Subject: Private Agency Approval
Source: Margaret Strecker, Director, Special Education Compliance
Intended Audience: Administrators, Special Education Administrators, Private
Date: October 23, 2007
Procedures for private agency approvals have been revised. As always, new
private agency applicants will receive an on-site visit by the Department of
Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) as part of the review process; in
addition, new agencies will also receive a follow-up on-site visit within
one year of operation. However, existing approved private agencies will no
longer be visited on-site every five years.
Existing private agencies will be transitioned to this new process in
phases, depending upon the year in which their existing approval expires.
While DESE will no longer be conducting cyclical 5 year on-site reviews of
existing private agency, we do reserve the authority to conduct on-site
visits at our discretion. When the existing approval expires, private
agencies will be required to submit (1) an annual assurance statement, and
(2) agency updates, if applicable, to the DESE by June 1st of each year.
Private agencies and school districts need to be aware that background
checks for private agency employees are not required by Missouri law
(Section 168.133 RSMo.) However, school districts may want to consider
requiring background checks of private agency employees who have contact
with pupils as a part of their contractual agreement with the private
Oversight of private agencies remains the responsibility of the Division of
Special Education; however, it has moved from the Funds Management Section
to the Compliance Section. School districts have the responsibility for
ensuring that the IEPs of children placed in private agencies are
implemented as written. In addition, if the district contracts with the
agency for other activities related to the IEP process, such as development
of the IEP, evaluations, etc., the district is responsible for ensuring that
the process is implemented in accordance with the Individuals with
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Additional information on private agency approvals and copies of the revised
application and on-site standards are posted on our website at
If you have questions, you may contact the compliance section at
by calling 573-751-0699.