Transitioning to Kindergarten: Information for Families of Students with Disabilities
Children born in 2008 will start kindergarten in the fall of 2013. 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
Over 50 orientation meetings for families of preschool students with disabilities took place throughout the city in January and February.
Calendar and Handout
Information Letter to Families
Families of preschool students with disabilities who were born in 2008 received this letter.
Notice of Referral for Reevaluation
Families of preschool students born in 2008 who are receiving special education services received this letter.
Notice of Referral for Initial Evaluation
Some families of preschool students born in 2008 and eligible for special education services received this letter.
Final Notice of Recommendation (FNR)
Every family will receive a Final Notice of Recommendation (FNR), a letter indicating the special education services recommended and where the services will be provided.
If your child is pre-registered at school, or if your child has received a Final Notice of Recommendation (FNR) offering a placement at a school, staff from the school may contact you to invite you to visit and meet with them. If your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) was not developed at the school, school staff may be especially interested in getting to know you and learning from you about your child's strengths, interests and needs. When you meet, you may look over your child's IEP together so you can share any additional information you may want to provide about your child and ask any questions you may have about how the services on the IEP will be provided. This "family meeting" will be an optional, informal conversation; you should inform the school if you would prefer to "meet" by phone or if you would prefer not to meet at all.
You can also call or write the school and ask to meet. Contact your school's parent coordinator or the contact provided on the FNR and explain that your child will be attending kindergarten at that school in the fall, that your child's IEP meeting did not take place at the school, and that you would like to make an appointment for a "site visit" and "family meeting." Someone will respond to set up a time for your visit.
Changes in Contact Information
Permanent Address Changes
If you have moved, please let us know as soon as possible by writing or calling the Committee on Preschool Special Education.
Temporary Address Changes
Many families have relocated temporarily because of Hurricane Sandy. If your contact information has temporarily changed for any reason, please inform us of new temporary contact information so that we can ensure that you receive important information.
Please fill out and submit the "SY13 Temporary Change of Address Information Form," available electronically here. You may also contact the Committee on Preschool Special Education for more information.
A Shared Path to Success: A Parent's Guide to Special Education Services for School-Age Children
This comprehensive guide details parents' roles and rights and outlines the processes associated with special education identification, referral and services.
A Shared Path to Success: A Parent's Guide to Special Education Services, Kindergarten Supplement
This guide explains in detail the process for enrolling children who have been receiving services based on a preschool Individualized Education Program.
Applying to Kindergarten
Although the application period has closed, families who have not yet applied to kindergarten should still submit applications. To apply in Districts 1, 7 and 23, visit the Borough Enrollment Office. In other districts, visit your zoned school and other schools of interest and submit applications there. For more information about kindergarten admissions, visit www.nyc.gov/schools/kindergarten.
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.
Barrier-free schools are accessible to students who have limited mobility, serious health issues, or use a wheelchair or other mobility device. 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
offers programs and schools for students with significant challenges. If a District 75 program is recommended for your child, you may want to arrange to visit one of these schools
Students with intellectual disabilities or those who require bilingual special education services also may be eligible for specialized programs.
Eligibility for Door-to-Door Transportation
Bus service is not provided automatically to school-age students with IEPs. If you would like the Department of Education to consider door-to-door transportation and/or other transportation accommodations for your child, you will need to provide documentation from your child's doctor. Please give both of these forms to the DOE 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.
- Authorization for Release of Health Information Pursuant to HIPAA - to be completed by the parent and provided to the IEP team before the IEP meeting, to allow the team to request medical information from health care providers.
Request for Medical Accommodations
- to be completed by the child's physician and provided to the IEP team before the IEP meeting, if the team will be considering eligibility for specialized transportation based on medical needs, transportation accommodations, or other accommodations related to medical needs.
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 physician and provided to the IEP team before the IEP meeting.
In the spring, parents of preschoolers who receive special education services will be contacted by a representative of the Department of Education from your zoned (neighborhood) elementary school or one of our ten Committees on Special Education (CSEs). This DOE representative will assist you with the transition to school-age 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 firstname.lastname@example.org ; 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.
For information about the rights of parents of children with disabilities, ages 3-21, see the New York State Education Department's Procedural Safeguards Notice.