August 2003

Available in Word or PDF format for printing

TO:

District Superintendents

New York City Department of Education

Presidents of Boards of Education

Superintendents of Schools

Chairpersons on Committees on Preschool Special Education

Authorized Municipality Representatives under Section 4410

County Fiscal Officers

Directors of Approved Preschool Programs

Directors of Special Education

Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education

Chief Elected Officials of the Counties

Head Start Directors

SETRC Project Directors and Professional Development Specialists

ECDC Project Directors and Coordinators

Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education


FROM:

Thomas Hamel

Chief, Program Services Unit


Douglass Bailey

Coordinator of Policy, Planning and Partnerships


SUBJECT:

Evaluations of Three- and Four-Year-Old Children Suspected of Having Disabilities Pursuant to Section 4410 of the Education Law

The individual evaluation is the first step a Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) must take to determine if a preschool child meets the eligibility requirements for special education programs and services and to develop a student's individualized education program (IEP). This memorandum provides information regarding evaluations of three- and-four-year-old children suspected of having disabilities, including requirements for parental consent, timelines for conducting evaluations, evaluation components and reimbursement procedures.

The memorandum also outlines procedures and directions for completion of the required form for a municipality to claim reimbursement for the cost of these evaluations pursuant to section 4410 of Education Law. This information refers to the policies and procedures for electronic processing of requests for reimbursement through the STAC Unit. Examples are presented when additional written justification must be provided by the CPSE in order for reimbursement of specific evaluation components to be approved by SED. Only those evaluations where additional written explanation is required from the CPSE may be filed by paper.

Please note that this information applies only to evaluations arranged by the CPSE and does not pertain to evaluation of school-age students with disabilities or to any evaluation reports submitted to the CPSE from the Early Intervention program, parents or other sources.

Attached are:

  1. a series of frequently asked questions and answers (Attachment A);
  2. a copy of the Evaluation reimbursement request form and instructions (Attachment B - STAC-5); and
  3. Preschool Student Evaluation Summary Report form - January 2000 (Attachment C).

This information should be read and reviewed in conjunction with the publication Individual Evaluations and Eligibility Determinations for Students with Disabilities (August 2000). Further questions should be directed to one of the following offices or units at the State Education Department (SED):

Topic

Office/Internet Address

Telephone

Evaluation Policy and Procedures

VESID Special Education Policy
Development Unit

http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed

(518) 473-2878

 

NYS Education Department VESID Special Education Quality Assurance Regional Offices:
Eastern Regional Office: (518) 486-6366
Western Regional Office: (585) 344-2112 x420
Central Regional Office: (315) 428-3287
Hudson Valley Regional Office: (914) 245-0010
NYC Regional Office: (718) 722-4544
Long Island Regional Office: (631) 884-8530

Evaluation Rates

Program Services Reimbursement Unit
Albany, New York

www.oms.nysed.gov/rsu/

(518) 474-3227

Approval for Reimbursement and Claims

STAC and Special Aids Unit
www.oms.nysed.gov/stac

(518) 474-7116

Evaluations of Three- and Four-Year-Old Children
Suspected of Having Disabilities Pursuant to Section 4410 of the Education Law

Initial Evaluation

An individual evaluation for a three or four-year old child suspected of having a disability means any procedures, tests or assessments used selectively with an individual child as necessary to determine whether a child has a disability and the extent of his/her special education needs. Upon referral of a child with a suspected disability to the CPSE, the board of education, with parentís consent, must arrange for an evaluation of the child. The school district CPSE, is the multidisciplinary team required by federal law to conduct the individual evaluation of a preschool child suspected of having a disability. The CPSE has the primary responsibility to identify and to authorize the specific components of each individual preschool evaluation, including the required components, and any other appropriate assessments or evaluations.

The parent selects an SED approved evaluator and must provide written consent for the proposed evaluation pursuant to section 200.5(b)(1) and section 200.16(c) of the Commissionerís Regulations.

Programmatic Requirements

The initial multidisciplinary evaluation of a preschool student pursuant to sections 200.4(b) and 200.16(c) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education must include at least:

  • a physical examination in accordance with the provisions of sections 903, 904 and 905 of the education law;
  • an individual psychological evaluation;
  • a social history;
  • an observation of the child in the current educational placement; and
  • other appropriate assessments or evaluations, including a functional behavioral assessment for a student whose behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others, as necessary to ascertain the physical, mental, behavioral and emotional factors which contribute to the suspected disabilities.

