For Parents

WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT YOUR CHILD

For parents of pre-school children:
If you have concerns that your preschooler is not reaching the developmental milestones or performing as you would expect:

  • Discuss your concerns with your child's pediatrician
  • If your child attends a preschool or nursery school program, share your concerns with your child's teachers
  • If you and the professionals working with your child continue to suspect that your child's development is being compromised by a possible disability, please contact: 

Ms. Bonnie Hart
Committee on Pre-School Special Education Chair
Carmel Central School District
81 South St., P.O. Box 296
Patterson, NY 12563
845 878-2094, ext. 244
bhart2@carmelschools.org

She will explain the process of referral to the Committee on Pre-School Special Education (CPSE) and help you to identify other avenues of support should a referral not be indicated at this time.

For parents of school-age children:
If you suspect that your school-age child may have a disability which might be impacting their performance in school, you are encouraged to speak with your child's teachers and/or building support staff who know your child. If together, you continue to feel that your child is not performing at a level similar to their peers, ask about the building level supports or resources which have been or may be available to assist your child.

Public schools are required to provide students who are struggling in school with appropriate interventions to address areas of need. The student's response to these interventions is closely monitored and interventions are adjusted as needed. This process of providing scientifically researched interventions to students who are struggling; monitoring their progress and adjusting the interventions if needed, is known as "response to Intervention" or RTI. RTI is referenced in the most recent revision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Federal law which governs special education services to students with disabilities ages 3-21.

If a child fails to progress academically despite a comprehensive, coordinated and well monitored plan of interventions, the building level RIT team may recommend a referral to the Committee on Special Education (CSE). You will be notified if a referral has been initiated and you will also receive a written acknowledgement of the referral from the Office of Special Education. Your written consent will be needed to determine if your child has a disability. As a parent, you may directly refer your child to the CSE should you have concerns that an educational disability could be impacting school performance. The evaluation process consists of the following mandated evaluations:
Psychological Evaluation
Educational Evaluation
Social History
Copy of Physical Examination
Current Teacher Reports
Other evaluations which may be recommended (Speech & Language; Fine and Gross Motor testing; Psychiatric, etc.)

As part of this process, you will be asked to meet with your child's building principal to discuss interventions that can be done as part of the RTI process in lieu of a referral to special education. At that meeting, if interventions discussed are deemed appropriate, the parent has the right to withdraw the referral to special education and place in writing, the plan that has been determined to go forward. The parent at this meeting has the right to determine if the referral to the CSE should go forward.

Concurrent with this process, the evaluation process proceeds. When the evaluations are completed, the CSE will schedule a meeting to review the evaluations and determine if your child has a disability as defined by Federal and State laws and regulations. The membership of the CSE is mandated by law and includes, among others, the child's parent or guardian. After reviewing all evaluations and reports, the CSE must determine if the student presents with an educational disability in one of 13 categories outlined in law. If the student is found to be eligible for special education programs and services due to an educational disability, then a document called an "Individual Education Plan" (IEP) will be generated which describes the kind of special education programs and services which are recommended to address the student's areas of need. The CSE may also determine that a student is ineligible for "classification" and may recommend other building level services to support the child.

If after discussing your concerns with your child's school staff, you have questions about the CSE referral and evaluation process, please contact.

Ms. Bonnie Hart*
Committee on Pre-School Special Education Chair
Committee on Special Education-Grades K-5
Carmel Central School District
81 South St., P.O. Box 296
Patterson, NY 12563
845 878-2094, ext. 244
bhart2@carmelschools.org
   Mr. Lou Valesey*
Committee on Special Education Chair-Grades 6-12
Carmel Central School District
81 South St., P.O. Box 296
Patterson, NY 12563
845 878-2094, ext. 249
lvalesey@carmelschools.org

*Note: Students placed out of the district are shared by both chairpersons

For more information, please visit the New York State Education Department' Publications for Parents and review the publication Parents' Guide to Special Education, which is available in both English and Spanish.