Educational Services

Educational Services

The mission of Aspire of WNY’s Educational Services is to enhance the lives of our students by providing the highest quality education and services for developmental disabilities, using state of the art technology, equipment, instructional strategies and therapeutic interventions.

In September of 2014 Aspire of WNY proudly opened its fully renovated and expanded Center for Learning campus on Union Rd. Our developmental disabilities school now features state of the art technology, 100% accessibility, 21st century environmental controls and new specialty spaces including a Cafetorium, Life Skills classroom and walking track.

Programs Offering Individualized Services:

  • Early Intervention: Provided in home or community based settings for children birth to 3 years of age.
  • Preschool: Provided in comprehensive integrated classrooms or in home and/or community based settings for students, ages 3 to 5 years.
  • School age: Provided in comprehensive classroom settings for students, ages 5 to 21 years.
  •  Summer Work Skills: Provided in comprehensive classroom settings with supported internships at local businesses throughout the community.


Evaluations, to determine each child’s eligibility into the early intervention or preschool programs, are conducted by a fully licensed and certified team of professionals. Evaluations are available in the following areas based on your child’s needs:

  • Education
  • Psychological
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech-Language Therapy
  • Vision

Evaluations must be requested through the County you reside in for Early Intervention or the county you reside in for preschool.

Specialized Services

  • Technology: State of the art technology is offered to every student as a means of facilitating learning. Examples of technology used at the Center for Learning:
    • Interactive Smart Boards
    • Computers
    • Touch Screen Monitors
    • iPads
    • Augmentative Communication Devices for assessment and training
    • Switches for environmental access
    • Power wheelchairs for mobility assessment and training
  • Sensory: State of the art sensory program for students with sensory deficits and needs.
  • Adaptive Equipment: A department of trained staff that can create alternative seating and positioning options for students. Also includes adapted equipment to access communication devices, therapy and educational materials.

Program services as mandated on Individual Family Service Plans (IFSP) for Early Intervention and Individualized Education Programs (IEP) for Preschool and School age are:

  • Education
  • Vision
  • Behavior Intervention
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech-Language Therapy
  • Nursing

Professionals that make up each student’s team are licensed and certified by New York State. Parents are an important member of the team and are invited to attend regular team meetings to discuss their children’s progress and areas of need.

Specials provided by certified staff

  • Adapted Physical Education
  • Art
  • Music

Specialized Clinics offered at the Center for Learning in partnerships with WNY area vendors

  • Orthotic Clinic
  • Wheelchair/Mobility Clinic
  • Adaptive Equipment Clinic


To get started, call 716.505.5700

Educational Programs

Early Intervention is a family centered program. Children from birth to 3 years of age and their parents or caregivers participate in a home and/or community based program. Support is given throughout the evaluation and intake process and continues throughout each child’s enrollment. Services for developmental disabilities are provided by a multi-disciplinary team of special education teachers, vision teachers and clinicians including physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists.

Program for Newborns to 18 Months:

  • Learning
  • Communication
  • Feeding
  • Positioning
  • Handling
  • Gross and Fine Motor Development

Program for 18 Months to 3 Years:

  • Developmental Play Activities
  • Self-Help Skills
  • Language Development
  • Gross and Fine Motor Development

TO GET STARTED, call: 716.505.5700

Services must be requested through the county you reside in.

The primary focus of Aspire Center for Learning is to provide preschool students with skills that prepare them for current and future experiences such as kindergarten. Our goal is to provide the necessary supports so that every student has the opportunity to learn, and access technology for mobility, communication and optimal functioning in academics and life skills.

Available in a full array of least restricted opportunities for students 3 to 5 years of age

  • SEIT (Special Education Itinerant Teacher): Education services provided by a certified special education teacher in home or community based settings.
  • RSO (Related Services Only): Vision, by Certified Teachers of the Visionally Impaired, and therapy services by licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists are provided in a home and community based setting.
  • Integrated Classroom settings: Aspire has partnered with 7 child care centers located throughout WNY to provide integration to students with disabilities with their typical peers.

Current Partnerships

Aspire’s Children’s Discovery Corner, Cheektowaga
East Aurora Community Nursery, East Aurora
EduKids at Como, Lancaster
EduKids at Kelly Drive, Cheektowaga
Jewish Community Center at Buffalo, Buffalo
Jewish Community Center at Getzville, Getzville
Lakeview Children’s World, Lakeview

All services for developmental disabilities are provided at each site location. These services are based on the individual needs of each student as mandated on his or her IEP (Individualized Education Program). Services may include:

  • Education
  • Vision
  • Behavior Intervention
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech-Language Therapy

TO GET STARTED, call: 716.505.5700

Services must be requested through the school district you reside in.

