The next Special Education Leaders’ Meeting will be held on Friday, February 11, 2022, from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM.
The Zoom link for these meetings will be sent to Special Education Leaders in a separate email.
Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility Determination Guidance
DESE is pleased to announce the new, interactive Massachusetts Referral, Evaluation, and Eligibility Determination Guidancereusable learning object (RLO). This online resource replaces Is Special Education the Right Service? (ISERS). DESE gratefully acknowledges the assistance and contributions of numerous stakeholders in developing this resource, especially the Massachusetts Association of School Psychologists.
The new ED1 has been updated with a larger font size and consolidated to one page. In response to stakeholder feedback, the questions were updated as follows:
Annual LEA Determinations under IDEA
Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), DESE must make annual determinations regarding Local Education Agencies’ (LEA) specific needs for technical assistance or intervention in special education. Massachusetts does so based on four categories:
Meets Requirements (MR)
Needs Assistance (NA)
Needs Intervention (NI)
Needs Substantial Intervention (NSI)
In February, DESE will notify each LEA of its determination. DESE continues to prioritize improving the quality of coordinated technical assistance and intervention provided to schools and districts in special education. For LEAs determined to be NA or NI, DESE will follow up directly with LEAs regarding next steps for this year’s coordinated approach to providing your district with technical assistance and intervention.
Reporting Physical Restraints
All restraint-related injuries must be reported to DESE no later than three school-working days of the administration of the restraint. The report must be submitted through the Security Portal. You can find a sample of the report form and the additional report form for prone restraints at https://www.doe.mass.edu/prs/sa-nr/default.html. Note that 603 CMR 46.03 prohibits the administration of the prone restraint except under specific circumstances on an individual student basis. Districts may be asked to provide additional information for submitted reports indicating the administration of floor prone restraints.
Nominations and applications are now open for the 2022-2023 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year.
Every year, but particularly over the past two years, our schools have needed teachers who are constantly learning, growing, and innovating. The Massachusetts Teacher of the Year program is a way for incredible teachers to be celebrated, share their voice and their learning journey, and broaden their impact.
This year, preference will be given to teachers who have consistently showcased their ability to:
Build deep, meaningful relationships with students.
Empower students through evidence-based instruction.
Reflect on their own practice.
Successfully innovate and adapt to changing circumstances.
Affirm students’ identities and work toward removing inequities.
Embed and prioritize culturally responsive and sustaining practices in their classrooms.