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November 19, 2017
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Special Education

Frequently-Asked Questions about Special Education Services

What should you do if you feel your child needs special education services?

If you have a preschool child and you have noticed that your child is not developing skills such as walking, talking or playing like other young children, you may want to talk to your family doctor. He or she may be able to reassure you that children develop at different rates and your child is within the normal developmental scales. If, however, the doctor is concerned, or you are still not comfortable with your child's progress, you may wish to make a referral to your school district's Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

If your three-year-old child received services from the Early Intervention Program and is in need of special education services, he or she will need to transition from the Early Intervention Program into the preschool special education program. The Early Intervention official from Saratoga County must give written notice to the Stillwater CPSE that your child may be transitioning from the Early Intervention Program. A transition plan must be developed 120 days before this transition and included in your child's last Individual Family Service Plan.

If your school-age child is having difficulties in school, first talk to his or her teacher. There are many supports for students within a regular education setting, such as psychological services, speech and language improvement services, curriculum and instructional modifications and Academic Intervention Services. Each school has a Child Study Team that can develop a plan for the child utilizing the supports mentioned above and others. If you, the teacher and principal have not been able to help your child, your child may have a disability that affects his or her learning. To find out, you can make a referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE).

What is a referral for special education?

A referral is a written statement asking that the Stillwater Central School District evaluate your child to determine if he or she needs special education services. This written statement should be addressed to the chairperson in your school district's Committee or your school principal. The referral may result in a request to have your child tested to see if he or she needs special education services. In some cases, you may want to meet with the principal, school psychologist, or school counselor before agreeing to test your child and to discuss other ways to assist your child. There are many different ways to help your child in the classroom before referring to special education. As a result, the referral may be withdrawn.

Who else can make a referral for special education?

You, the parent, can always make a referral for your child. Your child's teacher or a professional in your child's school may also make a referral to the Committee. Additional people who may make a referral include doctors, judicial officers (such as a family court judge or a probation officer) or a designated person in a public agency. For a preschool child, any of the people mentioned above may make a referral to the CPSE. In addition, a referral may also be made by someone from an Early Childhood Direction Center, an approved preschool program, or an Early Intervention Program that serves your child from birth to age three. A student over 18 and younger than 21 who is an emancipated minor may refer him/herself.

What Are The Steps In The Special Education Process?

Step 1: Referral Support for Students
Many students struggle at various times during their years in school. All buildings have many supports including a Child Study or Instructional Support Team.

Step 2: Initial Referral for Special Education Services
Students suspected of having a disability are referred to a multidisciplinary team called the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

Step 3: Individual Evaluation Process
The Committee evaluates the student's abilities and needs.

Step 4: Determining Eligibility for Special Education Services
Based on evaluation results, the Committee decides if the student is eligible to receive special education services and programs.

Step 5: Individualized Education Program (IEP)
If the child is eligible to receive special education services, the Committee develops and implements an appropriate IEP, based on evaluation results, to meet the needs of the student.

Step 6: Annual Review/Reevaluation
The IEP is modified or revised by the Committee at an annual review. At least every three years, the student has a reevaluation to ensure that the student continues to need special education programs and services and to revise the IEP, as appropriate.

Timeline for students with disabilities not previously identified and for review of Individualized Education Program (IEP)

Referral Received
Provide notice to parent; request consent immediately. Inform building principal within five days.

Consent received or referral for review made
Within the next 60 days, the following steps will take place:

  • For initial referrals, parent grants consent to evaluate within 30 days of receipt of referral.
  • A referral for review of an IEP occurs.
  • Conduct individual evaluation or reevaluation as appropriate.
  • Notice of meeting five days prior.
  • Conduct meeting; make recommendation.
  • Notify parent and Board of Education (BOE). BOE may remand the recommendation back to the CSE or to a second CSE for reconsideration.
 

Day 60 – Implementation after recommendation received

  • Arrange for services or programs
  • No later than 30 days after recommendation
  • Arrange for in-State or out-of-State private school placement.
 

What is the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and the Committee on Special Education (CSE)?