The Children’s Discovery Corner provides integrated childcare to children 18 months to 12 years of age.  Children are offered an enriching opportunity to develop lasting friendships with children that have developmental disabilities.  Children are placed in integrated classrooms according to the following age groups:

  • Toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years, offered daily
  • Preschool ages 3 to 5 years, offered daily, and before and after school
  • School age from 5 to 12 years of age, usually offered before and after school and on holidays and recess.

Summer camp is also available.
Our childcare center combines a developmentally appropriate classroom curriculum that incorporates the New York Early Childhood Common Core Standards with an environment that encourages exploration, discovery and independence.

An early childhood specialist who provide developmentally appropriate activities and opportunities that enhance learning supervise each toddler classroom.

Preschool classrooms are staffed with a certified special education teacher and early childhood specialist collaborate team. Doing so results in a program that emphasizes the individual strengths and needs of all children, as well as cooperative learning.

School age classrooms are lead by a team leader who provides age appropriate activities that encourage learning and are also fun.

For the above school-time program services, a full time certified nurse is on staff to oversee you child’s health needs.

A sample of activities includes:

  • Literacy centered around storytelling and reading
  • Creative play
  • Indoor and outdoor gross motor activities including structured game playing and free play on playground equipment
  • Social Studies that help children explore their own community and those of other cultures.
  • Science activities
  • Math activities
  • Socialization through play and daily living

At Children’s Discovery Corner, the emphasis for all children is always on learning and caring for others.

Monday through Friday. Open most holidays

6:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Full and half day rates are available as well as rates for before and after school.

CALL:  505-5700 for more information on our reasonable rates and subsidized child-care through Buffalo NY, WNY, and Erie County.

Set up a tour today!

The primary focus for the School Age Program at Aspire of WNY’s Center for Learning is to provide school age students with the needed skills that will prepare them for current and future experiences, whether it is moving from one classroom to another or to transitioning into adult life. Our goal is to provide the necessary supports so that every student has the opportunity to learn, and access technology for mobility, communication and optimal functioning in academics and life skills.

Students 5 to 21 years of age receive educational and therapeutic services as mandated on their Individualized Education Program (IEP) and in accordance with New York State Alternate Common Core Standards.

Services may include:

  • Education
  • Vision
  • Behavioral
  • Physical Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech-Language Therapy


The major emphasis for students ages 5 to 12 years is on the development of cognitive, language (both verbal and non-verbal) self help, gross and fine motor skills and social skills.


Students 13 to 21 years of age participate in a program that continues to promote development of cognitive, language and communication, gross motor, fine motor and social skills. It also offers specialized training in vocational and community living skills.

Community training is available for students 13 years and older. This unique experience provides an opportunity to integrate into the community while practicing skills learned in school.

Transition Services are provided to students, 13 to 21 years of age. The focus is to develop program plans for students that create outcomes for adult participation in all aspects of the community, such as employment, living situations and leisure activities.

Summer Work Skills Program
Students 15 to 21 years of age have the unique opportunity to participate in actual work experiences while attending a 6 week summer program. Each day involves on the job work training and classroom experience as well. IEP goals and objectives are incorporated into all educational and therapeutic activities throughout the day. At the completion of the summer program, students have a keen sense of job interests and skills needed to support work in those areas. Students also work on related skills in how to fill out an application, how prepare for a job interview, and work related skills on time and attendance, and appropriate work socialization.

TO GET STARTED, call 716.505.5700

Services for developmental disabilities must be requested through the school district you reside in.

What supports can you offer to us and the district for planning school to adult life transition for my teen-aged loved one?

School to Adult Life Transitions

Aspire of WNY utilizes a team-based approach to planning for a student’s transition. The transition plan is incorporated into the student’s Individual Education Plan(IEP) and can include employment, continuing education or supported day services. Adult living opportunities are explored, as well as appropriate leisure activities and transportation plans. Aspire of WNY’s transition plans are designed to adhere to NYS graduation guidelines and can include:

  • Vocational Profiles – An Aspire of WNY evaluator performs an in-depth profile of the individual’s skills, interests, learning abilities, and opportunities for success in the community. This person-centered approach is designed to empower the supported individual to achieve their highest potential for activities and employment.
  • World of Work (W.O.W.)™ – This program introduces high school students to the job world through real life employment situations throughout the school year. The experiences come through internships and volunteer opportunities and introduce employer expectations, appropriate work etiquette, dressing for employment, and other pre-employment skills.
  • Educational Coaching/College Support Plans – Support plans are designed to prepare the student for a seamless transition from high school into college life.
  • Project SEARCH – A nationally accredited, collaborative, business-led effort offering high school students in their last year of school with the opportunity to attend classes and internships at a local business, with a goal toward employment upon graduation.

