August 2008

 

TO: District Superintendents
  Superintendent of Schools
  Presidents of Boards of Education
  Directors of Special Education
  Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools
  Executive Directors of Approved Private Schools
  New York City Board of Education
  Principals of Public Schools
  Directors of Pupil Personnel Services
  Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education
  Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education Services
  SETRC Project Directors and Professional Development Specialists
  Regional School Support Centers
  Other State Agencies
FROM: James P. DeLorenzo
SUBJECT:
New Requirements for Special Education Programs and Services:  Amendments to State Regulations Relating to Chapter 378 of the Laws of 2007 and the 2004 Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 - PDFPDF Document (122KB)

This is to inform you that the Board of Regents has approved for permanent adoption regulations to conform the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education to New York State (NYS) Education Law, as amended by Chapter 378 of the Laws of 2007, IDEA 2004, and 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 300.  The amended regulations relate to:

 
The effective date of the amendment to regulations is August 21, 2008.  However, except for the requirements relating to the chairperson of the CSE and procedures for “requests for referrals”, these requirements have been in effect since June 30, 2007 pursuant to NYS law.  Attached is a summary of the changes to NYS regulations that were adopted at the July Regents meeting with suggested school district action implementation steps. A copy of the amended regulations may be found at www.regents.nysed.gov/2008Meetings/July2008/0708vesida1.doc.

To ensure dissemination to appropriate individuals within a school district, I ask Superintendents to please share this memorandum with individuals such as Directors of Special Education, School Psychologists, CSE and CPSE Chairpersons, Guidance Counselors and Directors of Pupil Personnel and Parent Teacher Associations.  Questions regarding this memorandum may be directed to the Special Education Policy Unit at 518-473-2878 or to the Special Education Quality Assurance Office in your region:

Central Regional Office

(315) 428-3287

Eastern Regional Office

(518) 486-6366

Hudson Valley Regional Office

(914) 245-0010

Long Island Regional Office

(631) 884-8530

New York City Regional Office

(718) 722-4544

Western Regional Office

(585) 344-2002

Attachment



Amendments to State Regulations Relating to Chapter 378 of the Laws of 2007 and the 2004 Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004

Effective August 28, 2008

The following is a summary of the new regulatory requirements.  A copy of the regulations, as amended, can be found at www.regents.nysed.gov/2008Meetings/ July2008/0708vesida1.doc .

SECTION 177.1
SERVICES TO PUPILS ATTENDING NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS

Nonpublic school students – section 177.1

The parent of a student parentally placed in a nonpublic school must request services from the school district responsible for providing such services in accordance with section 3602-c(2) of the Education Law.

SECTION 200.1
DEFINITIONS

Related Services - section 200.1(qq)

The definition of related services was amended to include school nurse services.

School health services – section 200.1(ss)

Transition services – section 200.1(fff)

The definition of transition services was amended to mean "a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability, designed within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the student with a disability to facilitate the student's movement from school to post-school activities, including, but not limited to, post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. The coordinated set of activities must be based on the student's strengths, preferences and interests, and shall include needed activities in the following areas: (1) instruction; (2) related services; (3) community experiences; (4) the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and (5) when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation."

SECTION 200.3
COMMITTEES ON SPECIAL EDUCATION
(CSE)

Chairperson of the CSE and Subcommittee on Special Education – sections 200.3(a)(1)(v) and 200.3(c)(2)(iv)

Sections 200.3(a)(1)(v) and 200.3(c)(2)(iv) of the Regulations have been amended to require that the representative of the school district serve as the chairperson of the CSE and the subcommittee. 

Note:  The representative of the school district member of the committee is an individual who is qualified to provide or supervise special education and who is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and the availability of resources of the school district.  An individual who meets these qualifications may also be the same individual appointed as the special education teacher or the special education provider of the student or the school psychologist.  Current regulations require the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) chairperson to also be the school district representative on the CPSE [section 200.3(a)(2)(iv)].

Role and Responsibilities of the Committee Chairperson – section 200.3(e)

The chairperson of the CSE, CPSE, and subcommittee on special education must:

Committees on Preschool Special Education – section 200.3(a)(2)(viii)

For a child in transition from EI programs and services, the school district must, at the request of the parent, invite an EI service coordinator or other representative of the EI system to participate in the initial CPSE meeting.

