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Transition from Early Intervention to Preschool Services

Transition from the Early Intervention System to Preschool:

  • Services provided through The NJ Early Intervention System via an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) end when a child turns 3. At which time, school districts are responsible for the education of children ages 3 - 21, if determined eligible.

  • Transition planning begins before the child’s third birthday with the assistance of the child’s service coordinator. To assure that preschoolers with disabilities have their initial IEPs implemented no later than age three, a written request for initial evaluation shall be forwarded by Early Intervention Service Coordinator to the district board of education at least 120 days prior to the preschooler attaining age three.

  • The service coordinator provides notification to the New Jersey Department of Education, Office of Special Education and the West New York School District for children who are “potentially eligible,” eligible for preschool special education services. The parent(s) have the right to “opt-out” of notice.  

  • For parents who do not opt-out: 
    • Notification is sent to the West New York School District with identifying information and parent contact information. This notice is considered a referral to the Child Study Team. 

  • An Identification Meeting shall be convened within 20 calendar days of receipt of 


  • After parental consent for initial evaluation of a preschool-age child has been received, the evaluation, determination of eligibility for service, and, if eligible, development and implementation of the student’s IEP shall be completed within 90 calendar days (excluding school holidays).

Parent Referral for Special Education and Related Services:

  • If a parent suspects their child may have a disability, they may refer their child for special education evaluations by submitting a written request to the West New School School District.   

  • An Identification Meeting shall be convened within 20 calendar days of receipt of 

 Notice (excluding school holidays).

  • If it is determined that evaluations are warranted and written consent is provided by the parent, school districts have 90 days (excluding school holidays) from referral to conduct evaluations and implement an IEP of an eligible student. 

  • Parents/guardians have the option of making a direct referral to the Child Study Team, but working with the school-based PIRS team is advised and an appropriate first step in most situations.

Eligibility Requirements for Preschool Special Education Services:

  • To be eligible for preschool special education services, a child must be between three and five years of age and have a 33% delay in one area or a 25% delay in two or more of the following areas: physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional, and adaptive. In addition, the child must require special education and related services. N.J.A.C. 6A:14-3.5(c)(10)

Services Available to Preschool Students With Disabilities: 

  • Preschool students with disabilities are entitled to receive a free appropriate public education. Special education programs/classrooms are available for students who meet the eligibility criteria for services. Services/Programs available: Collaborative Consultation, In-Class Support, and Self-Contained classrooms.  Related services may also be included in the student’s Individualized Education Plan to meet their educational needs. If eligible, these school-based therapies may include: speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, curriculum modification, and extended school year. 

Inclusion Procedure

  • In accordance with IDEA, the West New York Early Childhood Program ensures children with disabilities have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood education with individualized and appropriate support for success.  Inclusion in early childhood programs refers to including children with disabilities in early childhood classrooms, together with their peers without disabilities; holding high expectations and intentionally promoting participation in all learning and social activities, facilitated by individualized accommodations and modifications. The program facilitates and supports the following areas of development using evidence-based services:  cognitive, language, communication, physical, behavioral and social-emotional skills.