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Tip for Annual Reviews - Approved Private School Placement by the CSE

In July of 2013, the NYS Education Department established a new preapproval procedure for placement of students with disabilities in Approved Private In-State and Out-of-State Day and Residential Placements. The new procedure requires all school districts to complete certifications (DCERTS) for all school age private school reimbursements.


Since annual reviews are upon us, Management Advisory Group is urging each district to place a private placement certification form, found at this link: DCERT FORM AND GUIDE into each annual review folder if a student is being considered for initial placement or continuation in an approved private school. This form should be filled out during the CSE meeting and immediately submitted to our office for posting.


This DCERT form is completed annually under the following circumstances:


  • Initial placement of students with disabilities in approved private schools.
  • Continued placement of students with disabilities in approved private schools (During annual reviews)
  • Change of placement from day to residential or residential to day placement.
  • Change from in-state to out-of-state or out-of-state to in-state placement.
  • Change of CSE Responsibility (Date student transferred in)
  • Change from preschool to school age.


For determination of approval for state reimbursement, the DCERT must be filed on the STAC website no later than six (6) business days of the student’s start date.

Note, Transfer Students Only: When reporting DCERT information for transfer students, the STAC Unit has made a recent update to the Private Placement Certification screen (DCERT). The newly added field is "Change of CSE Responsibility".  This field is only to be used when a student transfers into a district and continues with the same educational provider.  The date entered in this field becomes the effective date of the certification.  This "Change of CSE Responsibility" field allows districts time to hold their CSE meetings and complete their DCERTs in a timely fashion, without adversely impacting the reimbursement. If the receiving CSE determines a change of placement which is different from the one made by the sending CSE, then the new CSE would need to generate 2 DCERTs; one for the time the student spent in the original placement, and a new DCERT for the change of placement recommended by the receiving CSE.