The next Special Education Leaders’ Meeting will be held on Friday, January 21, 2022, 11:30 AM-12:30 PM.
The Zoom link for these meetings will be sent to Special Education Leaders in a separate email.
Information Session on Positions Related to Special Education
The MassHire Metro North Career Center and DESE are teaming up for a virtual information session on Wednesday, January 12, from 10:00-11:30 AM. The Massachusetts Association of Approved Special Education Schools (MAAPS), the Massachusetts Organization of Educational Collaboratives (MOEC), and Massachusetts Administrators of Special Education (ASE) will present information about their organizations.
Positions include school psychologists, special education administrators, bus drivers, speech and language pathologists, nurses, direct service staff, special education teachers, physical therapists, and more. Please see this flyer for more information.
Reminder for LEAs: Use Older Funding Before Accessing New Grant Awards
Most federal grants funded through the United States Department of Education (USED) contain a provision known as the Tydings Amendment. This means the funds are awarded to the states for use within a 27 month period. The intent of this provision is to give the grantees (states) and sub-grantees (LEAs) enough time to administer effective programs and limit the amount of funds returned to the federal government.
The EdGrants system was designed with multi-year functionality to more effectively administer Tydings grants. Applicants who leave funds unclaimed in Year 1 can expect that the balance will roll into Year 2, but not until September. Once this roll occurs, the grant end date will be extended and you will have access to these funds starting with the October Year 2 payment request windows.
DESE recommends that older funds be expended before newer allocated funds as they will expire (and no longer be usable) a full year before the newer funding. Applying the prior year funding is not a passive process and needs to be specifically requested. Questions on how to do this should be directed to: EdGrants (DOE) EdGrants@mass.gov.
IDEA Equitable Services Resolution Funds Self-Assessment Reporting - Deadline Extended to 1/14/2022
The United States Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) approved the proposed resolution by DESE for resolving concerns relating to Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) funds that school districts were required to spend on parentally-placed private school children with disabilities and home-schooled children with disabilities (IDEA Equitable Services/IDEA proportionate share) during fiscal years 2014 through 2018. As a result, LEA's in IDEA Equitable Services Resolution Funds' Allocation for the Fiscal Year 2022 — May 18, 2021, as impacted by this resolution, will receive an additional allocation of these resolution funds.
American Rescue Plan (ARP) IDEA Equitable Services and Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS)
ARP IDEA funds [Fund Code 252 (Ages 3-21) and Fund Code 264 (Ages 3-5)] are subject to IDEA Equitable Services (Proportionate Share) and Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS). IDEA Equitable Services (Proportionate Share)
The ARP IDEA application automatically calculates the IDEA Equitable Services reservation(s) for eligible students who are parentally placed in private schools or who are homeschooled.
Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS)
Any LEA identified with significant disproportionality is required to reserve 15 percent of its IDEA Part B funds to provide CCEIS to address factors contributing to the significant disproportionality. CCEIS requirements for Identified LEAs also includes American Rescue Plan funds (Fund Code 252 and Fund Code 264). Please be aware that any district identified with significant disproportionality during the 2020-2021 school year must reserve CCEIS for their ARP funds this fiscal year.
In October, the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General (AG) issued a letter clarifying that whether a Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC)’s leadership group is a public body depends on the structure and role of that group…. Individual SEPACs may, through their own bylaws, specify that all meetings shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the Open Meeting Law, even though they are not legally mandated to do so.” The AG found that “in practice, SEPACs vary greatly from district to district in their membership, structure, and activities, as well as their relationship to the local school committee. Furthermore, although all SEPACs are required by law to ‘establish by-laws regarding officers and operational procedures,’ there is variability in the role that the respective leadership groups.”
The AG’s office encouraged SEPACs to advertise their meetings to the public, to allow all eligible members as well as other members of the public to attend meetings, and to provide opportunities for all interested members of the public to participate in the SEPAC’s activities. For more information, see “Are Special Education Parent Advisory Council (“SEPAC”) groups public bodies subject to the Open Meeting Law?” on the AG’s webpage, Frequently Asked Questions About Public Bodies.
Indicator 1: Graduation Rate for Students with IEPs
Indicator 2: Dropout Rate for Students with IEPs
Indicator 3: Statewide Assessment of Students with IEPs
Indicator 5: Education Environments for Students with IEPs (Ages 5 – 21)
Indicator 6: Preschool Environments for Students with IEPs (Ages 3 – 5)
Indicator 7: Preschool Outcomes for Students with IEPs
Indicator 8: Parent Involvement — Students with IEPs
Indicator 14: Post-school Outcomes for Students with IEPs
Do You Teach K-12 Science and Are You Compiling an MCAS-Alt?
Join the 2022 SCAPE Project! In the Science Curriculum Adaptation Project for Special Educators (SCAPE), educators who teach K-12 science and who are compiling an MCAS-Alt will collaborate with DESE and other educators to develop instructional materials aligned with MCAS-Alt expectations. Applications are due January 28, 2022. There is a $750 stipend available for attending. Kick-off meeting April 5, 2022. Summer Institute June 27-30, 2022. For more information, please contact Debra Hand at email@example.com.
How to Ensure You Receive Information & Updates from DESE
Visit District Profiles to check that your name and current email address are listed in your district’s directory. If the directory needs to be updated, please follow up with your district’s Directory Administrator.
Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2021-3: Shared Responsibility for Special Education Services in Institutional Settings
DESE has issued a new technical assistance advisory to explain the role of the Departments of Youth Services (DYS), Mental Health (DMH), Public Health (DPH) and the County Houses of Correction (CHC) in providing special education and related services to students with disabilities in facilities operated by these entities.
Family Engagement Networking & Professional Development Series
DESE’s Family Engagement Project will be hosting a series of networking and professional development opportunities for Family Engagement Specialists, ELPACs, SEPAC leaders, teachers, administrators, and 21st-Century Community Learning Coordinators during the 2021-2022 school year. The theme for this year’s series will be Building Authentic and Effective Relationships with All Families. The 2021-2022 series will be virtual (unless otherwise noted) and will commence with a statewide kick-off event followed by webinars, networking sessions, book discussion groups, and a statewide family engagement summit.
Guidance on Sharing Student Education Records with DCF Social Workers
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) and DESE have prepared this new guidance to facilitate access by DCF social workers to education records of students in DCF custody in a manner consistent with applicable laws and regulations. Exchanges of education records and daily school attendance data is one important way that districts and DCF can work collaboratively to ensure students’ educational progress and safety.