Resolving Issues

First Steps

If you need help or have questions about your child's special education needs and services, what you should do depends on:

  • Your child’s age
  • The type of school your child attends

Preschool-Age Children

Who to Contact

Contact the Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) in your home district:

What do they do?

The CPSE coordinates special education evaluations and services for children ages three to five.

Children Entering Kindergarten

Who to Contact

Your representative from a school or a Committee on Special Education (CSE) office:

What do they do?

They will help you as your child moves to school-age special education services.

School-Age Students in DOE Public Schools

Who to Contact

Contact staff at your child’s school like the teacher, parent coordinator, or an administrator.

What do they do?

Public schools are responsible for evaluating students who have been identified as possibly having a disability and for arranging recommended special education services.

School-Age Students Not Enrolled in School or Enrolled in Non-Public or Charter Schools

Who to Contact

Contact the Committee on Special Education (CSE) in your school district:

What do they do?

The CSE manages the evaluation process for students who are not enrolled and those in charter and non-public schools.

Get Help from DOE Staff in Your District

  • Contact the Family Support Coordinators with your Community or High School Superintendent (DOE public district school students only)
  • Contact the District 75 Superintendent’s Office (if your child attends a District 75 program) by emailing or calling 212-802-1500

Get Help from DOE Central Office Staff

Request Mediation

Mediation is a confidential, voluntary process that allows people to resolve disputes without a formal due process hearing. An impartial mediator helps each person or group to:

  • express their views and positions
  • understand the other’s views and positions

Mediators help parents and school representatives discuss the issues and reach an agreement. The mediator's role is not to recommend solutions or take positions or sides.

If an agreement is reached by everyone, it is considered a binding agreement. This means that it cannot be changed, or appealed.

To learn more about mediation, visit the mediation page on the NY State Education Department website. You can also read The Special Education Mediation Tip Sheet from INCLUDEnyc.

How to Request Mediation

You can contact:

  • Your child's school, Committee on Special Education (CSE), or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE)
    • See above on how to contact CSEs or CPSEs
  • The Impartial Hearing Office, or
  • The Community Dispute Resolution Center in your borough
    • Bronx
      IMCR Dispute Resolution
      Address: 384 East 149th St
      Suite 330
      Bronx, NY 10455
      Phone: 718-585-1190
      Fax: 718-585-1962
    • Brooklyn & Manhattan
      New York Peace Institute
      210 Joralemon St, Suite 618
      Brooklyn, NY 11201
      Phone: 718-834-6671x220
      Fax: 718-834-6681
    • Queens
      Community Mediation Services
      Address: 89-64 163rd St
      Jamaica, NY 11432
      Phone: 718-523-6868 X268
      Fax: 718-523-8204
    • Staten Island
      NY Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID)
      Address: 130 Stuyvesant Place, 5th Fl
      Staten Island, NY 10301
      Phone: 718-815-4557
      Fax: 718-876-6068

File a Complaint or an Appeal

Learn More About Impartial Hearings

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