A message from the
Massachusetts Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)

May 2022
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DESE Special Education Updates
Key updates and announcements for special education leaders
  1. Upcoming Special Education Leaders' Meeting
  2. Transportation for Extended School Year (ESY) Services 
  3. Remote Service Delivery for Extended School Year
  4. FY2023 Resolution Funds
  5. Special Education Assistance Webinar Recording and Slides Posted & Evaluation Link 
  6. In Case You Missed It
Upcoming Special Education Leaders’ Meeting 
As a reminder the next Special Education Leaders’ Meeting will be held this Friday, May 13th, from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. 

The Zoom link for this meeting has already been sent to Special Education Leaders in a separate email. 
Transportation for Extended School Year (ESY) Services 
As you plan for the summer, it is important to communicate with families about transportation arrangements for students with disabilities who are entitled to extended school year (ESY) services under their individualized education programs (IEPs). Students who receive ESY services are entitled to transportation if they need it to benefit from special education ESY services. A student may need transportation to benefit from special education ESY services even if they don't receive "special" or "specialized" transportation during the regular school year.

Additional information about this topic will be discussed at Friday's Special Education Leaders Meeting.
Remote Service Delivery for Extended School Year
Can a school district offer extended school year (ESY) services to students with disabilities remotely during the summer? 
Yes, a school district may offer ESY services to an individual student with disabilities remotely if the IEP Team determines it is appropriate for the student's specific circumstances. For example, the student is able to fully access and participate in remote ESY services, the student's parent or guardian agrees to the provision of services remotely, and such agreement is documented in writing in the student's IEP (such as through an IEP amendment). Because many students who receive ESY services have significant and complex disabilities, the Department anticipates that the vast majority of students scheduled to receive ESY services, especially full-time ESY services, will receive them in-person.  

If a student will be receiving ESY services remotely, the school district must ensure that the student has access to the appropriate technology needed to access the services (e.g., laptop, Chromebook, internet).

Please note that this in no way changes the requirement under the Student Learning Time regulations that school districts offer full-time, in-person instruction to students during the regular school year with only very few limited exceptions.
FY2023 Resolution Funds
This is a reminder that districts that received Resolution Funds in FY2022 will be receiving allocations in FY2023 unless the district opted to take all funds in FY2022. Written affirmations that reflect consultation regarding these funds are to be submitted to the IDEA equitable services mailbox by June 1, 2022. A sample affirmation that includes Resolution Funds can be found at in the Sample Documents section. Please contact with any questions.
Special Education Assistance Webinar Recording and Slides Posted & Evaluation Link 
If you missed the webinar, Support for LEAs with a Determination of Needs Assistance (NA) or Needs Intervention (NI), you can access the webinar recording and slides at this link
Presenters explored: 
  • How determinations are made;
  • Where to find data and who to contact with questions ;
  • How to adjust maintenance of effort calculations;
  • The impact of special education determinations on leadership roles, i.e., Superintendent, Special Education Administrator, Business Officer; and
  • Utilizing evidence-based frameworks for improvement planning and impacting student outcomes.
We’d like to know about your experience with the Special Education Assistance Webinar. 
  • For those that attended, thank you! We hope it was time well spent. While it is still fresh in your mind, we would like to get your feedback about the overall quality and usefulness of the webinar. 
  • For those that did not attend, we’d like to know why so we can improve our support to you.  
Please use this link and take 1 minute to fill out the evaluation survey. 

If you have any questions, please email
In Case You Missed It
Please help us communicate with you! 
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