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

August 2022
View this email in your browser
DESE Special Education Updates
Key updates and announcements for special education leaders
  1. Upcoming Special Education Leaders Meeting
  2. 2022-2023 Special Education Leaders Meeting Schedule
  3. Conditions for Assistance for FY2023
  4. Federal Guidance: Supporting Students with Disabilities and Avoiding Use of Discriminatory Discipline
  5. Dyslexia Guidance Support and Regulation Questions
  6. Important Indicator 7 Information
  7. Chapter 688 Referral Updates
  8. It Takes a Partnership! District & DCF Network Meeting
  9. Key Resources from The Arc of Massachusetts
  10. In Case You Missed It
Upcoming Special Education Leaders Meeting
The next Special Education Leaders Meeting will be held on Friday, September 16th, from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

The Zoom link for this meeting will be sent to Special Education Leaders in a separate email during the week of September 12, 2022. 

As a reminder, please ensure that your district contact information for Special Education Administrators in Profiles is up to date. We want to ensure that all email links and invites are being received by the appropriate district staff. You can do this by visiting the 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
2022-2023 Special Education Leaders Meeting Schedule
The full schedule of Special Education Leaders Meetings for SY2022-2023 has just been finalized. Please add these to your calendar, noting the new date for our October meeting, which was recently changed due to a scheduling conflict.
  • Friday, September 16, 2022 – Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Friday, October 21, 2022 – Noon to 1 p.m. (Date changed from previously announced schedule)
  • Friday, November 18, 2022– Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Friday, January 20, 2023 – Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Friday, February 10, 2023 – Noon to 1 p.m.
  • Friday, March 24, 2023 – 11 a.m. to noon
  • Friday, April 28, 2023 – 11 a.m. to noon
  • Friday, May 26, 2023 – 11 a.m. to noon
  • Friday, June 23, 2023 – 11 a.m. to noon
Conditions for Assistance for FY2023
We are pleased to announce that the Conditions for Assistance for FY2023, formerly the Special Education Program Plan Statement (SEPPS), is now available. All LEAs will be required to submit an updated Conditions for Assistance for FY23 which must be approved before your FY23 IDEA grants can be approved. You can find a Word document of the form here
Federal Guidance: Supporting Students with Disabilities and Avoiding Use of Discriminatory Discipline
The U.S. Department of Education recently issued new guidance and resources designed to help schools meet the needs of students with disabilities and avoid the discriminatory use of student discipline. These resources include: a letter from Secretary Cardona about the importance of supporting the needs of students with disabilities, a fact sheet on student discipline, a Q&A entitled “Questions and Answers: Addressing the Needs of Children with Disabilities and IDEA's Discipline Provisions,” and a guidance document outlining “Positive, Proactive Approaches to Supporting Children with Disabilities”.
Now Available: 240 and 262 Grant Applications
On August 5th, the Federal Grant window opened for both FY2023: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Special Education Entitlement Grant (240) and FY2023: Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Program Federal Entitlement Grant (262). More information on each grant and the application workbooks can be found at the appropriate links above. Both grants have a due date of Monday, October 3
Dyslexia Guidance Support and Regulation Questions
As part of our work on updating and improving dyslexia guidance and regulation, DESE is now offering a new way to support district and school personnel with questions and suggestions. 
  • For support on all dyslexia regulation-related questions and comments, as well as public comments related to the proposed regulatory changes please email:
  • For support on all dyslexia guidelines and any other dyslexia-related questions please email:
As a reminder, the window for public comment on the proposed changes to the Dyslexia Screening Regulations emailed in our last update will close on Friday, August 19th. 
Important Indicator 7 Information
Please note that the deadline for Indicator 7 data submissions is August 31, 2022 via the ECOS database. A variety of resources can be found on our Early Childhood Special Education webpage such as District User and School User guides and a helpful data submission FAQ.
There will be an upcoming webinar on Indicator 7 data and the use of the ECOS database. Starting with the 2022-2023 school year, all districts will submit data on an annual basis. To better support you in understanding and implementing these data collection changes, our external evaluators for Indicator 7 and SSIP, Dr. Zach Weingarten and Dr. Taletha Derrington, will be holding a webinar on October 12, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Drs. Weingarten and Derrington will present a short review of the ECOS database and what annual data collection will look like this year. Please ensure that your district is represented at this training, as this will be the perfect opportunity to ask questions and get clarification on Indicator 7 data submission. Districts must register for the webinar by following this link
Chapter 688 Referral Updates
Updates to the Chapter 688 Referral Form have been made and can be found at Chapter 688 Information and Referral Forms - Special Education
It Takes a Partnership! District & DCF Network Meeting
The Department of Children and Families (DCF) and DESE are hosting our Fall semi-annual networking meeting to focus on strengthening partnerships that support students in foster care by improving communication and collaboration.  Please join us on Wednesday, August 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for a virtual networking session in anticipation of the start of the 2022 - 2023 school year. A presentation from District Foster Care Points of Contact and DCF Social Workers will focus on strategies and processes for communication.

We ask that interested individuals register to receive the login information for this meeting. During registration you will be asked to identify which regional office with which you collaborate most often concerning foster care students. Questions on content and other logistics can be directed to
Key Resources from The Arc of Massachusetts
The Arc of Massachusetts is offering a Watch & Learn: Disability Film Series consisting of short films featuring individuals with disabilities. For more information about the film series, please contact Kathleen Amaral: or 781-891-6270 ext. 110. 
Also available is their Pathways to Friendship website, which provides free resources such as toolkits, stories, and guides to support inclusive friendships and community connections. Please visit the Pathways to Friendship website for more information.
In Case You Missed It
As the new school year approaches, please make sure all contact information is up to date so that we may continue to communicate with you! 
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education logo
Copyright © 2022 Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, All rights reserved.

If you're not on our mailing list, please subscribe
Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Twitter Facebook You Tube Website