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Are remediation rates a reliable measure of college readiness?

While remediation rates are a deep concern, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education maintains remediation data are not a consistent or sole measurement of college readiness. Remediation rates can be one indicator; however, there are several caveats to keep in mind about the remediation data published by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

The annual Missouri High School Graduates Performance Report provides data about trends in the preparation and performance of Missouri public high school graduates who attend public postsecondary institutions in Missouri. The report detailing the preparation, persistence and completion rates is prepared by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education to meet the requirements of a state law, RSMo § 173.750, which went into effect in 1995.

According to the 2011 CBHE report, 36 percent of 23,969 public high school graduates entering in-state public colleges and universities in fall 2010 enrolled as freshmen in at least one remedial course in the basic academic subjects of English, mathematics, or reading.

As the CBHE report points out, care should be taken in generalizing about all Missouri public high schools based on these statewide public institution figures.

For many reasons, remediation data from MDHE’s High School Graduates Report should not be used as sole criteria for rating high schools and should not be used in that context. Consider:

  • Postsecondary institutions in Missouri do not have a common or consistent threshold or criteria for enrollment in remedial courses.
  • Not all postsecondary institutions technically offer “remedial” courses. These include the highly selective (Truman State) and selective institutions (Missouri State and the University of Missouri System Institutions), which may offer courses “below first level of college.”
  • Data are limited to public high school graduates enrolled in public colleges or universities and do not include graduates who go to school outside the state or to independent in-state institutions.
  • Data does not include graduates of private schools.
  • Data does not include public schools with fewer than 25 graduates enrolled at public colleges.
  • It is not clear whether students who successfully earned college credit while in high school and entered college with sophomore standing are included in the data set.

What we do know is that the continuing need for remedial coursework consumes valuable time and money from students, parents, employers and taxpayers. Less than one-half of students needing remedial math are successful in earning a degree, and less than one-third of students needing remedial reading succeed.

If Missouri truly is going to become a top 10 state in education by the year 2020, it is clear that remediation numbers need to be reduced. Public school districts, state leaders and education stakeholders are all working together to do just that.

While remediation rates are a deep concern, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education maintains remediation data are not a consistent or sole measurement of college readiness. Remediation rates can be one indicator; however, there are several caveats to keep in mind about the remediation data published by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.

The Annual Performance Report issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reflects a much more robust view of high school performance.


The Annual Performance Report (update link) issued by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reflects a much more robust view of high school performance.

Is there a clear measure of student readiness for college?

College-entry tests, such as the ACT and SAT, are often used as valuable indicators, but these test scores cannot stand alone.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has adopted more rigorous academic standards in communication arts and mathematics.  These standards are internationally benchmarked and are designed to reflect college and career readiness.

Proficiency levels in End-of-Course exams and proficiency on an end-of-high school assessment will be critical measures of student readiness.  End-of-Course exams are designed to serve as final exams, measuring student mastery in each course.

The CBHE report indicates it is not yet clear what effect, if any, Missouri’s new high school graduation requirements will have in reducing reported remediation rates. The new graduation requirements that went into effect with the Class of 2010 put more emphasis on core academic areas by requiring four units in English and three units each in math, science and social studies. While some school districts already required additional credits in these subjects, many more graduates throughout the state now will be completing one additional unit in each of these core subjects.

College and Career Readiness – Whose issue is it?

While public high schools are on the front lines in ensuring their graduates transition to college and careers, the issue of educational readiness is a systemic one that can be traced back to early childhood. Studies suggest that the positive results in laying a firm foundation for learning during the early years of a child’s life can increase exponentially by the time he or she reaches middle school. Currently under revision, Missouri’s education standards focus on early learning (along with academic rigor and college and career readiness) in order to prepare our students to be successful and economically competitive throughout their lifetimes.

The education community recognizes that instructional methods must improve at all levels to better prepare students for college and careers. Public education bears this huge responsibility, but it also shares this responsibility with everyone involved in education – including students and their parents. From pre-kindergarten through postsecondary education, everyone plays an important role in making sure students master content and continue to progress.

For example, one of the most meaningful steps high school students can take to prepare themselves for college and careers is to make the most out of senior year. Educators and employers suggest that seniors not go for the “easy A” but take courses that provide a challenge and possibly college credit, such as Advanced Placement courses.

Will Missouri be able to improve its reporting?

Analyses included in the High School Graduates Performance Report demonstrate the benefits of linking data across the secondary and postsecondary educational systems, but the full potential of these linkages have not yet been realized. The Commissioner of Education and the Commissioner of Higher Education have recently signed a project-based, data linkage agreement to assist in such efforts.

Additionally, a three-party agreement between the National Student Clearing House, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Missouri Department of Higher Education will allow researchers to track not only those students who enroll in Missouri’s public postsecondary sector, but also those who enroll at the state’s independent institutions or who enroll at out-of-state institutions. With these linkages, the 2011 High School Graduates Performance Report will provide more robust data for accountability and policy development.

In the future, the state’s emerging longitudinal data system will help researchers identify secondary-level course-taking patterns that lead to postsecondary success. This could include whether students taking a particular sequence of courses were more prone to avoid remediation, return for their sophomore year of college, and earn a postsecondary degree within an established time frame. Eventually, by linking to earnings data, we could also inspect possible ties of high school (and collegiate) course-taking patterns to future earnings.

What is the Application for State Transportation Aid?

The Application for State Transportation Aid reported within the Annual Secretary of the Board Report reflects eligible and ineligible students transported, the number of days the transportation system operated, and eligible and ineligible miles.  This information, along with allowable costs, is used to calculate state transportation aid.

How is bus ridership tracked?

School districts providing pupil transportation services pursuant to section 163.161, RSMo, are required to prepare a listing of pupils regularly (minimum of once per week) transported (ADT) on each board of education’s approved routes on the second Wednesday of the month for the months of October and February (5 CSR 30-261.010 (1)(E)1). 

What must bus contracts include?

Written contracts are required for all contracted bus transportation services.  The contracts should include requirements that the driver(s) and vehicle(s) meet all applicable state statutes and State Board of Education regulations.  This department also suggests that the contract include the reimbursement amount, the insurance required by the school district and that the contract requires the tracking of ridership and mileage.  The contract must be on file in the school district office (5 CSR 30-261.010). 

Who must be transported? Who can be transported?

Students living more than three and one-half miles from school must be provided transportation service.  All students can be transported by local board decision (167.231, RSMo).  See Funding for students who are eligible for state transportation aid.

What is the Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program?

The Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation program assists eligible persons with disabilities in obtaining and maintaining quality employment.

What does it mean to be a person with a disability?

A person with a disability is someone with a physical or mental impairment that creates a barrier to employment and who needs VR services to reach successful employment.

What age do you have to be to receive VR services?

VR generally serves people of working age and has programs in some high schools that help students with disabilities transition from school to work, further education, or training.

Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for services?

No, but you are required to have a valid work permit.

How do you know if you are eligible for services?

A VR counselor will work with you to determine if you are eligible for services.

What services may be available for an eligible person to receive?

VR provides a wide range of services. You and your counselor will determine which services are required to help you become employed. Some of the services that may be provided include:

  • an assessment to determine the extent of your disability and what services are required for you to become employed;
  • an evaluation(s) to determine the kind of work that best suits you;
  • guidance in choosing suitable employment;
  • individual counseling during the rehabilitation process;
  • time-limited physical or mental restoration services that can assist you in obtaining employment;
  • assistive devices (such as prostheses, wheelchairs, or hearing aids) that increase your ability to work;
  • vocational training to prepare you for employment, which may include education in a college, university, trade school, community rehabilitation program, or on-the-job training program;
  • job-related tools and licenses for you when you are ready to go to work;
  • help in developing job-seeking skills; and
  • assistance in finding you a job.

Who pays for VR services?

Based on your income and resources, some of the services may be at no cost, partial cost, or all cost to you.

How long will I receive services?

Services will usually continue as long as you are progressing toward your goal in your IPE.  After you become employed, VR will provide follow-up services for at least 90 days.

What is the Client Assistance Program?

Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services operates a Client Assistance Program (CAP) that provides several services, including assistance with legal, administrative, or other measures to protect your rights under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. CAP can also provide information about other agencies and programs in Missouri that offer rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities.

