Printable Format

January 2003

TO:

District Superintendents

Presidents of Boards of Education

New York City Department of Education

Superintendents of Schools

Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools

Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education

Directors of Special Education

Executive Directors of Approved Private Schools

Directors of Pupil Personnel Services
Chairpersons of Committees on Preschool Special Education

Directors of Approved Preschool Programs and Preschool Educators

Committee on Preschool Special Education Chairpersons and Administrators
Early Childhood Direction Centers
Impartial Hearing Officers
New York State Community Dispute Resolution Centers
Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education Services
SETRC Project Directors and Training Specialists
Colleges with Special Education Teacher Training
Municipal Representatives

FROM:

Lawrence C. Gloeckler

SUBJECT: Child-specific Allowance to Temporarily Exceed an Approved Special Class Size for Preschool Students with Disabilities

The purpose of this memorandum is to describe the process to admit one or two additional preschool students in a special class which is at its maximum student-to-staff ratio. The temporary increase in approved special class sizes will be allowed only in those extenuating circumstances when adding a student to a special class is necessary to ensure that the student receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Temporary increase means the addition of no more than two preschool students beyond the programís approved student-to-staff ratio for a period not to exceed the remainder of the school year.

These procedures relate to special classes in separate and in integrated settings, which are approved to serve less than 12 preschool students with disabilities. There is no statutory or regulatory authority for the State Education Department to grant a request to exceed the maximum class size of 12 preschool students with disabilities. Please note that these procedures are for temporary increases only and DO NOT REPLACE procedures for programs to apply for approval of any new or expanded programs that include only preschool students with disabilities1 or for programs requesting a permanent change in a class approved staff-to-student ratio.

A preschool program may implement a temporary increase in class size under one of the following procedures:

Child-specific Allowance by Notification to Temporarily Exceed an Approved Special Class Size for One Preschool Student with a Disability

In any one school year, an approved preschool program may enroll up to one additional preschool student with a disability in each of its special classes that are at maximum approved class size capacity through a notification process without prior approval of the State Education Department (SED). This temporary increase applies when it is determined that the placement is needed for a preschool student with a disability to receive a FAPE.

To implement this process, upon enrollment of the student, the approved program submits a notification to SED, on the form provided in Attachment 1. The notification form includes information on the specific class affected, the student to be enrolled, the educational justification for the placement and assurances that:

The notification form must be received by SED within 30 calendar days of the studentís enrollment. Upon receipt of the notification form, SED will return an acknowledgement of receipt of the form. No prior approval from SED is needed to enroll the one additional student.

Prior Approval Request for a Child-specific Allowance to Temporarily Exceed an Approved Special Class Size by Adding a Second Preschool Student with a Disability

In the event that an approved program has enrolled one student beyond the approved special class size capacity through the "Child-Specific Allowance by Notification" process (above) and now seeks to enroll one additional preschool student with a disability in the same class (resulting in two preschool students beyond class capacity), the approved preschool program must submit a request for prior child-specific approval to SED using the form in Attachment 2. This applies to requests for child-specific approvals to increase class size in special classes in separate settings and special classes in integrated settings. This temporary increase applies when such placements are needed for the preschool students to receive a FAPE.

To implement this process, upon consideration of enrolling the student, the approved program submits a request for child-specific approval to SED, on the form provided in Attachment 2. One form per student must be submitted. The application form for prior approval includes information on the specific class affected, the student to be enrolled, the educational justification for the placement and assurances that:

SED will review such requests and respond to the program indicating approval or disapproval of the request. Under no circumstances may the number of students enrolled in the class exceed the maximum class size by more than one student without prior approval by the SED and under no circumstances may the class exceed 12 students with disabilities. SED may deny a program approval to temporarily exceed an approved special class size upon a finding that the form does not provide the required information, if the reason for the temporary increase is determined to be unjustified, and/or if the program can not meet the assurances provided. If the request is not approved, the program must inform the CPSE that an alternate placement must be recommended for the student.

In some circumstances, based on student needs, programs may need to use the tuition funds generated by the additional student(s) to temporarily hire additional staff (e.g., paraprofessionals or related service providers) in order for appropriate services to be provided to all enrolled students. No adjustment in the tuition rate is necessary for this to occur.