The determination of other appropriate assessments or evaluations to be included as part of an initial evaluation or reevaluation must be made on a case-by-case basis by a group that includes the CPSE with the input of the childís parent(s) and other qualified professionals of various disciplines. (See section 200.16(c)(2) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education). This may include the child's teacher, the speech and language therapist or other related service providers, or the approved evaluator selected by the parent(s). The group must review existing data on the child including evaluations and information provided by the child's parent(s), current classroom based assessments and observations by teachers and related service providers. For the child transitioning from the early intervention program, the early intervention official, with parental consent, must arrange for the transfer of records, including the most recent evaluations, to the CPSE and the approved evaluator selected by the parent(s). (See section 4410(4)(c) of New York State Education Law.)

The evaluation must include sufficient information for a CPSE to determine a child's eligibility for special education programs and services. To the extent that the approved evaluator conducts the initial evaluation as authorized by the CPSE using the evaluation components identified above, State reimbursement will be provided to the county. If the CPSE requires additional evaluation components, the identified components are part of the initial evaluation.

For the initial evaluation, should the evaluator find that a child requires an evaluation beyond the limits stated (see boxed components on previous page), or should a CPSE during the course of the school year, or at the time of annual review, require a reevaluation of any component, the CPSE must provide written authorization to the evaluator. Following the initial evaluation, in the event that a child experiences a change during the year in health, family structure or a related circumstance, the CPSE must provide written authorization before the evaluator may conduct reevaluation of any evaluation component, including the psychological or social history.

The approved evaluator must conduct the evaluation in accordance with section 200.4(b) of the Commissionerís Regulations and must provide documentation of the evaluation, including all assessment reports and a summary of findings to the members of the CPSE. The summary report must include a detailed statement of the childís individual needs. However, it may not include a recommendation as to the general type, frequency and duration of special services and programs; must not address the manner in which special services and programs can be provided in the least restrictive environment; and must not make reference to any specific provider of special services or programs. The summary must be on a form developed by SED. This form is available on our internet site, http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/preschool/, or by referring to a SED field memo Updated Preschool Student Evaluation Summary Report Form and Clarification on New Provisions Required Pursuant to the Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) (January 2000).

Legislative Authorization

Section 4410(10)(b) of the Education Law, as amended by Chapter 705 of the Laws of 1992, authorizes SED to establish separate reimbursement rates for evaluations subject to approval by the Division of Budget (DOB). In addition, Chapter 520 of the Laws of 1993 provides for reimbursement of the costs of translating, when necessary, the summary report of the evaluation from English into the native language or other mode of communication of the parents. Chapter 520 also provides reimbursement for the whole cost of translating the documentation of the evaluation, upon request of the parent(s), unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. To assure reimbursement, a CPSE should establish procedures to ensure that evaluators maintain documentation of the parentís request for translation of the documentation of the evaluation(s).

Establishment of Rates

Each year, DOB approves the same rates for preschool (section 4410 of Education Law) evaluations as those established by the Department of Health for the Early Intervention program. Rates are established for the following types of evaluation components: psychological, social history, physicians and non-physicians. The rate for each component is the rate in effect on the evaluation completion date and for the evaluated preschoolerís county of residence. Rates may be viewed on the internet site for the Rate Setting Unit at http://www.oms.nysed.gov/rsu/Correspondence/Methodology_Letters.html. Rates are not subject to reconciliation.

Reimbursement Procedures

After a childís evaluation has been conducted, the CPSE must initiate the Request for Commissionerís Approval of Reimbursement for the Cost of Evaluations (STAC-5). (A copy of the form is attached.) The request form must identify those components of the multi-disciplinary evaluation for which the provider may bill the appropriate municipality.

For each school year (July 1-June 30), providers may bill the municipality only once for each component of the evaluation, regardless of the number of sessions needed to complete the particular evaluation.

Requirements for Reimbursement

The following guidelines apply to section 4410 of the Education Law evaluation reimbursement processing. Under normal circumstances SED approval for reimbursement via electronic processing is limited to:

  • one social history per school year;
  • one psychological evaluation per school year;
  • up to four other evaluations, in addition to the social history and psychological evaluation as determined necessary and appropriate by the CPSE, parent and evaluator (this may include a combination of physician evaluations and/or non-physician evaluations);
  • the acceptable evaluation components listed on the attached glossary. Other components beyond the six components listed above may be reimbursable, but will require special (manual) processing.

