The Evaluation Process
All the evaluations are free to the parent. In the registration packet is a list of agencies approved by SED to conduct the evaluations. There is also a district consent that the person referring the child will be asked to select three approved evaluators and sign the consent. The reason for choosing three agencies is not for parent’s preference but to be able to meet state’s 60 days deadline. There is a 60-day timeline once consent for evaluations is received by the preschool special education office.
An evaluation includes various tests to determine if/how the child’s learning difficulties may be impacting his or her learning. The standard evaluations are: Speech, Psychological, Social History and Observation. Additional evaluations are completed depending on areas of concern such as motor skills.
We will contact the agencies you selected and determine which one can do the evaluations in the timeliest manner. Once the agency is determined, then they will contact you to set up a time to do the evaluations. Most evaluations are conducted at the site of the agency, but some are available to come to the home/community (they are listed on the agency form). Once the evaluations take place and the reports are written, the Initial Eligibility CPSE meeting will be scheduled. The evaluating agency will send you the written report via email or U.S. Postal Service. You should have this evaluation five days prior to the CPSE meeting date. If you have any questions, you can contact the Special Education Department at any time.
What to expect from the Initial Eligibility CPSE Meeting.
Typically, these meetings are held at the district office at 19 Main Street in Wallkill. If another location is determined, it will be on the invitation that you receive in the mail notifying you of the meeting date and time.
If you cannot attend at the date and time of the meeting but can participate via the telephone, this can be arranged with the committee. If you need to cancel the meeting, you will need to contact the Special Education Office at 895-7104. Meeting dates are set in advance, so another meeting will be arranged but may not take place for a few weeks.
In the meeting, the evaluating agency will have a representative to present the evaluations, this could be in person or via the telephone, depending on their availability. The CPSE chairperson and school psychologist are committee members. As the parent, you can bring an additional member to be a part of the committee. A parent member of the committee can be invited to the meeting, with the request to the district at least 72 hours prior to the meeting.
During the meeting, all members will be introduced and a sign in form will be completed by all members. The evaluating agency will review all the assessments for the committee. You may ask questions and get clarifications throughout the meeting, as needed. The CPSE will determine if your child qualifies as a Preschooler with a Disability. If they qualify, then the committee will look to see what goals are appropriate to meet their needs based on the evaluations. Once the needs are established then the service recommendations will follow. The committee adheres to the Least Restrictive Setting and will follow suit throughout the recommendations. This varies for every child, and we keep that in mind.
The last thing that the committee discusses is the Preschool Outcome Summary. This involves three questions that are posed to the committee. These questions are answered given a rating scale and are the same for everyone. This information establishes a beginning point (baseline) for the child. These same questions will be asked of the committee at the end of the CPSE process. This will either be at a meeting that will declassify the preschooler or at the last meeting which will transition them into school-age CSE (Committee on Special Education K-12). The district does not use this information and collects it and its uploaded to the IEP information that is stored electronically for NYS education department.
If your child is eligible, all the information shared and recommended at the meeting will become the document that is called the Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP will be mailed home with the consent for Special Education, and Prior Written Notice.
Preschoolers with a Disability will have at least one meeting a year to review progress for that year and to make recommendations for the upcoming school year. The preschool school year is 10 months and follows the school district calendar. Students who do not demonstrate significant regression in a specific area will not be recommended to an extended school year program (July-August). This recommendation will need to be supported by extensive data showing regression within the specific area over long breaks and weekends.
IF MY CHILD IS INELIGIBLE, WHAT CAN I DO?
If your child is ineligible, then you will receive an ineligible document along with your Prior Written Notice. You can always contact CPSE within six months of initial evaluation.
There are several different types of CPSE meetings
- Initial Meeting – when child is being evaluated for the first time through CPSE.
- Transition Meeting – when child is aging out of EI.
- Parent Request – when child is already receiving services and parent has concerns or updated information.
- Transfer Meeting – when child is already classified and has moved into our district.
- Program Review – when a provider has concerns or committee at prior meeting sets date to see how services are going.
- Annual Review – Once a year to determine services for following school year.
- CPSE to CSE Transition - when child will be entering kindergarten.
A parent can call to discuss any concerns or questions with the CPSE chairperson, the psychologist or the Director of Special Education.
The New York State Education Department has developed two helpful parent guides:
- Information for Parents of Preschool Students with Disabilities AGES 3-5
- Special Education in New York State for Children Ages 3-21: A Parent's Guide