A Parent s Guide to Special Education Services for Preschool and School-Age Children

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1 Edgemont Union Free School District 300 White Oak Lane Scarsdale, New York A Parent s Guide to Special Education Services for Preschool and School-Age Children

2 BOARD OF EDUCATION Ms. Michaeline Curtis President Mr. David Chao Vice-President Mr. Michael Bianchi Ms. Jennifer Darger Mr. Anish Nanavaty Mr. David Stern Dr. Brian Yarrington OFFICE OF SPECIAL SERVICES Ms. Shelley Fleischmann, Director of Special Services Mr. Edward Stickles, CPSE/CSE Chairperson Ms. Karen Storminger, CSE Secretary Ms. Paula Ceddia, CPSE Secretary SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS Dr. Victoria S. Kniewel

3 Table of Contents* Section 1 GETTING STARTED page 1 Let s Get Started! Getting the Best Possible Education for your Child page 1 Asking the Right Questions at the Beginning page 1 What are some Questions you can ask if you are concerned About your Child? page 2 What s Next? Does Your Child Need Additional Supports? page 2 The Who s Who in Edgemont Special Education and Support Staff Section 2 WHEN THE SPECIAL EDUCATION PROCESS BEGINS page 3 When the Special Education Process Begins: An Initial Referral for an Evaluation page 3 Early Intervention, CPSE and CSE What s the Difference? page 3 Who is Responsible for Referral, Evaluation and Placement? page 3 The Steps of the Special Education Process page 3 The Initial Referral Process page 4 What will the Initial Evaluation Include? page4 Independent Evaluations page 4 Bilingual Evaluations page 4 What is the Reevaluation? page 4 Timeline for Evaluations page 5 After the Evaluations Are Completed: The Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team Meeting page 5 Summary of who attends the Meeting page 5 What is a parent member/parent member declination? page 6 Questions to Ask at a CPSE/CSE Team Meeting page 6 How is eligibility for special education determined for a preschool child? page 6 How is eligibility for special education determined for a school-aged child? page 7 Disability Classifications Section 3 THE INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP) page 9 The Individualized Education Program (IEP) page 9 The Contents of the IEP Section 4 WHAT TO EXPECT: SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES page 12 Least Restrictive Environment page 12 What Services and Programs are offered by the Edgemont School District? page 12 The Continuum of Services page 13 Related Services page 13 Supplementary Aids and Services page 14 Services to Parentally Placed Private School Students with Disabilities page 14 General Education with Declasssification Services

4 Section 5 GRADUATION AND POST-SECONDARY PLANNING page 15 Diploma Options page 15 What should be Discussed at the Last Transition Meeting before the Student Graduates? page 15 Transition Services and Post-Secondary Options Section 6 GLOSSARY AND RESOURCES page 16 Glossary page 20 Resources page 22 Acronyms page 25 Partnership for Learning Differences *This document was created by researching New York State Laws and regulations, and adapting the language from the NYC Board of Education documents and from other local school districts.

5 Section 1 GETTING STARTED You know your child best. Your ideas, opinions, and input are very important in mapping out the best possible education for him or her. The staff at Edgemont is ready to work with you to ensure that your child receives the appropriate services and supports that he or she needs to be successful in school. What federal legislation pertains to students with disabilities? In 1975, IDEA, formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children s Act, was passed entitling handicapped individuals to a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. The Individual with Disabilities Act of 1990, commonly referred to as IDEA, requires school districts to provide children ages 3-21 who have various disabilities with special education services. In 1997 and 2005, IDEA was reauthorized. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which includes Section 504, designates that a student or adult can be afforded accommodations and services through the educational system without the specific classifications furnished under IDEA. Later amendments to this Act in 1986 and 1992 provided that recipients of federal financial assistance could not discriminate against individuals with handicaps. Additional information on IDEA, as well as other legislation, is available through NYSED, the New York State Education Department at or NICHCY, the National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities, at nichcy.org. Asking the Right Questions at the Beginning If you believe your child may require special education services or support services, it is important to ask the right questions from the start. There may be supports available within the general education setting at the school that he or she attends. Those kinds of supports might be all that your child needs. Edgemont offers a number of building level supports that include Academic Intervention Services (AIS), reading remediation programs, discretionary speech, and counseling. Your child may benefit from a general education program with some or all of these building level supports without special education services. What are some questions you can ask if you are concerned about your child: What do the grades on my child s report card mean? Is he/she doing the kind of work that is expected? How do I know if my child understands what I am reading to him or her? What kinds of questions should I ask my child as we read together? How can I help my child if he/she is struggling with math homework? What are some math learning activities I can do at home or in the neighborhood? Does my child get along well with the other students in school? Does my child have any difficulty following directions or doing what is asked of him or her? What do you do if that happens in class? What can you tell me (what have you noticed) about how my child learns? Are there any additional services during school or after school that could help my child? If so, how can we get that extra help for my child? What are some things I can do at home to help my child do her/his best in school? 1