Children who will turn 5 on or before December 1st of the school year are considered kindergarten age for that school year, except in districts such as the New York City Department of Education that have established a later "cut off" date (section 4410(1)(i) of Education Law). In those districts which use a later "cut off" date, the later date is used to determine the last date of eligibility for preschool special education and the first date for kindergarten eligibility for the school year. Children who will turn 5 after the districtís "cut off" date are considered preschoolers for an additional school year, and are eligible to be evaluated and receive services through the CPSE. STACs submitted for evaluations of children entering kindergarten in September must indicate evaluation dates prior to August in order to be reimbursed via the STAC process.

Recommended Schedule for Evaluation
of Students with Disabilities

 

Date of Birth

Transition of Children from Early Intervention

Transition of Preschool Students to Special Education for School-age Students

 

1st Eligible for Preschool Special Education
(8 NYCRR 200.16(e))

Recommended earliest date to have initial evaluation by CPSE

Last Date Eligible for Preschool Student to receive services, through the CPSE
(8 NYCRR 200.1(mm))

Recommended last date for student to be evaluated by the CPSE

Between Jan. - June 1999

Jan. 2002

Sept. 2001

Aug. 2004

July 2004

Between July - Dec. 1, 1999

July 2002

March 2002

Aug. 2004

July 2004

Between Dec. 2 - Dec. 31, 1999

July 2002

March 2002

Aug. 2005

July 2005

Between Jan. - June 2000

Jan. 2003

Sept. 2002

Aug. 2005

July 2005

Between July - Dec. 1, 2000

July 2003

March 2003

Aug. 2005

July 2005

Between Dec. 2 - Dec. 31, 2000 (when the district cut off date for kindergarten eligibility is Dec. 1).

July 2003

March 2003

Aug. 2006

July 2006

Between Dec. 2 - Dec. 31, 2000 (when the district cut off date for kindergarten eligibility is later than Dec. 1). July 2003 March 2003 Aug. 2005 July 2005

The annual review of a preschool child with a disability is based on a review of the child's IEP and other current information pertaining to the student's performance. When the child's teacher(s) and/or any related service provider(s) use formal or informal assessment measures as specified on the child's IEP to document a child's progress, the assessment is not reimbursable. However should the CPSE authorize a reevaluation or a new evaluation in any component, as documented on the STAC-5, a claim for reimbursement may be made.

Upon review and approval, SEDís STAC and Special Aids Unit will send or transmit an Evaluation Reimbursement Approval (STAC-5A) for each child to the responsible school district with informational copies to the approved evaluator and appropriate municipality. Corrections to the STAC-5A may only be made by a CPSE Chairperson or the designee of the school district. If an evaluator or municipality identifies the need for correction, the appropriate CPSE should be contacted.

To initiate corrections, the CPSE should sign the "Revision" portion of the STAC-5A approval document and forward it to the municipality. Upon transmittal to the STAC and Special Aids Unit, staff will review the revision and, if appropriate, process an amended approval with copies to the CPSE, the municipality and the section 4410 approved agency that conducted the studentís evaluation. Reimbursement will be provided to the municipalities through an Automated Voucher Listing (AVL) process.

Claiming Reimbursement using the Automated Voucher Listing (AVL)

The AVL for Evaluations is generated on a quarterly basis beginning on April 1st during the school year in which the evaluation components were conducted. The AVL is transmitted to the municipality for review and claim, then returned to SED for payment. As with all section 4410 of the Education Law reimbursement, claims must be made within three years of the end of the school year in which the evaluation was conducted. (See Chapter 474 of the Laws of 1996.)


Glossary of Terms

The following are components that may be included in an individual evaluation to determine whether a child has a disability. Some terms are specifically identified on the STAC-5 form for reimbursement purposes as required components of an individual evaluation (Table 1). Some are evaluation components that may be used to identify the factors that may contribute to an individual child's disability (Table 2). The remaining are not acceptable for electronic transmittal as components for reimbursement and should be included as part of another component if appropriate (Table 3). Only the components and codes listed in Tables 1 and 2 may be included on electronically transmitted STAC-5 forms.

