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Celebrating the past three years of MVCSD Special Education Department after-school programs for students with IEPs

Celebrating the past three years of MVCSD Special Education Department after-school programs for students with IEPs

The Special Education Instruction Team (SEIT), comprised of Special Education Supervisor Dr. Joyce Corpas and Special Education Instructional Coach Teyana Hawkins, had the pleasure of contributing to the planning, coordination and implementation of two Districtwide special education after school programs in recent years. 

Students holding up finger licking good sign.

The Special Education Extended Day (SEED) and For Our Children’s Unique Social and Emotional Development (FOCUSED) are after school programs for students with individualized education programs (IEPs) and have been available for the past three years at several schools within the Mount Vernon City School District.  

The Special Education Department is currently being led by Director of Special Education Michelle McKitty-Bromley and Director of Special Education Compliance Dr. Kellie Ramsey. 

Pennington students.

The SEED and FOCUSED programs were supported by a special funding grant. The themes of the programs for each of the past three years included “Let’s Have a Party,” “Food for Thought” and “Let’s Get Down to Business.” Ms. Hawkins and Dr. Corpas worked closely with the staff and students to assist and support them with all areas of the program.

The lessons and activities were aligned with the themes. This year’s theme was "Let's Get Down to Business." Students explored what it entails to think of and start their own business and to be entrepreneurs.

. Lincoln school students lemonade stand.

In the FOCUSED Program, designed for students in ungraded and cohort classes who are diagnosed with autism and/or significant delays, staff working with the students facilitated groups to increase social awareness, communication skills and daily living skills using project-based activities, cooperative play, problem-solving and academic activities.

In the SEED Program, designed for students in graded special classes (grades three to eight), staff focused on providing support through specialized instruction in small groups while meeting grade-level expectations and addressing their IEP goals. Students worked on English language arts (ELA) and math skills including “hands-on” projects and activities aligned to the curriculum, instruction and specific skills. Students were able to increase their time on iReady for math and ELA while attending the SEED Program.

Grimes School students' concession stand

Transportation and refreshments were also provided for the students. This is what also makes these programs so special for students with IEPs. Transportation Clerk Abby Nash-Hines and her team helped coordinate and provide transportation and refreshments.

“We all know that the unwavering support and commitment to our students’ education has a profound impact on their lives,” said Dr. Corpas. “A special thank you is extended to all the staff who were involved with the programs for being partners with us on an incredible journey. Our students participated in enrichment activities designed to be fun and educational, which was aligned with Dr. Veronica K. Smith, Acting Superintendent’s vision of ‘getting back to the basics and making education fun.’”

Faculty and staff held the responsibility with great reverence and are looking forward to more specialized programs and activities for students with IEPs.

Traphagen students with ice cream cone hats
Students in front of screen in classroom.
Students at Mandela School.
Pennington cohort creamery.


Fireman watching kids enter fire truck.

The Extended School Year Program (ESY) for students with disabilities kicked off its weekly theme of community helpers with a visit from the Mount Vernon Fire Department on Wednesday, July 17, 2024. Students in the ESY program heard a short presentation in the auditorium related to fire safety and went outside to visit fire trucks. Students learned about various parts of the truck and took photos with the firemen. 

Students playing Uno.

Students from Grimes School and Cecil H. Parker School have been continuing their learning at the Grimes and Parker Summer Program, which began on Monday, July 8, 2024. Students have been immersing themselves in project-based learning, such as the third-grade students’ lessons on the book Lemonade Wars. Their teacher, Ms. Cooper, incorporates English language arts and math standards in the project. 

Picture of Dr. Thomas with maroon on sides.

Dr. Albert “George” Thomas, M.D., M.S., graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1975. He studied medicine at ICAHN School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and became an obstetrician and gynecologist following his education.  

Mr. Jose Formoso

The Mount Vernon City School District named Jose Formoso as its new Assistant Superintendent for Business during the Special Meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday July 9, 2024. Mr. Formoso brings over a decade of experience in finances to this role, having earned a Bachelor of Science in business economics from SUNY Oneonta in 2003. In 2009, Mr. Formoso received a Master of Business Administration in financial management from Pace University. 

Students holding stuffed animals

The pre-kindergarten students were buzzing with creativity and excitement, showing off their new stuffed friends to staff and classmates. These children were given the chance to assemble their own personalized stuffed animals by hand during yesterday’s summer camp session on Wednesday, July 10, 2024.