Committee member attendance – sections 200.3(f) and 200.7(d)(1)(i)(c)

The parent and the school district may agree that the attendance of a member of the CSE, CPSE or subcommittee on special education is not necessary or that a member may be excused in accordance with the following procedures:

Note: In the Analysis of Comments and Changes to the federal regulations to implement IDEA, the United States Education Department (USED) provided the following guidance on committee member attendance: “An LEA (local educational agency) may not routinely or unilaterally excuse IEP Team members from attending IEP Team meetings as parent agreement or consent is required in each instance. We encourage LEAs to carefully consider, based on the individual needs of the child and the issues that need to be addressed at the IEP Team meeting whether it makes sense to offer to hold the IEP Team meeting without a particular IEP Team member in attendance or whether it would be better to reschedule the meeting so that person could attend and participate in the discussion.” (Page 46674 of Volume 71, No. 156 of the Federal Register dated August 14, 2006).

 

Action Implementation Steps

  • Establish procedures to ensure the EI representative is invited to a CPSE meeting at the request of the parent.
  • Ensure that each meeting of the CSE or subcommittee is chaired by the school district representative.
  • Establish procedures for district and parent agreements to excuse a member or to agree that the attendance of a member is not necessary consistent with the above requirements.

SECTION 200.4
PROCEDURES FOR REFERRAL, EVALUATION, ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATIONS, IEP DEVELOPMENT,
PLACEMENT AND REVIEW

 Referral for an initial evaluation – section 200.4(a)(1)

A student suspected of having a disability may be referred for an initial evaluation by the:

Note:  While only a referral by a parent or school district initiates the procedures to conduct an initial evaluation to determine if the student is a student with a disability, a school district must, in its child find procedures, consider a "request for referral" from the following individuals consistent with the procedures described below.

Request for referral for an initial evaluation – section 200.4(a)(2)

A written request that the school district or agency refer the student for initial evaluation may be made by a:

The written request for referral must:

Procedures for request for referral – section 200.4(a)(2) and 200.4(a)(9)

Reevaluation – section 200.4(b)(4)

The parent and the school district may agree in writing that a three-year reevaluation is unnecessary.

Amendments to the IEP after the annual review – section 200.4(g)

Action Implementation Steps

  • Identify individual(s) who are authorized as the designee(s) of the school district who may refer a student for an initial evaluation.
  • Establish procedures for when a request for referral is received by the school district.
  • Ensure that each student has an annual review meeting.  Establish procedures for parent and school district agreements to amend an IEP without a meeting. 
  • Ensure that documents used to amend an IEP are provided to the parent and to the CSE and are disseminated to appropriate individuals responsible for implementing the IEP.

SECTION 200.5
PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS

Notice of meetings – section 200.5(c)(2)(viii)

The meeting notice must, in the case of a child who was previously served under Part C EI services, inform the parent of his/her right to request that the EI service coordinator or other representatives of the EI system be invited to an initial CPSE meeting .

Mediation – section 200.5(h)(1)(v)

Repealed that the parties to the mediation process may be required to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Action Implementation Step

  • Revise the school district’s meeting notice for preschool students transitioning from EI to include information on the parent's right to request the EI representative attend the meeting to assist in the smooth transition of the child from EI to preschool special education.

SECTION 200.16
PRESCHOOL STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES

Referral – section 200.16(b)(1)

Establishes the parties who can make a referral of a preschool student suspected of having a disability consistent with Education law and section 200.4(a)(1) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. (See pages 4-6)
 
Provision of services – section 200.16(f)(1)

Requires the board of education to arrange for the preschool student with a disability to receive programs and services commencing with the July, September or January starting date, unless such services are recommended by the CPSE less than 30 days prior to, or after, the starting date for a program, in which case such services must be provided as soon as possible following development of the IEP, but no later than 30 school days from the recommendation of the CPSE. (Bolded language is new)

Action Implementation Steps

  • See pages 7 for Action Implementation Steps relating to referrals and request for referrals.