You may contact CAP at:

Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services
925 South Country Club Drive
Jefferson City, MO 65109-0352
Phone: Toll Free (800) 392-8667

http://www.moadvocacy.org/

Do I have the right to appeal a decision made in my VR case?

You have the right to appeal any time you do not agree with a decision about your case made by your counselor or by anyone else at Missouri Vocational Rehabilitation.

First, tell your counselor you do not agree with what is being done. If the counselor explains the reason for the decision and you still do not agree, you may request to speak with the supervisor of the VR district office that is handling your case. You may, however, request a formal review at any time.

You also have the right to request mediation on the issue or contact CAP to assist you.

To get started with VR services, click on VR services.
For contact information, click on Contact Information.

I am interested in establishing a Career Prep Certificate Program for all of our district’s graduating seniors. Where do I start?

The underlying theme of this program is “process”.  First obtain a copy of the guide (online [pdf] or paper Searching for Document and refer to the section “Local Planning and Implementation”.  Many of the issues that will be faced during implementation may have already been experienced and are addressed in this guide. The first (and most essential) step is to establish an advisory committee to assist in creating a “demand-driven system.”

How were the academic and work readiness components developed?

In the fall of 2006, the statewide advisory committee (Inside Cover) reviewed pertinent research and recent curriculum organizers to identify academic and work readiness components. Different stakeholder groups were surveyed to determine the most important components to the world of work. Based on the survey results, the committee identified 12 academic and work readiness components, which are linked to key curriculum drivers in Missouri schools.  The academic components are cross-referenced with Missouri’s Show-Me Standards and Grade-Level Expectations.  The work readiness components are cross-referenced with Missouri’s Career Development Standards and Grade-Level Expectations within the Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Program.

How do I receive services?

Once you have been determined eligible for services, your VR counselor will obtain as much information as possible about your previous work, education and training, interests, capabilities, rehabilitation needs, and your employment goals. You may work with a rehabilitation facility to gather further information to help determine the best employment for you.

You and your counselor will develop a plan of action known as your Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). The plan lists your desired employment outcome, the steps and services needed to reach that outcome, and assessment criteria used to determine your progress in reaching that outcome. At all stages throughout your VR program, you will be provided vocational information and guidance allowing you to make informed choices regarding your vocational plan.

How do I determine the most appropriate assessment tools and techniques to use for this program?

Numerous effective assessments are available to determine individual knowledge and skill levels. Several of the most prevalent and promising assessments in Missouri schools were analyzed and aligned to the academic and work readiness components.  The assessment summary was developed with assistance from each of the sponsoring companies and organizations. Each assessment was cross-referenced to the underlying knowledge and performance expectations for each component. A more detailed analysis of assessments is recommended in determining the most appropriate selection for a local or regional program.

While schools have experience in assessing academic components, there are challenges in assessing work readiness components.  There are a number of activities taking place in schools where individual behavior and performance can be documented

What does a Career Prep Certificate look like?

It is important that the program make available an easy-to-understand certificate that provides employers with information and documentation of individual accomplishments. The front of the certificate can be formal with general information; seals and signatures. (See sample certificate [pdf]) The back of the certificate can have locally determined participation, results and accomplishments to make it “portable” to   employers who might not be aware of the program.

Why are the guidelines of the Career Prep Certificate determined locally?

One key message is flexibility, allowing communities to development a program to meet local needs.  There are numerous educational  programs and initiatives that have been implemented in Missouri schools.  Some have similar goals or structures and could be packaged with components of this program. When developing a program, incorporate resources from existing programs and initiatives whenever possible. By capitalizing on existing resources, the amount of new components (requiring additional resources) can be limited.

There are also a number of national credentials (academic, occupational licenses, professional-skill certificates) are already in use in Missouri. A number of these credentials are positioned to have great impact in certifying that individuals possess the skills sought by employers.

How can a school guarantee that a student is “ready to work”?

Incorporating a guarantee into the program can be a useful tool that assures stakeholders of a specific outcome. Schools can strengthen an existing partnership with employers by defining and identifying components of a guarantee, which at a minimum is limited to the documented assessment of knowledge and skills. (See planning guide[pdf] appendix, pp. A3-A14.)

Schools may use standardized assessment results to document mastery of specific academic and work readiness skills. Both criterion- and norm-referenced assessments provide valuable information related to individual knowledge and skill levels. However, the retention of knowledge and the application of skills may or may not be transferable to the workplace.  It is important for employers and schools to pay careful attention to the duration of any guarantee of performance beyond the time that skills are assessed.

How do I market and promote this program?

The process will be more successful by involving stakeholders throughout the planning and development of the program. Establishing an effective partnership takes patience, commitment, open communication, and an investment of time. An existing partnership can be strengthened by building an environment where businesses and schools collaborate and share resources.

Program promotion starts with increasing awareness throughout the community.  In developing a demand-driven system, it is critical to determine strategies to increase awareness and encourage interest in the benefits of the program. Focused efforts to target audiences are recommended.

Who may teach the half-unit course in health required in the high school graduation requirements?

In 2005, the State Board of Education adopted new requirements for all students who graduate from public high schools in Missouri.  One of those requirements includes a half-unit course in health education.  Any person with a valid Missouri teaching certificate in Health Education or Family and Consumer Sciences education may teach the required health education.

What course code do I use for reporting this for Core Data?

The course code  to use is 096840. See Core Data Manual Pages 312-314.  Core Data Reporting 

The course numbers in the core data manual and the Family and Consumer Sciences Implementation Handbook do not match. Which course numbers should I use for my family and consumer sciences courses when reporting them in Core Data?

The numbers preceding the course titles/course descriptions for the family and consumer sciences courses in the Implementation Handbook are numbers used at the state level for federal reporting purposes. Core data is a state reporting system, therefore, you should use the numbers assigned to the family and consumer sciences courses as outlined on page 174 of the “Core Data Collection System Manual”.  The person who prepares the core data for your district will have a copy of this manual.  The family and consumer sciences course numbers for core data reporting all begin with “0968—“. 

There are different core data numbers for Career Development in Family and Consumer Sciences and Career Development/Entrepreneurship. What is the difference between these two courses?

A student competency list for a high school level semester course in Career Development/Entrepreneurship was developed in the 2000-01 school year and is located on the Curriculum & Resources page. This course includes career exploration/development concepts while focusing on entrepreneurship education. 

Career Development in Family and Consumer Sciences is a course (high school or middle level) that provides instruction in career development/exploration.  Student competencies have not been identified on the state level for this course.

If you have questions about core data reporting, please contact the state office.

Who decides when and where the Missouri ACTE conference will be held?

A: According to Missouri ACTE policy, the conference is held annually on the last full week of the month of July.  The Missouri ACTE Board of Directors, made of representatives of all the divisions of Missouri ACTE, determines the location of the conference on recommendation of its Program Improvement Committee.

Every two years, the Missouri ACTE Board sends out Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) to all Convention and Visitor Bureaus in the state. The proposals submitted in response to the RFP provide Missouri ACTE with information about available hotels, sleeping room and meeting space, and conference rates for each division of Missouri ACTE.

The Missouri ACTE Program Improvement Committee reviews all submitted proposals and makes recommendations to the Missouri ACTE Board of Directors as to the location that will provide accommodations for a high quality conference at the best value for all divisions of the organization. The Missouri ACTE Board votes and awards a two-year contract.

The conference has been held in Springfield for a number of years. Why isn’t it held in centrally located Columbia or another large city such as Kansas City or St. Louis, or the Lake of the Ozarks?

A: Location in the state is not the deciding factor for determining the conference location. Many other factors contributing to a quality, affordable conference for all members are considered by the Missouri ACTE Board of Directors during the proposal process. Springfield has been chosen the conference location for the past 14 years based on their proposals providing adequate, affordable housing for conference attendees; adequate meeting room and other accommodations needed by the divisions; and, for the other monetary support provided for the conference by the Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

When other cities have submitted proposals, individual sleeping room rates quoted by participating hotels in those cities have been consistently and significantly higher than those from Springfield, and meeting room space and availability quoted was often not sufficient to meet the needs of all divisions of the organization. Again, providing a high quality conference at the best value for all conference divisions and attendees has been the overall goal for conference location selection.

How are division hotels assigned?

Division hotels are assigned a headquarters hotel based on membership. Sleeping room accommodations and meeting room needs are reviewed and divisions are assigned to the properties that best fit the needs of the division.

