The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is a multidisciplinary team which must be convened consistent with federal and state laws. The CPSE is responsible for evaluating preschool children, ages 3-5, suspected of having a developmental delay or disability. As a result of the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the parent or person in parental relationship is now a member of the CPSE.
The parent or person in parental relationship must be invited by the CPSE at least five (5) days prior to the meeting. The CPSE shall permit individuals invited by the parent/person in parental relationship to be present at any meeting held to review or evaluate a preschool child which the parent/person in parental relationship believes has knowledge or expertise about the child.
The CPSE authorizes the evaluation to be conducted. The evaluation includes, but is not limited to, a physical examination, an individual psychological evaluation, a social history, and other appropriate assessments or evaluations as necessary to ascertain the physical, mental and emotional factors which contribute to the suspected disabilities.
The CPSE must consider all the evaluation components and compare them to accepted milestones. The New York State Education Department has developed specific criteria, to be used as guidelines by the CPSE, regarding the amount of delay that constitutes an educational disability. Communications to parents/persons in parental relationship should be in their dominant language or other mode of communication, such as sign language, unless it is not feasible.
Once the Chairperson of the CPSE receives a referral, he/she must immediately notify the parent/person in parental relationship that a referral has been made and request consent for the child’s evaluation. In the event that the parent/person in parental relationship does not provide consent for evaluation, no further action will be taken by CPSE until such consent is obtained. In the event that consent for an individual evaluation is not provide, the CPSE shall implement the District’s practices and procedures for the purpose of ensuring that parents/persons in parental relationship have received and understand the request for consent.
Upon receipt of parent or person in parental relationship consent, or following a hearing officer’s decision, the Board of Education must arrange for an evaluation of the preschool child and provide the parent/person in parental relationship with an approved list of evaluators.
Upon completion of the evaluation, the evaluator must submit written reports of the assessment and/or evaluation and the summary portion of the evaluation to members of the CPSE and to the person designated by the municipality in which the preschool age child resides so as to allow for a recommendation by the CPSE to be made to the Board of Education within thirty (30) days of the receipt of consent.
The report must include a detailed statement of the preschool child’s individual needs, if any. However, the summary evaluation report shall not include a recommendation as to the general type, frequency and duration of special education services and programs that should be provided; nor should the report address the manner in which the preschool student can be provided with instruction or related services in the least restrictive environment. The summary evaluation report shall also not make reference to any specific provider of special services or programs. Such recommendations are to be made by the CPSE.
Upon request by the parent or person in parental relationship, an approved evaluator shall provide the parent/person in parental relationship with a copy of the statement and a recommendation provided to the CPSE. If the parent/person in parental relationship disagrees with the evaluation, the parent/person in parental relationship may obtain an independent evaluation at public expense (unless an impartial hearing officer determines that the district’s evaluation is appropriate) in accordance with applicable law and regulation.
If the CPSE determines that the child has a disability, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) shall be developed pursuant to applicable law and/or regulations, specifying goals and services in the least restrictive environment. The CPSE shall recommend approved appropriate services and/or special programs and the frequency, duration and intensity of such services including, but not limited to, the appropriateness of single services or half-day programs based on the individual needs of the preschool child. The Committee shall first consider the appropriateness of providing:
a) Related services only; or
b) Special education itinerant services only; or
c) Related services in combination with special education itinerant services; or
d) A half-day preschool program; or
e) A full day preschool program.
Prior to recommending the provision of special education services in a setting which includes only preschool children with disabilities, the CPSE shall first consider providing special education services in a setting where age-appropriate peers without disabilities are typically found. Provision of special education services in a setting with no regular contact with age-appropriate peers without disabilities shall be documented on the child’s IEP and shall only be considered when the nature or severity of the child’s disability is such that education in a less restrictive environment with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
If the CPSE determines that the student demonstrates the need for a single related service as defined pursuant to law and regulation, such service shall be provided as a related service only or, where appropriate, as a special education itinerant service.
Twelve month special services and/or programs shall be provided to preschool students deemed eligible consistent with their individual needs as specified in the IEP.
The IEP of each preschool student with a disability shall be reviewed and, if appropriate, revised periodically but not less than annually pursuant to Commissioner’s Regulations. In any meeting held to review the IEP of a preschool student with a disability, the student’s parent/person in parental relationship shall be present as a member of the Committee (or be given the opportunity to attend and participate) along with those individuals designated and/or permitted pursuant to law and regulation.
Applicable due process provisions will be provided in accordance with law and regulation.
Education Law Section 4410
20 United States Code (U.S.C.)
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 200.16