Group Leader: Rebecca Cort
Attendees: Michael Grossfeld and Mary Curtis (via video conference); Judi Gerson, Susan Constantino, Mark Jasinski, Lisa Timoney, Bob Frawley, Dan Sheppard (DOB), Jyothsna Buddharaju (DOB), Sandy Rybaltowski and Donna Noyes were present in Albany.

Observers: Pam Madeiros (Greenburg Traurig), Tom Connelly (ACTS), Ken Crannell (NYSAC) and Jessica Morelli (NYSAC) in Albany; Trudy Font-Padron (ACTS), Kathy Grossfeld (All About Kids) and Gail Kligman (ACTS) by video conference. 

Facilitator: Donna Meixner
Recorders: Sara Silver and Denise Corbett

Meeting Start-up

Donna welcomed everyone to the meeting.  A proposal was made to postpone the acceptance of the previous meeting’s minutes (8/31/07) to the end of the work session, as most members had not had a chance to review them.  The ground rules were revisited: the need to provided balance, giving everyone a chance to participate, that observers were welcome to comment but that decisions on the recommendations were the responsibility of the members. 

Becky noted that she had circulated to all members the statutory language governing CSE and CPSE committees.  She also drew everyone’s attention to the format of the recommendation form, one that (should be) used by all workgroups (for consistency).
She was also working on getting additional data relative to the regional forums by next week.

Donna proceeded to review the recommendations, asking members to examine each, and to ask for clarification or rewording where needed (please refer to the recommendation worksheet used on 9/7/07).

Recommendation 1:
Focus the preschool decision making and service delivery process with those who have the greatest knowledge and expertise in the area of special education, increase accountability and oversight of preschool system by school districts, and facilitate the transition between preschool and school age.
Strategies/Action Steps:  

Online comments:
 Mary Curtis’ proposed substitution:  By 2013 municipalities will be removed completely from the fiscal, contractual, and programmatic responsibilities of the 4410 Preschool Special Education program.

Note: this is not a recommendation for providers to be eliminated from the process.

Mike Grossfeld’s wording: Explore a revised State Aid formula by which county costs are capped  and future additional costs are the responsibility of the State.  As of 2009 NYS should pay 75% of the cost with the county paying 25%.

Discussion points:

Editing Suggestions for the Recommendation:

Action Steps:

Result: There was general agreement on recommendation 1, with one dissenting opinion.  Priority level: High (dissenting opinion was that the recommendation was a low priority).

Recommendation 2:
Reduce the extremely high costs for transportation within the preschool system and avoid costs exceeding maximum reimbursement rates.
Strategy/Action Steps: 

  1. Provide an incentive for parents to transport their children. 
  2. Fund a study of transportation delivery systems across counties to determine whether there are possible efficiencies, including collaborations among counties and districts.
  3. Fund a study of transportation funding formulas, especially the impact of regional and demographic factors, to identify a mechanism for fair reimbursement rates. 

Discussion points:

Editing Suggestions for the Recommendation:

Result: Full agreement on recommendation 2.  Priority level: High

Recommendation 3:
Ensure that the continuum of preschool services includes the flexibility needed to meet individual students’ needs in a cost effective manner and is applied consistently across districts and programs.
Strategy/Action Steps: 

  1. Evaluate the current provision of SEIT to determine whether the program has met its original intent, if modifications are required, and the role of service coordination with other programs.  Develop guidelines related to the appropriate and inappropriate use of SEIT services, including consideration of:
    • Permitting greater flexibility in the allocation of SEIT units (such as annually, quarterly, or monthly rather than weekly).
    • Setting a maximum limit on daily hours of SEIT services.
  2. Allow indirect related services in conjunction with direct related services and as stand-alone services if the student receives special class services or general education classroom instruction.
  3. Review the expanding needs of preschool students with autism, especially those requiring intensive behavioral interventions, and develop program models that will provide appropriate levels of service in a cost effective manner.
  4. Explore options for expanding service models in rural areas, including possible use of distance learning for indirect service provision.

Discussion points:

Editing Suggestions for the Recommendation:

Result: There was full agreement for recommendation 3.  Priority level: Medium.

Recommendation 4:
Maintain current locus of expertise and established oversight structure for EI and preschool services but increase collaboration and sharing of information to improve transition from EI to preschool.

Discussion points:

Result: This recommendation will be sent to the Transition/LRE workgroup.

Recommendation 5:
Enhance the knowledge and skills of CPSE members and program providers to facilitate transition from EI and ensure consistent decision making.

Result: All were in agreement on recommendation 5.  Priority level: High.

Recommendation 6:
Increase capacity to predict future system needs, to evaluate impact of early intervention and preschool services on future performance, and to provide system oversight, especially in regard to timeliness of referral, eligibility determinations and service delivery.

Result: All were in agreement on recommendation 6.  Priority level: Medium.

Recommendation 7:
Increase district responsibility and accountability for preschool services to be more closely aligned with school-age process.

Strategy/Action Steps: 

  1. School districts should be responsible for conducting or contracting for CPSE evaluations.  A system of approved evaluation sites should continue but the school district would select the appropriate evaluator if they do not conduct the evaluation themselves.
  2. Adopt a peer review model for evaluations and service delivery and encourage Counties to consider the results as they make decisions about contracting with providers.