6 What s Next? Does your Child Need Additional Supports? As a parent, if you have concerns about your child, meet with your child s teacher(s), the school psychologist, the guidance counselor, and/or the school principal who will help you determine if a referral to special education is appropriate for your child. Federal and State law requires the school to implement intervention services and or accommodations to remediate a student s performance prior to a referral to special education. Often, prior to referring to the Committee on Special Education (CSE), a classroom teacher refers a student to the Child Study Team (CST) when a problem arises. The team may consist of a building psychologist, school nurse, special education teacher, classroom teacher, school support staff (i.e. reading teachers, speech/language therapists) or an administrator. After a CST meeting is held, an intervention plan with strategies and types of instruction is implemented. If appropriate, the CST meets again to assess the success of the plan and determine if further recommendations are necessary. These may include a formal referral to CSE. After talking to your child s teacher and other professionals, you may feel that your child needs additional support. In that case, you (or another individual) may refer your child for a special education evaluation, which is a series of evaluations to determine if your child has a disability. You can make a referral to special education at any time. The referral must be made in writing. You may also contact Shelley Fleischmann or Edward Stickles at for additional assistance. Please see Page 3 The Initial Referral Process. The Who s Who in Edgemont Special Education and Support Staff Edgemont Junior-Senior High School SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS: Dr. Michelle Greenwald Dr. Samantha Loria Dr. Mitchell Shapiro GUIDANCE COUNSELORS: Mr. Kevin Fleck* Ms. Stephanie Fuentes Ms. Paula Gillan Ms. Junko Matano Ms. Lauren Moore NURSE: Mrs. Mimi Bajorin SPEECH/LANGUAGE: Ms. Monica Grey PHYSICAL THERAPIST Ms. Elizabeth Belsky TEACHER OF THE DEAF Ms. Marcia Schreier SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS Ms. Mary Bunt Ms. Marcy Cardarelli Mr. Brian Ford Mr. Darren Hawks Ms. Deidra Hewett Mrs. Jayne Jacobs Ms. Kristin Kearns Ms. Gina Kim Mr. David Lally* Ms. Cristin Maguire Ms. Paulette Spiegel Greenville School SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS: Dr. Melissa Demarest Dr. Loren Napoli NURSE: Ms. Diane Rakoff SPEECH/LANGUAGE: Ms. Erica Gutman OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST Ms. Deborah Kittay-Heffle PHYSICAL THERAPIST Ms. Elizabeth Belsky READING TEACHERS Ms. Arielle Landeck Ms. Marisa Ferrara SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS Ms. Tara Eliassof Mr. Sean Ford Ms. Danielle Levine Dr. Vivian Sonnenborn** Ms. Michele Vourliotis Seely Place School SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGISTS: Ms. Rayna Shapiro** Dr. Loren Napoli NURSE: Ms. Lisa Singer Ms. Emily Duncan SPEECH/LANGUAGE: Ms. Leslie Mignault Ms. Nicole Holland OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST Ms. Shlomit Storfer PHYSICAL THERAPIST Ms. Elizabeth Belsky READING TEACHERS: Ms. Jessica Leonard Ms. Deborah Tashjian * Department Chair ** Teacher Leader SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHERS Ms. Kerri Bennett Ms. Gail Kestenbaum Ms. Christine Kovacs Ms. Katie O Dea Ms. Kerry Borderick 2

