Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)

The purpose of the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is to determine if a preschool-aged child between the ages of 3 through 5 is eligible for preschool special education and services and to ensure that they receive the support necessary to prepare them to enter kindergarten.

The Referral Process

If you have concerns about your preschool child’s speech, language, learning, physical, or behavioral development, you may refer him/her to the CPSE for an evaluation by calling 845-794-0128, ext. 78905. You will make an appointment to register your child for the evaluation(s). During registration, the parent will be provided with a list of approved evaluation agencies.

For more information regarding the preschool evaluation prior to referring your child, contact CPSE Chairperson Jennifer Gorr at (845) 794-0128 ext. 78928. She is available to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the process or implications of the evaluation.

Note: Children who are currently receiving Early Intervention Services for children aged birth to 3 years-old through the Department of Health and are approaching their third birthday may also access the preschool special education process if there are continued concerns about their development in any area. Your child’s Early Intervention service coordinator is responsible for assisting you in making this transition.

The Multidisciplinary Evaluation

The multi-disciplinary evaluation consists of the following components: a social history (including health history and a physical examination), a psychological evaluation, an observation and other appropriate assessments/evaluations to determine your child’s skills and abilities. Areas to be evaluated include cognition, language and communication, adaptive behavior, social-emotional, and motor development.

The CPSE will hold a meeting after the evaluation is completed to review the results and determine if your child is eligible for special education and services. A copy of the evaluation report, including a summary of the evaluation, will be provided to you and to other CPSE members.


The CPSE will follow guidelines established by Section 4410 of the NYS Education Law to determine if your preschool is eligible for preschool special education or services.

If the CPSE determines that your child has a significant delay in one or more functional areas which adversely affects learning (cognition, language/communication, adaptive behavior, social-emotional and/or motor development), he or she may be identified as a “preschool child with a disability.”

Eligibility shall be determined by evaluation results that indicate:

  • A 12 month delay in one or more functional areas; or
  • A 33 percent delay in one functional area or 25 percent delay in each of two functional areas; or
  • A score of 2.0 standard deviations below the mean in one functional area, or a score of 1.5 standard deviations below the mean in two functional areas; or
  • The criteria set forth for autistic, deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing, orthopedically impaired, other health-impaired, traumatic brain-injured, or visually impaired as described by section 200.1 (mm) of the education law.
    If a child is found eligible, the CPSE will develop an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The IEP is written statement that provides information about the child’s strengths and needs, present levels of educational performance, measurable goals and short-term objectives and special education program and/or services.

The IEP is reviewed at least annually. During an Annual Review meeting, your child’s progress is discussed and continued special education and service needs for the upcoming year are determined.

Programs and Services

The CPSE must consider how to provide services to your child in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) where your child can learn close to your home with other children of the same age who do not have disabilities.
The continuum of services from least restrictive to more restrictive is:

  • Related Services: speech/language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, parent education, assistive technology, or counseling
  • Special Education Itinerant Teacher (SEIT) Services: special education teacher services are provided for a minimum of 2 hours per week in a setting recommended by the CPSE
  • Related Services in combination with SEIT
  • *Special Class in an Integrated Setting: a class with preschool children with and without disabilities
  • *Special Class: a class with only preschool children with disabilities

*The CPSE will recommend either a half-day program (not more than 2.5 hours per day) or a full-day program (more than 2.5 hours per day). Your child’s participation in the preschool special education program is voluntary on the part of parents.

Members of the CPSE

  • CPSE Chairperson
  • Parent of the child
  • Evaluator of the child
  • A county representative (determined by the child’s county or residence)
  • At the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate
  • A parent member (a parent of a child with a disability who is knowledgeable about the special education process)
  • For a child in transition from early intervention programs and services, the appropriately licensed or certified professional from the Department of Health’s Early Intervention Program. This professional must attend all meetings of the CPSE conducted prior to the child’s initial receipt of services.

Determining my Child’s Service Provider or Preschool Placement

Parents may choose from a list of approved service providers available in the Pupil Personnel Services office.