December 2005
Available in Word and PDF  Format

TO: Individuals Interested in the Education of Students with Disabilities


FROM: Rebecca H. Cort  
 

SUBJECT: Child-Specific Allowance to Temporarily Exceed an Approved Special Class Size for Preschool Students with Disabilities Ė Revised 12/05

The purpose of this memorandum is to describe revised procedures to admit one or two additional preschool students with disabilities in a special class or special class in an integrated setting that is at its maximum approved class size capacity.  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 with a disability beyond the programís approved student-to-staff ratio for a period not to exceed the remainder of the school year.  For special classes in integrated settings, it is expected that the number of students with disabilities does not exceed the number of non-disabled students.

These procedures relate to special classes and special classes 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 (SED) 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 agencies to apply for approval of any new or expanded special class[1] or special class in an integrated setting programs.  The application for new preschool special education programs and the preschool modification application are both available at: http://www.vesid.nysed.gov/publications/preschool/home.html.

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

Child-Specific Preschool Notification

After the start of the school year in September, an approved preschool program may enroll up to one additional preschool student with a disability in each of its special classes or special classes in an integrated setting that are at maximum approved class size capacity through a notification process without prior approval by SED.  This temporary increase applies when it is determined that the placement is needed for a preschool student with a disability to receive FAPE.

To implement this notification process, within ten (10) business days of the studentís enrollment, the approved program submits a notification to SED on the attached form.  One form per student must be submitted. 

Prior Approval Request

In the event that an approved program has already enrolled one preschool student with a disability beyond the approved special class size capacity through the ďChild-Specific Preschool NotificationĒ process (see item above) and now requests approval to enroll a second preschool student with a disability in the same class, the approved preschool program must submit a request for prior child-specific approval to SED.  This applies to requests for child-specific approvals to increase the 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 FAPE.

To implement this process, upon consideration of and prior to enrolling the second preschool student with a disability, the approved program submits a request for child-specific approval to SED, on the attached form.  One form per student must be submitted.

SED will review the child-specific approval request and respond to the program indicating approval or disapproval of the request.  Under no circumstances may the number of preschool students enrolled in the class exceed the maximum class size by more than one student without prior approval by SED and under no circumstances may the class exceed 12 preschool 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 cannot 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 preschool student.

The attached form is used for either: (1) adding one preschool student with a disability when submitting a child-specific preschool notification or (2) adding a second preschool student with a disability when submitting a prior approval request.  It includes information on the specific class affected, the student to be enrolled, the educational justification for the placement and assurances that:

In some circumstances, based on preschool student needs, programs may need to use the tuition funds generated by the additional preschool 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 Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Office at:         

Central New York Regional Office

(315) 428-3287

Eastern Regional Office

(518) 486-6366

Hudson Valley Regional Office

(518) 473-1185

Long Island Regional Office

(631) 884-8530

New York City Regional Office

(718) 722-4544

Western Regional Office

(585) 344-2002

[1] Procedures for Application and Approval of Any New or Expanded Programs in Settings which Include Only Preschool Children with Disabilities, January 2002, Preschool 2000-02.


Attachment  - Child-Specific Allowance to Temporarily Exceed an Approved Special Class Size for Preschool Students with a Disability - Revised 12/05


Child-Specific Allowance to Temporarily Exceed an Approved Special Class Size
for Preschool Students with a Disability

Use this form for either:  (1) adding one preschool student with a disability when submitting a child-specific preschool notification or (2) adding a second preschool student with a disability when submitting a prior approval request.  Submit one form per student.  All sections of the form must be completed or it will be returned unprocessed.  Any returned forms must be revised and resubmitted within five days.

For enrolling one additional preschool student with a disability, submit one form per student within 10 business days of the studentís enrollment and keep a copy for your files.  For requests seeking approval to add a second preschool student with a disability, submit one form per student prior to enrolling the student.  SED will review the request to enroll a second student and notify the program of its decision. 

Legal Name of Preschool Agency:                                                                          

BEDS Code  __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

Program Site Name:                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Program Site Address:                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Contact Person for this Notification:                                                                        

Phone: __________________  Fax: __________________  Email:                            

Date submitted: ___________________

Complete one box below to indicate the type of request:

Child-Specific Preschool Notification - enrolling one additional preschool student with a disability

                                    OR

[  ] Prior Approval Request Ė seeking approval to add a second preschool student with a disability (the program must have already submitted Attachment 1 to notify SED of enrolling one additional preschool student with a disability to the same class) 

Approved Preschool Program

Classroom number or teacherís name for the classroom in which the additional student is enrolled: 

________________________

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

            OR

[  ] half-day  (2 Ĺ hours per day)

      [  ] a.m. session
      [  ] p.m. session

 [  ] ten month

 [  ] two month

 [  ] Special class

 
Approved student/staff ratio consistent with programís SED approval letter, as appropriate (prior to enrolling one additional student):

 ______:______:______
Student: teacher: supplemental school personnel

 [  ] Special class in an      integrated setting

Approved overall student/ staff ratio consistent with programís SED approval letter, as appropriate (prior to enrolling one additional student):

 ______:______:______
Student: teachers: supplemental school personnel

Approved special education student/staff ratio consistent with programís SED approval letter, as appropriate (prior to enrolling one additional student): 

______:______:______
Student: teacher: supplemental school personnel

The addition of this preschool 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, describe the effect of the increase of one or two additional preschool student (s) with a disability has on the ratio of preschool students with disabilities to nondisabled children in the class:      

Preschool Student Information

Name of the one additional student enrolled:          

 ______________________

Studentís DOB__________

OR

Name of the second student requested to be enrolled:  

______________________

Studentís DOB__________

Date the one additional  student entered the class listed above:             

______________________

OR
 

Studentís school district of residence:    

_______________________

Date the second student is proposed to enroll in the class listed above:  

________________________

Studentís municipality of Residence:     

_______________________

The educational justification for the placement:

The undersigned assures that:

_________________________              _________________         __________________

Name of Chief Executive Officer             Signature                          Date

For notification of enrolling one additional preschool student with a disability:

For requests for enrolling a second additional preschool student with a disability:

For SED Use

Date Received:  ____________

For Requests For Adding A Second Student:

[  ] Approved

 [  ] Not approved Ė Reason:

 

SED Representative:      

Signature: ________________________

 Date:  ___________________________