7 Section 2 WHEN THE SPECIAL EDUCATION PROCESS BEGINS Children with disabilities are entitled by law to special education and related services that will meet their needs at no cost to their parents. Special education assures that each student will have the necessary programs, supports, and services to access a free and appropriate public education. What program is responsible for children Birth to 3 Years Old? The Westchester County Department of Health provides assistance, evaluations, and services for this age group. For more information, call the Early Intervention Program (EI) at A caseworker will be assigned to guide you through the process. If your child continues to need services at the age of 3, he/she will then transition to the CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education). Your EI caseworker will help you with this process. What Committee is responsible for children 3-5 Years Old? The Committee on Preschool Special Education coordinates the entire preschool evaluation process for three and four year old children who live in the Edgemont School District. The CPSE is a multidisciplinary team of individuals who meet to determine if a child is eligible for preschool special education services according to New York State regulations. What Committee is responsible for children 5-21 Years Old? The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is responsible for School-Age children with disabilities. The CSE, like the CPSE, is a multidisciplinary team of individuals who meet to determine if a student is eligible for special education services according to New York State regulations. The Committee oversees initial evaluations, placements, annual reviews, and reevaluations for all Edgemont School District students. Like the CPSE, if a child is eligible, the CSE develops an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and implements its recommendations. Parents have the legal right (see Due Process) to agree or disagree with any recommendation, goals, or objectives recommended for their child. This Committee meets for the initial referral and at least annually for every child who receives special education services. Who is Responsible for the Referral, Evaluation, and Placement? If your child is a resident and attends one of the three public schools in Edgemont, that school is responsible for evaluating the student, developing the IEP, and providing the special education services. If your child is recommended for special education services that cannot be provided in his or her home school, an appropriate placement, within Edgemont, or in an out-of-district public or private school will be recommended. The Steps of the Special Education Process Initial Referral Or Request for Referral Evaluation CPSE/CSE team Meeting Arranging Special Education Services (if eligible) Annual Review or Reevaluation The Initial Referral The first step in determining if your child has a disability and if he or she requires special education services is to request an evaluation. This initial referral must be in writing to Shelley or Ed and may be made by you or someone within the school district. Ways to Request an Initial Evaluation for your child: Send a letter to the principal at your child s school or Shelley or Ed in the Office of Special Services Ask a school professional to assist you in making a referral. The Child Study Team can request a referral. 3

8 After the request for initial referral has been made: Within 10 school days, the school will: Initiate the referral process by sending you a Prior Written Notice for Initial Referral, which details the process. What s next? When an initial referral has been made: Once a referral has been made, you will be sent a Prior Written Notice, which: Explains your rights as a parent; Provides the name and telephone number of a person to call if you have any questions. If your child has never received special education services, you will be asked to sign a Consent for Initial Evaluation form. Even if you made the written referral yourself, you must still consent to the evaluations in order for the process to begin. If you choose not to sign consent, and if it is an initial referral, your child will not be evaluated. Please be aware that Shelley, Ed, or a school principal may request Mediation or an Impartial Hearing in order to obtain authority to conduct an initial evaluation. What will the Initial Evaluation Include? An initial evaluation to determine if your child has a disability must include: Social History - a parent interview or questionnaire Psychological Evaluation Educational Evaluation Classroom Observation Physical - can be completed by the child s pediatrician Other evaluations as needed Independent Evaluations An independent evaluation means an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the School District. Parents may submit private evaluation(s) prior to the start of the evaluation process. The CSE will review them and determine what additional assessments are needed. It is important to note that many assessments cannot be administered within the same year so coordination between private and school evaluations is necessary. Under certain circumstances the School District will arrange or pay for an independent evaluation. The School District s Policy for Independent Educational Evaluations can be found on the School District s Website.http://www.edgemont.org/site_res_view_fol der.aspx?id=abe b6-48b5-b d06a4a39 Bilingual Evaluations Some children require a bilingual evaluation, which is conducted in both English and your child s preferred language by professionals who understand both languages. Your child will be given a bilingual evaluation based on the language you use in your home. What is the Reevaluation? The CSE arranges for an appropriate reevaluation of each student with a disability at least every three years by a multidisciplinary team or group of persons, including at least one teacher or other specialist with knowledge in the area of the student s disability. The reevaluation shall be sufficient to determine the student s eligibility for classification, individual needs, educational progress and achievement and the student s ability to participate in instructional programs in general education. Timeline for Evaluations Once Shelley or Ed has received your consent, the team will complete assessments within s 60 calendar days and schedule a review by the Committee on Special Education within 60 school days of receiving your written consent. 4

