Transitioning to Kindergarten: Information for Families of Students with Disabilities
Children born in 2009 will start kindergarten in the fall of 2014. Moving from preschool to kindergarten marks an exciting new chapter in your child's life. We know that you may have questions about the process and about New York City's public schools. Our staff will be available to answer your questions and provide assistance as we plan together for the school year ahead.
Kindergarten Orientation Meetings
We invite you to join us at an orientation meeting. Come learn about applying to kindergarten and the transition to school-age special education services.
Over 30 meetings will take place throughout the city in December.
Families of children born in 2009 who receive or may receive special education services will receive this letter in November.
Has Your Address Changed?
If you have moved, please let us know as soon as possible by writing or calling the Committee on Preschool Special Education.
Notice of Referral for Reevaluation
Families of preschool students born in 2009 who are eligible for special education services will receive this letter.
Kindergarten: An Orientation Guide for Families of Students with Disabilities
This guide provides information about the transition to kindergarten.
A Shared Path to Success: A Parent's Guide to Special Education Services for School-Age Children
This comprehensive guide details parents' or guardians' roles and rights and outlines the processes associated with special education identification, referral and services.
Applying to Kindergarten
All families of children born in 2009, including families of children with disabilities, should apply to kindergarten, starting in January 2014. For information about applying to kindergarten, visit our Kindergarten Admissions Page.
Specialized Programs and Schools
While every community school has the capacity to serve the majority of students with disabilities, not every school has the required specialized expertise to serve students with certain specific needs. Therefore, some students may be eligible for specialized programs provided by a few specific community schools or for District 75's programs and schools. If your child meets eligibility requirements, he or she may be offered a place in a school offering a particular program as an alternative to the placement offered through kindergarten admissions.
- The ASD Nest and ASD Horizon programs serve some students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Information and an inquiry form are here. For information, email SpecializedPrograms@schools.nyc.gov.
are accessible to students with limited mobility. They provide different levels of accessibility, so it is recommended that you visit schools near you to determine if they are appropriate for your child. You can find our list of accessible schools here
Bilingual special education
provides a specialized program for students who speak languages other than English and who have IEPs that mandate bilingual special education programs and/or services. For information email SpecializedPrograms@schools.nyc.gov
Specialized programs for students with intellectual disability classification
provide a special class or program in a community school for some students who are classified as having intellectual disability and will not participate in standardized assessments. For more information email SpecializedPrograms@schools.nyc.gov
offers programs and schools for students with significant challenges, including students with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) or significant cognitive delays, emotional disturbances, sensory impairments, and/or multiple disabilities. If your child has received an IEP recommending a District 75 program, or if you think this is a possibility, you are invited to visit; more information is available here
Eligibility for Door-to-Door Transportation
If your child has a medical condition or an orthopedic disability, and you would like the Department of Education to consider special education bus service and/or other transportation accommodations based on needs related to that condition or disability, you will need to provide documentation from your child's doctor. Please give both of these forms to the Department of Education representative working on your child's transition well before your child's kindergarten IEP meeting.
Eligibility for Accommodations and Services Related to Medical Needs
Accommodations and services related to medical needs must be approved in advance of the IEP meeting. If your child has medical needs, please give both of these forms to the DOE representative working on your child's transition well before your child's kindergarten IEP meeting.
In addition, if these forms are appropriate, please give them to your DOE representative well in advance of the IEP meeting.
- to be completed by the child's doctor, if appropriate. Translations of these forms, for families' information, are available here
In the winter or spring, families of preschoolers who receive or may receive special education services will be contacted by a representative of the Department of Education from an elementary school or one of our ten Committees on Special Education (CSEs). This representative will assist you with the transition to school-age special education services and should be the first person you contact with questions or concerns.
If you experience a problem that cannot be resolved by your Department of Education representative or CSE, you may ask for additional assistance by calling the special education hotline, (718) 935-2007, or emailing email@example.com ; please include your child's name and date of birth, the name and number of the school or the number of the CSE that sent you information or conducted the IEP meeting, and a brief description of your concern.
Parents' or Guardians' Rights
For information about the rights of parents or guardians of children with disabilities, ages 3-21, see the New York State Education Department's Procedural Safeguards Notice. (Updated July 2013)