Special Education Process

The Special Education Process

The Committee for Preschool Special Education

Who is eligible?

Any child age between the ages of 36 months (3 years) and 60 months (5 years) residing in the school district who is experiencing significant difficulties or delays in development, whether physical, mental, or emotional, can be referred for service. Areas of concern can include difficulties in developing speech and language skills, thinking skills, motor skills or social skills. An assessment is conducted by a state-approved evaluation agency to determine if your child qualifies for the Special Education Preschool Program.

The Process:

Assessment: A developmental evaluation of your child's language skills, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive ability, social/emotional skills and adaptive skills is conducted. Parents are interviewed to assess family needs. Screening and evaluation procedures include a review of relevant social, economic, cultural, medical and nutritional factors that affect the child's growth and development. The preschool assessment will identify your child's strengths and weaknesses.

Committee on Special Education: Is a multidisciplinary team consisting of evaluators, parents, teachers, and other professionals with knowledge of the child who review the evaluations, determine eligibility for services and programs. This committee reviews each student referred for special education services. An individualized education plan (IEP) for children and their families is written at the CPSE meeting. Services are then provided either in the child's home or at an approved agency. These services include Special Education Itinerant Services, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy.

Services Available:

Community-Based Services: The providers listed above may travel to home or childcare centers, Head Start centers, or other community settings to provide services to the child.

Classroom-Based Services: The child's total program is provided in a special education preschool class. Classes are located at approved agencies in the area.

Transition Services: Program staff work to ensure a smooth transition from the early intervention program sponsored by the Department of Health to the school-aged classroom.

The Cost: All services provided through the Committee on Preschool Special Education are offered at no charge. Funding is provided through federal, state, and local sources.

To Access Services for Your Child: Parents, medical practitioners or community agencies may refer a child for a CPSE referral. A referral form signed by the parent is required to begin the referral process. To obtain a referral, or for additional information, contact the special education office at 518-642-1051 extension 2163.

For a link to a New York State Education Department site concerning educational programs for preschool students with disabilities, click here.


The Committee on Special Education

Who is eligible?

  • A student thought to be educationally disabled is referred to a multidisciplinary team called the Committee on Special Education (CSE).
  • The student has gone through the varying levels of RTI.
  • The CSE evaluates the student's abilities, and based upon State and Federal laws and regulations, determines if the student is eligible to receive special education services.
  • If so, the CSE recommends an appropriate Individualized Education Program (IEP) based on evaluation results, and the student's individual needs.
  • The program is implemented upon Board of Education approval.
  • The IEP is modified or adjusted by the CSE once a year at an Annual Review Meeting.
  • The student has a major evaluation every three years to assure that he or she continues to require special education programs and services and that the IEP continues to be the appropriate educational plan.

Special education provides specially designed services and programs for children with educational disabilities at no cost to parents or guardians. It is intended to meet individual needs and enhance strengths.

Related services include: speech therapy, audiology, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, services from the Teacher of the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, services from the Teacher of the Visually Impaired, counseling services and school health services.