9 After the Evaluations are Completed: The CPSE/CSE team Meeting Once your child s evaluations are completed, you will be invited to attend a CPSE/CSE team meeting at a mutually convenient time. You should receive a written invitation in your preferred language at least five days before the meeting. If you cannot attend the meeting, you must contact Shelley or Ed and ask to change the date. It is very important that you attend the CPSE/CSE meetings so that you will be able to participate in a final decision that will be made about your child s eligibility for special education services and programs. The meetings will be held at your child s school if your child attends a public school in Edgemont. If your child is not attending, or attending a special program in another public school, BOCES or approved private school, the CPSE/CSE team meeting will be held at the Edgemont District Office or one of the public schools in Edgemont. All evaluations, records and reports that were used to assess your child will be available to you before the CPSE/CSE team meeting and, at your request, arrangements will be made to explain them to you in your preferred language or mode of communication. If necessary, an interpreter will be provided for you at the CPSE/CSE team meeting. Your observations and opinions are valuable and will be considered at the meeting. Each team member brings important information to the CPSE/CSE team meeting. At the meeting, members share information and work together to determine whether your child has a disability and requires special education services. You are a member of the committee, and your input is important. Who attends the CPSE meeting? The following people attend the CPSE meeting: The CPSE Chairperson, Edward Stickles, who represents the school district The parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) of the child An additional parent member (see glossary) to the CPSE (unless parent of the child declines the participation of the parent member) A representative from the agency that provided the evaluation of your child These people may attend, where appropriate: A regular education classroom teacher Early Intervention Representative, if applicable A representative from Westchester County s Department of Health Any person(s) invited by the parents who has/have knowledge or special expertise regarding your child, including related services personnel. If you intend to do so, you need to inform Ed. Who attends the CSE meeting? The following people attend the CSE meeting: CSE Chairperson (Shelley, Ed, or school psychologist) A school psychologist A special education teacher A regular education teacher The parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) of the child These people MAY attend when appropriate: Other professionals may attend when appropriate. Parents are entitled to invite other individuals to the CSE meeting who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel. An additional parent member may be requested in writing at least 72 hours before the meeting. When appropriate, the student may be invited to attend the CSE meeting. What is a parent member/parent member declination? The CPSE full committee includes an additional parent member (in addition to the parent of the child being evaluated). This is a parent of another child residing in the district who is classified as eligible to receive Special Education services. In order to serve as a parent member of the CPSE or CSE, a parent must receive training in Special Education law, regulations, and policy including the need to maintain confidentiality and be appointed by the Board of Education. A parent of a student receiving special education services has the right to decline the participation of an additional parent member at the CPSE meeting. A signed declination form, available from Karen or Paula in the Office of Special Services, must be in place prior to the meeting in order to proceed without an additional parent member. Although a parent member is not required at a CSE meeting for school-aged children, the parent has the right to request the presence of an additional parent member. This request should be made as soon as the parent receives notice of the meeting and may be requested in writing at least 72 hours before the meeting. 5

10 Questions to Ask at a CPSE/CSE team Meeting How has the teacher accommodated my child s learning and behavioral needs in the classroom? Are there things I can do at home to support the IEP goals? What type of learner is my child? Does the teacher attempt to use my child s strengths while teaching him or her? How frequently is my child s progress monitored? What are the best ways for me to stay in touch with my child s teacher(s) to be informed of academic or behavioral progress? Is my child making progress towards his or her IEP goals? If a service is not working, how can I work with my child s IEP team to explore better services for him or her? What sort of programs or other supports might help my child? What can you tell me (what have you noticed) about how my child learns? What are the promotion criteria for my child? How will he or she be evaluated according to grade level? In high school, what are the graduation requirements for my child? What are the diploma objectives for my child? How is eligibility for special education determined for a preschool child? The process begins with a conversation, either in person or by telephone, between the parent and Ed. You will be required to provide documents that verify residency in the Edgemont School District. Your child must be formally evaluated by an evaluation agency approved by Westchester County. The Special Education office will provide you with a list of approved agencies and you need to pick an agency to do the evaluations. The evaluation agency must complete the initial evaluation and the CPSE must conduct the meeting to determine eligibility for preschool special education within 60 calendar days of receipt of the parent's consent for the initial evaluation. The CPSE will discuss the results, determine if your child is eligible for services, and develop an Individual Education Plan, called an IEP, for your child, when appropriate. The CPSE is responsible for implementation of the specific recommendations in the plan. How is eligibility for special education determined for a school-aged child? At the Initial meeting, the results of the evaluations are reviewed and parental information and teacher reports are shared. After reviewing all the information, the committee discusses the data and comes to a consensus. The CPSE/CSE team must decide if your child is eligible for special education services. A school-age student is eligible for special education services if the student: Meets the criteria for one or more of the disability classifications; and, Requires special education services and programs If the student does not meet the criteria for one or more of the disability classifications, the school-age student is not eligible for special education services. Additionally, a student is not eligible even if he or she meets the criteria of one of the classifications listed, but does not require special education services and programs because academic delays result from A lack of appropriate instruction in reading; or, A lack of appropriate instruction in math; or Limited English proficiency If the committee determines that a student is eligible for special education services, the Team must determine his or her classification. At the CPSE/CSE meeting an IEP is developed that includes the program, related services, testing accommodations, program modifications, and goals. 6