Even though Springfield has a large number of hotels, many of the properties do not provide both adequate sleeping rooms AND meeting room space to accommodate individual divisions. Therefore, there are a limited number of hotels that can be utilized by individual divisions that meet their needs for BOTH meetings and sleeping room accommodations for every member.  For this reason, overflow hotels are assigned to each division to accommodate additional sleeping room needs.

Are decimals required to be stored in the data or are they inferred?

Decimals must be stored with the data value when being submitted to the MOSIS Data Collection.

Are leading zero’s required for numeric data elements?

No, they are not.

Are the MOSIS files going to be comma delimited or fixed width?

Files can either be comma or tab delimited.  Fixed length is not allowed.

What about reclassification of student's grade levels?

If a student changes grades during a school year, use the remained/retained or remained/advanced code set.

Can students have more than one entry and exit date?

Yes, entry and exit dates, and status codes should be provided each time a student you provide services for exits a school, changes grade levels, or changes residency status.

How do I obtain user access for MOSIS?

Who needs a Missouri State ID assigned to them?

Any student you provide services to should have an ID issued to them.  For example, State School, summer school, preschool, and kindergarten students would all need a State ID.  You will need to do a search and if you find the student, use the ID already assigned to them, or if one has not been assigned, go ahead and do so.

When assigning a State ID to preschoolers, what school code do I use?

If you do not have a preschool school code, use the elementary code.

How do I update/change a student's gender or date of birth?

In previous versions of the MOSIS ID system, you would need to use the "Enter Individual Student" option and enter all the information, including the corrected information along with the State ID already assigned, and click "Assign State ID." Then you may need to "Resolve Near Match" and you will click on the circle next to the information you just entered and click "Assign Selected" and this will update the new information.  In the latest version of the MOSIS system, when a student is listed under your district there is an "Edit Student" button that allows for easier editing.

What is the process for a user to have access to two different buildings for MOSIS?

The ID system is setup for either district wide access or for one building only.

Will the MOSIS system eventually replace Core Data?

MOSIS is a pilot right now, but will eventually be used to replace the way we capture Core Data.

What year should I use when assigning an ID?

We look at a school year as July 1 to June 30.  So, starting July 1, 2007 you will want to use 2008 for the 2007-2008 school year.

Is there a way to search a batch file?

Yes, click on "Batch Search" from the Menu.

Is a First Year Freshman (FYF) a student who has been retained?

You are only a First Year Freshman the first year you become a Freshman. If you are retained, you would not be a FYF again.

What data is available to view outside of our district?

There is aggregate data available on the District Profiles located online, MOSIS does not do this at this time, but is looking to the future for the kinds of reports that will be available for inside and outside your district.

Where are the code sets used for MOSIS?

You can locate the Code Sets online at http://dese.mo.gov/MOSIS/phase3.html under "Technical Documentation" you will find a document labeled "Code Sets."

When a student changes from Full-Time to Part-Time, what residency status change is made?

You will use 'remained-other' for this case.

After uploading my trial, I get the error code "ExitDestDistrictCode is not a valid district code." What do I put here?

If you do not have a valid district code to input, make sure nothing is entered here, including zeros which may have automatically been entered.

Is it possible to incorporate this information in the updated “Understanding your MOSIS ID” document?

We are working on a User Manual at this time.

How should districts report homeless?

Homeless is required in the June Student Core and Enrollment and Attendance submission.  Homeless is located within the Student Core file and uses a specific set of codes that can be located at http://dese.mo.gov/MOSIS/phase3.html under "Technical Documentation."

What do we do about parsing errors?

Parsing errors usually indicate you have one of the following problems with your file:
1. Your file is missing a header row or one or more headers.
2. Your file has one or more incorrect delimiters.
3. Your file has a delimiter in a comment field that needs to be quoted or removed.  This is done by placing quotes around your value.  e.g. "Moved to Springfield, IL."

We do not enter our pre-K students into our SIS system which issues the local id, is there a different way to do it?

They can be entered into the system online or via a batch file.

You still have to have a local id and my SIS system assigns the student id, if I make one up it will be wrong when they enter into Kindergarten?

The local ID can be determined by the school district.

If a student transfers to my district do I have to enter all of the information again instead of just being able to edit it?

Yes, you may edit the student’s information by using the “Enter Individual Student” function, and once the correct information is submitted with your district information, you will be able to use the new, quicker “Edit” function for future edits. 

For students entering my district, would I have to edit records by using the “Enter Individual Student” option on the Menu?

Yes, you would still have to enter them individually or submit via a batch process.

Are VICC students residents of the district where they are attending or are they a resident of where they live?

These students are residents of the St. Louis City or County District.

Is screen #17 included in the Student Core portion of June's Cycle?

Yes

Will you show us how to combine our separate buildings into one district file?

One way to combine files for upload is to open each file in Notepad, and then you will need to create a file for Student Enrollment/Attendance by copying and pasting your separate files into one combined one, and do the same for the Student Discipline files.  When combining these files you need to be sure and remove the header rows that contain the column headings, except for the very first one that should be located at the very top of your file, if they are duplicated anywhere else in the document the file will not upload. 

Is this going to work similar to Core Data, in the fact that you only have to correct the errors, but not the warnings to certify?

Correct, you can certify with warnings.

How are we going to deal with missing data due to the fact this has been implemented so late in the year?

This is a pilot. We are hoping that over the course of the year we will be able to capture all required elements.

Will there be a report that shows the aggregate numbers, like total attendance hours for the entire school or district, once the individual student data is uploaded?

Yes, the MOSIS data collection tool currently has Attendance Summary reports in the June cycle that show this data. 

If we don't submit in June can we submit one in a later cycle?

Yes, we will leave the cycles open throughout the year. We will also be testing historical changes, for instance if a dropout is recovered.

Is this currently a voluntary process?

Yes, however we encourage school districts to participate to not only help us, but also to become more familiar with the MOSIS process.

Can we submit this data as our SR program makes those exports available?

Yes.

Will this integrate with Core Data after the pilot year? I only coordinate the entry of data from many different sources throughout our district.

This process will change the way districts submit data. DESE will be aggregating the data.

SIS said that their SISk12 program would be ready for June, but SISWIN will not be ready until after the summer.

Correct.

Why not wait till they come out with the SISWIN version?

That is ok to wait. When it is available please do submit the June data.

Can we use the existing system for now *and* use the pilot system?

Yes, you will continue to enter your Core Data as you always have, and may try submitting data through the MOSIS Data Collection System as well.

We have problems with our Discipline report. It is only pulling up Safe School offenses. Is there a way to have that report driven by the action code?

This may be something to discuss with your SIS vendor.

Is the precode system used for MAP?

Yes

Does pre-K include ECSE students?

Yes

Is there a batch lookup of student id's available?

Yes

How can we check to see which students have our school code, if they have come from a different school?

By performing a Student Search you could verify the information for a record.

Should we do one batch upload in August/September for all enrolled students?

Yes

What district code do we use for out of state, non-resident students?

You will want to use your district code for these students.

Our SIS vendor is not participating in this trial upload. We would like to participate. Do you have any suggestions?

You are welcome to participate. File layouts and Excel templates are available online.

Is there a list of SIS vendors that have participated with DESE on the development of the new system? Our program is not compatible and we are looking for a new vendor.

Yes. We do have a list available for you. It is also a good idea to speak to neighboring district peers to see what systems they are using.  An updated listing can be found online at http://dese.mo.gov/MOSIS/phase3.html under "Communications" and the August Administrators Conference PowerPoint.

Is a student who is a first year freshman considered a student who has not been retained?

Yes, that is correct.

Is there a way to indicate if a student is a Tech Prep student?

Yes, they are on the Student Core file as a career education student. This will also be tracked via the Teacher Student Course collection.

What data from outside our district is available for us to view for comparison figures such as discipline?

Currently there are aggregate statistics available on the DESE website. This data will be available via MOSIS Phase IV.

When you say practice, do you mean we can upload sample files that will not be permanently attached to actual student records?

Correct, this is only a pilot, you may upload trials in the Data Collection system and work through the errors to certify and practice this process.

I am finding out that 6 weeks lead time is not enough time for our vendors. They are asking for 2-3 months instead. Would this be possible?

We are continuing to attempt to meet that request.

Our vendor only provides the new way of sending data. Will you accept this as our true data?

Yes, on a case by case basis.

