Ensuring IEPs Are in Effect at the Start of the School Year
Convening the IEP Team
Consideration of Special Factors
Considering the Assistive Technology Needs of a Child with a Disability
Addressing the Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs of Children with Disabilities
Addressing the School-Related Health Needs of Children with Disabilities with Underlying Medical Conditions
Determining Appropriate Measurable Annual Goals & Considering the Child’s Need for Compensatory Services
Making Extended School Year (ESY) Services Determinations
Considering Secondary Transition Services
Making Educational Placement Decisions
Resolving Disagreements Regarding a Child’s Educational Program
Educational Stability Resources
DESE offers Educational Stability office hours and training resources to support homeless liaisons; foster care points of contact; and Department of Children and Families (DCF), district, and provider staff to ask questions, discuss current issues, and share best practices for supporting highly mobile students and their access to a public education. Office hours and training are scheduled through the 2021- 2022 school year: https://www.doe.mass.edu/sfs/edstability/training.html.
Special Education Program Plan Statements (SEPPS) for 2021-2022
DESE requires districts to update and submit a Special Education Program Plan Statement (SEPPS) every four years to ensure regular renewal of special education assurances and information. The submission and subsequent approval of this updated SEPPS is required for initial or continued receipt of any federal special education funds.
New Procedure for Individual Student Program Requests for Approval
The Department’s Problem Resolution System Office (PRS) announces the launch of a new online form, the Individual Student Program (ISP) form, formerly known as the Authorization for Pricing form. PRS has developed an online portal to access and submit the ISP application online. Effective immediately, all applications must be submitted using the online system. The new system is easy to use, streamlines the process for improved request handling, and will now provide you with a receipt for your submission.
Please visit the Department’s PRS Special Approvals and Notices webpage to access the ISP Web Form to complete and submit applications online.
You can contact Jonathan Spadafora within PRS for further assistance at: Jonathan.W.Spadafora@mass.gov or 781-338-3709.
Update on Revisions to the 28.10(6) Technical Assistance Advisory
Since Spring 2021, DESE has been working to clarify and revise the information inTechnical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-5: Charter School Responsibilities for Students with Disabilities Who May Need an Out-of-District Program — 603 CMR 28.10(6) based on input from districts and charter schools. DESE has also been working simultaneously on the IEP Improvement Project, which will provide guidance, technical assistance, and tools on an equitable IEP process. Because it has become apparent that there are overlapping updates between the two projects, DESE will pause the advisory revisions until after the IEP Improvement Project has been completed. This pause will ensure all guidance across the Department is consistent and that revisions to this advisory are aligned to the updated IEP guidance documents. Once IEP Improvement Project documents are finalized, DESE will resume revisions to the advisory with a spring 2022 timeline for completion. If you have questions about the 28.10(6) technical assistance advisory or the IEP Improvement Project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminder: Graduation Requirements for Students with IEPs
DESE reminds all Massachusetts school districts that they must follow the guidance set forth in Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-2: Secondary Transition Services and Graduation with a High School Diploma. Under state law, all students seeking to earn a high school diploma must meet the Competency Determination (CD) standard, as well as local graduation requirements. Massachusetts state law does not, however, require that a diploma must be issued to a student who has achieved a CD and completed local graduation requirements. Rather, these two conditions are prerequisites for graduation. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), even if a student with disabilities has met state and local requirements for graduation, a district may not properly graduate the student if the district did not provide a "free appropriate public education" (FAPE) to that student. The FAPE requirement applies to secondary transition services, as well as other special education and related services. The IEP Team must make an individualized decision for each student.
A parent and student brochure on graduation requirements for students with IEPs can be found in multiple languages on the website of the Federation for Children with Special Needs.
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