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 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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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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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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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2016-1:

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

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,
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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-3 (revised):

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.
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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-5:

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.
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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-4:

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.
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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-2:

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).
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Technical Assistance Advisory SPED 2014-1:

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.
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