11 Disability Classifications Each Preschool Student who is classified is classified as a Preschool Student with a Disability Below is a list of classifiable disabilities for school-age children (cited from nichcy.org/disability/categories) Autism Intellectual Disabilities Deafness Multiple Disabilities Deaf-Blindness Orthopedic Impairment Emotional Disturbance Other Health Impairment Hearing Impairment Speech or Language Impairment Learning Disability Traumatic Brain Injury Visual Impairment Autism A developmental disability, significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3, that adversely affects educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a student s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the student has an emotional disturbance. A student who manifests the characteristics of autism after age 3 could be diagnosed as having autism if the above criteria are otherwise satisfied. Deafness A student with a hearing impairment that is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects the student s educational performance. Deaf-Blindness A student with both hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for students with deafness or students with blindness. Emotional Disturbance A student who exhibits one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects the student s educational performance: An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors; An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers; Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; A generally pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. The term emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. It does not apply to students who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance. Hearing Impairment An impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects the student s educational performance but is not included under the definition of deafness in this section. 7

12 Learning Disability Learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which manifests itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia. The term does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing or motor disabilities; of mental retardation; of emotional disturbance or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantage. Intellectual Disability A student with significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects that student s educational performance. Multiple Disabilities A student with concurrent impairments (such as intellectual disability blindness, intellectual disability orthopedic impairment, etc.), the combination of which causes educational needs that cannot be accommodated in a special education program solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include deaf-blindness. Orthopedic Impairment A severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a student s educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (e.g. clubfoot, absence of some member, etc.), impairments caused by disease (e.g. poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis, etc.), and impairments from other causes (e.g. cerebral palsy, amputation and fractures or burns which cause contractures). Other Health Impairment A student with limited strength, vitality or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems, including but not limited to a heart condition, tuberculosis, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, diabetes, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or Tourette syndrome, which adversely affects that student s educational performance. Speech or Language Impairment A student with a communication disorder, such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment or a voice impairment that adversely affects that student s educational performance. Traumatic Brain Injury A student with an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force or by certain medical conditions such as stroke, encephalitis, aneurysm, and anoxia or brain tumors with resulting impairments that adversely affect that student s educational performance. The term includes open or closed head injuries or brain injuries from certain medical conditions resulting in mild, moderate or severe impairments in one or more areas, including cognition, language, memory, attention, reasoning, abstract thinking, judgment, problem solving, sensory, perceptual and motor abilities, psychosocial behavior, physical functions, information processing and speech. The term does not include injuries that are congenital or caused by birth trauma. Visual Impairment An impairment in vision including blindness that, even with correction, adversely affects that student s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness. 8

13 Section 3 THE INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM (IEP) The Individualized Education Program (IEP) The Individualized Education Program is a plan developed by the CPSE/CSE to meet a child s unique needs once it is determined that the child is eligible for special education services and/or programs. The plan includes critical information about the child s special education program. It provides a framework for instruction in the areas of the child s disability. The IEP is developed at a CPSE/CSE meeting. The IEP development process must consider: Your child s strengths and present levels of performance; Your concerns for your child s education; The results of your child s individual evaluation; The results of any standardized assessments and Any unique needs related to your child s disability (such as communication, behavior, etc.) IEPs are developed annually. However, IEPs may be amended within the year, if appropriate, by convening a CPSE/CSE meeting or through an amendment form. A teacher, related service provider, or parent may make a request for a meeting. All requests for a meeting should be made in writing and sent to Shelley or Ed. As parents you have a very important role in the development of your child s IEP. You have first-hand knowledge of your child s abilities. Sharing this information is an important contribution to the IEP process. The Contents of the IEP The following components are a part of all IEP s: 1. Basic Demographic Information student name, date of birth, names of parent or guardian, address, phone number, and the dominant language of the student and his or her parents or guardians. 2. Special alerts When appropriate, this section provides special information like a notation of a student s pertinent health condition, allergies, or medications. 3. Committee Meeting or Agreement Information includes attendance at the meeting, the committee holding the meeting, and meeting date. Reason for the meeting states the purpose of the meeting, such as annual review or a reevaluation. It also specifies if the meeting was a full committee or subcommittee meeting. Rationale provides a summary of the committee meeting The Committee s decision was based on the following reports and previous records notes the dates of the social history, educational evaluation, observation report, psychological evaluation, and physical evaluation in the student s file on which the Committee s decision was based. 4. Committee Recommendations includes classification, school, projected start date and end date and grade. Committee Decision specifies the Committee s recommendation to classify or not classify the student. Disability See page 7 for disability categories Start Date/End Date Review By - is the projected date of review of the student s need for special education services, and if appropriate, 12-month special services or programs. Every three years a mandated reevaluation occurs. 5. Standardized Test Results and Evaluations/Reports indicates scores on standardized tests administered. 6. Academic Achievement, Functional Performance and Learning Characteristics Educational Achievement and Learning Characteristics- Levels of development in subject and skill areas, including cognitive functioning, learning style, rate of progress and if appropriate, activities of daily living and adaptive behavior specifies the current performance levels of the student and the individual needs of the student in the following areas: reading, mathematics, and written language. It also includes information about a student s learning rate and speech/language skills. 9

