IEP Information

Key Definitions : CPSE Meeting Preparation : CSE Meeting Preparation

Key Definitions

ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) - "Applied" means practice, rather than research or philosophy. "Behavior analysis" may be read as "learning theory," that is, understanding what leads to (or doesn't lead to) new skills. ABA is also about maintaining and using skills. It may seem odd to use the word "behavior" when talking about learning to talk, play, and live as a complex social animal, but to a behaviorist all these can be taught as long as there are intact brain functions to learn and practice the skills.

AIS (Academic Intervention Services) – General education services to help students who are struggling to achieve the learning standards in language arts and mathematics in grades K-12, and social studies and science in grades 4-12. http://nysut.org/ais/faq.html

Annual goals - IEP goals indicate what the student should accomplish in one year if the services being provided are effective.

BIP (Behavioral Intervention Plan) - takes the observations made in a Functional Behavioral Assessment and turns them into a concrete plan of action for managing a student's behavior.

BOCES - Board of Cooperative Educational Services

CAPP - Children at Play Plus after school program in Manhasset.

Center-based preschool program - a class with only children with disabilities in a separate, therapeutic environment.

Class Ratio - The student-to-teacher-to-teaching assistant ratio. For example, an 8:1:3 class ratios refers to a maximum of 8 students, 1 special education teacher, and 3 teaching assistants.

Collaborative/Co-teaching - a teaching model where general education students and classified students receiving special education services are taught side by side in the same classroom by a general education and a special education teacher.

COTA - Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

CPSE (Committee on Preschool Special Education) - The team that is ultimately responsible for conducting evaluations and recommending placement of children (3-5 years of age) in special education programs is the CPSE. The members of the CPSE should include under law the child’s parent, a parent member, a district representative, a general education teacher, a special education teacher, someone who can read and expound upon each of the social, psychological, and academic reports submitted, if transitioning from early intervention programs, an appropriate professional designated by the agency responsible, and a county representative at the discretion of the municipality should also be a part of CPSE meetings.

CSE (Committee on Special Education) - The team that is ultimately responsible for conducting evaluations and recommending placement of children (5-21 years of age) in special education programs is the CSE. The members of the CSE should include under law the child’s parent, a parent member, a district representative, a general education teacher, a special education teacher, someone who can read and expound upon each of the social, psychological, and academic reports submitted, and a New York State licensed psychologist. The student, when appropriate, should also be a part of CSE meetings.

CSES (Sub-Committee on Special Education) – a subcommittee meeting does not require a parent member. A school psychologist is only required if a new psychological evaluation is reviewed or a change to a program option with a more intensive staff/student ratio is considered

Direct Consultant Teacher Services - individualized or group instruction provided to a student with a disability by a certified special education teacher to aid the student in a general education classroom.

EI (Early Intervention) – New York State intervention services for children ages 0 to 3.

ERSS (Educationally Related Support Services) - curriculum and instructional modification services, direct student support team services, assessment and non-career counseling services and special instruction to eligible students with disabilities pursuant to Education Law and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Free Appropriate Public Education - Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 protects the rights of individuals with disabilities to obtain a Free Appropriate Public Education.

Functional Behavioral Assessment - a problem-solving process for addressing student problem behavior. It relies on a variety of techniques and strategies to identify the purposes of specific behavior and to help IEP teams select interventions to directly address the problem behavior.

Group Therapy: Therapy conducted in a small group with a specified teacher to child ratio. For example, 3:1 means 3 students and 1 teacher or therapist.

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) - IDEA is the federal law governing the education of children with disabilities.

IEP (Individualized Education Program) - a plan developed for each Student receiving special education services. An IEP must include an evaluation of the student’s academic performance and learning characteristics, social and emotional performance, health and physical development, annual goals, short term objectives to meet those goals, school environment and service recommendations, a detailing of the extent to which the student will participate in other school activities, any related service recommendations and a detailing of the extent to which the student will participate in state and citywide assessments, either with or without modifications. IEPs can be reviewed at any time upon request from any of the interested parties, and must be reviewed at least once a year.

IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) – Early intervention (0 – 3 years of age) plan for managing a child’s services.

Inclusion - Inclusion is a term often used to describe a LRE method of educating children in need of special education in a general education classroom in the school they would have attended if not disabled, with age appropriate peers, and with appropriate supports and services.

Indirect Consultant Teacher Services - consultations provided by a certified special education teacher per the student’s IEP to regular education teachers to assist them in adjusting the learning environment and/or modifying their instructional methods to meet the individual needs of the student with a disability that attends their classes

Individual Therapy - Therapy conducted 1:1, that is, with 1 teacher or therapist and 1 student.

Integration - Like the inclusion model, integration is a term used to describe a method of educating children with disabilities and children without disabilities together. The number of children with disabilities in an “integrated” class can range from one student to half of the class.

IST (Instructional Support Team Process) - an intensive building-based pre-referral intervention program using teams of teachers and other school professionals to assist elementary students experiencing difficulty in the classroom.

LRE (Least restrictive environment) - Under the IDEA, all children who require special education services must be educated in the least restrictive setting appropriate to their individual needs. The statute states that “each public agency shall ensure – (1) That to the maximum extent appropriate children with disabilities … are educated with children who are non-disabled; and (2) That special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.” In other words, if a child can learn in a general education class with necessary supports and services, s/he must be allowed to do so. If that’s impossible, then there must be a continuum of placements and services to allow for the individual needs of children receiving special education services to be met in the most integrated settings appropriate.

Mainstreaming - placement of a special education student with a disability in the general education classroom, with age appropriate peers, for those areas of instruction in which the student’s academic and behavioral performance is within the range of his or her, non-disabled peers, and is not impacted by his or her disability. Mainstreaming can occur in academic classes or during other times of day including, for example, lunch, gym, art and music.

Occupational Therapy - a related service provided by a qualified occupational therapist to address a student's ability to function in an educational program with regard to physical or mental functioning, attention, sensory function and interpersonal skills. They primarily help to build the small muscles groups of the upper body to assist in day to day skills. However in the school setting, they primarily focus on various areas of the fine motor development to assist in handwriting and visual motor tasks for school related skills.

OMRDD - Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (NYS)

Out of district placements – selection by the CSE of a school located outside the school district of residence.

Parent counseling and training - an important related service that can help parents enhance the vital role they play in the lives of their children. When necessary to help an eligible student with a disability benefit from the educational program, parent counseling and training can include:
• Assisting parents in understanding the special needs of their child;
• Providing parents with information about child development; and
• Helping parents to acquire the necessary skills that will allow them to support the implementation of their child's IEP or IFSP.

Pendency - The right to “pendency” or “stay put” refers to your child’s right to remain in his or her current educational placement during any due process proceedings (e.g., conflict resolution, an impartial hearing, mediation, appeal, or a court proceeding).

Physical Therapy - a related service provided by a qualified physical therapist to address a student's posture, muscle strength, mobility, and organization of movement in educational environments. Physical therapy may be provided to prevent the onset or progression of impairment, functional limitation, disability, or changes in physical function or health resulting from injury, disease, or other causes.

Pull Out Services - related service provider or consultant teacher takes your child out of the classroom for his or her related service.

Push In Services - related service provider or consultant teacher works with your child within the classroom.

Resource Room Program - a special education program for a student with a disability registered either in a special class or a regular class who is in need of specialized supplemental instruction in an individual or group setting for a portion of the school day.

RTI (Response to Intervention) – law and process of identifying children with specific learning disabilities. http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/rti.index.htm

School counselors – a related service to help students with personal and social concerns such as developing self-knowledge, making effective decisions, learning health choices, and improving responsibility. Counselors may also help students with future planning related to setting and reaching academic goals, developing a positive attitude toward learning, and recognizing and utilizing academic strengths. Counseling services are services provided by qualified social workers, psychologists, guidance counselors, or other qualified personnel.

