Frequently Asked Questions
What are the steps in the special education process?
Step 1 - Initial Referral for Special Education Services
Students suspected of having a disability are referred to the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).
Step 2 - Individual Evaluation Process
The Committee arranges for an evaluation of the student's abilities and needs.
Step 3 - Determining Eligibility for Special Education Services
Based on evaluation results, the Committee decides if the student is eligible to receive special education services and programs.
Step 4 - Individualized Education Program (IEP)
If the child is eligible to receive special education services, the Committee develops and implements an appropriate IEP, based on evaluation results, to meet the needs of the student. Based on the IEP, the Committee must determine the student's placement, ensuring that services are provided in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
Stpe 5 - Annual Review/Reevaluation
The IEP is reviewed and, if needed, modified or revised by the Committee at least once a year (annual review). The student has a reevaluation at least once every three years.
What is included in an individual evaluation?
Evaluations must be comprehensive and provide information about your child's unique abilities and needs. Evaluations must include information from parents and a group of evaluators as well as information that relates to your child in his or her classroom. It will tell what your child needs to participate and progress in the general education curriculum.
Tests and assessments, given as part of an evaluation, must be given in your child's language. An initial evaluation to determine your child's needs must include:
- A physical examination
- A psychological evaluation (if determined appropriate for school-age students, but mandatory for preschool children).
- A social history
- Observation of your child in his or her current educational setting.
- Other tests or assessments that are appropriate for your child (such as speech and langauge assessment).
What are the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and the Committee on Special Education (CSE)?
Every school district has a CPSE and a CSE that decides a child's special education needs and services. The CPSE is responsible for children with disabilities ages 3-5. The CSE is responsible for children with disabilities ages 5-21. A district can also have Subcommittees on Special Education. As a parent you are a member of the Committee that will recommend special education services for your child.
What happens if your child is eligible for special education services?
If the Committee decides your child is eligible for special education services, the Committee must identify the one disability category that most appropriately describes your child. The determination of a disbility category is used soley for eligibility purposes and does not prescribe the program or services your child will receive. The Committee will develop and implement an individualized education program (IEP) to meet your child's needs.