Preschool Special Education Process

The Preschool Special Education Process Includes the Following:


1.  Initial Referral for Evaluation

  • In order to make a referral to CPSE, the parent/guardian must first register his/her child with our district.  Registration appointments are completed at the district's central office, which is located in Hopewell Junction, NY.   To schedule a registration appointment, please contact our Central Registration office at 845-298-5000 x40132.  Please refer to the "Registration Information" Section of the webpage for additional information regarding this process and to download a Registration Packet. 
  • At your registration appointment, please provide a written letter, directed to the Preschool Special Education Office, stating your child's name and the concerns that prompted this referral for evaluation. THIS LETTER MUST BE SIGNED AND DATED, AND SUBMITTED TO REGISTRAR ALONG WITH THE REGISTRATION PACKET DOCUMENTS.
  • Upon receipt of the registration documents and written referral, the Preschool Special Education Office will send a packet of materials to the parent/guardian, including a consent for evaluation form, a list of county approve evaluators, and a copy of the Procedural Safeguards Notice. A preschool student can only be evaluated after the child's parent/guardian signs and returns the written consent form to the Preschool Special Education Office.    
  • CHILDREN RECEIVING EARLY INTERVENTION (EI):  The same process explained above applies to children who currently receive EI services. In order to initiate the preschool special education evaluation process (as part of the EI-CPSE transition), parents/guardians must first register the child with our district.  Parents are strongly encouraged to consult with the child's Ongoing Service Coordinator for additional information regarding this process.

2. Individualized Evaluation Process

  • The parent/guardian has the right to choose from among the list of approved evaluators and the site where he/she would like to have his/her child evaluated.  Such assessments that are recommended by the CPSE Evaluations are completed by certified professionals who will explain in detail the results of all their testing.  The evaluations will include:
    • Social History: Parent/guardian is asked to provide information about the child's developmental history as well as general family information
    •  Psychological Evaluation: An assessment of the child's cognitive abilities and learning potential; may also include an assessment of the child's adaptive behavior skills and social/emotional abilities for his/her age
    • Structured observation of the child in his/her learning environment (i.e., preschool, home, etc.)
    • Evaluation in area(s) of concern:  Assessments specific to the child's area of potential need, such as speech/language, physical therapy, occupational therapy, etc.
    • A physical examination is required by state law as part of the evaluation process.  This information is typically gathered from the child's physician and provided to the evaluating agency by the parent/guardian.
  • Parents/guardians can withdraw his/her consent for evaluation at any time throughout the process.  Once parental consent is withdrawn, the CPSE process stops. 

3. Determining Eligibility

  • Upon completion of the evaluations, a CPSE meeting will be scheduled. The parent/guardian will be notified in writing of the meeting date/time.  The purpose of the the CPSE meeting is to review the evaluations and any other relevant information in order to determine whether the student meets the criteria to be eligible for preschool special education services.  Eligibility is determined in accordance with criteria set forth by Part 200 of the New York State Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.  Specifically, the CPSE must determine whether the student demonstrates a significant delay in one or more functional area (cognitive, language, adaptive, social-emotional, motor), or meet the criteria for a student with a disability in the areas of Autistim, Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing, Orthopedically Impaired, Other Health Impaired, Traumatic Brain Injury or Visually Impaired. 
  • If CPSE determines a child eligible for preschool special education services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is developed, which includes recommendations for appropriate special education programs and/or services to address the child's needs.  All preschool students eligible for special education services, regardless of their areas of need, are given the same classification: Preschool Student with a Disability.   
  • CHILDREN RECEIVING EARLY INTERVENTION (EI):  It is imperative that the CPSE initial eligibility meeting be held prior to the child's third birthday to prevent a lapse in services.  A child's eligibility for continued EI services ends the day before the child's third birthday unless the child has been deemed eligible for preschool special education services.


FOR CHILDREN RECEIVING PRESCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES:  The CPSE must meet at least annually to review the student's progress and revise the IEP as appropriate; however, if at any time the parent/guardian or service providers feel that changes need to be made to the services the child is receiving, a CPSE meeting can be scheduled to address these concerns.  


Please contact the Preschool Special Education Office for any questions/concerns.