14 Social Development indicates the levels of development in relationships with peers and adults, self-concept, social adjustment in the school and community environment and behaviors that impede the learning process. Physical Development indicates the level of motor and sensory development, health or vitality issues, physical skills or limitations that pertain to the learning process. 7. Management Needs indicate the level of teacher support, supervision, environmental structure and, if appropriate, behavioral interventions or strategies required to address learning, social and physical needs. 8. Effects of Student Needs - explains how the student s disability affects learning. Included is information on how the student s disability affects the student s ability to progress in the general education curriculum; or for preschool students, how the disability affects the student s participation in appropriate activities. If appropriate, it includes information on how the student s behavior impedes his or her learning or the learning of others. 9. Student Needs Related to Special Factors describes appropriate strategies, including positive behavioral interventions and supports to address behaviors that might impede a student s learning or that of others. Appropriate strategies or services to address the language needs of a student with limited English proficiency as such needs relate to the implementation of the IEP. As appropriate, instruction in Braille and the use of Braille for a student who is blind or visually impaired. As appropriate, for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, opportunities for direct instruction or modifications. 10. Measurable Post-Secondary Goals and Transition Needs - for students age 15 (and at a younger age if deemed appropriate), a statement of the needed transition services. It may include the responsibilities of the school district and participating agency for the students with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with the least restrictive environment, e.g. access to a word processor for written assignments. 11. Participation in State and District-wide Assessment specifies whether or not the student will participate in State assessments, and if not, why the assessment is not appropriate and how the student will be assessed. 12. Measurable Annual Goals relate to meeting the student s needs that result from the student s disability, to enable the student to be involved in and progress in the general education curriculum. They include evaluative criteria, evaluation procedures and schedules to be used to measure performance toward the annual goals. Progress toward achieving these projected goals and short-term objectives/benchmarks will be reported to the parents or guardian at least annually. 13. Programs and Related Services notes the recommended special education program and services set forth in section of the Regulations of the Commissioner, such as special class, resource room, resource room/consultant teacher services, consultant teacher. Related services usually include speech and language, occupational therapy, counseling and physical therapy. These regulations also include specification of the following: Language or communication mode Class size, if appropriate 14. Supplementary Aids and Services/Program Modifications/Accommodations This section provides a statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the student to: Advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals Be involved and progress in the general curriculum Be educated and participate with other students in the general education classes, state and local assessments and general education programs 15. Assistive Technology Devices/Services Equipment or product systems needed for a student to benefit from education, based on an evaluation and the decision of the CPSE/CSE. 16. Support for School Personnel on behalf of the Student --may include regularly scheduled team meetings. 17. Extended School Year Eligibility notes the student s eligibility for a 12-month service or program and the identity of the provider of services during the 10

15 month of July and August. These include a special education service and/or program provided on a year round basis, for students determined to be eligible and whose disabilities require a structured learning environment of up to 12 months duration to prevent substantial regression. 18. Testing Accommodations The student s modifications are determined by the CSE. Modifications are designed to help the student compensate for the impact of his/her disabilities. Determination of modifications is based on demonstrating needs and consistent use. Students are not entitled to, nor do they receive all of the modifications available. Students are entitled to only those modifications that are indicated by their IEP s. It should be noted that not all accommodations will be available on State tests. 19. Coordinated Set of Transition Activities describes the provision of such services promoting the student s movement from school to post school opportunities or both, before the student leaves the school setting. 20. Participation with Students without disabilities This section specifies the least restrictive program options considered, but not recommended by the Committee. Alternative programs to public school settings with their peers will be considered for students only if the student s needs cannot be met within the general school setting with supplementary aids and services. Physical Education - specifies regular or adapted Second language requirement for secondary If the student is exempt from a second language requirement a rationale based on the student s disability is provided. 21. Special Transportation - special transportation needs of the student, as appropriate. 11

