Category Archives: Technical Assistance Advisories

Administrative and technical guidance on special education laws, regulations, and policies from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education.

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2017-1: Characteristics of High Quality Secondary Transition Services

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2017-1: Characteristics of High Quality Secondary Transition Services

To: Administrators of Special Education, Parents, Students, and Other Interested Parties From: Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education Date: July 14, 2016 ______________________________________________________________________________

Purpose

The purpose of this advisory is to help school districts improve outcomes for students with IEPs and to promote compliance with state and federal special education law by highlighting three characteristics of appropriate high quality secondary transition service delivery:
  1. Transition Services should be coordinated.
 … Read the rest

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2016-2: Promoting Student Self-Determination to Improve Student Outcomes

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2016-2: Promoting Student Self-Determination to Improve Student Outcomes

To: Middle and High School Principals, Administrators of Special Education, General and Special Educators, Students with Disabilities, Parents, and Other Interested Parties From: Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education Date: September 18, 2015 The purpose of this advisory is to: (1) Highlight the fundamental importance of supporting and encouraging student self-determination to promote successful adult outcomes. … Read the rest

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2016-1: Time-out and Seclusion

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2016-1:
Time-out and Seclusion

Here is the DESE PDF
To:
Superintendents, Principals, Charter School Leaders, Private School Directors, Administrators of Special Education, and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director for Special Education
Date:
July 31, 2015
This advisory provides guidance concerning the difference between the prohibited practice of seclusion and the approved use of time-out as a behavioral support strategy as set forth in amendments to 603 CMR 46.00, Prevention of Physical Restraint and Requirements if Used, effective January 1, 2016. … Read the rest

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-3 (revised): Identifying the Need for Paraprofessional Support

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-3 (revised):
Identifying the Need for Paraprofessional Support

To:
Administrators of Special Education, Parents, and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date:
February 26, 2015
The purposes of this advisory are to:
  1. Advise school districts and parents about concerns regarding inappropriate utilization of paraprofessionals.
 … Read the rest

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2011-1: Annual Fiscal Calculations

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2011-1: Annual Fiscal Calculations

To: Administrators of Special Education, Charter School Directors, School Business Officials, and Other Interested Parties
From: Marcia Mittnacht
State Director of Special Education
Date: December 8, 2010
  Financial responsibilities in the area of special education are substantial. Every school district assures the state at regular intervals that it is aware of its responsibilities and conducting them appropriately. … Read the rest

Technical 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)

Technical 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)

To:
Superintendents, Charter School Leaders, Administrators of Special Education, Parents, and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director for Special Education
Cliff Chuang, Associate Commissioner
Date:
August 22, 2014

Purpose of Advisory

This advisory is designed to provide guidance to charter schools on the process to follow after an eligible charter school student’s IEP Team determines that an out-of-district program for special education services may be needed. … Read the rest

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-4: Transition Assessment in the Secondary Transition Planning Process

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-4:
Transition Assessment in the Secondary Transition Planning Process

To:
Middle and High School Principals, Administrators of Special Education, General and Special Educators, and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date:
April 9, 2014
The purpose of this advisory is to:
  1. Clarify the purpose of transition assessment in the secondary transition planning process.
 … Read the rest

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-2: Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-2:
Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative

To:
Administrators of Special Education, Parents, and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
John Bynoe, Associate Commissioner for Student Support Services
Date:
March 10, 2014
We write this advisory to remind you of the enhanced array of home-based mental health and behavioral services available through the Children’s Behavioral Health Initiative (CBHI) to Massachusetts children and youth who are eligible for MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid). … Read the rest

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-1: DSM-5 Changes and the Impact on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-1:
DSM-5 Changes and the Impact on Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

To:
Administrators of Special Education, Parents, and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date:
July 30, 2013
I write this advisory in response to some significant changes in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), which is a key diagnostic tool. … Read the rest

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2013-1: Postsecondary Goals and Annual IEP Goals in the Transition Planning Process

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2013-1:
Postsecondary Goals and Annual IEP Goals in the Transition Planning Process

To:
Middle and High School Principals, Administrators of Special Education, General and Special Educators, and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date:
September 14, 2012
The purpose of this advisory is to:
  1. highlight the central role of appropriate measurable postsecondary goals and annual IEP goals in the transition planning process for students with IEPs, ages 14-22.
 … Read the rest