Skip to main content
Full Menu Close Menu

DOE resources for special education

Members and families seeking accurate and accessible information about the special education process and services for students with disabilities of all ages will find information on the DOE InfoHub (login required).

Current topics available through the Family Resources link include information on special education services for preschool and school age children, students with disabilities entering kindergarten and in gifted and talented programs, and assistive technology. Detailed information about specialized programs for students who are English language learners, are on the autism spectrum or have intellectual or multiple disabilities is also available. Most publications and forms are available in multiple languages. 

The following is a small sample of the information available on the DOE’s special education website.

Continuum of Services and Special Education Standard Operating Procedures Manual

  • DOE Continuum of Special Education services(Also can be found on DOE Info Hub - you must login to access this information) - The Continuum of Services describes the programs and services available for students with disabilities in the New York City Public Schools.  It sets out the DOE’s vision for a “single, seamless and unified service delivery system” together with an expectation that services will be provided in various combinations to more closely address individual student needs.
  • Special Education Standard Operating Procedures Manual
    The DOE’s new SOPM provides up-to-date information about the DOE’s policies and procedures. Unlike its predecessor, it covers a wide range of topics. Unlike the previous manual, it is only available online. This provides a number of advantages, such as a detailed table of contents that links directly to relevant information and the ability to readily access other related documents through embedded links. The new SOPM is a “living” document that will be updated regularly to reflect the most current information. The SOPM is available on the DOE’s public website as well as on the DOE intranet. 

Implementation memoranda and guidance

  • Guide to Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities (Sept. 2022)
    This document highlights essential components of transition planning applicable for students with disabilities such as post-secondary study, college, and career planning and readiness.
  • The DOE has updated guidance on use of promotion criteria(login required) for students with disabilities. Under the new guidance, most students with disabilities are expected to meet standard promotion criteria. Modified promotion criteria should only be considered for students who are unable to meet the promotion benchmarks when assessed using multiple measures, and provided with specially designed instruction, special education supports and services and accommodations. Decisions on changes made to an IEP must be based on the individualized needs of each student.
  • DOE-UFT FAQ on Special Education, 2016
    The FAQ addresses a number of “hot button” issues in special education. Topics addressed include the obligation of schools to recommend programs and services based on student need regardless of availability in the building, funding, staffing, space and other considerations; the role of School Implementation Teams (SITs); participation in IEP team meetings; Chapter 408 requirements and a number of issues related to integrated co-teaching services.
  • Special Education Policy Guidance on Required Participation of General and Special Education Teachers at CSE Meetings (March 2015)
    This memo clarifies the required participation of general and special education teachers at CSE meetings. As described on pp.70–72 of the SOPM, a required CSE (IEP team) member may be excused from all or part of an IEP meeting, other than an initial IEP meeting, only if the parent consents to the member’s absence in writing.
  • Restrictions on Assignment of Special Education Teachers and Service Providers to Other Duties (April 2015)
    Special education teachers and providers for these services must serve each student as mandated and may not be assigned to other duties (like exam scoring or coverage/proctoring for other classes) that would prevent them from doing so, except in extraordinary circumstances.  An earlier memo addressed the same topic.
  • Frequency, Duration and Location of Related Services (May 2010)
    This memo, dated May 26, 2010, provides information regarding the frequency, duration and location of related services. It clarifies that travel time may not be included as part of the direct service time. It also clarifies that related services can be provided in a location outside of the classroom for students who receive instruction in special classes and provides new information about how location of service must be documented on the IEP.
  • NYC DOE Request for Innovative Waiver for SETSS, Statement of Consultation with UFT and Letter from Randi Weingarten regarding consultation (2008)
    The Special Education Teacher Support Services (SETSS) service delivery model was implemented in New York City through an innovative program waiver. The waiver process included consultation with the UFT.  This letter describes how concerns that were raised by the UFT during the program evaluation process were resolved as well as additional agreements reached between the UFT and the state during the consultation process.  The latter included agreements regarding group size in collaborative team teaching classes and paraprofessional services.

Special education guides

  • Family Guide to Special Education Services for School-Age Children
    This Guide is designed to help families work with school staff to develop the most appropriate program for their child. For school staff, this guide provides an excellent and highly readable overview of the special education process.
  • Family Guide to Preschool Special Education
  • Moving to Preschool
    This comprehensive guide provides detailed information about the preschool process from referral to committee on preschool special education (CPSE) meetings as well as a description of the supports and services that are available for preschool children with disabilities.
  • Moving to Kindergarten
    Moving from preschool to kindergarten marks the start of an exciting new chapter in the life of a young person with a disability and his or her family. Families and school staff often have questions about this transition and many of them will be answered here.
  • Moving to Middle School
  • Moving to High School
  • Get help in your language
    This information sheet explains how families can obtain interpretation services for their child's IEP team meeting and translation services for their child's IEP and other special education notices and documents. Ask & Share:  A Tool for Families and Schools to Create a Student-Centered IEP
  • Ask & Share: Tools for Families and Schools to Create a Student-Centered IEP
    The Ask & Share guides help parents prepare for, participate in and record relevant information about their child’s IEP team meeting. The guides provide suggestions as to what to ask and what to share regarding every section of the IEP. There are separate guides for elementary schools, middle schools,  and high schools
  • Sensory Exploration, Education & Discovery (SEED)
    SEED is a unique enrichment-based sensory movement program offered on Saturdays to support students who display intensive sensory needs that significantly impact their school functioning and participation. Under the supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist and/or Physical Therapist, the SEED program provides children with sensory experiences that prepare the body and brain for learning through a sensory-based, social-emotional curriculum, including a variety of calming and/or alerting activities. 
  • Family Guide to Assistive Technology, Spring 2016
    This guide provides information about how families can obtain assistive technology (AT) and accessible instructional materials (AEM) to help their child access his or her educational program. In addition to defining both topics, this guide explains the evaluation process, IEP documentation of recommendations, and how equipment and materials are provided, maintained and used both in and outside of the instructional setting.
  • Promotion for Students with Individualized Education Programs, 2018
    This guide provides information for families about how promotion decisions are made for students with disabilities who participate in standard assessments at all grade levels. It explains the difference between standard promotion criteria, which is the expectation for most students with disabilities, and modified promotion criteria.
  • ASD Family Resources
  • ACES Program Information
  • Bilingual Special Education
  • Family Guide to Transition Planning: Preparing Students with IEPs for Life after High School

English Language/Multilingual Learners

Policy and Reference Guide for Multilingual/English Language Learners

Contractual issues

Compensation for Loss of Preparation Period to Attend IEP Team Meeting

DOE Translation and Interpretation Unit information

Program Preference and Special Education