16 Section 4 What to Expect Least Restrictive Environment The CPSE/CSE team recommends services in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) appropriate to your child s needs. This means that the Team must consider how special education services can be provided to your child that will allow him or her to be educated with children who do not have disabilities, to the maximum extent appropriate. The placement of an individual student with a disability in the Least Restrictive Environment shall: Provide the special education needed by the student Provide for education of the student to the maximum extent appropriate to the needs of the student with other students who do not have disabilities Be located at the student s home school or as close as possible to the student s home What Services and Programs are offered by the Edgemont School District? The Edgemont School District offers a variety of programs to meet the needs of students based upon the continuum of services designated by the laws of New York State. The programs range from less restrictive to more restrictive. Less restrictive refers to keeping special education students in general education settings as often as possible. More restrictive settings include special classes and out-of-district placements. Less restrictive settings are always considered before more restrictive settings are recommended. Students are placed in programs based upon their needs. The following is the continuum of services from less restrictive to more restrictive: It should be noted that not all services are available at all levels. Least Restrictive Related Services Consultant Teacher Resource Room Program Integrated Co-Teaching Services (optional) Special Class Out-of-District Placement Most Restrictive The needs of the students influence the specific services they receive based upon the Committee s decision. Instructional techniques vary depending on the needs of the students. Students can be moved from one type of service to another during the school year through the CSE process. 12

17 Related Services Related Services are developmental or corrective, and include other supportive services that are required to assist a child with a disability so that he or she benefits from an instructional program. Your child s related services may change from preschool to school-age as his or her needs change with age. Related Services may be the only special education service given to your child, or they may be provided along with other special education services. The following related services might be recommended: Counseling These services are designed to improve social and emotional functioning in the areas of appropriate school behavior, self-control, conflict resolution if your child is experiencing difficulty interacting appropriately with adults or peers, withdrawal or acting out, low self-esteem or poor coping skills that significantly interfere with learning. If your child requires a service from a particular provider (e.g. guidance counselor or school psychologist), it will be outlined in the IEP. Hearing Education Services Services designed to provide instruction in speech, reading, auditory training, and language development to enhance the growth of receptive/expressive communication skills. Speech/Language Therapy These services help in the way your child understands sounds and language (called auditory processing), with articulation or phonological skills, comprehension, use of syntax, pragmatics, voice production, and fluency. Occupational Therapy This will help your child maintain, improve, or restore adaptive and functional skills, including fine motor skills and oral motor skills in all educational activities. Orientation and Mobility Services These services are provided to students with visual impairments. They are designed to improve your child s understanding of spatial and environmental concepts and use of information he or she receives through the senses (e.g. sound, temperature, vibrations) for establishing, maintaining and regaining orientation, and line of travel. Physical Therapy Uses activities to maintain, improve, or restore your child s functioning, including gross motor development, ambulation, balance and coordination in various settings, including, but not limited to, the classroom, gym, bathroom, playground, staircase, and transitions between classes. School Health Services A school nurse provides services that are designed to address your child s specific health needs, as documented by his or her physician, to ensure a safe educational environment. Vision Education Services These services are designed to provide instruction for your child if he or she is visually impaired. They utilize Braille, large print, optical and/or non-optical low-vision devices to attain academic, social, vocational and life adjustment skills, literacy, and acquisition of information using tactile, visual, and auditory strategies. Any related services that are recommended for your child will be indicated on the IEP. The IEP provides the number of times a week or month your child should receive the service (this is called the frequency ) and the length of the session (this is called the duration ), the maximum group size (if your child can be provided services in a group), the language in which the service must be provided, and whether the service will be provided in your child s classroom or in a separate room outside of the classroom (this is the location ). Supplementary Aids and Services These are services and other supports that are provided in both general education classes and other settings that are more restrictive. Supplementary Aids and Services may include, but are not limited to, the following materials, devices, and adaptations: Curriculum Accommodations Accommodations change how a student accesses information and demonstrates that he/she has learned the information. They may include the use of audiotapes instead of books, large-print books, Braille materials, use of a calculator for math, or use of a word processor instead of handwriting. Curriculum Modifications Modifications change the way the curriculum is delivered and the instructional level, but the subject matter itself remains the same. Examples of modifications include redesigning the size or focus of the assignment. Individualized Supports Examples of supports include rephrasing of questions and instructions; additional time to move between classes; special seating arrangements; testing accommodations such as questions being read or re-read aloud, additional time, etc.; and curricular aids such as highlighted reading materials, main idea summaries, organizational aids, pre-written notes or study guides. Supplementary Aids and Services may also include the services of various personnel, such as special education teachers, and they may be combined in different ways to meet the individual needs of your child. 13