INDIVIDUAL EVALUATION COMPONENTS (Table 1)
(Required Initial Evaluations)
Reimbursed through the STAC System

Evaluation Component

Code

Areas To Be Assessed

Qualified Staff Who May Conduct the Evaluation

1. Physical Examination
(In accordance with Sections 903, 904 and 905 of the Education Law)

PHY

Vision, hearing physical impairment and medical needs which affect a child's developmental progress.

School physician
Nurse practitioner
Physician's assistant

2. Social History
(Section 200.1(tt) Regulations of the Commissioner)

SOC

Interpersonal, familial and environmental factors which influence a student's general adjustment to school, including, but not limited to, information on family composition, student's family history, student's health and family interaction.

Social worker
School psychologist
Special education teacher
School administrator
School nurse

3. Psychological
(Section 200.1(bb) Regulations of the Commissioner)

PSY

Developmental learning, behavioral and other personality characteristics. Areas may include: general intelligence, learning strengths and weaknesses, instructional needs, social interactions and relationships.

School psychologist
Licensed psychologist

 

OTHER EVALUATION COMPONENTS (Table 2)
(Additional components that may be included for reimbursement at the SED established rate)

Evaluation Component

Code

Areas To Be Assessed

Qualified Staff Who May Conduct the Evaluation

4. Audiological

AUD

Identifies the type, classification and degree of a child's hearing loss as it relates to the development and understanding of spoken language.

Licensed audiologist
Licensed physician
Nurse practitioner

5. Educational

EDU

Identifies a child's level of achievement, knowledge, and development in subject and skill areas such as maintaining attention, auditory and visual perception, fine and gross motor skills, and self-help skills, social interactions and learning styles.

Special education teacher
School psychologist

6. Neurological

NEU

A specialized medical examination of the nervous system. A medical history focusing on the nervous system is taken. Typically, the exam tests vision, strength, coordination, reflexes and sensation. This information helps to determine if the problem is in the nervous system.

Neurologist
Pediatric neurologist

7. Neuropsychological

NPY

Provides a description of a range of cognitive deficits and strengths in such areas as: organizational skills; intellectual functioning; sensory and perceptual functioning; language comprehension and expression; attention, concentration and alertness; problem solving and judgment; flexibility of thought process; memory; rate of information processing; sequencing ability; and temporal and spacial abilities.

Neuropsychologist

8. Occupational Therapy

OCT

Developmental level of the child in oral-motor, sensory processing, visual-perceptual-motor function, manual dexterity, play and self-help skills.

Licensed occupational therapist

9. Optometric

OPT

An examination of the eyes and related structures to determine the presence of vision problems and eye disorders and, if necessary, the prescription and adaptation of lenses and other optical aids or the use of vision training for maximum visual efficiency.

Licensed optometrist

10. Orthopedic

ORT

An examination by a medical specialist concerned with the preservation, restoration and development of form and function of the musculoskeletal system, extremities, spine and associated structures by medical, surgical and physical means.

Licensed orthopedist

11. Otolaryngology

OTO

A medical evaluation by a specialist dealing with the ear, nose, and throat which is not generally part of an evaluation to determine a child's special education needs unless justification is given as to how the evaluation provides information about a child's language and communication or hearing as compared to generally expected developmental age milestones.

Otolaryngologist

12. Physical Therapy

PHT

Developmental level in the motor area, including range of motion, muscle testing, sensory integration, endurance, balance and equilibrium, postural and joint deviation, gait analysis, personal independence, checking of prosthetic and orthotic equipment and devices, wheel chair management (if applicable) and identification of architectural barriers and transportation needs.

Licensed physical therapist

13. Psychiatric

PYC

A medical evaluation that deals with the mental, emotional and behavioral functioning of a child as these areas related to the child's learning, acquisition of skills and interpersonal relationships with peers and adults.

A physician with a license in clinical psychiatry

14. Speech and Language

SPT

Developmental level at which a child understands and uses language to communicate and interact with adults and peers. Includes phonology, the correct production of sounds; semantics or understanding and production of words and sentences, and abstract or relational words; grammar, intonation, pragmatic use of language to communicate or express needs and intention.