In the question above what is meant by new data?

Traditional core data collection system vs. the updated MOSIS data collection system.

Are all 57 data items of the student core submitted each cycle, including the August cycle?

No, we will not require Student Core in August. Documentation updates to come.

Will this new procedure replace the older MAP precoding procedures in 2008, and when will the new procedures be required?

Yes, MAP-Precode is being replaced by a collection of the Student Core file in December.  These data will be used to pre-code the MAP booklets.  In April another Student Core collection will be gathered and those data will be used to update the demographics of the students who took the MAP test.

If the trial is certified, is there any reason keep the saved upload?

No, once you certify a trial you may delete your saved trial if you wish to. The saved trial is only for your use; DESE will not use that data at all.

When we try this do we need to submit in any particular order? Ex: Can we send discipline first?

No particular order is necessary.

When do the MOSIS ID numbers need to be submitted to receive MOSIS precode labels?

In December.

If you assign all pre-K students an ID, you will have to enroll them. How will this affect attendance?

Assigning any student an ID has no affect on enrollment or attendance for your district.  Only data collected through the MOSIS Data Collection System can affect those counts.  The MOSIS ID system is used only to assign an ID and does not officially assign a student to any district.  You may have to visit with the vendor of your student management system to determine the best way to include the student in your local system.

Will this process include the Physical Fitness Assessment items?

Yes the Student Core does capture that data.

When a student exits our district we do not initially track the transfer district in our SMS, is this something we will need to begin doing?

This field has been added to the pilot. In the future we will begin tracking and monitoring this information.

Our data system does not have all of your required elements in the student core file (ex. 8th grade literacy is not in our student management system). When we submit our student core data in June this element will be missing. Will we be able to certify

The files must include all of the column headings to be uploaded successfully.

Has the state considered a state-wide student management system?

Currently we will continue to focus on working with the individual vendors.

How do other districts collect this info in a timely manner?

A student is not reported as a transfer until the official document is received from the receiving school via a transcript records request.

On the attendance upload, for students who transfer within the district, do we need to have separate records for the schools?

Yes. This is reported in the enrollment and attendance file every time there is a change in school, grade, building, etc.

Should I keep paper copies of all submitted reports?

You can save paper copies for your own records if you would like to.

We have a juvenile justice center, do they need MOSIS numbers?

Yes, any student receiving services needs a MOSIS ID.

Do you know if Pentamation is working with DESE on this?

Pentamation is included on our list of vendors DESE has been communicating with.

We have not done the Phase II - when will that be open so we can do the Pre-Coding? Is PowerSchool working with DESE on this?

MAP-Precode is being replaced by a collection of the Student Core file in December.  These data will be used to pre-code the MAP booklets.  In April another Student Core collection will be gathered and those data will be used to update the demographics of the students who took the MAP test.  There is a list of vendors and the participation status on the web site.

Where can I locate the MOSIS website?

Will we be able to add more students in April to the Pre-Code?

Yes, the April Cycle will include all students that had been enrolled through April.

Is PowerSchool working with DESE on this? We will be changing from Lemberger to PowerSchool for SY 2007-08.

Yes, a list of vendors DESE has been communicating with can be found at http://dese.mo.gov/MOSIS/phase3.html under "Communications" and the August Administrators Conference PowerPoint.

What about corrections of MAP demographics this year?

Yes in September.

The first comma delimited file I created and submitted was altered with Excel. Can I make a test file to prove it now works properly?

Yes

We are changing from Lemberger to Infinite Campus. Will they be included?

Yes. Rockwood School currently uses their tool.

Our district bookkeeper currently reports all the Core Data information. She is secretary @ the Elem level and I am secretary @ the HS level. If we do the pilot trials will that mess up the information the bookkeeper submits for the June cycle?

No

Have any of the current SIS companies made the changes necessary for their schools to upload a trial?

Many of the vendors have been testing files to be sure that their export process is working properly.

Could you explain the difference in Resident 1 and Resident 2 reporting responsibilities?

This should be addressed in the "Guidelines for Reporting Student Accountability Data" which is located at http://dese.mo.gov/divadm/govern/athomedistrict.html

Who is required to have a 7500 code for preschool?

It is not required, but Core Data has a specific code for schools with attendance centers and pre-K schools.

How do you claim a student if they belong to another district?

You do not claim a student, but rather manage them through the ID system.  You may edit the record to reflect your district codes by using the “enter individual student” feature and entering all of the current information including any updates along with the already assigned state ID. This will list the student under your district code.

Since the Social Security Number (SSN) is required - what can we use for the pre-K student if they are not required to give us their SSN? Also, if someone already has an ID number and they now attend our district; do we have to assign them another ID num

SSN is not required. Local student ID is. No you would not assign a new ID number if the student already had an ID number.

If a student is retained this year do I need to go in and edit the grade level?

You do not have to edit the grade level if you are using the batch process.

Will this slide show be on the DESE web site for viewing?

The PowerPoint slides as well as the documents being referenced have been posted on the MOSIS site.

What about non-resident students of faculty members who attend our school?

Yes - Faculty children are reported as Resident I.

So, we enter that information for every student in the district and if they transfer, what district and school they go to?

Yes, you would use the exit codes to reflect their exit information.

If they transfer out of state, is there a code for that also?

Yes, there is an exit code for Transferring Out of State, and specifically if they transferred to a private, public, or home school.

If we can't update another district’s info, how would we correct the school info if they now attend our district? Is there a place to get another district's number when students transfer?

You may edit the record to reflect your district codes by using the “enter individual student” feature and entering all of the current information including any updates along with the already assigned state ID and this will list the student under your district code.  Once they are listed under you, there is an “Edit” button you can use in the future to update the student’s record.

Is it very important that the legal name of the student is the one on the birth certificate? So many use different names.

Yes, please use the legal name.

Would each record have multiple fields for Entry/Exit Codes, etc.?

Yes we anticipate that if a student changes status multiple times that they will be reported multiple times.

Will the discipline file only collect the ISS & OSS students like the Core Data collects?

We are asking you to report what is on screen 9 currently. All discipline incidents resulting in suspension/expulsion (removal from regular classroom setting) for .5 day or more are to be reported.

Do you have to upload both files at the same time or can you do just one?

Yes you need to upload both files. You can submit a file for either one with just the header information to do testing with, even though you don't have data within the other file.

Do we need a web-based software program in order for this system to work properly?

Yes you need web access to the system to submit your data.

Does this system include summer school information or students that attend summer school that are not in our district during the regular year?

Yes, in the August submission we are capturing summer school data.

How will we get out of district MOSIS IDs?

Districts can do a batch lookup to obtain IDs. If the student does not have an ID you can assign one.

So we would have to "transfer" them to our school for summer school, and then the other school would transfer them back in August? What if they transfer them back and we don't get credit for their attendance?

The August MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance collection does not collect exit/entry data for students.  You report the hours the student attended in your summer school program.

If we submit a trial will it go to Core Data or is it just a trial to see how the submission works?

This process is currently a trial to make sure it works as planned.

Are we allowed to keep a running list of discipline reports during the year once we go 'live' with the MOSIS Phase III next June? It will be a pain to have to record them all at one time.

Local district policy should stipulate how discipline data is collected and stored.  You will report the data to MOSIS once a year in the June Cycle.

When will MOSIS Phase IV be available?

Some of the reporting will be available within the next 6 months.

Will there be any hands-on workshops for us to attend to get more comfortable with this process?

We are planning on conducting more trainings this fall.

We are in the process of updating with our vendor; will I be able to do a trial later in the coming year?

Yes, each cycle will be left open for you to test with.

What are Afterschool Programs?

Before- and after-school programs provide students with academic enrichment opportunities and activities designed to complement their regular school day's academic program during non-school hours by providing a range of high-quality services to support student learning and development, including tutoring and mentoring, homework help, academic enrichment (such as hands-on math, reading/language arts, and science programs), community service opportunities, as well as music, arts, sports, and cultural activities.   Here in Missouri, we tend to use the terms School Age Community, 21st Century Community Learning Center, and Afterschool.  They mean the same thing.  We also see other names for these programs; these may include but are not limited to Latchkey, Adventure club, Extended Day, Enrichment and Beyond School.  No matter what terms or titles are used, the mission is the same, to provide a safe, enriching place for school age youth to be during non-traditional school hours.  

How do I start an Afterschool Program at my school?

