Category Archives: DESE Advisories

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

Administrative Advisory SPED 2019-3

Administrative Advisory SPED 2019-3

Updated State Mandated Form for Documentation of Medicaid Service Delivery in Out-of-District Programs (28M/12)

To: Administrators of Special Education, Executive Directors of Collaboratives and Executive, Program Directors of Approved Special Education Schools, Medicaid Contractors and other Interested Parties
From: Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner
Rachelle Engler Bennett, Associate Commissioner
Date: May 10, 2019

As part of recent updates to the Medicaid claiming process, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (Department) has updated Form 28M/12.
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Administrative Advisory SPED 2019-2

Administrative Advisory SPED 2019-2

Extended Evaluations

To: Superintendents, Administrators of Special Education, Executive Directors of Collaboratives and Executive and Program Directors of Approved Special Education Schools
From: Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner
Date: April 1, 2019

Purpose

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) has received numerous questions from special education directors, directors of approved special education schools and other stakeholders regarding the use of extended evaluations, particularly when the extended evaluation is conducted at an approved special education school or in a collaborative program setting.
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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2019-1:

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2019-1:
Transition from Early Intervention Programs to Early Childhood Special Education

To: Early Intervention Directors and Staff, Elementary School Principals, Administrators of Special Education, Early Childhood Coordinators, Preschool Personnel, and Other Interested Parties
From: Craig Andrade: LATC, RN, DrPH, Director, Bureau of Family Health & Nutrition, Department of Public Health
Russell D.
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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2012-1:

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2012-1: Certain IEP Services Not Provided by the Department in DYS Institutional Settings
— Revised August 2018 to address all host agency settings (DYS, DMH, DPH, CHC)

To: Administrators of Special Education and Other Interested Parties
From: Russell Johnston, State Director of Special Education
Date: August 23, 2018

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 Departments of Youth Services (DYS), Mental Health (DMH), Public Health (DPH), and County Houses of Correction (CHCs).
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Administrative Advisory SPED 2019-1

Administrative Advisory SPED 2019-1

Recovery High Schools and Students Eligible for Special Education

To: Administrators of Special Education and Other Interested Parties
From: Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner for District Support, and
Cliff Chuang, Senior Associate Commissioner for Educational Options
Date: June 21, 2018

The purpose of this advisory is to address special education service delivery for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) who are attending or planning to enroll in recovery high school (RHS) programs.
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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2018-4:

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2018-4:
Guidance on Massachusetts Commission for the Blind Pre-Employment Transitions Services

Joint Advisory from
Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB) and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)
MCB/DESE Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Technical Assistance Advisory
To: Superintendents, Administrators of Special Education, Principals, Teachers of the Visually Impaired, Transition Coordinators, Families of Students with Visual Impairments and Other Interested Parties
From: Russell Johnston PhD, Senior Associate Commissioner and State Director of Special Education
Paul Saner, Commissioner, Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
Date: June 15, 2018

I.

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Administrative Assistance Advisory SPED 2018-3

Administrative Assistance Advisory SPED 2018-3

Guidance on Amendments to Special Education Regulations, 603 CMR 28.10, to Align with ESSA Foster Care Provisions

To: Administrators of Special Education, School Business Officers, Special Educators, General Educators, Superintendents, Parents, Students, and Other Interested Parties
From: Teri Williams Valentine, Director, Office of Special Education Planning and Policy Development
Date: May 15, 2018

Purpose

On March 27, 2018, the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (the Board) adopted amendments to the Massachusetts Special Education Regulations at 603 CMR 28.10, pertaining to the assignment of school district responsibility for the special education services of students in foster care.
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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2018-3:

Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2018-3:
Addressing the Communication Needs of Students with Disabilities through Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

To: Administrators of Special Education and Other Interested Parties
From: Russell Johnston, PhD, Senior Associate Commissioner and State Director of Special Education
Date: April 2, 2018

I appreciate the opportunity to visit schools on a regular basis.
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Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-2

Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-2

Secondary Transition Services and Graduation with a High School Diploma

To: Administrators of Special Education, Superintendents, Parents, Students, and Other Interested Parties
From: Russell Johnston, State Director of Special Education
Date: March 26, 2018

Purpose

Massachusetts state law does not explicitly address graduation requirements for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).
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Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-1

Administrative Advisory SPED 2018-1

Guidance and Workbook for Calculating and Providing Proportionate Share Services for Students with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Private Schools

To: Superintendents, Special Education Administrators, Business and Other Education Personnel
From: Russell Johnston, Senior Associate Commissioner and State Director of Special Education
Date: July 27, 2017 — Revised July 2018 to include reference to Grant Fund Code 262 which DESE will administer starting in FY19

Print Version
There will be 6 attachments as part of the advisory:
Attachment A: Proportionate Share Timeline (Page 19)
Attachment B: Suggested Roles for Proportionate Share Activities (Page 20)
  
Attachment C: Sample Written Affirmation (Page 21)
Attachment D: Summary of District Obligations (Page 22)
  
Attachment E: Sample “Services Plan” Form (Page 23)
Attachment F: Frequently Asked Questions (Page 24–26)

Introduction

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) provides this consolidated Advisory to guide Massachusetts public school districts in meeting their federal obligations regarding students with disabilities enrolled by their parents in private schools, including secular, non-secular, and independent schools, or home schooled within the district.
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