Online Comments:
Mike Grossfeld’s alternative: School districts should not be responsible for conducting or contracting for CPSE evaluations.  A system of approved evaluation sites should continue.

Discussion points:

Editing Suggestions for the Recommendation:

Result: There was general agreement on recommendation 7 with 1 dissenting opinion.  Priority level: High.

Recommendation 8:
Ensure consistency of expectations and access to appropriate instruction for both non-disabled preschool students and preschool students with disabilities.

Result: There was general agreement on recommendation 8.  Priority level: High.

Recommendation 9:
Ensure that only eligible children receive services through the CPSE process. 

Result: There was agreement on recommendation 9.  Priority level: High.

Recommendation 10:
Improve mechanisms for tracking progress and child outcomes and increase comparability between EI and preschool measures.
Strategy/Action Steps:  (Donna)

  1. Examine the current effectiveness of using the child outcomes summary form to measure the federally-required child and family outcome indicators for children receiving early intervention services and preschool special education services
  2. Explore other potential assessment approaches to measure these outcomes
  3. Determine whether there are additional child and family outcomes important to measure in NYS to determine the impact of early intervention and preschool special education.
Discussion points:

Editing Suggestions for the Recommendation:

Result: There was general agreement on recommendation 10.  Priority level: Medium.

Recommendation 11:
Ensure access to educationally necessary July and August services for students transitioning from EI or newly entering preschool delivery system.
Strategy/Action Steps: 

  1. Revise eligibility criteria for twelve month services to remove mandate of regression standard for students entering the preschool system where baseline information is not available.
  2. Provide option of remaining in EI until September 1st for transitioning students requiring July and August programming.

Editing Suggestions for the Recommendation:

Result: There was agreement on recommendation 11.  Priority level: Medium.

Recommendation 12:
Increase the availability of recommended services for preschool students with disabilities.
Strategy/Action Steps:  (Mike)

  1. Present statute regarding TSHH’s and School Psychologists do not permit use by special/integrated class, SEIT or related service providers.  However NYSED policy allows special/integrated class providers to employ these therapists.  This does not appear to be within the guidelines of the statute.  Acts requests that NYSED propose legislation that we will support that allows all Pre school providers to supervise and employ TSHH’s and School Psychologists.  ACTS requests that in the interim NYSED change their current policy to allow SEIT and related services providers to supervise and employ TSHH’s and School Psychologists.

Alternative:  (Becky)

  1. Enforce school district’s federal requirement to ensure evaluation, related services and special education services where insufficient capacity exists in the private sector.
  2. Allocate funds to provide incentives to recruit and retain related service providers and special education teachers in shortage areas, including bilingual providers.
  3. Review certification requirements for bilingual extension to special education teaching certificates to determine if they are impeding recruitment efforts.

Discussion points:

Editing Suggestions for the Recommendation:

Result: Most members supported the recommendation with the alternative strategies.  There was one dissenting opinion. Priority level: Medium/High (?)

Recommendation 13:
To ensure services are being provided and done so efficiently a case management system is necessary.

Result: Recommendation was tabled.  Mark will write/revise in time for the Task Force meeting.

Recommendation 14:
Decrease public State and local costs for preschool services by maximizing other sources of income.

Result: All members agreed with recommendation 14. Priority level: Low.

Recommendation 15:
Support families’ understanding of their children’s needs and increase their involvement in the service delivery process.
Strategy/Action Steps: 

  1. CSPEs should be required to explain why family and regular education provider support and training is not included in an IEP.


  1. Strengthen regulatory requirements for districts’ and programs’ involvement of families in the preschool special education process.

Discussion points:

Editing Suggestions for the Recommendation:

Result: Once folded in with 5, it will receive the same level of recommendation and priority.

Recommendation 16:
Added by Mike Grossfeld)  NYSED should propose legislation to allow all Preschool providers to maintain present registered business entities (i.e. LLC, S-corp etc.) and to allow new providers to be approved under any NYS approved legal entity.

Discussion points:

Result: No action taken.

Next Steps
Donna brought the meeting to a close by reviewing the action items needed to make the workgroup’s presentation before the Task Force on September 18th.  The next workgroup meeting is on October 12th. There might be a need for an additional workgroup meeting between September 18th and October 3rd.

Action Items




Put DOB Bob Frawley on Workgroup mailing list



More info around implementation issues for School Districts for Recommendation #1

Lisa Timoney/Burt Porter


Write Implementation Issue around costs/gifts for 2a



Recommendation #2 – rewrite “a” and add “d”



Write an implementation piece for # 3 about referring to/looking at research



Move “7 b” to “10 d” and rewrite



7 a – rewrite



Rewrite 10 b and add 10 d



11 b – move to Workgroup #1


12 b – rewrite – what can you do in addition to allocation funds



12 d – about new birth to 2nd grade certification requirement



Move 15 Alt to “5 c” and rewrite



Bring in Counsel, Office of the Professions – Doug Lentovich


Rewrite # 16



Discuss with Becky need for an additional Workgroup meeting between 9/18 – 10/3