Data Privacy & Security

On this page, you will find information regarding:

• Parents’ Bill of Rights
• Family Rights and Privacy (FERPA)
• Protection of Pupil Rights

Parents’ Bill of Rights (Summary)

The legislature and governor passed a group of bills that adjusted the Regents Education Reform Agenda. These bills are known collectively as the “Common Core Implementation Reform Act.” One of the key components of this act (Chapter 56, Part AA, Subpart L, of the laws of 2014) directed the Commissioner of Education to appoint a Chief Privacy Officer (CPO). A major function of this new position is to work with school districts and parents to develop elements for a parents’ bill of rights to help ensure that student data is private and secure. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) and the CPO must also recommend regulations to establish standards for data security and privacy policies that will be implemented statewide.

The NYSED Parents Bill of Rights can be found below. Aspire of WNY Educational Services is issuing this summary of parents’ rights under the law 2d. While some additional elements will be developed in conjunction with the CPO, districts, parents and the Board of Regents, this summary sets forth the key rights and information that parents should be aware of in regard to ensuring the privacy and security of their student’s educational data. Parents should be aware that:

  1. A student’s personally identifiable information cannot be sold or released for any
    commercial purposes;
  2. Parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child’s education record;
  3. State and federal laws protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable information, and safeguards associated with industry standards and best practices, including but not limited to encryption, firewalls, and password protection, must be in place when data is stored or transferred;
  4. A complete list of all student data elements collected by the State is available for public review online or by writing to the Office of Information & Reporting Services, New York State Education Department, Room 863 EBA, 89 Washington Avenue, New York 12234; and
  5. Parents have the right to have complaints about possible breaches of student data
    addressed. Complaints should be directed as follows using this form:

Aspire of WNY
Compliance Officer/Privacy Officer
2356 North Forest Road
Getzville, NY 14068

Chief Privacy Officer
New York State Education Department
89 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12234

If Aspire of WNY Educational Services enters into a third party contract in which the service provider receives student data or teacher or principal data in order to provide a needed service for the District, supplemental information shall be developed and provided to parents that states:

6. The exclusive purposes for which the student data or teacher or principal data will be used;
7. How the third-party contractor will ensure that the subcontractors, persons or entities that the third party contractor will share the student data or teacher or principal data with, if any, will abide by data protection and security requirements;
8. When the agreement expires and what happens to the student data or teacher or principal data upon expiration of the agreement;
9. If and how a parent, student, eligible student, teacher or principal may challenge the accuracy of the student data or teacher or principal data that is collected; and
10. Where the student data or teacher or principal data will be stored and the security protections taken to ensure such data will be protected, including whether such data will be encrypted.

As indicated above, once the CPO is appointed by the Commissioner, he or she must secure input from parents and other education and expert stakeholders to develop additional elements for the Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security. The Commissioner of Education will also be promulgating regulations with a comment period for parents and other members of the public to submit comments and suggestions to the CPO.

In the meantime, you can access additional information and a question-and-answer document issued by SED as a preliminary Parents’ Bill of Rights for Data Privacy and Security.

If you have any further questions or concerns at this time, please contact Aspire of WNY, Compliance Officer/Privacy Officer, 2356 North Forest Road, Getzville, NY 14068.

Family Rights and Privacy (FERPA)

The Aspire of WNY Educational Services procedures for the confidentiality of student records are consistent with federal statutes, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The parents, those acting in a parental relationship, or eligible students of the Aspire of WNY Educational Services are hereby notified that you have the following rights in relation to student records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Board of Education Policy #7240:

  • The right to inspect and review student’s education records, unless otherwise limited by court order or other legally binding instrument, within 45 days of receipt of request.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate. Parents or eligible students may request such amendment by writing to the School Principal (or appropriate school official), clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed and specifying why it is inaccurate. If the School decides not to amend the record as requested by the parent or eligible student, the School will notify the parent or eligible student of the decision and advise them of the right to a hearing regarding the requested amendment. Additional information regarding hearing procedures will be provided to the parent or eligible student when notified of this right.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

