Special Education means specially designed instruction, programs, and services provided to help meet the unique needs of students with disabilities, as determined by the Committee on Special Education (CSE-ages 5-21) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE-ages 3-5).
Committee on Special Education
The Committee on Special Education (CSE) and the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)is a multidisciplinary team that is approved by the Board of Education. This committee meets after a referral has been made and a multidisciplinary evaluation has been completed to review the information and determine if a child has a disability. The committee determines eligibility, develops the Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and places the student in the least restrictive environment. If a student is eligible for classification, this committee will meet at least once a year to review the student’s programs and services. Every three years a student will undergo a re-evaluation to ensure that the student continues to qualify for services as a student with a disability.
The multidisciplinary team consists of the following people:
- District representative
- Parent(s) of the student
- Regular education teacher
- Special education teacher
- School psychologist
- An individual who understands and can explain evaluation results and how the results affect instruction
- A parent member who has a child with a disability, unless the parent requests that the parent member not be presented
- School physician, if requested by the parent
- Any other people who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, as requested by the parent or the school district
- The student, if appropriate
It is important that the parent(s) be at the student’s meetings. The parents are the key to helping this whole process be successful and we encourage you to be a part of it all. Please let us know what we can do to make sure that you are informed and a part of all that we do to help your child.
After a referral has been made, many professionals must evaluate the student to determine his/her strengths and weaknesses. The professional included, but are not limited to: School Psychologist, School Nurse, Service Providers (Speech, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, etc), Counselors, and School Physician.
A student suspected of having a disability shall be referred in writing to the Director of Pupil Personnel, Celia Strino. A referral may be made by:
- A student’s parent
- A professional staff member of the school district in which the student resides (principal)
- A licensed physician
- The commissioner or designee of a public agency with responsibility for welfare, health or education of the children,
- For purposes of referring one’s self, a student who is over 18 years of age or older, or an emancipated minor, who is eligible to attend the public schools of the district.
A referral submitted by anyone other than the parent, student, or judicial offer shall:
- State the reasons for the referral and include any test results, record or reports which the referral is based that may be in the possession of the person submitting the referral
- Describe in writing the intervention services and programs or instructional methodologies used to remediate the student’s performance prior to referral (Response to Intervention (RTI) process)
- Describe the extend of parental contact or involvement prior to the referral
An initial evaluation must be completed in 60 days of receiving parental consent for the evaluation. This evaluation will include:
- A physical examination
- An individual psychological evaluation, except when a school psychologist determines after an assessment of a school-age student, that further evaluation is not necessary
- A social history
- An Educational Evaluation
- An observation of the student in the educational placement
- Other appropriate assessments or evaluations
The student must meet the qualifications for at least one of the 13 classifications established:
- Emotional disability
- Hearing impairment
- Learning disability
- Mental retardation
- Multiple disability
- Orthopedic impairment
- Other health-impairment
- Speech/Language impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Visual impairment
A student cannot be determined eligible for special education if:
- There was a lack of appropriate instruction in reading
- There was a lack of instruction in math
- Limited English proficiency
- It does not negatively impact the child’s education
Building Level Supports
Each school building has building level supports in place. Supports can range from direct instruction with a literacy or math specialists, related services such as Speech/Language or Occupational therapy, Build Support Class and Academic Support class. The purpose of these supports are not intended to be a pre-referral process for CSE. The purpose is to try to intervene as soon as difficulties are noticed and try different measures to ensure success. It helps bring teachers, providers, and parents together so that everyone is on the same page. This team documents the interventions that are or have been tried. This documentation can be used later on if the child is referred for an initial evaluation through CSE.
If you feel your child is struggling academically or socially, please reach out to your child’s teacher, building administration, school psychologist or school counselor to determine what building supports are already in place. If you continue to have concerns, please reach out to the Pupil Personnel Office.