Teacher of the speech and hearing impaired
Licensed speech pathologist

 

REIMBURSEMENT OF "OTHER" EVALUATION COMPONENTS AS STAND-ALONE EVALUATIONS REQUIRES MANUAL PROCESSING (Directions to Table 3)

All "OTHER" evaluation components (not identified in Tables 1 or 2) must be processed manually by the STAC and Special Aids Unit. The STAC System does not automatically recognize the evaluation terms listed on the left column of Table 3. These may be included in other evaluation components such as the terms noted on the right hand column. In the event that requests for reimbursement for these "specialty" or "OTHER" evaluation components are submitted as separate evaluation components, the completed STAC-5 form must include an explanation from the CPSE.

When possible, the "OTHER" evaluations listed as Part of Table 3 should be processed as PART of the suggested standard evaluations which make up the "Glossary of Terms."

When an "OTHER" evaluation cannot be delivered as part of a standard evaluation listed in the "Glossary of Terms," and must be considered as a "SEPARATE, STAND-ALONE" evaluation, the following procedures must be followed:

Please contact the STAC and Special Aids Unit at 518-474-7116 if you have any questions or need additional information.


Evaluation Components Not Acceptable
As Stand-Alone (Table 3)

Evaluation Components Which Must be Processed Manually as an "OTHER" Evaluation:

Standard Evaluation Components Acceptable for Electronic Processing:

   

Adapted PE

Physical/Medical (PHY)
Physical Therapy (PHT)

Art Therapy/Play

Psychological (PSY)

Augmented Communication

Speech/Language (SPT)

Cleft Palate (no team)

Physical/Medical (PHY)
Speech/Language (SPT)

Physical Coordination and Balance

Physical/Medical (PHY)
Physical Therapy (PHT)

Counseling

Psychological or other assessments of social functioning (PSY)

Developmental Assessment

Physical/Medical (PHY)

Ear/Nose/Throat (For clarification please refer to Table 2, item 11, Otolaryngology evaluation)

Physical/Medical (PHY)

Feeding

Physical/Medical (PHY)
Speech/Language (SPT)

Music Therapy

Psychological (PSY)

Oral Motor

Physical/Medical (PHY)
Speech/Language (SPT)

Orientation and Mobility

Psychiatric (PYC)
Optometric (OPT)
Occupational Therapy (OCT)
Physical Therapy (PHT)
Audiological (AUD)

Evaluation by a Teacher of the Deaf

Educational Evaluation

Evaluation by a Teacher of the Blind/Visually Handicapped

Educational Evaluation

The following should not be included for reimbursement on the STAC-5 form:


Attachment A

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  1. Who is responsible for identifying the specific evaluation components for each individual evaluation for each preschool child suspected of having a disability?

The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) has the primary responsibility to identify and to authorize the specific components of each individual preschool evaluation, including the required components and any other appropriate assessments or evaluations. (Please refer to the "Glossary of Terms" - Tables 1 and 2 - Pages 8 and 9). A group that includes the CPSE, the student's parents and other qualified professionals of various disciplines must review existing evaluation data on the student to determine what additional data, if any, are needed to determine a students eligibility for special education, the present levels of educational performance and the needs of the student. With the consent of the parents, approved evaluators and committees are provided with the most recent evaluation report for a child in transition from the early intervention program. The approved evaluator and the committee may review these and other assessments or evaluations to determine if these assessments or evaluations fulfill the requirements of the Regulations of the Commissioner. There is no separate or additional reimbursement to an evaluator for review of existing evaluation information. The review of existing evaluation data on the student does not necessarily need to take place at a formal meeting. The approved evaluator selected by the parent may be considered one of the other qualified professionals who may recommend to the CPSE the tests or assessments to be conducted as part of an initial evaluation or reevaluation of a preschool student.

  1. Is "screening" a component of an individual evaluation and is it reimbursable?

    No. Screening, pursuant to Part 117 of the Regulations of the Commissioner, is a preliminary method of distinguishing from the general school-age population those students who may possibly have a disability or those who may possibly be gifted. It is not a component of a multidisciplinary evaluation of a preschool child suspected of having a disability and therefore, is not reimbursable.

  2. What is a functional behavioral assessment (FBA)? Is reimbursement provided for an FBA?

    An FBA is the process of determining why a student engages in behaviors that impede learning and how the student's behavior relates to the environment. The FBA includes, but is not limited to, the identification of the problem behavior, the definition of the behavior in concrete terms, the identification of the contextual factors that contribute to the behavior (including cognitive and affective factors) and the formulation of a hypothesis regarding the general conditions under which a behavior usually occurs and probable consequences that serve to maintain it. A variety of techniques are available to conduct an FBA including, but not limited to direct assessment, indirect assessment and data analysis.