There are exceptions that allow for disclosure without consent:

  • Educational records may be released to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by a school district as an administrator, supervisor, instructor or support staff member (including health or medical staff and law enforcement unit personnel); a person or company with whom the school has contracted to perform a special task (such as an attorney, auditor, medical consultant or therapist); or a parent or student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review the educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • Education records of a student concerning disciplinary action taken against a student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety or well-being of that student, other students, or other members of the school community may be disclosed to school officials in other schools who have been determined to have a legitimate educational interest in the behavior of the student.
  • Educational records may be disclosed by school officials, including disciplinary records and records that were created as a result of a student receiving special education services under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, to another school or postsecondary institution in which the student seeks or intends to enroll.

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the School District to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave., SW
Washington, DC

If either a student’s parent, those acting in a parental relationship, or the eligible student desire to obtain copies of the policy pertaining to student records, notification should be presented to Aspire of WNY, Vice President of Educational Services, 4635 Union Road, Cheektowaga, NY 14225. Release of information beyond that noted above requires parental consent.

Note – All rights and protections given to parents under the FERPA and this policy transfer to the student when he or she reaches age 18 and petitions for self-determination or attends a post-secondary school or has been designated an “emancipated minor”. The student then becomes an “eligible student.”

Designated Directory Information

Aspire of WNY Educational Services designates the following personally identifiable information contained in a student’s education record as “directory information” and shall release the information without prior written consent unless it is for commercial purposes.

• Student’s name and date of birth (if required for a school-sponsored course, organization, activity, or report)
• Name(s) of the student’s parent(s) or legal guardians
• Student’s address and phone number to law enforcement authorities for the purposes of complying with active investigations
• Student’s grade designation (i.e. first grade, tenth grade, etc.)
• Present and previous school(s) attended by the student

Opt-Out – If you do not want Aspire of WNY Educational Services to disclose the above directory information from your child’s educational records without your prior written consent, including to military recruiters, institutions of higher education, and potential employers, you must notify Aspire of WNY Educational Services in writing by September 30 for the current school year. This notice must be sent on a yearly basis.

Please note – A student photograph, video, or recording is not designated as “directory information.” However, these may be used without prior written consent in programs or to provide information or publicity for a school activity, the student, or the school. If you refuse to permit the use of your student’s photograph, video, or recording for these District purposes, you must make this notification in writing by September 30 for the current school year, which expires on June 30 of that school year.


Aspire of WNY Educational Services adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Private healthcare providers must follow other laws called the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In instances where the school needs to communicate with private health care providers, the parent will need to complete the required form(s) from their health care provider in order for school officials to be able to speak with them. Please be advised that confidential medical information will be shared with district personnel who need to know. This may include understanding the impact a medical condition may have on a child within the classroom setting and/or how to recognize and potentially manage significant medical concerns until medical help arrives. If you have any questions, please contact your school nurse.

Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment

The Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) affords parents certain rights regarding our conduct of surveys, collection and use of information for marketing purposes, and certain physical exams. These include the right to:

Consent before students are required to submit to a survey that concerns one or more of the following protected areas if the survey is funded in whole or in part by a program of the U.S. Department of Education or is issued by a “third party”:

  • Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or student’s parents
  • Mental or psychological problems of the student or student’s family;
  • Sex behavior or attitudes
  • Illegal, anti-social, self-incriminating, or demeaning behavior
  • Critical appraisals of others with whom respondents have close family relationships;
  • Legally recognized privileged relationships such as with lawyers, doctors, or ministers’
  • Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or parents; or
  • Income, other than as required by law, to determine program eligibility.

Receive notice and an opportunity to opt a student out of:

  • Any other protected information survey, regardless of funding;
  • Any non-emergency, invasive physical exam or screening required as a condition of attendance, administered by the school or its agent, and not necessary to protect the immediate health and safety of a student, except for hearing, vision, or scoliosis screenings, or any physical exam or screening permitted or required under State law; and
  • Activities involving collection, disclosure, or use of personal information obtained from students for marketing or to sell or otherwise distribute the information to others.

Inspect, upon request and before administration or use:

Protected information surveys of students;
Instruments used to collect personal information from students for any of the above marketing, sales or other distribution purposes; and
Instructional material used as part of the educational curriculum.

These rights transfer from the parents to a student who is 18 years old or an emancipated minor under State law. Parents who believe their rights have been violated may file a complaint with:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520