You can contact any of our staff to get information on starting an afterschool program.  

Is there money available?

Yes, DESE typically offers two grant cycles annually.  Click on the Grants link to learn more.  

Is there someone near me who can assist?

Yes, Afterschool Regional Educators (AREs) are located regionally throughout the state to provide technical assistance and training.  Click on Technical Assistance to learn more.

How can I tell if our program is a high quality program?

Click on the Quality Indicators link for characteristics of a good program.  These are not the only indicators.  You can find more information at Related Links.  

How many school age students are there in Missouri?

At the last count, there were approximately 1,057,794 children between the ages of 6 and 18 in Missouri.  Of these, 77% have a mother who works outside the home.  

Once a child enters school, why should we worry about more afterschool programs?

School age youth spend only 20% of their waking hours in school.  Over 77% of the school age youth in Missouri have either single or dual working parents, leaving over 700,000 school age children at risk of being home alone or long periods of time.  Juvenile crime rates triple between the hours of 3-6 p.m.

Is there usually a fee for afterschool programs?

Usually, but no child will ever be turned away from a public school-based afterschool program due to not being able to pay.  Many programs offer a sliding fee scale.  There are many ways spaces can be funded, such as child care subsidies and scholarships.

What are the hours?

Hours will vary from program to program, but generally programs are open to accommodate working families.  We see sites open before school as early as 6:30 am and they remain open until 5:00 or 6:00 pm, depending on the community needs.  Programs may also be open during school vacations, holidays, summers and other times as well. 

Will homework/tutoring be a part of an afterschool program?

Typically yes, however, a high quality afterschool program will have a strong balance between academic, social, leisure recreation and life skills choices.  Afterschool does not dupliate the school day but rather extends the opportunities for learning and offers practical hands-on experiences to supplement the theories learned in school.  For example, a student may be working on fractions during the school day and in the afterschool program, they may do a cooking project where they put into practice the theory of fractions.  (How do you add 1/2 plus 3/4 cups?  Or how do you divide a pie into enough servings for everyone?)

Do I have to complete a Missouri background check if I have recently completed one in another state?

Yes. You are required to complete a fingerprint/background check through the Conduct and Investigations Section.  You have to be fingerprinted for DESE using our ORI.

How long does it take for the background check to be completed?

Currently, fingerprints processing time is 2-3 weeks, depending on what is on your background and how backed up the Highway Patrol are. 

What fee is required for the FBI Background Check?

The Missouri Applicant Processing Services provided by the fingerprint company contracted by the Missouri Highway Patrol charges $44.80.

How will I be notified of the results of my background check?

You will need to check your online profile through Web Applications to see when it clears if you are a teacher or substitute teacher.  If you are in an uncertified position or a bus driver, only the school district listed will be notified.

How do I get a background check packet?

You can visit our fingerprint/background check page to print off the fingerprint information checklist for further details on the process.  

Graduation Requirements: How many credits does a student need to graduate?

The State Board of Education establishes minimum graduation requirements that are designed to ensure that graduates have taken courses in several different subject areas and mastered essential knowledge, skills, and competencies.  Local boards of education must adopt graduation policies that include at least the state minimum graduation requirements.  Local board policy may include additional requirements in accordance with needs and aspirations of students and the communities they serve.

 

In 2005, the State Board of Education adopted new graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2010.  The minimum state graduation requirements in effect through the class of 2009 are listed below.  Please click on "Graduation Requirements" to view the graduation requirements beginning with the class of 2010.

Minimum State Graduation Requirements until 2009
The state minimum high school graduation requirements comprise 22 units of credit that must be earned between grades 9 and 12.  The requirements are stated in terms of the number of units of credit that must be earned in each of several subject areas.  To earn one unit of credit, a student must meet all the course requirements and earn a passing grade in a course that meets for at least 7,830 minutes a year.  Half- and quarter-units of credit may be earned for courses meeting proportionately fewer minutes.  Following are the requirements by subject area.

Subject Units
Communication Arts 3
Mathematics 2
Science 2
Social Studies 2
Fine Arts 1
Practical Arts 1
Physical Education 1
Electives 10
Total Minimum Number of Units Required 22

Follow this link for more information regarding Graduation Requirements.

What are the evaluation criteria to be considered for Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled eligibility?

The criteria for eligibility consideration are discussed at length in the Eligibility Determination Resource Guide on this website. Essentially, the student must be functioning overall in the severe range of ability (including adaptive behavior) ofbelow four (4) standard deviations below the mean and MSSD must be the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for the student. Both criteria must be met. A single IQ score at or below the criterion level is not sufficient to qualify the student. The entire packet of information about the student is reviewed. Decisions on eligibility are made by a team of MSSD personnel and the decision on such eligibility is not appealable. The home district may resubmit new information for consideration, but all information previously submitted will also be included in the decision
making process. It is incumbent on MSSD to ensure that a student is appropriate for placement in our District.

The answers in the Justification for Separate School Placement (JOP) are used when determining whether or not MSSD would be the LRE for the student. Responses to all eight (8) questions are required.

 

What should a school district consider before requesting MSSD eligibility?

The cognitive ability of the child, the functional ability of the child, and the appropriateness of a segregated placement must all be considered. Students who educationally benefit from special education and related services that can be provided by local educational agencies are
not considered eligible for services through MSSD. In general, students with disabilities such as cognitive deficits falling two to three standard deviations below the mean, Speech or Language Impairments, Hearing Impaired/Deaf, Visually Impaired/Blind, Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disturbance, Other Health Impaired, Traumatic Brain Injury, or Orthopedically Impaired can receive an appropriate education when served by local educational agencies.


Students must meet the cognitive deficit requirement to be eligible, and the school district must justify that the public separate school placement proposal represents the least restrictive environment. A student, who meets the significant cognitive deficits criteria, and is accepted by MSSD
must attain the age of five (5) years before they may enroll. However, MSSD cannot accept students who are classified under Young Child with a Developmental Delay (YCDD) as there is no preschool program. Students must be considered to be in kindergarten. Additionally, MSSD does not accept students who are homebound and unable to attend school at least
part-time. Students may be enrolled in the MSSD until their twenty-first (21st) birthday.

Is there a form that MSSD requires for the Justification for Separate School Placement?

MSSD does not have a standard form, however, a format for the information and the content required is contained in the Missouri State Plan Regulation X and in the Eligibility Determination Resource Guide on this website. Answers to all eight (8) questions are required. The information included may seem repetitive, but each question has a different focus and all of the answers must be provided.

If the IEP team is considering public separate school as a placement option for the student, the district must document the justification for such placement in writing. This documentation must show that the district has:

  1. considered educating the child in the Local Education Agency (LEA);
  2. identified supplementary aids and services that would be needed to educate the child in the LEA; and,
  3. articulated why the LEA cannot serve the child in the LEA in a placement that would benefit the child.

When should we change the number of minutes and consider the student placement options on the IEP?

Placement options can be considered prior to submission of the student eligibility information to MSSD. However, the number of minutes in the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) must reflect the level of the student’s current services. Therefore, the number of minutes should
not be changed until after the student is found eligible for MSSD’s services.

What documentation does the local school district need to send to MSSD for an eligibility determination?

The documentation required is explained in detail in the Eligibility Determination Resource Guide on this website. If all documentation required is not submitted, a letter will be sent to the district requesting the information.An eligibility determination can not be made without all required components.

What is the process/timeline for an eligibility determination?

When MSSD receives an eligibility determination packet from a district, a letter is sent to the student’s parents notifying them of the submission and providing them seven (7) days to contact MSSD with any information they may wish to provide. At the end of this time, the eligibility team reviews the information and determines:

  1. more information is needed; or
  2. the student is eligible; or
  3. the student is ineligible.

A letter is sent to the district setting forth of the decision or requesting further information. If the student is eligible, the notice shall specify the school site assignment should the student be referred.


While MSSD processes submitted eligibility packets as soon as possible, the entire process does take time since there is usually more than one step. In fact, in approximately 90% of the submissions the district is asked to provide other information or clarify statements made in the JOP. Because there is often a need for further information, it is advisable for districts to submit eligibility packets a few weeks before the end of the school year so that personnel will be available to provide the additional information and a decision on the student’s eligibility can be made prior to the start of the next school year.

What is the next step once the local school district has been notified that a student has been found eligible for MSSD?