Questions regarding the procedures to request a temporary increase in class size should be addressed to your Regional Quality Assurance Office at:

Central New York 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) 344-2112, ext. 420

1 Procedures fro Application and Approval of Any New or Expanded Programs in Settings which Include Only Preschool Children with Disabilities, January 2002, Preschool 00-02


Attachment 1

Child-specific Allowance by Notification to Temporarily
Exceed an Approved Special Class Size
for One Preschool Student with a Disability

Instructions

Submit one form per student. All sections of the notification request must be completed.

Approved Preschool Program

Name:

Address:

 

Telephone: (   )

 

Identification of the special class in which the student is enrolled:

Approved student:staff ratio:

[  ] Special class

[  ] Special class in an integrated setting

[  ] full-day (more than 2Ĺ hours per day)

[  ] half-day (2 Ĺ hours per day)

[  ] ten-month

[   ] two-month

The addition of this student to the class will result in hiring additional staff on a temporary basis. [  ] yes  [   ] no  Specify:

If the special class is in an integrated setting, the effect such increase has on the ratio of preschool students with disabilities to nondisabled children in the program:

 

 

Student Information

Name of the student to be admitted:

Studentís date of birth:

Date the student entered the program:

Studentís school district of residence:

 

Studentís municipality of residence:

 

The educational justification for the placement:

 

 

The undersigned assures that:

_________________________ _________________  __________________
Name of Chief Executive Officer  Signature Date

 

For SED Use:    Date Received:

Instructions

Submit one form per student. All sections of the application must be completed.

WESTERN REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
2A Richmond Avenue
Batavia, NY 14020

HUDSON VALLEY REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
1950 Edgewater St.
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

CENTRAL REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
State Office Building
333 East Washington St., Suite 527
Syracuse, NY 13202

LONG ISLAND REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
The Kellum Educational Center
887 Kellum Street
Lindenhurst, NY 11757

EASTERN REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
Room 1623, One Commerce Plaza
Albany, NY 12234

NEW YORK CITY OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
55 Hanson Place, Room 545
Brooklyn, NY 11217-1580


Attachment 2

Prior Approval Request for a Child-specific Allowance to
Temporarily Exceed an Approved Special Class Size
by Adding a Second Preschool Student with a Disability

 

Approved Preschool Program

Name:

Address:

 

Telephone: (  )

Identification of the special class in which the student is to be enrolled:

Approved student:staff ratio:

[  ] Special class

[  ] Special class in an integrated setting

 

 

[  ] full-day (more than 2Ĺ hours per day)

[  ] half-day (2 Ĺ hours per day)

[  ] ten-month

[  ] two-month

Student:staff ratio that will result if student is admitted:

The addition of this student to the class will result in hiring additional staff on a temporary basis.  [  ] yes  [  ] no  Specify:

If the special class is in an integrated setting, the effect such increase has on the ratio of preschool students with disabilities to nondisabled children in the program:

 

 

Student Information

Name of the student to be admitted:

Studentís date of birth:

Date the student entered the program:

Studentís school district of residence:

 

Studentís municipality of residence:

 

The educational justification for the placement:

 

The undersigned assures that:

_________________________ _________________ __________________
Name of Chief Executive Officer  Signature Date

 

For SED Use:

Date Received:

[  ] Approved
[  ] Not approved - Reason:

Regional Associate:

Signature: ________________________

Regional Supervisor:

Signature_________________________

Instructions

Submit one form per student for which the program seeks prior approval. All sections of the application must be completed.

WESTERN REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
2A Richmond Avenue
Batavia, NY 14020

HUDSON VALLEY REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
1950 Edgewater St.
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

CENTRAL REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
State Office Building
333 East Washington St., Suite 527
Syracuse, NY 13202

LONG ISLAND REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
The Kellum Educational Center
887 Kellum Street
Lindenhurst, NY 11757

EASTERN REGIONAL OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
Room 1623, One Commerce Plaza
Albany, NY 12234

NEW YORK CITY OFFICE
NYS Education Department
VESID Special Education Quality Assurance
55 Hanson Place, Room 545
Brooklyn, NY 11217-1580