After the Evaluations are Completed: The CSE Meeting
Once your child’s evaluation is completed, you will be invited to attend a CSE meeting at a time and date that works for you. This is an important meeting where you will meet with the staff of your child’s school. It is very important that you and the school staff share information and ideas and work together as a team.
You should receive a written invitation in your preferred language at least five days before the meeting. If you cannot attend the meeting, you must contact the school or office of special education and ask to change the date. It is very important that you attend CSE meetings so that you will be able to participate in a final decision that will be made about your child’s eligibility for special education services and programs.
All evaluations, records and reports that were used to assess your child should be provided to you before the CSE meeting and must be explained in your preferred language or mode of communication. In some instances, it may be preferable for you to pick up the reports prior to the day of the CSE meeting rather than to have them mailed so that any immediate concerns may be addressed. If you choose to pick up the evaluations, the social worker will provide you with contact information to arrange a time to pick up the evaluations and discuss and/or review the evaluations.
You also have the right to request that evaluations and reports be translated into your preferred language. If necessary, an interpreter will be provided for you at the CSE meeting. Your observations and opinions are valuable and must be considered at the meeting.
CSE meetings will be held at your child’s school if your child attends a public school. If your child is not attending, or attending a non-public or charter school, the CSE meeting will be held at the Office of special education or at the non-public or charter school, if possible.
Each team member brings important information to the CSE meeting. At the CSE meeting, members share information and work together to determine whether your child has a disability and requires special education services. You are a member of the CSE, and your input is important.
How to Participate in the CSE Meeting
You are an important part of the CSE meeting and your input is valuable. At the CSE meeting, you should:
- Offer insight into how your child learns, what his or her interests and strengths are, and share other things about your child that only you as his or her parent could know;
- Listen to what other team members think your child needs to work on at school and share suggestions about how to proceed;
- Share concerns you may have regarding your child’s progress or how you can help your child at home;
- Report on whether the skills your child is learning at school are being used at home;
- Ask questions of all team members and participants at the meeting.
Summary of CSE Members’ Expected Contribution
Teachers are vital participants in the CSE meeting. If your child is or may be participating in the general education environment, at least one of your child’s general education teachers must attend the CSE meeting. The teacher is expected to present information about your child’s performance in the general education class and to help the CSE make decisions about participation in the general education curriculum and other school activities.
General Education Teacher
Describes the general education curriculum in the general education classroom;
Determines, with the special education teacher, appropriate supplementary aids and services (e.g., behavior interventions or support plans, curriculum accommodations, curriculum modifications, individualized supports) or changes to the educational program that will help your child learn and achieve;
Helps to develop appropriate behavioral interventions if behavior is an issue;
Might discuss supports for school personnel that are necessary for the student to participate in the general education curriculum.
Special Education Teacher and /or Related Service Provider
These members contribute important information and experience about how to educate children with disabilities. Because of his or her training in special education, he or she can:
Discuss your child’s present level of educational performance, including progress toward IEP goals, if your child is presently receiving special education services;
Describe your child’s learning style, behavior and attendance;
Make recommendations regarding the supports and services that will allow your child to succeed in the least restrictive environment;
Ensure that the priority for your child will be to achieve success in school;
Explain how to modify the general education curriculum, if necessary, to help your child learn.
The District Representative
The District Representative chairs the CSE meeting and facilitates open discussion among all participants regarding student eligibility and the development of the IEP. He or she ensures that you are a meaningful participant and encourages you to raise concerns you may have about your child’s education.
The CSE Chair also:
Provides information regarding the continuum of services, meaning special education programs and supports, which are available in your child’s school and in other schools in the district;
Ensures that all program and service options are considered;
Explains to you that children with disabilities must be educated with non-disabled children to the maximum extent appropriate. Additionally, he or she will explain to you that the CSE must consider whether your child can satisfactorily progress in the general education setting before recommending other programs.
The school psychologist must be in attendance whenever a new psycho-educational evaluation is reviewed or a change to the student’s special education services with a more intensive staff-to-student ratio is being considered. The school social worker may be in attendance if she or he is involved in the evaluation process. If the school psychologist and/or social worker are in attendance, they will share critical information with the team obtained through evaluations/observations and review of information. Their expertise is important to the process, and you should ask them questions if you do not understand what they are reviewing or discussing.
Additional Individuals and/or Experts
The CSE may also include additional individuals with knowledge or special expertise about your child.
You may, for example, invite:
- A professional with special expertise about your child and his or her disability;
- Others who can talk about your child’s strengths and/or needs.
The district may invite one or more individuals who can offer special expertise or knowledge about the child, such as a teaching aide or assistant or related services professional.
The Members of the CSE:
- You, the parent (s) or persons in a parental relationship with your child.
- At least one general education teacher of the student whenever your child is or may be participating in the general education environment.
- One special education teacher. For initial referrals, one of the school’s special education teachers serves as the special education representative on the team. If a child is already receiving special education services, one of the child’s special education teachers must participate. If your child receives only related services (i.e., Speech Therapy), the related service provider of your child may serve in this role.
- A school psychologist must participate in CSE meetings whenever a new psycho- educational evaluation is reviewed or a change to special education services that includes a more intensive staff-to-student ratio is considered.
- An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results. This individual may be a member of the CSE who is also fulfilling another role, such as general education teacher, special education teacher, special education provider, or school psychologist. This individual will talk about how the evaluation results may affect instruction.
- A District Representative. This person must be qualified to provide or supervise the provision of special education services and is also knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and the availability of district resources. The district representative is the school principal or director of special education. This person’s role is to facilitate group consensus on all matters related to the development of the IEP.
- An additional parent member. This is a parent of a student with a disability residing in the school district or a neighboring school district and who may be required to attend. A parent may decline the participation of the parent member.
- Other persons having knowledge or special expertise regarding your child, including related services personnel as appropriate, as the school district or the parent(s) designate.
- Your child (the student), if appropriate.
Questions to Ask at the CSE Meeting
- How has the teacher accommodated my child’s learning and behavioral needs in the classroom?
- Are there things I can do at home to support the IEP goals?
- What type of learner is my child? Does the teacher attempt to use my child’s strengths while teaching him or her?
- How frequently is my child’s progress monitored? What are the best ways for me to stay in touch with my child’s teachers to be informed of academic or behavioral progress?
- Is my child making progress towards his or her IEP goals?
- If a service is not working, how can I work with my child’s instructional team to explore better services for him or her?
- What sorts of programs or other supports might help my child? How can we get those?
- What are the promotion criteria for my child? How will he or she be evaluated according to grade level?
- In high school, what are the graduation requirements for my child? What are the diploma objectives for my child? What progress has he or she made towards those objectives? (Specifically, how many credits does my child have, how many RCT or Regents’ tests has he or she passed, or what kind of progress has my child made toward the C-DOS credential?)