The IEP team must determine if a referral to MSSD is the most appropriate placement for the student to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). If so, the district may refer the student to the MSSD program by submitting the referral form, a copy of the amended IEP, and a copy of the Notice of Action. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) team should amend
the IEP to reflect that MSSD operates for 1800 minutes of service per week. The IEP team should consider the range of placement options available for the student.


The district shall submit the referral only after the parents have been offered all rights available to them in relation to the Procedural Safeguards.


Upon receipt of the referral information, enrollment papers will be mailed to the parent by MSSD.


Within thirty (30) days following initial enrollment of the student in the MSSD, an IEP/placement review conference shall be held. The purpose of this review is to confirm the appropriateness of continued placement in the MSSD as the LRE to provide a free appropriate public education for the student.

A student currently attending MSSD moves into our district, how should we proceed in order to continue placement in MSSD?

A student who is enrolled in a school that is part of the MSSD district and moves from one home school district to another may transfer enrollment immediately on the basis of the justification for separate school placement, current IEP and evaluation report. Such a move is considered an interim placement, not to exceed thirty (30) days, during which the new local
district follows the transfer procedures outlined in Regulation III.3 of the State Plan, Procedures for Evaluation and Determination of Eligibility, to confirm placement in the MSSD as the least restrictive educational environment for the student. The district then compiles and submits to the MSSD the Agreement for Continued Placement under the existing IEP.

A student from another district who was in a separate day school facility (not part of MSSD) has recently moved into our district, what must we do in order to have MSSD consider eligibility or enrollment?

A thirty (30) day interim placement in the MSSD may be available for students with severe disabilities who are changing school districts due to a change in residence. These students must have been receiving services in their local district; through cooperative arrangement by their home district with another school district; in a special school district; or, in an out-of-state program for students with severe disabilities. To qualify for this interim placement, the criteria stated in Regulation X of the State Plan must be met:

  • The current IEP and evaluation report are adopted by the new school district pursuant to transfer procedures provided within Regulation IV., Least Restrictive Environment of the State Plan.
  • The new district submits a copy of the student’s current IEP and evaluation report to the MSSD with a letter acknowledging adoption of the documents. In the same letter, the new district will verify the previous placement provided educational services in a self-contained classroom with students with severe disabilities in a separate school
    building. In addition, the district requests that the student be served in a thirty (30) day interim placement to confirm concurrence with placement in the MSSD as the least restrictive educational environment for the student.
  • The MSSD will issue a letter of interim placement assignment if the information submitted is viewed as substantiating the request.
  • Enrollment paperwork must be completed at the onset of the thirty (30) day interim placement period. MSSD will notify the LEA of the date of the student’s enrollment.
  • During the thirty (30) day interim placement, the local district shall follow the referral procedures to seek eligibility determination in accordance with established MSSD referral procedures. Upon receipt of the referral, MSSD will issue a notice of action to the district and parents confirming continued placement in MSSD. If, during the thirty (30) day interim period, the local school district fails to submit the
    Justification of Separate School Placement (JOP), the student shall be served by the LEA.


If MSSD is not confirmed as the student's least restrictive educational environment, the local district is notified of this decision and becomes responsible for providing the required special education and related services in accordance with Missouri State Plan Regulation V,
Procedural Safeguards, and Regulation IV.2, Individualized Education Programs of the State Plan.

Who is responsible for reevaluation of students enrolled in Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled?

At least once every three (3) years, the local district shall conduct a reevaluation.  Reevaluation shall be conducted in accordance with Regulation III.3. Procedures for Evaluation and Determination of Eligibility.

Should the local school district send new evaluation reports, and/or documentation that no further assessment is required, to Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled?

The results of any reevaluations are addressed by the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team in reviewing and as appropriate, revising the student's IEP.  Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled will be involved as IEP team members.

What are Missouri State Schools for the Severely Disabled, and whom do they serve?

The Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled (MSSD), a system of day school services in separate school settings, were established by state law to serve those students with severe disabilities referred to the State Board of Education by local school districts which do not operate such programs themselves and which are not a part of special school districts. If the evaluation information and the Individualized Education Program (IEP) compiled by the local district supports separate school placement as the student's least restrictive educational environment, the local education agency may seek determination of student eligibility for services.

Missouri State Plan

Can a student who has an IEP and is eligible for special education services under IDEA also receive Title I services?

Yes. However, this decision is made by the district/building level staff. In making the decision, the building level staff must decide if a child with an IEP who is already receiving additional services through special education would benefit more by receiving the Title I services than another child who is also in need of Title I services but not receiving any additional services from the district. It should also be noted that an IEP team cannot commit Title I services through the IEP process, since the district/building staff make the decisions about the use of Title I resources. Therefore, if a child does receive Title I services it should NOT be documented in the IEP.

Why is this important?

The educational requirements for occupations are increasing, particularly for new and emerging occupations, high-technical, high-skilled, and high-wage jobs.  In addition, changes to the economy, job requirements and society now demand that every high school student graduate prepared to continue to postsecondary education and the workforce.

The relationship between the health of a community and state and the quality of education is well-documented. Our state, and the communities in our state, cannot be successful without high-quality education. Nowhere is this more apparent than with respect to employment and economic development. Consider the following statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • The unemployment rate for high school dropouts in 2009 was 14.6 percent. In contrast, it was 9.7 percent for those with a high school diploma, 6.8 percent for those with an associate degree and 3.9 percent for those with a bachelor’s degree.
  • In 2009, adults without a high school diploma had weekly median incomes of $454 ($23,608 annually).  In contrast, those with a bachelor’s degree earned $1,025 per week ($53,300 annually).  For a professional degree, the figure was $1,529 a week ($79,508 annually).
  • By 2018, 63 percent of all jobs in the United States will require at least some kind of postsecondary diploma. Most rapid employment growth will be among jobs that require, at minimum, a master’s degree.

Without a well-trained workforce, Missouri will face a future of high unemployment, low-paying jobs and economic failure. Low wages and high unemployment lead to low state revenue―low state revenue leads to inadequately funded state programs―and inadequately funded state programs lead to poor performance in key areas including public education.  This is the formula for a state spiraling downwards in terms of quality of life for its citizens.

When is this goal to be reached?

The year 2020 is the target date for this goal.  Annual benchmarks will be established and monitored to track progress toward meeting the goal.

What strategies will be used to achieve this important goal?

The Missouri Education Reform Plan outlines the critical strategies that will be used to become a top 10 performing state. This includes:

1) Expanding opportunities for quality voluntary early childhood education.

2) Developing a comprehensive system for the recruitment, preparation, selection, support and evaluation of effective educators.

3) Implementing higher and clearer academic and performance standards and a rigorous and internationally benchmarked assessment system.

4) Developing and using the longitudinal data system to improve instruction.

5) Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

What are the top 10 performing states right now and what are their characteristics?

There are many studies and reports that compare educational performance.  According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the top 10 performing states right now are Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Maine, Minnesota, Virginia, Montana, Wisconsin and New York.

A recent report by Dr. Douglas B. Reeves of The Leadership and Learning Center identified the key characteristics of the top 10 performing states. They are an emphasis on nonfiction or informational writing, quality early childhood education programs, quality standards and assessments, an appointed (not elected) chief state school officer, and effective use of scarce resources.

How does Missouri compare to the top 10 states on key educational performance measures?

Missouri ranks in the middle of the 50 states in terms of educational performance. Here are some key performance statistics:

  • On the 2011 NAEP assessment, Missouri saw increased scores in mathematics and reading from the previous test (2009).  Nationally, Missouri students compared most favorably in reading with fourth and eighth grade students ranking 22nd and 20th, respectively; math scores are found to be at 24th and 33rd, respectively.
  • In 2009, only one in 14 Missouri graduates scored a 3 or higher on an AP exam to earn college credit while in high school, compared to about one in five in a top 10 state.
  • Missouri already ranks 10th nationally in the U.S. Department of Education’s most recent “Averaged Freshman Graduation Rate of Public High School Students,” or AFGR.
  • Missouri ranks 26th nationally in composite ACT test scores and ranks 20th to 31st in four ACT college-ready benchmarks.
  • In 2009, Missouri ranked 23rd in the percentage of students (62 percent) who completed a bachelor’s degree in six years or less and ranked 15th in terms of students (44 percent) who completed an associate degree in three years or less.
  • Overall, the percentage of Missouri college students returning for the second fall semester was 71 percent, coming in 28th out of 50 states.

