Published using Google Docs
February 26, 2021
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February 2021

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Visit us online at for valuable updated information, links to more in-depth guidance, or to fill out an online intake.            

El Long Island Advocacy Center brinda servicios y recursos en español. Por favor visite nuestro sitio web para más información.

New York State education officials may be removing the Regents Examinations requirements currently necessary for students to earn a High School Diploma.  Officials will vote next month as to whether or not current high school students enrolled in Regents classes will need to take, or pass, the corresponding Regents Exam in order to satisfy graduation requirements.  

Last year, due to COVID-19, Regents Exams were canceled in NYS.  Any student who was scheduled to take a Regents Exam was “exempt”.  While NYS is not canceling the Regents Exams this year, the result could be similar- if the graduation requirement is waived, students will not be required to take them. You can read more about this, here.


The Committee on Special Education (CSE) is required to meet at least once a year to review your child’s IEP, educational progress, and to make recommendations for the following school year. This is called your Annual Review meeting.  Typically, Annual Review meetings take place in the spring to allow as much data and information to be available when making decisions and recommendations for your child’s program for the next school year.  It’s important to remember that any recommendations made at your Annual Review (i.e. changes to your child’s IEP placement, services, and accommodations) will only be implemented at the start of the following  school year.

Although Annual Review meetings are typically in the spring, districts have the ability to start holding them as early as January or February, but these meetings can also take place over the summer.  Like everything else in the world of Special Education, the timing of the Annual Review should be individualized based upon your child’s specific situation.

If you have concerns about your child’s educational progress which you want to discuss and address for the current school year, you have the right to request a Program Review CSE meeting.  If you have already had your Annual Review and a plan is in place for next year, it’s not too late- contact your Special Education Department, in writing, and request a Program Review CSE meeting.


If your child is already a student who receives Special Education services, you are probably familiar with two of the most common assessments and evaluations school districts conduct: psychological evaluations and educational evaluations (sometimes referred to as achievement testing).

While those are two of the most-common evaluations used by the Committee on Special Education when determining a student’s eligibility, needs, and services, there are a number of other evaluations your district can conduct to better identify your child’s specific disability and to provide the appropriate services for your child’s needs.  

We often hear parents say things like “my daughter is really struggling at school but I don’t understand why- her teacher says she is so smart, she just has to try harder”, or “it takes my son hours to do homework, it’s almost always wrong, and it’s a constant battle between us”, or “my child cannot read but the teacher keeps telling me there is no problem- some kids just learn slower than others”.

If you have concerns about your child, their learning, or suspect something may be impacting their ability to learn, the school district is responsible for evaluating your child in all areas of suspected disability. That being said, parents need to communicate their concerns to their school and request that additional evaluations be conducted to address all areas of concern. You may be thinking “how do I know what evaluations exist and how do I know which ones do I ask for?” Great question!

There are a number of concerns parents have about their children as well as some concerns we consider ‘red flags’. We say ‘red flags’ because there are things that may seem typical for your child or their age, but if you are concerned about your child’s learning, you may want to request an evaluation for more information and to help you better understand if those things are contributing to your child’s difficulty in school.  

To learn more about these concerns, red flags, and the evaluations you can request through the Committee on Special Education, click here.

New to the world of Special Education? Or looking for an easy to understand basic guide through the process?

No problem. Click here for the basics.

Can’t keep track of all of the acronyms used in Special Education? You’re not alone!

Click here for “Alphabet Soup”: LIAC’s Guide to Special Education

If you disagree with the results of an evaluation conducted by the Committee on Special Education, you have the right to request an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at the school district’s expense.  This means that you, as the parent, are entitled to an additional evaluation for your child, conducted by an independent specialist, who you get to choose, and the school district is required to pay for it. The results of the IEE must be reviewed, discussed, and taken into consideration by the Committee on Special Education when making recommendations for your child.

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