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

June 3, 2022
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DESE Special Education Updates
Key updates and announcements for special education leaders
  1. Upcoming Special Education Leaders' Meeting
  2. Final Grant Payment Windows for Fiscal Year 2022
  3. IDEA Equitable Services Resolution Funds Year 2 Reminder
  4. Massachusetts Education Job Fair
  5. Massachusetts Commission for the Blind’s Graphic Novel, The Quest for Independence
  6. In Case You Missed It
Upcoming Special Education Leaders’ Meeting 
The next Special Education Leaders’ Meeting will be held on Friday, June 10th, from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. 

The Zoom link for this meeting will be sent to Special Education Leaders in a separate email. 
Final Grant Payment Windows for Fiscal Year 2022 
This is a reminder that after the current May Request for Funds window, there are two payment request windows remaining for FY22 grants:
  • June 20 – 30, 2022
  • July 20 – 31, 2022
These final windows are for all grants regardless of whether they end 6/30/2022 or 8/31/2022. July is the final grant request window for FY22.

Multi-year entitlement grants have an additional very short window in August, but only multi-year grants have this window. Please review the Grants Management May Update for more information and to see the list of fund codes that are considered multi-year grants. To keep informed about various grant deadlines and other important information, sign up for the Grants Management Monthly Update mailing list.

General end of year reminders about grants:
  • Grant funds must be obligated by the grant end date;
  • Goods/services must be received by the grant end date;
  • Applicants have 60 days to finalize/pay invoices for obligations incurred by grant end date and;
  • All grantees have 60 days to file an FR-1 to close out the grant. More info regarding FR-1 filing is included in the May update linked above.
This message does not pertain to multi-year entitlement grants. For a list of active multi-year grants, see the May Update.
IDEA Equitable Services Resolution Funds Year 2 Reminder
On May 13, 2022, the Department sent letters to 167 LEAs* to inform them that they will receive an FY2023 allocation.

LEAs are required to conduct timely and meaningful consultation with private school representatives and representatives of parents of parentally-placed private school children with disabilities and parents of home-schooled children with disabilities regarding the resolution funds and provide the affirmation** to the Department via email at by June 1, 2022.

If you are one of the 167 LEAs* and have not yet provided the Department with the required affirmation, please send it to the Department via email at

If you have any questions regarding these funds or IDEA equitable services, please contact the Department at
*The list of LEAs receiving resolution funds for the fiscal year 2023 can be found here
**A sample written affirmation for districts receiving resolution funds can be found here
Massachusetts Education Job Fair
To register for the job fair, scan the QR code in the image above or follow this link to be taken to create your profile

Please spread the word in your community about this important event. There are thousands of positions to fill at all experience levels in districts across the Commonwealth. 
Massachusetts Commission for the Blind’s Graphic Novel, The Quest for Independence
The Federal Vocational Rehabilitation law (the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act — WIOA) includes pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) for students with disabilities with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan. Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) provides Pre-ETS for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan who have visual impairments
The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) has developed a Pre-ETS Best Practice Guide. MCB is pleased to share their graphic novel, The Quest for Independence. The story features two fictional, yet typical, Pre-ETS individuals named Alex and Sophia. The students, visually impaired teens, are on a quest to fit in and maneuver through high school. Like other teens who have limited vision or are blind, they strive to be independent but are unaware of the resources available to them.  Alex and Sophia get help along their journey from their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Mr. Pre-ETS.  A mild-mannered VR Counselor, Mr. Pre-ETS, transforms into a superhero version of himself…MC-B.  As in any good adventure, they bravely face adversity and overcome obstacles as they take on various quests along their VR journey.
The Quest for Independence has five chapters that focus on five areas of Pre-ETS services. These activities correspond with those laid out in Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and is available as a downloadable PDF that is accessible for screen readers (limited large print copies and audio versions are available).
In Case You Missed It
In our last update, the link for accessing the Support for LEAs with a Determination of Needs Assistance (NA) or Needs Intervention (NI) webinar recording and slides was invalid. The correct link can be found here.  
During the webinar 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. 
If you have any questions, please email
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