The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is a multidisciplinary team, appointed by the Board of Education. The CSE is responsible for students with disabilities from ages 5-21. The CSE is authorized to identify students in need of services by determining eligibility, developing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), placing the student in the least restrictive environment in which they can succeed and provide appropriate services to meet the child's educational needs.
To qualify for an IEP, there are two requirements:
- A child has one or more of the 13 specific disabilities listed in IDEA. Learning and attention issues may qualify.
- The disability must affect the child’s educational performance and/or ability to learn and benefit from the general education curriculum, leading to the need for specialized instruction.
The team consists of:
- a district representative
- the parent(s) of the child
- the school physician, if requested by the parent
- school psychologist
- the regular education teacher if the child is participating in the regular educational program
- the special education teacher and/or service provider(s)
- a parent representative who has a child with an educational disability, unless the parent requests the parent member not be present
- an individual who understands and can explain evaluation results and how the results affect instruction
- any other people who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student, as requested by the parent or school district
- the student, if appropriate
The team meets at least annually to review a child's IEP and to determine program. Parents and students are encouraged to participate in each step of the process.
The IEP sets learning goals for a child and describes the services the school will give her. It’s a written document.
Here are some of the most important things the IEP must include:
- The child’s present levels of academic and functional performance—how she is currently doing in school
- Annual education goals for the child and how the school will track her progress
- The services the child will get—this may include special education, related, supplementary and extended school year services
- The timing of services—when they start, how often they occur and how long they last
- Any accommodations—changes to the child’s learning environment
- Any modifications—changes to what the child is expected to learn or know
- How the child will participate in standardized tests
- How the child will be included in general education classes and school activities
A parent must consent in writing for the school to evaluate a child. Parents must also consent in writing before the school can provide services in an IEP.