School Age Students
Referral and Evaluation
A referral to the Committee on Special Education should be initiated only after all options available within the regular education continuum of services have been exhausted. Every attempt to remediate the student’s problems should be documented. If the child’s difficulties persist after the strategies and/or services have been implemented, a referral to the Committee on Special Education may be made. The referral must be in written form and may be submitted by school personnel or the child’s parent. Upon receipt of written parental consent, an individual comprehensive evaluation of the child will be conducted by school personnel. At minimum, a newly referred student must have the following evaluations; psychological, educational, medical, social history and classroom observation. Other evaluations which may be conducted include speech/language evaluation, occupational/physical therapy evaluations, psychiatric evaluations, vocational evaluation, assistive technology and functional behavioral assessment.
Upon completion of the evaluations, Committee on Special Education will be scheduled. Parent(s)/Guardian(s) will be notified of the meeting in writing with a list of anticipated participants. The meeting should include the Committee on Special Education chairperson, a school psychologist, a special education teacher, the child’s teacher, a parent member, the child’s parents and when appropriate, the student. In some cases, it may also be appropriate to have the school physician present. The parent(s) may bring any individual to the meeting who has special knowledge or expertise about the child.
At the meeting the Committee will discuss the reason for referral, evaluation results, and current levels of classroom performance. The Committee will then determine if the student is eligible for special education services. A student with a disability means a child with a disability, as defined in Education Law; who does not turn 21 before September first; who is entitled to attend public school; who because of mental, physical or emotional reasons, has been identified as having a disability; and who requires special services or programs. Students, ages 5-21, who are identified as having a disability, may have autism, deafness, deaf-blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, learning disability, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury or visual impairment (including blindness).
If the Committee on Special Education determines that the student has an educational disability, a determination must be made as to the Least Restrictive Environment in which the child can receive educational benefit. In order to accomplish this task, the Committee on Special Education has a variety of placements from which to choose. These placements range in levels of restriction, including class size, student-teacher ratio and degree of participation in regular education. In addition to recommending placement, the Committee on Special Education will review related services, goals/objectives, testing access, alternative testing techniques, second language instruction, transportation, high school diploma options and transition planning, as appropriate. The recommendations of the Committee on Special Education are outlined in the Individual Education Program (IEP). It may be determined that a student is not eligible to receive special education services, the Committee on Special Education may make recommendations for academic services or accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
Each year the Committee on Special Education is required to review the student’s IEP. During this process, the Committee on Special Education will review the student’s progress and make recommendations for the upcoming school year.
The student will have a comprehensive reevaluation every three years. The results of the reevaluation will be reviewed by the Committee on Special Education and will be considered as part of the determination for continuing eligibility for special education. The parents will be notified of an upcoming reevaluation and their consent will be requested.
For additional information, click on the link below to access the New York State Education Department website or contact the District's Special Service Office at (914) 273-2280 ext. 4.
Preschool Special Education
Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)
The CPSE is responsible for the identification of preschool students ages 3-4 years old with disabilities. Additionally, the CPSE is responsible for the delivery of special education services to children who qualify. A wide range of services and programs are available to meet the educational needs of all preschool students with disabilities. Under federal law, preschool students with disabilities are entitled to receive a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.
What is Preschool Special Education?
The New York State Education Department (SED) oversees a statewide preschool special education program with school districts, municipalities, approved providers and parents. Evaluations and specially planned individual or group instructional services or programs are provided to eligible children who have a disability that affects their learning. Funding for these special education programs and services is provided by municipalities and the State.
How will I know if my Preschool child needs Special Education?
If your child received early intervention services as an infant or toddler up to age three, and may still need special education, your service coordinator will assist you with transition planning and making a referral to the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
If your preschool-age child (3-5 years old) did not receive early intervention services, but has some delays or lags in development such as difficulty in talking, moving around, thinking, or learning or is facing physical or behavioral challenges — you, or professionals who know your child, may make a referral to the chairperson of your school district's Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) who will assist you in completing the referral process.
The CPSE must include: the parent of the child, a regular education teacher (if the child is or may be participating in the regular education environment), a special education teacher or related service provider, a representative of the local school district who serves as the chairperson of the CPSE, an individual who can interpret evaluation results, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise about the child, an additional parent member (unless the parent(s) of the child request that this person not participate), and a licensed or certified professional from the Department of Health’s Early Intervention Program (for a child in transition from the Early Intervention Program). A certified or licensed preschool representative from the municipality must be notified of scheduled meetings; however, the CPSE meetings can be held whether or not the municipal representative attends.
When your child is referred to the CPSE, you will be given a list of agencies approved by the State Education Department to provide preschool special education evaluations. You will be asked to select
one of the approved evaluators, then sign a consent form for your child to be evaluated at no cost to you or your family.
The CPSE will also give you a copy of the due process procedural safeguards notice. If your child's evaluation is not timely or, if you disagree with the evaluation results or the recommendation of the CPSE, you have the right to ask for an independent evaluation, mediation or an impartial hearing.
A copy of the evaluation report, including a summary of the evaluation, will be provided to you and to other CPSE members. You will be asked to meet with them to talk about the evaluation results.
If the CPSE finds your child is not eligible for special education programs and/or services, you will be given the reasons for the decision in writing.
How will my child receive special education programs/services?
If your child has a disability that is affecting his/her learning the CPSE will find your child to be an eligible "preschool student with a disability". The CPSE will also recommend the program and services to meet your child's individual needs and determine where they will be provided.
If your child is an eligible preschool student with a disability you and the other committee member will generate and Individualized Education Plan (IEP) that will list the recommended services to be provided, how often, and for how long. The recommendations will be forwarded to your local school district Board of Education for approval.
Most children with disabilities can receive the special education services they need in settings with their non-disabled peers. They also should participate in developmentally appropriate activities. The CPSE must consider how to provide the services in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), where your child can learn close to your home with other children of the same age who do not have disabilities. Services may be provided at an approved or licensed pre-kindergarten or Head Start program, the work-site of a provider, the student's home, a hospital, a State facility or a child care location.
What programs or services will my child receive?
If approved by the school district, arrangements will be made for your eligible child to receive one or more of the following special education programs and/or services recommended by the CPSE including, but not limited to:
Speech and Language Therapy
Programs Approved by the State Education Department:
Special Education Itinerant Teacher: a special education teacher works with your child in the setting recommended by the CPSE
Special Class in an integrated setting: a class of preschool students with and without disabilities.
Special Class: A class with preschool students with disabilities.
Progress Reports and the Annual Review:
When you and the CPSE write your child's IEP, you will decide how and when you will be informed of your child's progress.
Progress can be reported by regular phone calls from the teacher or service provider, notes and comments in a shared notebook or formal progress reports which tells how your child is progressing toward IEP goals and whether your child is expected to meet the goals on the IEP by the date planned. Progress reports must be provided at least as often as they are for children in a regular program.
State law and regulation require that your child's IEP be reviewed at least once a year. If needed, you, the school district's CPSE, or the preschool program provider may also ask for a meeting to discuss or review your child's program anytime during the school year.
When the CPSE is planning programs and/or services for your child, they must also consider your child's transportation needs, including the need for specialized transportation. If recommended by the CPSE, transportation will be provided by the county — once daily from the home or another child care location to the special service or program, and returning once daily from the special service or program to the home or other child care location — up to 50 miles from the child care location. Transportation will not be provided at public expense if the CPSE recommends special education itinerant teacher services or related services in the child’s home or another child care setting which the parent has arranged.