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 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

Guidance on Appointment of Special Education Surrogate Parents

Guidance on Appointment of Special Education Surrogate Parents

Revised: January 2013 This guidance updates and replaces guidance jointly developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) and Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF)1 , and issued in 2002. It reflects current federal policy as well as the policy of both agencies concerning the needs of children in DCF care or custody who are eligible for special education services, who can make special education decisions for such children and when a Special Education Surrogate Parent (SESP) must be appointed for them. … 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

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2012-2: Improving Data and Practices Regarding Disciplinary Removals of Students with Disabilities

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2012-2:
Improving Data and Practices Regarding Disciplinary Removals of Students with Disabilities

To:
Superintendents, Principals, Administrators of Special Education, and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date:
June 13, 2012

Introduction

Analysis of school suspension data reported to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) suggests a wide range of practices for determining suspensions as well as for collecting and reporting data, resulting in inconsistencies and inaccuracies. … Read the rest

Memorandum on Requirements for Registration of Sign Language Interpreters Who Work in Educational Settings

Memorandum on Requirements for Registration of Sign Language Interpreters Who Work in Educational Settings

To: Special Education Administrators, Directors of Private Special Education Schools, Charter School Directors and other Interested Parties
From: Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education, and Heidi Reed, Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Date: April 4, 2012
  The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), in conjunction with the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH), reminds school districts of the requirements for registration of sign language interpreters who work in educational settings. … Read the rest

Guidance on 603 CMR 28.07(7)

Guidance on 603 CMR 28.07(7)

To:
Special Educational Surrogate Parents and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date:
February 27, 2012
In light of questions that have recently come to my attention concerning 603 CMR 28.07(7), I offer the following guidance on the purpose of this regulation, the circumstances in which it applies, and the responsibilities it assigns to school districts. … Read the rest

Memorandum on Procedures Lite

Memorandum on Procedures Lite

To: Administrators of Special Education and Other Interested Parties
From: Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date: December 16, 2011
  It has come to our attention that a small number of school districts have implemented a practice, generally referred to as “Procedures Lite” (PL). Although there is some variation among the districts, PL is a process through which parents usually agree to waive procedural rights guaranteed under federal and state special education laws, for one year (or longer, if agreed to in subsequent years). … Read the rest

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2012-1: Certain IEP Services Not Provided by the Department in DYS Institutional Settings

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2012-1: Certain IEP Services Not Provided by the Department in DYS Institutional Settings

To:
Administrators of Special Education and Other Interested Parties
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date:
October 06, 2011
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (the Department) through the Special Education in Institutional Settings (SEIS) program is responsible for providing special education services to eligible students in institutional settings operated by or under contract with the Department of Youth Services (DYS), as well as other state agency institutional settings. … Read the rest

Reissued Mileage Reimbursement for Parents under 603 CMR 28.07(6)

Reissued Mileage Reimbursement for Parents under 603 CMR 28.07(6)

To: Administrators of Special Education
From: Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date: Reissued-May 31, 2011
This memorandum replaces guidance issued on March 16, 2009. Please note the bold text has been updated. I write this brief memo to provide you with the most current information on the mileage reimbursement for parents who:
  1. Provide transportation for their child; and
  2. The transported child is eligible for special education and requires special transportation according to the special education regulations at 603 CMR 28.05(5)(b); and
  3. Transport is for school attendance and school-sponsored extracurricular activities; and
  4. Transport occurs with the knowledge and agreement of the school district; and
  5. The parent voluntarily provides transport.
 … Read the rest

Administrative Advisory SPED 2011-2 Amendments to the State Special Education Regulations – 603 CMR 28.00

Administrative Advisory SPED 2011-2
Amendments to the State Special Education Regulations – 603 CMR 28.00

To: Administrators of Special Education and Other Interested Parties
From: Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date: June 1, 2011
On April 27, 2011, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted amendments to the Massachusetts Special Education Regulations at 603 CMR 28.00. … Read the rest