Special Education & Pupil Personnel Services

Success for every student, every staff member, every day

Welcome to the Special Education and Pupil Personnel Services Department of the Mahopac School District.

Each child has his or her own individual learning needs.  To help ensure that these needs are met, the Mahopac school district offers a continuum of special education services for those students that have been classified as having a disability by the District’s Committee on Special Education.   

Continuum of Services:

Below is a brief description of some of the available special education program options:

Alternative Programs

The goal for academy alternative programs is to empower students so they are equipped and ready to meet their post secondary goals. 

The interdisciplinary team of teachers works with students, parents and other members of the school community to provide individualized, innovative, engaging and fun learning experiences.  Faculty of both academy programs act as advocates for the success of all students in an environment that is rigorous yet forgiving; where mistakes are viewed as opportunities and every day is a new day.

The Falls Academy program is located at the District Office at Mahopac Falls at 100 Myrtle Avenue. The Academy program is located at Mahopac High School. A brief description of each program is listed below.

All referrals packets for the Falls Academy and Academy program should be sent to:

Contact: Jeffrey Cole

Email: OODreferral@mahopac.org

Collaboration Portal

Please select this link to access a video tutorial about the Frontline Collaboration portal: Link

Please select this link to access a parent user guide for the collaboration portal: Link

Our Team

Jeffrey Cole
Director of Special Education
Email: Colej@mahopac.org
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 13705
Schedule an Appointment with the Director

Nicole Paniccia
Assistant Director of Special Education
Supervisor of Alternative Programs
Email: PanicciaN@mahopac.org

Phone: 845-621-0656

Erin Piquet
Secondary Supervisor of Special Education Grades 6-12
Email: Piquete@mahopac.org
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 13714

Rebecca Ivicic
Secondary Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) Grades 6-12
Email: Ivicicr@mahopac.org
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 13712

Melissa Szymanowski
Elementary Supervisor of Special Education Grades K-5
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 13708

Mary Eberling
Elementary Chairperson of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) Grades K-5
Email: Eberlingm@mahopac.org
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 13706

Margaret Defrancesco
Chairperson of the Committee on Pre-School Special Education (CPSE)
Phone:845-621-0656 ext: 13640

MaryAnn Argento
Secondary CSE Secretary
Email: Argentom@mahopac.org
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 13700

Geri Healy
Transition Coordinator/School Counselor
Email: Healyg@mahopc.org
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 11426

Colleen Moles
Secondary Department Chairperson
Email: Molesc@mahopac.org

Norma Griffiths
Email: Griffithsn@mahopac.org
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 13716

Lisa Porco
Secretary to the Director and CSE Secretary for Out of District Students
Email: Porcol@mahopac.org
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 13705

Jennifer Burns
CPSE Secretary
Email: BurnsJ@mahopac.org
Phone: 845-621-0656 ext: 13702

Monika Rejman
Elementary CSE Secretary
Phone:845-621-0656 ext: 13703


If school is closed due to inclement weather, the CSE/CPSE/504 meeting previously scheduled will be rescheduled.

If there is a delay in the start of the school day, all CSE/CPSE/504 meetings scheduled prior to the delayed opening for your child's particular building will be rescheduled.





Adult Career and Continuing Educational Services - Vocational Rehabilitation (ACCES-VR) is an organization that assists individuals with disabilities to achieve and maintain employment and to support independent living.  Once a student is found eligible for ACCES-VR services, then a counselor is assigned to meet with the student and/or family to discuss employment goals and begin career planning. The majority of ACCES-VR’s services become available after a student has graduated or exited high school. 

Blueprint for Improved Results for Students with Disabilities
This Blueprint focuses on seven research and evidence-based core principles and practices for all students with disabilities.

Mahopac District Plan for Special Education (2015)

Mahopac SEPTO

New York State Diploma and Credential Options

Office for People with Developmental Disabilities
Students with significant developmental disabilities may be referred to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).  Once eligibility is determined, OPWDD services begin while the student is still enrolled in school and continues into adulthood. 

Overview of Support Services Birth to Grade 3 (from NYSED)
This is a guide to navigate the special education system for children from birth to third grade. It includes an overview of the Early Intervention Program (EIP) and programs and services available to preschool children and school age students with disabilities in New York State.

Parent Guide to Special Education
To ensure students with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, there are essential and fundamental procedural rights and protections afforded to parents by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal regulations that implement IDEA [34 CFR Part 300], Article 89 of the New York State (NYS) Education Law, and Part 200 of the NYS Commissioner’s Regulations. 

The Special Education in New York State for Children Ages 3–21: A Parent’s Guide is intended to provide parents and persons with parental relationship with:

  • a broad overview of the special education process in NYS; and

  • a resource to help understand some of the rights and protections provided by federal and New York State law and regulations to parents and students throughout the process.

Parent Guide to Special Education (In Spanish)
Guía para padres sobre educación especial
Para garantizar que los estudiantes con discapacidades reciban una educación pública adecuada y gratuita en el entorno menos restrictivo, existen derechos y protecciones procesales esenciales y fundamentales otorgados a los padres por la Ley federal de Educación para Individuos con Discapacidades (IDEA), las regulaciones federales que implementan IDEA [34 CFR Parte 300], Artículo 89 de la Ley de Educación del Estado de Nueva York (NYS) y Parte 200 de las Regulaciones del Comisionado del Estado de Nueva York.

La Educación especial en el estado de Nueva York para niños de 3 a 21 años: una guía para padres tiene como objetivo proporcionar a los padres y a las personas con relación parental lo siguiente:

  • una visión general amplia del proceso de educación especial en el Estado de Nueva York; y

  • un recurso para ayudar a comprender algunos de los derechos y protecciones brindadas por las leyes y regulaciones federales y del estado de Nueva York a los padres y estudiantes durante todo el proceso.

Procedural Safeguards
The procedural safeguards are your legal rights under federal and state laws to be informed about and involved in the special education process and to make sure that your child receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

Procedural Safeguards (In Spanish)
Las garantías procesales son sus derechos legales según las leyes federales y estatales a estar informado e involucrado en el proceso de educación especial y a asegurarse de que su hijo reciba una educación pública gratuita y apropiada (FAPE).

Two Way Release Form