The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) services children from ages 3-5. Students may be referred by their parents; a designee of the school district in which the student resides, or the public school district the student legally attend or is eligible to attend; the commissioner or designee of a public agency with responsibility for the education of the student; and/or a designee of an education program affiliated with a child care institution with committee on special education responsibility. A request for an initial evaluation may by made by a professional staff member of the school district in which the student resides, or the public or private school where the student legally attends or is eligible to attend, a licensed physician, or a judicial officer. Evaluations are conducted by approved Putnam County providers. Throughout the process, parent permission and approval are needed in order to continue to the next step. Consent is always obtained in writing. A parent has the right to stop the process at any point by submitting a request in writing.
- Referral Process
- Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Meeting
- Individualized Education Program (IEP)
- Extended School Year (ESY)
- Annual Review
- Re-Evaluation/Triennial Review
- Other CPSE Meetings
- If a Parent/Guardian Disagrees w/ the CPSE Decision
All referrals to the Committee on Preschool Special Education must be made in writing to the Office of Pupil Personnel Services. Upon receipt of the referral, a "Consent to Evaluate" and a copy of the Procedural Safeguards are sent to the parent. The Consent to evaluate needs to be signed and returned to the Office of Pupil Personnel Services. When it is received, it is date stamped and approved evaluation sites are contacted. The evaluation site then contacts the parents to arrange the time and place for the evaluations. Legally, the entire process can take up to 60 calendar days from the date of the district receiving the signed "Consent to Evaluate".
All evaluations consist of a social history interview, an educational, psychological, and medical evaluations. As the evaluators begin to learn about the child, other evaluations may be recommended. These include, but are not limited to: Speech and Language; Occupational Therapy; Physical Therapy; Audiological; Augmentative Communication; Assistive Technology; etc. The test and the evaluation are matched to the child’s needs. All evaluations are provided at no cost to the family.
Each evaluator is required to write a report describing the evaluation tools and the child’s strengths and needs in that area. Many of the reports include a comparison of where the child is compared to his/her peers. Scores are reported in a number of ways-standard scores (SS), age equivalent (A.E.), and percentiles (%ile). Explanations are provided for the terms as they apply to the specific evaluation.
The Office of Pupil Personnel Services schedules a Committee on Preschool Special Education meeting when the evaluations and the reports are completed, the information has been shared with the parents/guardians, and the district has received the reports. The purpose of the CPSE meeting is to review the findings of the clinicians, speak with the parents/guardians, and to determine if the child is eligible to be classified and, if so, the services to be provided.
As stated in the Commissioner’s Regulations, Part 200, the participants/members of each committee on preschool special education includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- The parents of the preschool child;
- A regular education teacher of the child whenever the child is or may be participating in the regular education environment;
- A special education teacher of the child, or, if appropriate, a special education provider of the child;
- A representative of the school district who is qualified to provided or supervise special education and who 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 municipality. The representative of the district serves as the chairperson of the committee.
- A parent member of a child with a disability who lives in the school district and whose child is enrolled in a preschool or elementary level education program, provided that such a parent is not a required member if the parent(s) of the child request that the additional parent member not participate;
- An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, provided that such individual may also be the appointed as the regular education teacher, the special education teacher or special education provider, the school psychologist, the representative of the school district or a person having knowledge or special expertise regarding the student when such member is determined by the school district to have the knowledge and expertise to fulfill this role on the committee;
- Other persons having knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate, as the school district or the parents shall designate. The determination of knowledge or special expertise of such person shall be made by the party (parents or school district) who invited the individual to be a member of the committee on preschool special education;
- For a child in transition from early intervention programs and services, the appropriate professional designated by the agency that has been charged with the responsibility for the preschool child and;
- A representative of the municipality of the preschool child’s residence, provided that the attendance of the appointee of the municipality shall not be required for a quorum.
Children are classified as a "Preschooler with a Disability". Classification is necessary in order for services to be provided. Services may be provided at the child’s school, at home, or a combination of both. All services are provided by County CPSE approved agencies and individual providers. The district contacts the various agencies in order to arrange for services.
In the event that the delivery of services is delayed, the student will be given compensatory services. Missed sessions from the date of initiation on the IEP, and the actual start date are arranged either as an extra session per week or during the summer.
The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal document. The components are mandated by federal and state law. Included in the document are demographic information; attendees at meetings; the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs; services; goals and objectives; program modifications; testing accommodations; standardized test scores; participation in general education, etc. The plan is created at the CPSE meeting.
All educators who work with the child must adhere to the IEP. They are to have access to the IEP. There is legislation that is mandating that all of a child’s educators be provided with a copy of the IEP. Access is provided only to those who work with the child. Providers must maintain IEPs in secured and locked places. In lieu of receiving a printed copy, providers may be equipped with electronic access.
A student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is reviewed at least once each year. This is the Annual Review. A Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is convened to review and discuss the student’s progress for the past year and to make plans for the coming year. A child’s parents, teachers, and service providers are invited to the meeting. Educators are required to submit written reports with both anecdotal information and discrete data. Summer is part of the next school year. It is at this time that Extended School Year (ESY) services are discussed and possibly added to the IEP.
Both federal and state law mandates that each classified student be re-evaluated every three (3) years. Evaluations include, but are not limited to a psychological, educational, social history, and medical updates. In addition, if a child is receiving other services, evaluations are performed in these areas as well. Prior to any testing, the parent/guardian is asked to sign a "Consent to Evaluate". Parent/guardian permission is required for each phase of the process. Evaluations are completed by the appropriate clinician or service provider. A CPSE is convened to discuss the results and to ensure that the child is receiving the appropriate services. If the re-evaluation is completed in the second part of the school year, the re-evaluation meeting is combined with the Annual Review meeting.
A child’s parent/guardian, clinician, service provider, or teacher may request that a CPSE meeting be held at any time throughout the year. Written requests must be submitted to the Office of Pupil Personnel Services. The Office of Pupil Personnel Service then schedules the meeting and sends out invitation letters.
The CPSE meeting may discuss the overall progress of the child, or a specific service. The format and process for the meeting is the same as Initial, Re-evaluation, and Annual Review meetings.
If a parent/guardian disagrees with the outcome(s) of a CPSE meeting, there are a number of legal means to contest the decision.
1. The parent/guardian requests another meeting and submits to the CPSE additional information to support the reason for the disagreement. The parent/guardian has the right to invite clinicians, physicians, specialists, and others with knowledge of the child and the discipline to provide this information.
2. If the parent/guardian is not satisfied with the outcome of additional CPSE meetings, the case can go to Mediation or an Impartial Hearing. Information on both of these processes is available in the Office of Pupil Services.