18 Services to Parentally Placed Private School Students with Disabilities Education Law Section 3602-c reads: School district of location means the school district in which the nonpublic elementary or secondary school attended by the student is located. The district of location is responsible for the following with respect to parentally placed nonpublic school students with disabilities attending nonpublic schools located in the geographic region of the school district: - Consultation process - Child find, including evaluations - CSE meetings - Delivery of special education and related services - Due process Parents of privately placed students with disabilities must submit a written request for services to the district of residence by June 1st preceding the school year for which the request for services is made. Parent consent is required to forward such request to district of location. Regulations prohibit the sharing of educational records by the district of location and the district of residence without written consent (including the initial request for services and billing records). Parent has opportunity to request evaluations, as well as independent educational evaluations, by both district of residence and district of location Preschool students are not eligible for 3602-c services. General Education with Declassification Services If your child has been declassified from special education, there are also services that may be provided to him or her (i.e., what is called direct instruction), and to his or her teacher (i.e., what is called indirect instruction) to help your child make the transition to general education. These services can include instructional support, remediation, instructional modifications or individual and/or group speech or counseling. A student may only be declassified after a reevaluation. If your child has been declassified from special education, the child may receive declassification support services for one year. The CPSE/CSE team will define what services, if any, your child will need during his or her first year in a full-time general education classroom in order to help him or her make a successful transition. 14

19 Section 5 Graduation and Post-Secondary Planning Diploma Options Preparing for high school graduation requires that students and parents know the requirements and take all necessary steps to support students in achieving their goals. New York State provides students with the following diploma options: Regents Diploma Local Diploma IEP Diploma until the school year and then a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential for students who are eligible to take the New York State Alternative Assessment. What should be Discussed at the Last Transition Meeting Before the Student Graduates? The discussion at the last IEP Team meeting before the student graduates should include, among other things: Plans for schooling/training, living arrangements, travel and finances; Paperwork and documents necessary for post-secondary plans; Whether student and/or parent/guardian has copies of all the paperwork and documents; Whether the student and/or parent/guardian has names, addresses, phone numbers and names of contacts at the various agencies. Transition Services and Post-Secondary Options Transition Services are a coordinated set of activities that assist students moving from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, competitive employment, continuing and adult education, adult services, or independent living. The coordinated set of activities will be individualized for your child and will take into account his or her strengths, preferences and interests. The goal is to build a communication process that focuses on the student s strengths, interests and abilities. This information is the basis of planning so that students are well prepared for the movement from secondary school and have as many options as possible once they leave. When your child turns 15 years old, Transition Services must be part of his or her IEP. This will be updated every year after that as part of the annual review CPSE/CSE team meeting. 15

20 Section 6 GLOSSARY AND RESOURCES Glossary Alternate Assessment: Assessment for students who are profoundly disabled with severe cognitive impairments. The Alternate Assessment is a portfolio assessment in which students demonstrate their performance toward meeting the alternate performance indicator level of the New York State learning standards. Annual Goals: Goals written on the IEP that describe what a child is expected to achieve in academic, social, physical, and management areas. Annual Review: A review of a special education student s program and progress that is completed at least once each school year by the Committee on Special Education. Program changes may be recommended at this time. Adapted Physical Education (APE): A specialized physical education program for children with disabilities who may not safely or successfully participate in the regular physical education program. Assistive Technology Devices and Services An Assistive Technology Device is any piece of equipment, product, or system that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability (e.g. a communication device, FM unit, computer access). An Assistive Technology Service is any service that directly helps a child with a disability select, acquire, or use an assistive technology device. Any assistive technology or services your child requires must be listed in his or her IEP. If you think your child needs assistive technology, you may request an assistive technology screening or evaluation. Bilingual Evaluation: An assessment conducted in both English and a child s other than English language by professionals who understand both languages. A BOCES evaluator, contract agency evaluator, independent evaluator, or monolingual evaluator may conduct the assessment with an interpreter. Classification: An official term for the type of disability that affects a student s education. All preschoolers are classified as preschooler with a disability. State regulations require that one of the following classifications be used for school-age students (see pages 7-8): Autistic Other Health Impairment Intellectual Disability Hearing Impairment Deafness Emotional Disturbance Multiple Disabilities Learning Disability Deaf-Blindness Traumatic Brain Injury Visual Impairment Orthopedic impairment Speech or Language Impairment Committee on Pre-School Special Education (CPSE): A multi-disciplinary team established to determine eligibility for special education for a pre-school child ages 3 and 4 and to develop the IEP if the child is classified. Committee on Special Education (CSE): A multi-disciplinary team established to determine eligibility for special education, ages 5-21 and to develop the IEP if the student is classified. Confidentiality: The obligation of the school system to maintain the student s CSE records in a locked records room or password protected secure computer environment with access allowed only to authorized personnel who need the information. Requests for material from outside require parental consent. 16

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