SEIT (Special Education Itinerant Teacher) - services provided by certified special education teachers of an approved preschool program on an itinerant basis to a preschool student with a disability, at a site determined by the board of education, to provide specialized individual or group instruction directly to the student; and provide consultation to the child’s teacher to adjust the learning environment and/or modify instructional methods to meet the individual needs of a preschool student with a disability who attends an early childhood program (e.g., a regular preschool program, a day care or Head Start program).

Self Contained Class- the most restricted setting for children with learning disabilities. In this type of placement, the student is removed from the mainstream for all or most of the school day. The Education Law permits self contained classes to have school age children with a 36 month age span. For example a self contained class at the elementary level can typically have children from Kindergarten thru 2nd grade in one class. The role of the teacher in a self-contained classroom room for students with a learning disability includes instruction in the entire curriculum (e.g. reading, math). The teacher is also responsible for teaching non-subject areas (e.g. social skills).

SETRC - Special Education Training and Resource Center

Speech Therapy - a related service provided by speech-language professionals and speech-language assistants to address the needs of students with communication disabilities.

Supervisory Aide - Can oversee children at lunch or recess, but cannot assist children in learning class materials. Supervisory Aides are not licensed by NYS.

Teaching Assistant - Teacher assistants provide instructional and clerical support for classroom teachers, allowing teachers more time for lesson planning and teaching. They support and assist children in learning class material using the teacher’s lesson plans, providing students with individualized attention. Teacher assistants also supervise students in the cafeteria, schoolyard, and hallways, or on field trips; they record grades, set up equipment, and help prepare materials for instruction. Teaching Assistants are licensed by NYS.

Transition plan – plan followed as a student moves from secondary to post-secondary or adult services. In developing the transition plan for transition services, defined in 8NYCRR 200.1(rr), the CSE/CPSE addresses the following eight quality components:

  1. The student is actively involved in transition planning and is supported in achieving desired adult goals.
  2. Family members and other community service agencies, as appropriate, are informed and involved in and committed to transition planning.
  3. Transition planning addresses services and supports across all areas of the student's life.
  4. A documented, sequential process for accessing transition services is developed.
  5. Services and supports are provided in a timely manner as specified in the IEP, as agreed to by the student and family.
  6. Unmet needs are identified and addressed.
  7. Outcomes are measured in terms of the student's preparation for successfully achieving post-school living, learning and working goals.
  8. A student from a linguistically and/or culturally diverse background receives these services in an instructional environment in accordance with his/her needs.

VESID - Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities (NYS)

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CPSE Meeting Preparation

As a parent, you are an important member of the school district CPSE for your child. Parents have a significant role in the evaluation of the child, in the CPSE discussion regarding eligibility for preschool special education, and in planning and developing the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Parents may share information regarding the child's developmental, health, and family history as well as the child's strengths, needs, likes, dislikes, and typical behavior related to self-care, language and communication, motor skills, and social interaction with peers and adults.

In order to prepare for your role in this meeting, do the following:

1. Familiarize yourself with all current evaluations and speak with current therapists/teachers about any questions that you may have regarding the evaluations. Review the reports and compare them to the prior years so that there is consistency in the evaluation regarding statistical or percentile rank. If there is a significant change you should discuss this with the therapist ahead of time. Compare current evaluations with previous evaluations and make notes on progress (e.g., increase or decrease in percent delay).

2. Review progress reports you have received on the previous IEP goals. Discuss anything that is unclear with the responsible therapist or teacher. If your child is not making progress, ask the therapist why this is so. Try to determine prior to your meeting if the frequency or duration of therapy is insufficient for your child or if a different type of therapy or approach is necessary. Make sure that the reports and data clearly illustrate this point so that you can adjust your child’s services appropriately.

3. Read through the proposed annual goals and think about them. Are they objective and measurable? Can they be attained in the next year? Do they address all of your child’s needs? For more information about annual goals, refer to http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/plan_iep_goals.html

2. Provide the Special Education office with a written copy of any outside evaluations or diagnosis you may have received that you would like to have considered at the CSE.

4. If a more restricted environment is a possibility for your child, visit these settings while school is in session, so that you are better educated on what a more restrictive setting may look like for your child.