    A separate rate is not established for an FBA for a three-or four-year old child. Since the specific assessment techniques and components of the FBA vary based on the identification of an individual student's challenging behavior, the CPSE must determine which evaluation components will be used for the FBA. Reimbursement is requested using the STAC-5, with an identification of the components used, either as part of an initial evaluation or a reevaluation. The components of the FBA may include, but are not limited to a psychological, social history or an educational assessment, either individually or in combination.

  1. Is parental consent needed for the CPSE to conduct an initial evaluation of a preschool child?

Yes. In the event that the parent(s) does not provide written consent for an evaluation of the student, the CPSE must use the school district's procedures to ensure that the parents have received and understand the request for consent. If a parent continues not to provide written consent, no evaluation is conducted and the process ends.

  1. When and how are evaluation results reported to the CPSE?

The evaluation results must be provided to the CPSE, including the child's parent(s), in time to allow the CPSE to make a recommendation to the board of education within 30 school days of the date the CPSE received parental consent.

The results or "documentation" of the evaluation includes all assessment reports of the individual evaluation components and a summary report of the evaluation findings. The summary report must be in a form required by SED, and include a detailed statement of the preschool child's individual needs. The summary report must not address the manner in which special services and programs can be provided in the LRE or make a recommendation as to the general type, frequency, and duration of special services and programs. The required evaluation summary form may be obtained by contacting VESID, Special Education Policy Development Unit at One Commerce Plaza, Room 1624, Albany, New York 12234 or 518-473-2878 or by accessing the SED internet web site at http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/preschool/. The results or "documentation" of the evaluation, which includes all assessment reports of the individual evaluation, may include recommendations stated above.

  1. Must the evaluation be conducted in languages other than English? Is reimbursement provided when the evaluation results must be translated into other languages for parents?

Yes. Tests and other assessments must be provided and administered in the student's native language or other mode of communication, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. Similarly, the approved evaluator must provide a statement of the evaluation results and recommendation provided to the CPSE in English, and when necessary, in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless it is not feasible to do so.

Reimbursement for the written translated summary and evaluation is not allowable if the evaluation is billed as a bilingual evaluation. The bilingual evaluation rates include the cost of any translated documents required by section 200.16 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. Evaluators who bill for a bilingual evaluation may not bill translation costs separately or in addition to billing at a bilingual evaluation rate. In cases where the child does not require a bilingual evaluation, but the parent requests translations of the evaluation summary and/or documentation of the evaluation, the evaluator may bill for actual translation costs incurred.

  1. What is a social history and are updates reimbursable as part of the reevaluation?

    A social history is a mandated component of an initial evaluation only and is reimbursed at the rate set by SED. It is a report gathered and prepared by qualified personnel related to the interpersonal, familial and environmental variables, which influence a student's adaptation to school and learning environments. It includes, but is not limited to data on family composition, family history, developmental history of the student, health of the student, family interaction and the student's adjustment to school and learning environments.

    In the course of the annual review or other review to assess a child's progress in meeting IEP goals, a social worker, a psychologist or other qualified professional may make a note to update the social history. This is not a reevaluation and there is no separate reimbursement for a social history update. However, a social history reevaluation may be appropriate when there is a significant change or serious issue in a child's family circumstances. This may be due to divorce, remarriage, death or severe illness of a parent, or a change in the child's health, stamina or attention due to a medical condition, illness or accident. The cost of a social history reevaluation is reimbursed at the SED established rate using the STAC-5 form with an attached statement by the CPSE justifying the need for the reevaluation.

  1. When is the psychological component of the evaluation required?

A psychological evaluation is mandated as part of the initial evaluation of a preschool child suspected of having a disability. Generally, most children should not require a psychological reevaluation on an annual basis. However, the CPSE may authorize such a reevaluation if needed.

  1. Section 200.4(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner includes an observation of the student in the current education placement, yet no rate has been set to reimburse for this mandated evaluation component. Can this be reimbursed?

No. An observation of the child in the current education placement is an integral part of the existing evaluation and rate structure and is not reimbursed as a separate component.

