Oswego City School District
120 East First Street
Oswego, New York 13126
Phone: 315-341-2000

Resources for OCSD Families

Resources for OCSD Families
Resources for OCSD Families

RtI represents an important educational strategy to close achievement gaps for all students, including students at risk, students with disabilities and English language learners, by preventing smaller learning problems from becoming insurmountable gaps. It has also been shown to lead to more appropriate identification of and interventions with students with learning disabilities. Each day educators make important decisions about students' educational programs, including decisions as to whether a student who 
is struggling to meet the standards set for all children might need changes in the nature of early intervention and instruction or might have a learning disability. This decision as to whether a student has a learning disability must be based on extensive and accurate information that leads to the determination that the student's learning difficulties are not the result of the instructional program or approach. RtI is an effective and instructionally relevant process to inform these decisions. 

What are the Steps in the Special Education Process?
Step 1: Initial Referral for Special Education Service
Students suspected of having a disability are referred to a multidisciplinary team called the Committee on Special Education or the Committee on Preschool Special Education.
Step 2: Individual Evaluation Process
The Committee arranges for an evaluation of the student’s abilities and needs.
Step 3: Determining Eligibility for Special Education Services
Based on evaluation results, the Committee decides if the student is eligible to receive special education services and programs.
Step 4: Individualized Education Program (IEP)
If the child is eligible to receive special education services, the Committee develops and implements an appropriate IEP, based on evaluation results, to meet the needs of the student. Based on the IEP, the Committee must determine the student's placement, ensuring that services are provided in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Placement must be as close as possible to the student's home, and unless the student's IEP requires some other arrangement, the student must be educated in the school he or she would have attended if not disabled. For more information see least restrictive environment.
Step 5: Annual Review/Reevaluation 
The IEP is reviewed and, if needed, modified or revised by the Committee at least once a year (annual review). The student has a reevaluation at least once every three years, to review the student’s need for special education programs and services and to revise the IEP, as appropriate. A reevaluation may also occur when conditions warrant or when requested by a parent or teacher.
The process occurs sequentially with each step building on the previous one. In this way, comprehensive information about the student is obtained and considered. Timelines are in place so that delays are avoided. Parents are an integral part of this process, and your involvement is encouraged.

What is the CSE Process?

The CSE chairperson, upon receipt of a referral for initial evaluation, records the date the referral was received by the Committee chairperson or the building administrator, whichever is earlier. If received by the building administrator, it is immediately forward it to the Committee chairperson. If received by the committee chairperson, a copy is forwarded a copy to the building administrator within five school days. 

The CSE, including the parent of the student, reviews existing evaluation information on the student to determine what, if any, existing evaluation information is current and appropriate to meet the requirements for an initial individual evaluation for this student. Document the process to obtain the input of the CSE in the determination of data.

The CSE chairperson immediately sends prior notice to the parent of the student.
  • Attach request for consent for initial evaluation.
  • Attach procedural safeguard notice.
  • Attach Parent Guide to Special Education.

If parental consent is not received, the CSE:

  • Informs the parent that, upon request, the parent may attend an informal conference with the committee or designated professionals most familiar with the proposed evaluation so the parent may ask questions about the proposed evaluation. If, at this meeting, the parent and the person initiating the referral agree in writing that the referral is not warranted the referral shall be withdrawn.
  • If the parent does not request or attend such a conference, or continues to withhold consent for evaluation for 30 calendar days after the date of receipt of the referral, the school must initiate an impartial hearing to determine if the evaluation should be conducted without parental consent.
  • Upon receipt of parental consent, the school conducts the evaluations determined necessary.
  • Either prior to or at the CSE meeting, the school shares the results of the evaluation with the parent.
  • The CSE chairperson sends a meeting notice to the parent.
  • Attach procedural safeguard notice
  • The CSE conducts a meeting to review evaluation information, determine eligibility and, if appropriate, develop the IEP.
  • Include an individual qualified to interpret the instructional implications of the evaluation results in the CSE meeting.
  • The CSE sends prior notice of the recommendation to the parent.
  • Provide a copy of the evaluation report and documentation of the determination of eligibility to the parent.
  • Provide a copy of the IEP to the parent.
  • The CSE forwards the recommendation to the board of education.
  • The board of education provides notice to the parent when it takes action.
  • Re-evaluations include any individualized assessments, similar to those conducted as part of the initial evaluation of a child, and any new assessments not part of the review of the IEP

What is an IEP?