5. Write an outline of any points you wish to raise during the meeting. There is a lot being discussed and this is an emotional topic for most of us, so take the time to prepare in writing so you can refer to your notes during the meeting.

During the meeting, take notes of the discussions and write down the recommendations. Ask any questions you have and request clarification of any unfamiliar programs, issues or terms. The chairperson will summarize the determination if your child is or is not eligible for services under CPSE.

If the child is eligible for services, it is the responsibility of the school district's CPSE to provide programs and/or services in the least restrictive environment (LRE). This means that special education and/or related services are provided, to the extent appropriate, to meet the needs of your child, with other children who do not have disabilities, and be as close as possible to the student's residence. The CPSE must consider the appropriateness of services to meet the child's needs in the LRE. As per the regulations, the continuum of services that must be considered by the CPSE includes:

  1. Related Services:
    • speech-language pathology
    • audiology
    • psychological services
    • physical therapy
    • occupational therapy
    • counseling services
    • school health services
    • school social work services
    • other appropriate corrective support services
  2. Special education itinerant services (SEIT) provided for a minimum of 2 hours per week.
  3. Related services in combination with SEIT
  4. A half-day program (not more than 2.5 hours per day)
  5. A full-day program (more than 2.5 hours per day)

    Determination of 10 or 12 month programs and/or services is based on criteria set forth by NYS Education Department.

If the CPSE determines that your child does not meet eligibility for services, there are a number of other options that you may consider:

If you have continued concerns about your child's development you may return to your school district for a re-evaluation at a later date. It is typical to wait a period of 6 months to do so.

It is important that everyone on the committee understands the program that is outlined for the child. At the end of the meeting, recap the recommended programs and services so that there is no confusion. Write down who is arranging for services, when they will begin and when you should expect to be contacted by the Special Education office. You may also need to sign consent forms.

The following is an outline that parents can use to summarize the agreed upon programs and services. It can be reviewed before the close of the CPSE meeting.

Example:
Program/Service - Speech/Language
Ratio 5-1
Freq. Period - 2x weekly
Duration - 30 min.
Location - Pull-out Therapy

This means that the child would receive Speech/Language Therapy in a small group of no more than 5 students with 1 teacher (ratio 5-1); it would occur 2 times (Freq.) weekly (period) for 30 minutes (duration) pulled out of the classroom (location).

After the CPSE meeting, thoroughly check your IEP (once you receive it) and compare it to your notes from the meeting. You should have any errors corrected by the Special Education Office as soon as possible.

For the details of the entire process and eligibility criteria, please refer to the transition guide.

For the details of the delivery of CPSE services, please refer to NY State Preschool brochure.

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CSE Meeting Preparation

If your child is school age (from 5 to 21) and you become concerned about his development or academic progress, under general education, the child’s teacher and appropriate building staff will determine if he is eligible for Academic Intervention Services (AIS). The Response to Intervention process measures the success of these interventions. Both of these steps may occur prior to a referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE). If AIS services have been employed and the child is still struggling, then the parent or teacher can request that the child be reviewed by the Committee on Special Education. This can happen at any point in a child’s academic career. For more detail on these services, please refer to the links below:
http://www.wrightslaw.com/info/rti.index.htm
http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/policy/RTI.htm

At the initial CSE meeting for your child, whether you are transitioning from CPSE or are already school age, one of the important determinations made by the CSE is the classification of your child. (Under CPSE, every child who receives services is classified as a “preschooler with a disability”). In many cases, the classifications require a medical diagnosis. This diagnosis should be obtained before the CSE meeting. It should be in writing from the doctor and/or specialist and clearly outline the disability and possible treatment plans. The diagnosis should be sent to the district Special Education office in advance of the CSE so that it can be included in packet that is prepared for all committee members.

Also, specific to the CPSE to CSE transition, Kindergarten screening is typically conducted in April/May to evaluate several different areas of your child’s development including speech, gross motor, fine motor, social skills and phonics. These results are shared with you at the CSE meeting and are a part of your child’s overall evaluation and help the team determine appropriate class placement for your child in September.