Are there other educational performance measures that emphasize the need for improvement in Missouri?

While historically Missouri has made significant progress, the data clearly show there is a need for greater improvement.

  • The number of Missouri high school dropouts last year was nearly 10,000 students.
  • Only 35 percent of Missouri adults 18-24 are enrolled in college.
  • Approximately 38 percent of Missouri college students need non-college credit-bearing remedial courses.
  • Four of five Missouri high school graduates do not earn a college degree by their early 20s.
  • Just over one-third of Missourians 25-34 hold an associate degree or higher.

Why the emphasis on early childhood education?

The research is clear that children who enter school ready to meet its academic, social and emotional demands are more likely to achieve success in academics and in life.  States that want to increase college readiness and success must be strategic and coordinated in their investments in these early years.  These include programs to ensure access to quality child care, preschool, family supports (including economic and parenting support), child health services, and early identification and intervention for infants and toddlers with disabilities.

The Center for Family Policy & Research recently made a comparison about the cost of incarceration and the cost of early childhood programs.  Researchers agree that the long-term and enduring benefits of high-quality early childhood education programs include an increased rate of high school graduation and a decrease in the rate of criminal activity.

What happens if we don’t succeed?

Complacency and failure to improve will mean that we fall further behind other states and other countries. In a world that is constantly reinventing itself, the challenge to excel is ongoing and the demand to change and improve never abates.

If Missouri’s students are not among top performers nationally and internationally, they simply will not be able to compete.  If our workforce is not top-performing, Missouri as a state won’t compete either.  This means that the vast majority of our high school graduates will not be employable in high-skills/high-knowledge jobs that pay decent wages.  It means fewer good employers will want to locate in Missouri.  It means our young adults will not be job-ready or life-ready.

What happens if we do succeed?

At the turn of the century, economic visionary Peter Drucker wrote an article for The Economist titled “The Next Society.” In this article he said, “The next society will be a knowledge society. Knowledge will be its key resources, and knowledge workers will be the dominant group in its workforce.”

As Drucker pointed out, this goes far beyond the traditional definition of “knowledge workers”—doctors, lawyers, teachers, accountants and chemical engineers, for example. This group also includes what he called “knowledge technologists”—computer technicians, software designers, analysts in clinical labs, manufacturing technologists and paralegals. Drucker describes these jobs as follows:

These people are as much manual workers as they are knowledge workers; in fact, they usually spend far more time working with their hands than with their brains. But their manual work is based on a substantial amount of theoretical knowledge which can be acquired only through formal education, not through an apprenticeship. They are not, as a rule, much better paid than traditional skilled workers, but they see themselves as “professionals.”  Just as unskilled manual workers in manufacturing were the dominant social and political force in the 20th century, knowledge technologists are likely to become the dominant social—and perhaps also political—force over the next decades.

If Missouri succeeds, it will become an international destination for businesses needing knowledge workers. This means good jobs and the resulting good wages.  Good wages translate into a high demand for goods and services including high-quality public services.  It means our state is taking the lead in providing successful, vibrant communities for its residents. It means a bright future for Missouri.

It all begins with education.

Where should I mail my correspondence?

Please mail correspondence to Educator Certification, PO Box 480, Jefferson City MO 65102.  Include your Educator ID number on all correspondence. 

How can I obtain a copy of my certificate?

The department no longer prints and mails paper certificates, but you do have access to an electronic version in our online certification system.  You will need to log on to DESE Web Applications with your user id and password.  Once you have access to your profile page, the Certificate Status link is located in the Menu to the left.  By clicking on Certificate Status, you will see the box that says View Certificate.  You will then be able to view and print your teaching certificate.

Where do I find my certificate number?

The department does not issue or utilize certificate numbers.

Once I have applied online or made a written inquiry, how long should I wait for a response?

  1. Due to fluctuations in the volume of online applications and inquiries received, it is often difficult to estimate processing time. During the months of April to October, processing time may be as long as six (6) weeks from the date of receipt.

How may I check the status of my application?

You may check the status of your application on your profile page in our online certification system at any time. You will need to log on to DESE Web Applications with your user id and password.  Once you have access to your profile page, an Application Status link is located in one of the gray bars near the bottom of the page.

What is the fee to upgrade to a career level certificate? The upgrade fee is $35.00. Can I obtain my initial teaching certificate by holding a bachelor’s degree and passing a Praxis test?

No.  The Praxis test is only one component of an initial teacher education program.  You must complete one of the approved routes to initial certification, as well as passing the appropriate Praxis test(s).

Can I add an area of certification by passing a Praxis test?

Educators who hold a valid professional teaching certificate may add certain designated areas (PRAXIS II) by achieving a qualifying score on the approved test and submitting the Additional Application.

I took and passed a PRAXIS II test. Why doesn’t the additional area show on my certificate?

Our office receives test scores for all individuals who request the scores be sent to the department.  However, to add a certificate on the basis of a passing PRAXIS II score, you must submit an Additional Application to request the issuance of the new area.

Will my degree and/or coursework be accepted for certification?

For your degree and/or coursework to be accepted to meet certification requirements, they must be completed at a regionally accredited college or university. The regional accrediting agencies accepted by our department include the following: 
Middle States, Association of Colleges and Schools 
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Northwest Association of School and Colleges 
Southern Association of Colleges and School 
Western Association of Schools and Colleges

What classes can I teach with my certificate?

Appropriate certification for teaching assignments is determined and monitored by the Office of Quality Schools.  You can also consult the department’s Core Data and Missouri Student Information System Reference Manual (see Exhibit 10 starting on page 295).

Am I a Highly Qualified Teacher?

For information regarding these requirements, please contact the Federal Programs section of the Office of Data System Management.

How long does it take for the background check to be completed?

Results are received by our department approximately two (2) weeks after fingerprints have been collected by the fingerprint company.

Do I have to complete a Missouri background check if I have recently completed one in another state?

Yes. You are required to complete a Missouri fingerprint and background check for the department.

What is the fee for a background check?

The fee for this process is currently $44.80.

Will I be notified of the results of my background check?

No.  You can check the status of your background check on your profile page in our online certification system.  You will need to log on to DESE Web Applications with your user id and password.  Once you have access to your profile page, a Fingerprint Information link is located in one of the gray bars near the bottom of the page.

If I am upgrading my certificate or applying for an additional area of certification, do I have to be fingerprinted again?

No, not unless your certificate has been expired for more than 11 months.

If I am changing school districts do I have to be fingerprinted again?

Yes.  All new hires to school districts must be fingerprinted if a background clearance has not been received within the past 12 months.

Can I receive a certificate if I have felony or misdemeanor charges and/or convictions?

Please see Educator Certification Conduct and Investigations for information regarding the related rules and statutes.

Am I subject to disciplinary action if I resign at my school district and take a position at another school district?

If you break a written contract without your employing School Board’s approval, your school district may ask the State Board of Education to discipline your certificate.

What is the Application for State Transportation Aid?

The Application for State Transportation Aid reported within the Annual Secretary of the Board Report reflects eligible and ineligible students transported, the number of days the transportation system operated, and eligible and ineligible miles.  This information, along with allowable costs, is used to calculate state transportation aid.

How is bus ridership tracked?

School districts providing pupil transportation services pursuant to section 163.161, RSMo, are required to prepare a listing of pupils regularly (minimum of once per week) transported (ADT) on each board of education’s approved routes on the second Wednesday of the month for the months of October and February (5 CSR 30-261.010 (1)(E)1). 

 

What must bus contracts include?

Written contracts are required for all contracted bus transportation services.  The contracts should include requirements that the driver(s) and vehicle(s) meet all applicable state statutes and State Board of Education regulations.  This department also suggests that the contract include the reimbursement amount, the insurance required by the school district and that the contract requires the tracking of ridership and mileage.  The contract must be on file in the school district office (5 CSR 30-261.010). 

Who must be transported? Who can be transported?

Students living more than three and one-half miles from school must be provided transportation service.  All students can be transported by local board decision (167.231, RSMo).  See Funding for students who are eligible for state transportation aid.

 

What is the definition of a school bus?

The term school bus when used in sections 302.010 to 302.540, RSMo, means any motor vehicle, either publicly or privately owned, used to transport students to and from school, or to transport pupils properly chaperoned to and from any place within the state for educational purposes (302.010, RSMo).

