Category Archives: DESE Advisories

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

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

Administrative Advisory SPED 2006-1: Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act –Initial Implications for School District Practices

Administrative Advisory SPED 2006-1: Reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act –Initial Implications for School District Practices

To: Special Education Administrators, Directors of Collaboratives, Directors of Approved
Special Education Schools, and Other Interested Parties
From: Marcia Mittnacht
State Director of Special Education
Date: August 1, 2005
  The purpose of this advisory is to highlight several key changes in federal special education law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA-2004) that became effective on July 1, 2005. … Read the rest

Administrative Advisory SPED 2001-3 Guidance on Using a Sliding Fee Scale for Public Payment of Independent Education Evaluations (IEEs) in Special Education

Administrative Advisory SPED 2001-3
Guidance on Using a Sliding Fee Scale for Public Payment of Independent Education Evaluations (IEEs) in Special Education

To: Special Education Administrators, Directors of Charter Schools, Other Interested Parties
From: Marcia Mittnacht
State Director for Special Education
Date: October 2, 2000
On September 26, 2000, the Board of Education promulgated emergency regulations in several areas of special education in response to outside sections of the FY2001 Budget that required such changes. … 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

Administrative Advisory SPED 2014-1 Demonstration of performance skills of educational interpreters

Administrative Advisory SPED 2014-1
Demonstration of performance skills of educational interpreters

To:
Educational Interpreters for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard Of Hearing, School Districts, Approved Private Special Education Schools, and Collaborative Programs
From:
Heidi Reed, Commissioner, MA Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Marcia Mittnacht, State Director for Special Education, MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Date:
March 5, 2014
The Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) and the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) have collaborated to provide this guidance to educational interpreters for public school students who are Deaf or hard of hearing, and to the school districts (including charter schools), approved private special education programs, and collaborative programs1 that employ such interpreters. … Read the rest

Administrative Advisory SPED 2013-1 Parental Consent to Access MassHealth (Medicaid)

Administrative Advisory SPED 2013-1
Parental Consent to Access MassHealth (Medicaid)

To: Administrators of Special Education and Other Interested Parties
From: Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date: June 13, 2013

I. Introduction

On February 14, 2013 the U.S. Department of Education published final regulations in the Federal Register for IDEA, Part B, that change the requirements of 34 CFR 300.154(d) related to parental consent to access public health insurance, in Massachusetts, MassHealth ( Medicaid). … Read the rest