Every school district has a Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and the Committee on Special Education (CSE). The CPSE is responsible for children ages three through five with disabilities. The CSE is responsible for children with disabilities ages five through 21. Some school districts also have Subcommittees on Special Education (SubCSE). You are a member of the committee that is responsible for your child.

You know your child better than anyone else, and you have valuable knowledge to bring to committee discussions. Other members of the committees are people who have a broad range of experiences planning for and/or working with students with disabilities. Together we will work to make sure that special education programs and services are provided to meet your child's needs.

The Committee On Preschool Special Education Includes:

  • Parent(s) of the student
  • Regular education teacher of the child whenever the child is or may be participating in the regular education environment
  • Special education teacher of the child or, if appropriate, special education provider of the child
  • School district representative who is qualified to provide or supervise special education and is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and the availability of preschool special education programs and services and other resources of the school district and the county (this person is the Chairperson of the Committee on Preschool Special Education)
  • An individual who understands and can talk about the evaluation results and how these results effect instruction (this person may also be the special education teacher/provider, regular education teacher, school psychologist, school district representative or someone that the school district determines has knowledge or special expertise regarding the student)
  • An Early Intervention Coordinator from Saratoga County Public Health Nurses (for a child in transition from the Early Intervention Program)
  • Other people that have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate (as requested by the parent or school district)
  • A Saratoga County representative will be notified of scheduled meetings; however, the CPSE meeting can be held whether or not the County representative attends)
 

The Committee On Special Education Includes:

  • Parent(s) of the student
  • Regular education teacher of the student whenever the student is or may be participating in the regular education environment
  • Special education teacher of the student or, if appropriate, special education provider of the student
  • School district representative who is qualified to provide or to supervise special education and is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and the availability of resources of the school district (CSE Chairperson)
  • An individual who understands and can talk about the evaluation results and how these results affect instruction(this person may also be the special education teacher/provider, regular education teacher, school psychologist
  • School psychologist
  • School physician (upon request)
  • Other people that have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel as appropriate (as requested by the parent or school district)
  • The student, if appropriate
 

A Subcommittee On Special Education Includes:

  • Parent(s) of the student
  • Regular education teacher of the student whenever the student is or may be participating in the regular education environment
  • Special education teacher of the student or, if appropriate, special education provider of the student
  • School district representative who is qualified to provide, administer, or supervise special education and is knowledgeable about the general curriculum and the availability of resources of the school district (this person may be the special education teacher/provider, school psychologist, or building administrator)
  • An individual who understands and can talk about the evaluation results and how these results affect instruction (this person may also be the special education teacher/provider, regular education teacher, school psychologist or school district representative)
  • School psychologist (under certain circumstances)
  • Other people that have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, including related services personnel as appropriate (as requested by the parent or school district)
  • The student, if appropriate
 

When I have a problem with my school-age child's IEP, what should I do?

First:
We believe the best way to address issues is to deal directly with those professionals working closest to your student. We strongly encourage parents to start in your child's school with the following professionals in this order:

  • Teacher/Therapist
  • Case Manager
  • Psychologist
  • Principal
 

Second:
If you are not satisfied with the results, contact the people involved at the District Office in this order.

  • CSE Chairperson
  • Director of Special Education
  • Superintendent

Third:
If your child's needs are not being addressed by district staff, you may contact these people for additional assistance:

  • VESID-NYSED - Regional Representative
  • SETRC
  • Albany Law Clinic
 

When I have a problem with my preschool child's IEP, what should I do?

First:
We believe the best way to address issues is to deal directly with those professionals working closest to your student. We strongly encourage parents to start in your child's school with the following professionals in this order:

  • Teacher/Therapist
  • Case Manager
  • Director
  • County Representative (Transportation Issues)

Second:
If you are not satisfied with the results, contact the people involved at the District Office in this order:

  • CPSE Chairperson/Academic Administrator
  • Superintendent

Third:
If your child's needs are not being addressed by district staff, you may contact these people for additional assistance:

  • VESID-NYSED - Regional Representative
  • SETRC
  • Albany Law Clinic
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