The Committee on Preschool Special Education
The Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) is responsible for children with disabilities ages 3-5. Peru’s CPSE works in partnership with the Clinton County Health Department If you have a preschool child and you have noticed that your child is not developing skills such as walking, talking or playing like other young children you may make a referral to the CPSE. The CPSE can conduct an individual evaluation of your child, review the evaluation and if necessary set up services to provide for your child. Possible services can include Special Education Itinerant Teacher, Speech Therapy, Counseling, Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy.
If you are concerned about your child’s development the first step is to make a referral by calling the CPSE Chairperson. You will be asked to provide basic demographic information about your child as well to share the concerns you have about your child’s development. After you have discussed your concerns, the Office of Student Services will send you a packet of information explaining your parental rights and asking for your consent for an evaluation. It is necessary for you to send the consent sheet back to the Office of Student Services in order for the evaluation to proceed. The Office of Student Services will then contact the agency chosen to complete the evaluation. The agency will contact parents directly to set up a time and place for the evaluation.
Once completed, a CPSE meeting will be set up to discuss the results. Parents are notified by mail as to the date and time of the meeting. Most preschool services are home based. The home is considered the least restrictive environment (LRE) for a preschool child. Special Education Itinerant Teachers, Speech Therapists, Counselors, Occupational Therapists and Physical Therapists will work with parents to arrange time and place for services. If a child has more severe delays a preschool classroom placement may be considered. The preschool classroom placements are offered at various locations in Clinton County.
Committee on Special Education
Special Education services are available for children, ages 3-21, identified as a student with a disability either by the Peru Central School District Board of Education or as a transfer student identified by another school district. The disability is educational in nature and significantly impairs the ability for the student to progress successfully in the general education curriculum. Identification and services for school age students goes through the Committee on Special Education (CSE). The CSE is a team of individuals with expertise in their services area and/or have knowledge of the student. The CSE will meet on students to determine services that assure a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.
Tracking Kids with Disabilities
The District is responsible for maintaining a roster of all disabled children from birth through age 21. The roster ensures that appropriate services are provided, as well as assisting with staffing and funding for needed programs.
Parents residing in the Peru District who suspect their child may have a disability but is not currently identified as having a disability or receiving services, should contact Irene Stephney, Director of Student Services.
Procedures for Hearing and Appeal
The Board of Education shall arrange for a hearing to be conducted in accordance with the following rules:
(1) The Board of Education shall appoint an impartial hearingofficer to conduct the hearing. The hearing officer shall be authorized toadminister oaths and to issue subpoenas in connection with the administrativeproceedings.
(2) A written or electronic verbatim record of the proceedingsbefore the hearing officer shall be maintained and made available to theparties.
(3) At all stages of the proceeding, where required, interpretersof the deaf, or interpreters fluent in the dominant language of the student’sparent, shall be provided at district expense.
(4) The hearing officer shall preside at the hearing and shallprovide all parties an opportunity to present evidence and testimony.
(5) The parties to the proceeding may be represented by legal counselor individuals with special knowledge or training with respect to the problemsof children with disabilities, and may be accompanied by other persons of theirchoice.
(6) In the event the hearing officer requests an independentevaluation as part of a hearing, the cost of the evaluation must be at publicexpense.
(7) Inthe event the impartial hearing officer determines that the interest of theparent are opposed to or inconsistent with those of the student, or that forany other reason the interests of the student would best be protected byappointment of a guardian ad litem, the impartial hearing officer shallappoint a guardian ad litem to protect the interests of such student,unless a surrogate parent shall have previously been assigned. The impartialhearing officer shall ensure that the procedural due process rights afforded tothe student’s parent pursuant to this section are preserved throughout thehearing whenever a guardian ad litem is appointed.
(8) The hearing shall be conducted at a time and place which isreasonably convenient to the parent and student involved and shall be closed tothe public unless the parent requests an open hearing.
(9) The parents, school authorities and their respective counselor representative, shall have an opportunity to present evidence and toconfront and question all witnesses at the hearing. Each party shall have theright to prohibit the introduction of any evidence the substance of which hasnot been disclosed to such party at least five days before the hearing.
(10) The parent shall have the right to determine whether thestudent shall attend the hearing.
(11) The impartial hearing officer shall render a decision, and maila copy of the decision to the parents, to the Board of Education, not laterthan 45 calendar days after the receipt by the Board of Education of a requestfor a hearing or after the initiation of such a hearing by the Board. Thedecision of the impartial hearing officer shall be based solely upon the recordof the proceeding, and shall set forth the reasons and the factual basis forthe determination. The decision shall also include a statement advising theparents and the Board of Education of the right to obtain a review of suchdecision by a court of competent jurisdiction. The decision of the impartialhearing officer shall be binding upon both parties unless appealed.
(12) Ifthe parent or the Board of Education is not satisfied by the decision of thehearing officer, review of the decision may be sought in a court of competentjurisdiction, generally federal court.
(13) Theparent may file a complaint with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) if theparent believes that the District has violated 504.