  1. When is the CPSE required to provide written authorization for an individual evaluation?

For reimbursement purposes, the CPSE must provide written authorization to the evaluator for all components of an initial evaluation and reevaluation. This is particularly significant when a child experiences a change during the year in health, family structure or a related circumstance and a reevaluation of the psychological or social history components may be needed. Appropriate completion of the STAC-5 includes a certification statement signed by the CPSE chairperson that the child has received a multidisciplinary evaluation in accordance with section 4410 of the Education Law and Part 200 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

  1. During the course of an initial evaluation authorized by the CPSE, all components of the evaluation are unable to be completed at one session. Does the CPSE have to authorize those parts of the initial evaluation that will be completed at a subsequent session? Are these reimbursable?

The initial evaluation must be authorized by the CPSE and is reimbursable, regardless of the number of sessions that it takes to complete the evaluation. The evaluation must be completed within the timelines that allow the IEP to be developed for eligible preschool children with disabilities within 30 days of the date when the CPSE received parent consent for the evaluation to be conducted. If subsequent sessions are required to complete the evaluation, no additional authorization is required, nor is additional reimbursement available.

  1. Can a provider be reimbursed for an incomplete or partially completed initial evaluation if the parent either leaves without notification to the CPSE or formally withdraws the child from the process?

Yes. To the extent that the evaluator conducted an incomplete or partial evaluation that was interrupted at the parent's request, the evaluator should submit a summary report including all documentation to the CPSE reflecting the evaluation results and indicating that the evaluation was terminated before any recommendations could be developed. The CPSE would then complete and submit a STAC-5 authorizing reimbursement for those components, which were reported in the summary of the evaluation.

  1. Must all CPSE authorizations for evaluation be done through a formalized process? If minutes are taken at the CPSE meeting will these minutes serve as an authorization for reimbursement of evaluations/reevaluations?

All evaluations must be authorized in writing by the CPSE. The method of transmitting the CPSE's authorization to the approved evaluator is at the discretion of the school district. The method(s) should be included in written district policy and transmitted to providers and municipalities so they understand the policy. The evaluator's receipt of a copy of the signed parent consent indicates the specific evaluation components authorized by the CPSE. Item 12 of the STAC-5 form is the certification by the CPSE Chairperson that the evaluation has been authorized by the CPSE and consistent with State requirements. Minutes from the CPSE meeting are not typically considered as an authorization for reimbursement of evaluations/reevaluations unless the school district has established and transmitted that policy to providers and municipalities.

  1. May a related service provider conduct and be reimbursed for a reevaluation for a student who is receiving related services only?

Only approved evaluators may conduct reevaluations with the authorization of the CPSE. A related service provider may not conduct reevaluations within their capacity as a designated related service provider. However, if the related service provider is employed by or under contract with an agency which has an evaluation program approved by SED, the related service provider may conduct a requested reevaluation within the capacity of the approved evaluation program. Approved evaluators may contract with other qualified professionals to ensure timely completion of the evaluation. In the course of working with a child, the related service provider may use informal or formal assessment measures to document the child's progress. This is not considered to be a reevaluation. Such assessment(s) may be conducted within the scheduled related service session for which reimbursement is already provided.

  1. Can more than one agency be responsible for conducting an initial evaluation?

    In general, one agency is responsible for conducting an initial evaluation. However, an approved evaluator who is unable to conduct a specific component is permitted to enter into a formal agreement with other qualified professionals to ensure completion of evaluations within mandated timelines.

  1. Is parental consent required for reevaluation?

Yes. If new tests or assessments are going to be conducted as part of the reevaluation parental consent is required prior to the reevaluation. Parents must be provided with a description of the proposed reevaluation and the uses to be made of the information obtained through the reevaluation.

  1. Can authorization to conduct another evaluation component as part of an initial evaluation or in a reevaluation of a child be given by the CPSE chairperson without a full CPSE meeting?

Yes. A CPSE chairperson may authorize, in writing, another evaluation component for a preschool child with a disability, in consultation with a group that includes the CPSE and other qualified professionals including the evaluator to ensure such evaluation is appropriate and necessary. The group may conduct its review without the need to convene a meeting of the CPSE. The CPSE chairperson, acting on behalf of the Committee, may authorize the additional evaluation component for the child based on the following conditions:

However, if any CPSE member does not agree that a specific evaluation component is necessary, it is recommended that the chairperson convene a meeting of the CPSE to determine the need for such an evaluation.

