If you want your child to be evaluated for special education services, you must make a referral.
How to Make a Referral
The referral must be in writing and may be made by you or a DOE& school official. The referral should:
- Describe the concerns about your child’s development, learning and/or behavior
- State that you are requesting a special education evaluation (be sure to write "preschool special education evaluation" if your child is in preschool)
- List any services your child has received or is currently receiving
- Provide your child's full legal name and date of birth
- Provide your name, address and a telephone number where the school, CSE, or CPSE can reach you
- State your preferred language, if it is not English
Where to Send the Referral
- Is your child enrolled in public school in grades K-12?
- Send or give the written referral to the principal or a staff member at the school.
- Mail, fax or give the referral letter to your local District Committee on Special Education (CSE) or District Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE).if your child is in any of the following settings:
- Private school
- Non-public school
- Parochial school
- Charter school
- Any preschool setting, which can include:
- District school Pre-K class
- NYC DOE Pre-K Center
- Charter school Pre-K class
- New York City Early Education Center (NYCEEC)
- ACS Early-Learn program
- Private child care program (day care, babysitter, etc.)
- Not currently attending school
After The Initial Referral Has Been Made
If your child is in grades K-12, you will be sent a "Notice of Referral Letter," which
- Explains your rights
- Provides the name and telephone number of a person to call if you questions
- Asks for you to meet with the school social worker for a social history interview. The interview will be held in your preferred language or mode of communication with the help of an interpreter, upon request.
If your child is in preschool, you will receive a referral packet from the CPSE, which includes
- A notice that the referral was received
- A list of approved evaluation sites
- A "Consent for Initial Evaluation” form
- Information about your rights
- A medical form
If your child has never received special education services, you will be asked to sign a "Consent for Initial Evaluation" form, in your preferred language. Even if you made the referral yourself, you must still consent to the evaluations for the process to begin. If you choose not to sign consent your child will not be evaluated.