Neil Manis

Transition & Classroom Consultant

Neil Manis has over 25 years of experience working with Southern Westchester BOCES and NY school districts: directing, training and implementing successful student programs. Neil has created many positive experiences for parents, staff, students and external agencies. Classroom consultation, professional development, parent training and program advocacy are his areas of expertise and proficiency.

  • Transition Expertise for School Districts
    Neil is a leader in transition planning and is involved in the new Career Readiness Credentials. He can assist your organization in its implementation through:
    • Professional Development Training (Teachers, Teaching Assistants, etc.
    • IEP Transition Planning Development.
    • Career Development and Occupational Studies Curriculum Reviews.
    • Incorporation of the Learning Standards: Universal Foundations into the structure of the classroom connected to the IEP.
    • Implementation and Documentation for Graduation Credentials: "Certificate of Career Development and Occupational Studies" and "Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential."
    • Multi-year documentation will be a key component of this NYSED initiative.
  • Classroom Strategies
    Neil can provide teachers and staff with functional classroom strategies from diverse administrative experience and research based techniques. He brings over ten years of experience implementing TEACCH strategies with classes for students with autism, multiple disabilities and a full range of developmental delays.
    • Design & Implementation Student Learning Objective
    • Structure using Daily and Student Specific Schedules
    • Reinforcement focused on Teachers and Support Staff
    • Organization of Support Staff
    • Activities Related to Community Based Experience
    • Utilization of Related Services
  • Program Development for Students with Autism
    When the Picture Exchange Communication (PEC’s) program was initiated, Neil Manis successfully brought the Mayer-Johnson cards into the lives of students, staff and parents of over twenty classes at different cognitive levels. Neil was involved in a special weeklong training program with Dr. Gary Mezibov, Director UNC Chapel Hill Division TEACCH, for the Project SEARCH program at New York Presbyterian Hospital specializing on intensive internships for students with autism spectrum disorders. Preparing young adults with autism to transition is a strong part of Neil’s area of expertise and concern.
    • “Project AIIM: The Need to Communicate” – A continued focus for staff to design communication opportunities for students through the integration of speech services in classrooms and sending effective concepts home to parents.
    • “Structured Teaching: Designing a Mobile Crew” - For students moving into a range of programs in adult agencies.
    • “Internships and Independence” – Preparing students to utilize job coaches and preparing job coaches to develop student independence.
  • Program Development for Students with Multiple Disabilities
    Neil developed a strong supportive team that adapted The Carolina Curriculum for students with multiple disabilities on a campus-based setting. He also implemented a positive practice attitude among all levels of staff. A few specific professional development projects still in use are listed below:
    • Arts and Crafts for Students with Multiple Disabilities – A student/staff engagement initiative that lead to staff talking to students regarding every aspect of a craft project and the flow into other activities.
    • Picture/Object Communications Program for Students with Multiple Disabilities – using the Picture Exchange Communication (PEC’s) and designing specific items for campus wide use.
    • Structured Teaching: Adaptations for a Program for Students with Multiple Disabilities - Schedules, tasks and the concept of finished as a specific campus wide approach in instruction.
  • Implementation of Structured Teaching (TEACCH)
    Neil worked with Dr. Gary Mezibov, Director UNC Chapel Hill Division TEACCH, for ten years implementing components of the TEACCH model. He attended intensive weeklong trainings: “The TEACCH Program Methodology” Chapel Hill, NC, as well as “The TEACCH: Transition Assessment Profile (TTAP) Training” Durham, NC. Neil planned and implemented Superintendent’s Conference Day and Training Programs with classroom implementation on many of the components of Structured Teaching. Examples of successful programs include:
    • “Structured Teaching: Schedules for All” – Classroom design and the constant adaption of schedules for students, staff and home.
    • “Structured Teaching: Wh Questions About Finished” – Looking at teaching tasks, teaching finished, and teaching independence.
    • “Structured Teaching: Critical Issues in Curriculum”– Understanding differentiating instruction for all and autism spectrum disorders.
  • IEP Draft Supervision & New York State Alternate Assessment

    Neil is the author of the annual “Step by Step Guide to Transition” to meet the IEP requirements for teacher use. He has worked with colleagues at the local and state level and is regarded as a thought leader on transition planning. He has been able to bring transition goals into the classroom in many forms including community-based instruction.

    Neil is a NYS Alternate Assessment: Score Site Coordinator. He has been involved in the annual Regional Scoring Training as well as the Regional Scoring Institute in Westchester County. He has been a consistent attendee at the Albany based Measured Progress training session. He is credited with training and directing the use of the Measured Progress Profile computerized system by the county’s lead teachers.

  • Positive Behavioral Intervention Strategies (PBIS): Team Building
    Neil has successfully implemented the models listed below for PBIS: Team Building. He can initiate and implement other designs that an agency, school district or work-site would like to use or re-invigorate.
    • “A Good Place To Be” – Provides a backdrop for a staff/student designed PBIS (Mary Curtis Aranha, Author)
    • “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and It’s all Small Stuff” – Provides support to revitalize a PBIS program (Richard Carlson, Author).
    • “Personality Types & Preferences” – Using the Myers–Briggs Type Indictor basic materials, we strengthened staff’s understanding of teamwork to design and revitalize a PBIS.
  • Certifications
    • NYSED Certificate School District Administrator (permanent)
    • NYSED Certificate School Administrator and Supervisor (permanent)
    • NYSED Certificate Teacher Special Education N-12 (permanent)
    • NYSED Certificate Teacher Nursery, Kindergarten -1-6 (permanent)
  • Recommendations

    I’ve had the honor of knowing Neil for four years as the public relations specialist for the Center for Special Education at Southern Westchester BOCES. What has always impressed me about Neil is his commitment to the children he serves and the team he leads as supervisor. He is a deeply compassionate person and sensitive, not only to all of the children with special needs that he has shepherded over his many years at BOCES, but to those around him --- his colleagues and peers.

    Neil’s enthusiasm and knowledge of special ed and special needs children sets the bar for this area of education. Whether he is working with children with multiple handicaps or Autism. helping guide young adults through the transition from school to work, lobbying for state aid in Albany, making a presentation, playing master of ceremonies at graduation, or helping parents grapple with the complexities of transitioning special needs children from school to adult services, Neil is the ultimate professional, graced with a kind heart.

    Suzanne Davis, April 11, 2013, Suzanne worked directly with Neil at Southern Westchester BOCES