  1. For students who are eligible to enter kindergarten in September, is there a cut-off date for obtaining an initial evaluation through the CPSE process?

    There is no cut-off date specified in law or regulation when the CPSE process should no longer be used to conduct an initial evaluation for a child eligible for school age services in September. In most cases no evaluations should be conducted through the CPSE process after July 1st since, as a practical matter the child's eligibility and IEP will have to be developed by the Committee on Special Education (CSE). Those children who will be school age in September and who are referred for evaluation following kindergarten screenings should be referred to the CSE.

    In those rare cases when a preschool child may need services for the first time in July/August preceding entry as a school age student, a recommendation would be made by the CPSE and reimbursement would be provided by the municipality. Section 200.1(mm) of the Regulations of the Commissioner specifies that "a student shall be deemed to be a preschool child with a disability through the month of August of the school year in which the child becomes eligible to attend school pursuant to section 3202 of the Education Law."

  2. When a child transitions from the Early Intervention Program, moves to New York from out of state or from one county to another or when a child has an evaluation from other sources, is there a reimbursement mechanism for review of existing evaluations?
  3. No. Section 4410 of Education Law provides reimbursement to the approved evaluators for conducting evaluations. There is no additional reimbursement for review of existing completed evaluations.

  4. How can the fees for appropriate translation be included in the evaluation reimbursement?

    If one or more components of the evaluation required the participation of an individual in addition to the evaluator for the purpose of translation, check the appropriate box on the STAC-5.

    If the native language or mode of communication of the parent(s) is other than English a translation of the summary report of the evaluation must be prepared. Report the cost of such translation on the STAC-5.

    If the parent requests the whole evaluation be translated into his/her native language or other mode of communication, indicate the cost of translation on the STAC-5.

  5. Does SED establish rates for bilingual evaluations?
  6. Yes. Use item 10 on the STAC-5 form to request reimbursement for bilingual evaluation components.

  7. If an evaluator uses a nurse to collect a child's medical records and review them, is this a billable supplemental evaluation?

No.

  1. How and when is an STAC-5 completed for preschool evaluations?
  2. Following the review of the results of the initial evaluation at the CPSE meeting, the chairperson must complete and sign the STAC-5. This could be done at the CPSE meeting. The STAC-5 should identify those components of the multidisciplinary evaluation for which the provider may bill the appropriate municipality. The CPSE chairperson must sign and retain a copy of the STAC-5 and forward the other three copies to the appropriate municipality. The municipality must sign the STAC-5, retain its copy and forward the other copies to the evaluator and SED. The original of the STAC-5 is provided to the STAC and Special Aids Unit at the New York State Education Department for processing.

  3. How are providers informed that a STAC-5 has been completed and submitted by the CPSE?

The service provider receives both a copy of the STAC-5 Evaluation Form and an informational copy of the STAC-5A "Approval for Reimbursement of Evaluation Costs." Municipalities must pay based upon receipt of the completed STAC-5 from the CPSE. Municipalities may not delay payment until receipt of the STAC-5A, "Notification of Commissioner's Approval for Reimbursement of Preschool Evaluations." (Formerly known as "Approved Evaluation Components.")

  1. What happens if a STAC-5 is filed for a child after the initial CPSE meeting and later, during the year, a new evaluation is approved? Is the STAC-5A amended, or is a second STAC-5 filed?

    It is important to distinguish between a reevaluation and other assessments such as those conducted as part of the annual review. For a reevaluation authorized by the CPSE a new STAC-5 should be submitted to indicate "reevaluation." As previously noted, assessments conducted as part of an annual review are not subject to reimbursement through these procedures. The STAC-5A should only be used to amend the STAC-5 if there is an inconsistency between the STAC-5 and the STAC-5A.
  2. If a child moves to another school district, which district completes the STAC-5?
  3. The district with CPSE responsibility at the time the child was evaluated is responsible to complete and submit the STAC-5 to the SED.

  4. How will SED determine the fiscal year of the evaluation when STAC-5 forms are submitted?

The STAC-5 reflects the date the child was evaluated. This date is used to determine the rate in effect for each evaluation component.


Attachment B


Attachment C

Updated Preschool Student Evaluation Summary Report Form and Clarification on New Provisions Required Pursuant to the Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)