Form Only Available in Word Format

August 2007

TO:              District Superintendents
                    Superintendents of Schools
                    Presidents of Boards of Education
                    New York City Board of Education
                    Principals of Public Schools
                    Directors of Pupil Personnel Services
                    Chairpersons, Committees on Preschool Special Education
                    Executive Directors of Approved Preschool Programs
                    Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education
                    Impartial Hearing Officers
                    Commissioner’s Advisory Panel for Special Education Services
                    Early Childhood Direction Centers
                    SETRC Professional Development Specialists                           
FROM:         James P. DeLorenzo  Signature of james P. DeLorenzo

SUBJECT:    Child-Specific Allowance to Temporarily Exceed an Approved Special Class Size for Preschool Students with Disabilities – Revised 8/07

          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 revised procedures add a process to temporarily exceed the maximum of 12 preschool students with disabilities in a special class or in a special class in an integrated setting by one student pursuant to section 200.16(i)(3)(iii)(b) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education which was amended, effective July 1, 2007, to read as follows:

(b) The maximum class size shall not exceed 12 preschool students with at least one teacher and one or more supplementary school personnel assigned to each class. (1) If a committee on preschool special education recommends a preschool student to an approved program which has no space available in the specific special class which will meet the student’s unique needs as recommended on the individualized education program (IEP), the approved program may temporarily increase the enrollment of a class up to a maximum of 13 preschool students for the remainder of the school year, by a procedure to be established by the Commissioner, to ensure that the student receives a free appropriate public education. If the attendance during the instructional time exceeds 12 students, another staff member shall be assigned to the class.  Other staff members may include related service providers and/or supplementary school personnel.

          Procedures to temporarily increase a program’s approved student-to-staff ratio that would not otherwise result in more than 12 preschool students in a class remain unchanged from guidance previously issued.  Any temporary increases in approved special class sizes as described in this memorandum, including those to exceed the maximum 12 students, 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 one or two preschool students with a disability beyond the program’s approved student-to-staff ratio or more than one beyond the maximum 12 students, 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.

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 class1 or special class in an integrated setting program.  The application for new preschool special education programs and the preschool modification application are both available at:http://www.p12.nysed.gov/publications/preschool/home.html.

New procedures to temporarily increase the enrollment of a class up to a maximum of 13 preschool students:

  1. The State Education Department (SED) may grant a request to temporarily exceed the maximum class size of 12 preschool students up to a maximum of 13 preschool students for the remainder of the school year when the program is otherwise at capacity in the specific special class which will meet the student’s unique needs as recommended on the IEP.
  2. If the attendance during the instructional time exceeds 12 students, another staff member must be assigned to the class.  Other staff members may include related service providers and/or supplementary school personnel (supplementary school personnel is defined in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education as a teacher aide or teaching assistant).
  3. Any temporary expansion of classes to 13 preschool children made before January 1 of the school year will require SED approval before the student is enrolled (see "Prior Approval Request" procedures). 
  4. Any temporary expansion of classes to 13 preschool children made after January 1 of the school year may be made by notification to SED, i.e., prior approval not required (see: Child-Specific Preschool Notification procedures).

PROCEDURES TO TEMPORARILY INCREASE CLASS SIZE:

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

For special classes and special classes in an integrated setting approved to serve less than 12 preschool students with disabilities

Child-Specific Preschool Notification:

After the start of the school year in September, an approved preschool program may temporarily, for the remainder of the school year, enroll 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.

These temporary increases apply 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 student’s enrollment, the approved program must submit a written notification to SED using 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 “Child-Specific Preschool Notification” process (see above) and now requests approval to temporarily, for the remainder of the school year, 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 using the attached form.

These temporary increases apply when such placements are needed for the preschool students to receive FAPE. 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.

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.

For special classes and special classes in an integrated setting approved to serve 12 preschool students with disabilities

Prior Approval Request: 

After the start of the school year in September, and prior to January 1 of the school year, an approved preschool program may temporarily, for the remainder of the school year, enroll one additional preschool student with a disability in each of its special classes approved to serve 12 preschool students with disabilities that are at maximum approved class size capacity through submission of a request for prior child-specific approval to SED on the attached form.

OR

Child-Specific Preschool Notification:

After January 1 of the school year, an approved preschool program may temporarily, for the remainder of the school year, enroll one additional preschool student with a disability in each of its special classes approved to serve 12 preschool students with disabilities that are at maximum approved class size capacity through a notification process without prior approval by SED. 

The attached form is used for either:

(1) Submission of a child-specific preschool notification or
(2) Submission of a prior approval request. 

The form 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., supplementary school personnel 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

Attachment


 

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

Form Only Available in Word Format

(1) Submission of a child-specific preschool notification or
(2) Submission of a prior approval request.

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:

For special class or special class in an integrated setting approved to serve less than 12 preschool students with disabilities:

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

                                   OR
Prior Approval Request (seeking approval to add a second preschool student with a disability – the program must have already submitted notification to SED of enrollment of one additional preschool student with a disability to the same class)

For special class or special class in an integrated setting approved to serve 12 preschool students with disabilities:
Child-Specific Preschool Notification (enrolling one additional preschool student with a disability to a maximum of 13 preschool students with disabilities after January 1 of the school year)
                                   OR
Prior Approval Request (seeking approval to add one additional preschool student with a disability to a maximum of 13 preschool students with disabilities after the start of the school year but prior to January 1 of that school year)

Approved Preschool Program

Classroom number or teacher’s name for the classroom in which the additional student is enrolled:

________________________

full-day (more than 2½ hours)                 

            OR

half-day  (2 ½ hours per day)
         a.m. session
         p.m. session

ten month

two month

 Special class

 

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

 

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

Approved special education student/staff ratio consistent with program’s 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 a class of 13 preschool students with disabilities.        yes        no

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

  • Note: When a temporary enrollment increase results in a class of 13 preschool students, an additional staff member must be assigned to the class if the attendance during the instructional time exceeds 12 students.

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:            

Student’s DOB__________

OR

Name of the second student requested to be enrolled:

______________________

Student’s DOB__________

Date the one additional student entered the class listed above:            

______________________

OR

 

Student’s school district of residence:           

_______________________

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

________________________

Student’s municipality of
Residence:            

_______________________

The educational justification for the placement:      

 

The undersigned assures that:

 

_______________________             _________________              _________________
Name of Chief Executive Officer        Signature                     Date


For notification to SED to enroll one additional preschool student with a disability and/or notification to temporary increases in class size to 13 students requested after January 1 of the school year:

For prior approval requests to enroll a second additional preschool student with a disability in classes and/or to temporarily enroll 13 preschool students in a special class before January 1:

 

For SED Use

Date Received:  ____________

For Requests to Adding A Second Student

   Approved

   Not approved – Reason:

For Requests to Exceed Maximum 12 students prior to January 1:

   Approved

   Not approved – Reason:

 

SED Representative:      

Signature: ________________________

Date:  ___________________________

 

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.