care institutions. Child care institutions affiliated with the Special Act School Districts primarily serve students placed there under Article 81 of NYS Education Law by family court, local social services districts, the Office of Children and Family Services and Office of Mental Health. Local public school districts, based on the recommendations of their CSE, may also place students with disabilities in Special Act School Districts for day or residential services.
  • State-supported schools, which were established by the State Legislature (section 4201 of Education Law), provide educational services to students with disabilities with deafness, blindness, severe emotional disabilities or severe physical disabilities. State-supported schools are privately operated programs. Application for State appointment to a State-supported school may be initiated by the student’s parent or guardian or by the CSE for the district responsible for the student.
  • The two State-operated schools, which are operated by NYSED, were established pursuant to Article 87 of the Education Law (for students who are legally blind and have additional disabilities) and Article 88 of the Education Law (for students who have hearing loss of over 80 decibels or are functionally deaf). Students are referred to these schools by their parents or the CSE and attend the day program and/or residential program during the school week.

For additional information:

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 (New York City SEQA Regional Office)
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 (Non-District Unit SEQA Regional Office)