Special Education

What to do if your student needs special education

If you have a preschool child and you have noticed that your child is not developing skills such as walking, talking or playing like other young children, you may want to talk to your family doctor. He or she may be able to reassure you that children develop at different rates and your child is within the normal developmental scales. If, however, the doctor is concerned, or you are still not comfortable with your child’s progress, you may wish to make a referral to your school district’s Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

If your three-year-old child received services from the Early Intervention Program and is in need of special education services, he or she will need to transition (move) from the Early Intervention Program into the preschool special education program. The Early Intervention official from Montgomery County must give written notice to the Greater Amsterdam CPSE that your child may be transitioning from the Early Intervention Program.

If your school-age child is having difficulties in school, first talk to his or her teacher. There are many supports for students within regular education such as psychological services, speech and language improvement services, curriculum and instructional modifications and Academic Intervention Services. Each school has a Response to Intervention (RtI) or Child Study Team that can develop a plan for the child utilizing the supports mentioned above and others. If you have additional concerns about the process, please contact the Committee on Special Education (CSE) office.

Committee On Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and the Committee On Special Education (CSE)

Every school district has a Committee on Preschool Special Education (sometimes called the CPSE) and the Committee on Special Education (sometimes called the CSE). The CPSE is responsible for children ages three through five with disabilities. The CSE is responsible for children with disabilities ages five through 21.

You know your child better than anyone else, and you have valuable knowledge to bring to Committee discussions. Other members of the Committees are people who have a broad range of experiences planning for and/or working with students with disabilities. Together we will work to make sure that special education programs and services are provided to meet your child’s needs. 

Six-step Process

Extended School Year Information

Step 1: Referral Support for Students

Many students struggle at various times during their years in school. All buildings have many supports including a Child Study or Response to Intervention.

Step 2: Initial Referral for Special Education Services

Students suspected of having a disability are referred to a multidisciplinary team called the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).

Step 3: Individual Evaluation Process

The Committee evaluates the student’s abilities and needs.

Step 4: 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 5: 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.

Step 6: Annual Review/Reevaluation

The IEP is modified or revised by the Committee at an annual review. At least every three years, the student has a reevaluation to ensure that the student continues to need special education programs and services and to revise the IEP, as appropriate.

Where to ask questions about your child’s IEP

We believe the best way to address issues is to deal directly with those professionals working closest to your student. We strongly encourage parents to start in your child’s school with the following professionals in this order:

  • Teacher/Therapist
  • Case Manager
  • Psychologist
  • If you have additional concerns about the process, please contact the Committee on Special Education (CSE) office.
  • When I have questions about my preschool child’s IEP, what do I do?
  • We believe the best way to address issues is to deal directly with those professionals working closest to your student. We strongly encourage parents to start in your child’s school with the following professionals in this order:
  • Teacher/Therapist
  • Case Manager
  • Program Director
  • County Representative (Transportation Issues)

If you have additional concerns about the process, please contact the Committee on Special Education (CSE) office at (518) 843-3180 x.7302.