The IEP is a strategic planning document that should be far reaching in its impact. An IEP identifies a student’s unique needs and how the school will strategically address those needs. IEPs identify how specially designed instruction will be provided in the context of supporting students in general education curriculum and in reaching the same learning standards as nondisabled students. IEPs guide how the special education resources of a school will be configured to meet the needs of the students with disabilities in that school. IEPs identify how students will be incrementally prepared for adult living. IEPs also provide an important accountability tool for school personnel, students and parents. By measuring students’ progress toward goals and objectives, schools should use IEPs to determine if they have appropriately configured how they use their resources to reach the desired outcomes for students with disabilities.

Procedural Safeguards
As a parent, you are a vital member of the Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) in New York State. The CSE/CPSE is responsible for developing recommendations for special education programs and services for your child.  You must be given an opportunity to participate in the CSE/CPSE discussion and decision-making process about your child’s needs for special education. The following information concerns procedural safeguards (see below) that are your legal rights under federal and State law to be informed about and involved in the special education process and to make sure that your child receives a free appropriate public education (FAPE)

Speech and Language Disorders-

What types of speech and language disorders affect school-age children?

Children may experience one or more of the following disorders:

§  Speech sound disorders - (difficulty pronouncing sounds)

§  Language disorders - (difficulty understanding what they hear as well as expressing themselves with words)

§  Cognitive-communication disorders - (difficulty with thinking skills including perception, memory, awareness, reasoning, judgment, intellect and imagination)

§  Stuttering (fluency) disorders - (interruption of the flow of speech that may include hesitations, repetitions, prolongations of sounds or words)

§  Voice disorders - (quality of voice that may include hoarseness, nasality, volume (too loud or soft) 

Do speech-language disorders affect learning?

Speech and language skills are essential to academic success and learning. Language is the basis of communication. Reading, writing, gesturing, listening, and speaking are all forms of language. Learning takes place through the process of communication. The ability to communicate with peers and adults in the educational setting is essential for a student to succeed in school. 

How may a speech-language disorder affect school performance?

Children with communication disorders frequently do not perform at grade level. They may struggle with reading, have difficulty understanding and expressing language, misunderstand social cues, avoid attending school, show poor judgment, and have difficulty with tests.

Difficulty in learning to listen, speak, read, or write can result from problems in language development. Problems can occur in the production, comprehension, and awareness of language sounds, syllables, words, sentences, and conversation. Individuals with reading and writing problems also may have trouble using language to communicate, think, and learn. 

How do parents and school personnel work together to insure that children get the speech-language support they need?

Parents and teachers should refer any student who shows signs of a speech-language disorder or delay to the school-based child study team. Screening, assessment, and treatment of communication problems may involve cooperative efforts with:

§  parents,

§  speech-language pathologists (SLPs),

§  audiologists,

§  psychologists,

§  social workers,

§  classroom teachers,

§  special education teachers,

§  guidance counselors,

§  physicians,

§  dentists, and

§  nurses.

SLPs work with diagnostic and educational evaluation teams to provide comprehensive language and speech assessments for students. Services to students with speech-language disorders may be provided in individual or small group sessions, in classrooms when teaming with teachers or in a consultative model with teachers and parents. SLPs integrate students' speech-language goals with academic outcomes and functional performance.

Special Education Acronyms


Academic Intervention Services


Advanced Placement


American Sign Language


Bilingual/English Technical Assistance Center


Behavioral Intervention Plan


Board of Cooperative Educational Services


Board of Education


Center for Instruction, Technology & Innovation
(Formerly called Oswego County BOCES)


Committee on Preschool Special Education


Committee on Special Education


Comprehensive System of Personnel Development


Child Study Team


District Comprehensive Education Plan (NYC)


Department of Health


Early Childhood Direction Center


Early Intervention


Educationally Related Support Services


Extended School Year


Free Appropriate Public Education


Functional Behavioral Assessment


Federal/State Project Budget Form


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974


Interim Alternative Educational Setting


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act


Independent Educational Evaluation


Individualized Education Program


Impartial Hearing Officer


Independent Living Center


Instructional Support Team


Joint Management Team


Limited English Proficient


Least Restrictive Environment


New York State Education Department


New York State Alternate Assessment


Office of Mental Health


Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities


Persons with Disability (Forms for Special Education Data Collection)


Professional Development Specialist (SETRC)


Physical Education


Post School Outcome


Regional Associate


Regional Information Center


Regents Competency Test


Regional School Support Center


Schools Against Violence in Education


State Education Department


Special Education Quality Assurance


Special Education Training and Resource Center


State Review Officer


System for Tracking and Accounting of Children


Subcommittee on Special Education


Student with a Disability


Technology Resources for Education


Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities

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