As a parent, you are an important member of the school district CSE for your child. Parents have a significant role in planning and developing the child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Parents may share information regarding the child's history and the child's strengths, needs, likes, dislikes, and typical behavior related to self-care, language and communication, motor skills, and social interaction with peers and adults. Parents also add information regarding the educational progress of the child from the home perspective.

In order to prepare for your role in this meeting, do the following:

  1. Familiarize yourself with all current tests and evaluations. Speak with current therapists and teachers about any questions that you may have regarding the evaluations. Review the reports and compare them to the prior years so that there is consistency in the evaluation regarding statistical or percentile rank. If there is a significant change you should discuss this with the therapist ahead of time. Compare current evaluations with previous evaluations and make notes on progress (e.g., increase or decrease in percent delay).
  2. Review progress reports you have received on the current IEP goals. Discuss anything that is unclear with the responsible therapist or teacher. If your child is not making progress, ask the therapist why this is so. Try to determine prior to your meeting if the frequency or duration of therapy is insufficient for your child or if a different type of therapy or approach is necessary. Make sure that the reports and data clearly illustrate this point so that you can adjust your child’s services appropriately.
  3. Review the needs and present levels of performance listed for your child. The present levels of performance should define your child’s unique needs that result from the disability clearly and specifically. Review that the IEP includes a plan to meet all the child’s needs and tells you exactly what the school will do to address the child’s needs.
  4. Read through the proposed annual goals and think about them. Are they objective and measurable? Can they be attained in the next year? Do they address all of your child’s needs? For more information about annual goals, refer to http://www.wrightslaw.com/advoc/articles/plan_iep_goals.html
  5. Provide the Special Education office with a written copy of any outside evaluations or diagnosis you may have received that you would like to have considered at the CSE.
  6. If a more restricted environment is a possibility for your child, visit these settings while school is in session, so that you are better educated on what a more restrictive setting may look like for your child.
  7. Write an outline of any points you wish to raise during the meeting. There is a lot being discussed and this is an emotional topic for most of us, so take the time to prepare in writing so you can refer to your notes during the meeting.

During the meeting, take notes of the discussions and write down the recommendations. Ask any questions you have and request clarification of any unfamiliar programs, issues or terms.

If the child is eligible for services, it is the responsibility of the school district's CSE to provide programs and/or services in the least restrictive environment (LRE). This means that special education and/or related services are provided, to the extent appropriate, to meet the needs of your child, with other children who do not have disabilities, and be as close as possible to the student's residence. The CSE must consider the appropriateness of services to meet the child's needs in the LRE. As per the regulations, the continuum of services that must be considered by the CSE includes:

  1. Educational Placement:
    • Self-Contained class
    • Collaborative class
    • Special Class Pull-out for Language Arts or Math
    • Direct Teacher Consultant Service
    • Indirect Teacher Consultant Service
    • Teaching Assistant support
  2. Related Services:
    • speech-language pathology
    • physical therapy
    • occupational therapy
    • counseling services
    • school health services
    • school social work services
    • other appropriate corrective support services

It is important that everyone on the committee understands the program that is outlined for the child. At the end of the meeting, recap the recommended programs and services so there is no confusion. Write down when they will begin and end, especially if the meeting is not an annual review. You may also need to sign consent forms and provide prescriptions for related services.

The following is an outline that parents can use to summarize the agreed upon programs and services. It can be reviewed before the close of the CSE meeting.

Example:
Program/Service - Speech/Language
Ratio 5-1
Freq. Period - 2x weekly
Duration - 30 min.
Location - Pull-out Therapy

This means that the child would receive Speech/Language Therapy in a small group of no more than 5 students with 1 teacher (ratio 5-1); it would occur 2 times (Freq.) weekly (period) for 30 minutes (duration) pulled out of the classroom (location).

After the CSE meeting, thoroughly check your IEP (once you receive it) and compare it to your notes from the meeting. You should have any errors corrected by the Special Education Office as soon as possible.

For the details of the entire process and eligibility criteria, please refer to the Parent Guide and CSE information.

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