Frequently Asked Questions

What is Special Education?

Special education means specially designed individualized or group instruction or special services or programs to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. Special education services and programs are provided at no cost to the parent.

Who can refer my child for Special Education services?

Teachers, school administrators, outside agencies (such as therapists or social workers), and parents can all refer a child for special education services by writing to the building principal or CSE Chairperson and requesting an evaluation for special education services. If a student is over the age of 18, the student may refer her or himself.

What are the requirements when a school refers my child for an evaluation?

Prior to making the referral the school is responsible for providing the student with services in a regular education setting in an effort to prevent the referral. When the student is referred the school must explain the reasons for the referral and describe in detail all attempts to improve the students’ performance prior to referral.

Does the Byram Hills Central School District require parental consent to evaluate my child?

Yes, once the student is referred for special education evaluations parental informed written consent must be received before an evaluation can occur. If a parent does not consent to special education evaluations a school may request an "impartial due process hearing". The impartial hearing officer will determine if the school is permitted to conduct the evaluations without parental consent.

What is the Committee on Special Education (CSE)?

The Committee on Special Education consists of the parent or legal guardian (or surrogate parent if one is appointed), at least one regular education teacher, at least one special education teacher, a chairperson, school psychologist, parent member, whenever appropriate the student, at the discretion of the parent or local education agency (LEA) other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student; including related service personnel as appropriate.

What is an Individualized Education Plan (IEP)?

The IEP is the foundation of the Special Education process for every student classified with a disabling condition. The IEP is a legal document that is created to meet the individual needs of each child, ensures a student with a disability has access to the general education curriculum, and is provided with opportunities, accommodations, modifications, special services, and the necessary supports needed for the student to progress towards achieving learning standards. The IEP must be implemented as recommended by the Committee (CPSE) or (CSE).

What must the IEP include?

The IEP must include a description of your child's present educational performance and a statement of measurable annual goals and short term objectives to help your child to progress in the general curriculum and meet the other needs that result from his or her disability, a statement of the special education and related services that will be provided to your child, and an explanation of why your child is not in a general education setting if she/he is not in an inclusive environment. If your child is over fourteen, the IEP must also include an outline of transitional services that will be provided to help your child prepare for life after school.