What is defined as a school bus route and who approve these routes?

A bus route begins when a bus leaves a point (home, school, etc.) empty and proceeds on a predetermined route, picking up pupils and then traveling to a school(s) until the bus is empty; and returning the pupils to a designated point after school (5 CSR 30-261.010 (4)(A)(3)). 

These routes are required to be approved by the local board of education by the end of October and any revisions to the routes by the June board meeting. 

What are eligible transportation miles?

Eligible transportation miles are those miles traveled from where the bus is kept at night until it returns to the same location after the pupils have been returned home, as long as it is used only to transport pupils to and from school (at the beginning and ending of the regular school day). Eligible miles include handicapped summer school route miles, but do not include non-handicapped summer school route miles.  Eligible transportation miles are eligible for state transportation aid (5 CSR 30-261.010 (4)(A)(1) and 5 CSR 30-261.040).

What are ineligible transportation miles?

All miles that are driven for any purpose other than transporting students to and from school during the regular school term are ineligible for state transportation aid. Non-handicapped summer school routes, routes ran only to transport students who live less than one mile from school, non-handicapped early childhood routes, field trips, athletic trips, and other extra-curricular activity trips are examples of ineligible miles. Miles traveled to rerun a route or part of a route to transport students participating in before-school or after-school activities or training (including remediation and extra-curricular) are also ineligible miles. All ineligible miles shall be recorded and subsequently reported on the Application for State Transportation Aid (5 CSR 30-261.010 (4)(A)(2) and 5 CSR 30-261.040 (3)(B)).

Are summer school miles reimbursable?

Regular summer school miles are not reimbursable and should be reported as ineligible-disapproved route miles. Summer school miles for students in an approved special education program, or whose IEP requires summer school transportation, are eligible for reimbursement and should be reported as eligible handicapped miles.

Why don’t school buses have required seat belts?

School buses are equipped with a passive restraint system called compartmentalization that means that the seating area of a school bus is built with specially padded high-back, wider, thicker seats that protect people in school buses during accidents.  No metal surfaces are exposed and seats are spaced close together to contain the students in cushioned compartments.

What is a hardship transfer?

A hardship transfer is a petition for the assignment of pupils based upon the finding of an unusual or unreasonable transportation hardship, usually requiring a ride time greater than 75 minutes (167.121, RSMo. and 5 CSR 20-261.050).

What is the maximum time a student can ride the bus?

Maximum ride time is set by the local boards of education.  There are no restrictions on ride time within the Missouri statutes or State Board of Education Regulations.

What are the Missouri Minimum Standards for School Buses?

Missouri Minimum Standards for School Buses are equipment specifications that are contained in the Minimum Standards for School Buses Manual and apply to all school buses manufactured after a certain date, used to transport Missouri public school students.  The Minimum Standards are usually revised every five years (5 CSR 30-261.025).

What is the Exemplary School Bus Maintenance Award?

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides an Exemplary School Bus Maintenance Award to school districts and/or contractors who have 90% or more of their buses pass the Missouri State Highway Patrol spring school bus inspection on their first attempt.  An award is also presented to school districts and/or contractors who have achieved the 90% passage for five or more consecutive years.

How does a school district safely transport early childhood students?

Missouri law mandates that children under the age of 4 be transported in a child safety restraint system (210.104, RSMo); it is recommended by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that children 4 and over but under 40 pounds also be transported in a child safety restraint system.

In transporting early childhood students, it is recommended that a school district follow the recommendations of NHTSA (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov).

When does a school bus have to be inspected?

Every school bus used to transport children to or from school must be inspected within sixty days prior to operating the bus during the school year (307.375, RSMo).

When do pretrip inspections need to be conducted?

The board of education must require operators of school buses to conduct and prepare a record of the daily pretrip inspection for each school district (5 CSR 30-261.010 (1)(K)).

How many students can be transported on a school bus?

The operator of a school bus can transport no more children than the manufacturer suggests as appropriate and each passenger must have seating space sufficient enough to ensure that the back of each passenger may come into full contact with the seat back (304.060, RSMo and 5 CSR 30-261.010 (4)(B)3.I).

When is a school district required to perform emergency evacuation drills?

Emergency evacuation drills on school buses are required for all students in kindergarten through sixth grade at least once per semester.  The first drill must be completed prior to October 31.  The public school district board of education shall prescribe emergency evacuation drill requirements for all other students (5 CSR 30-261.010 (1)(J)).

What is the Certified School Bus Driver Instructor Program?

The Certified School Bus Driver Instructor Program is a program to train and certify individuals as school bus driver trainers.  This program should help a school district maintain a trained staff of drivers.  The Certified School Bus Driver Instructor training program is jointly sponsored by Central Missouri State University-Missouri Safety Center, Missouri School Bus Contractors Association (MSBCA), Missouri Association of Pupil Transportation (MAPT), and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, School Governance/Transportation Section.  This program is usually conducted during the months of June and July and provides individuals with classroom and hands-on practical instruction activities.  The goal is to provide each trainee with a model curriculum and instructional skills necessary to design and implement a school bus driver training program (302.272, RSMo). 

What are the state professional organizations for school transportation?

There are two school transportation associations in Missouri.  The Missouri Association of Pupil Transportation (MAPT) concentrates on membership and services for district-operated transportation systems and the Missouri School Bus Contractors Association (MSBCA) concentrates on membership and services of school bus contractor-operated transportation systems.

Can a school bus be used for purposes other than transporting students?

School district owned vehicles:  No (301.260 and 302.010, RSMo).  Contractor owned vehicles:  Yes, if the vehicle is licensed commercially and the signs indicating it is a school bus are covered in such a way that it will not appear on the highways as a school bus (304.075, RSMo).

What is the minimum distance between school bus stops?

School bus stops should be established no less than 500 feet apart.  The prewarning amber flashing lights are to be activated 500 feet before a designated stop.

What visibility distance is required at a bus stop?

When stopping the school bus must be visible for at least five hundred feet in each direction on a highway with no shoulder and a speed limit greater than sixty miles per hour.  The bus must be visible for at least three hundred feet in each direction on other roadways (304.050, RSMo).

Can a school bus travel onto private property?

Yes, by local board policy a school bus can travel on private property; however, written permission from all property owners should be obtained.

Does a public school district have to pay highway/road tax?

Missouri school buses are exempt from paying federal fuel excise tax but must pay Missouri highway/road tax.  For an exemption from federal fuel excise tax or a refund of taxes paid contact the IRS (800/829-1040).  School districts can purchase dyed fuel that allows the exemption from federal fuel excise tax up front when fuel is purchased (573/751-2611).

What transportation requirements are in place for handicapped children?

Handicapped children who have special transportation needs must have those needs detailed in the child’s IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) under Related Services.  These needs may include the requirement for a handicapped aide on the bus with the child, door-to-door service, transportation for a handicapped child living less than one mile from school, and transportation for special education summer school.  If written into the child’s IEP these expenses are considered eligible for state transportation aid.

What is the maximum speed limit for a school bus?

There is no speed limit established just for school buses.  The posted speed limit applies to school buses unless the school board policy requires a speed less than the posted speed limit.  The speed limit is 60 m.p.h. if not posted (304.010 2.(4), RSMo).

What are allowable transportation costs?

Allowable transportation costs are costs for transporting students under the provisions of Section 304.060, RSMo, administrative support services, and costs paid to other school districts (5 CSR 30-261.040).

How is state transportation aid provided to a school district?

Any school district which makes provisions for transporting pupils as provided in Section 162.621, RSMo, and Sections 167.231 and 167.241, RSMo, shall receive state aid for the ensuing year for such transportation on the basis of the cost of pupil transportation services provided the current year.  A district shall receive, pursuant to Section 163.031, an amount not greater than seventy-five percent of the allowable costs of providing pupil transportation services to and from school and to and from public accredited vocational courses, and shall not receive an amount per pupil greater than one hundred twenty-five percent of the state average approved cost per pupil transported the second preceding school year (5 CSR 30-261.040 (5)).

What students are eligible for state transportation aid?

State aid for transportation shall be paid as provided in Section 163.161, RSMo, and as implemented in 5 CSR 30-261.040, only on the basis of the cost of transportation for those living one mile or more from school, including publicly-operated university laboratory schools or those who are transported one mile or more to and from public accredited vocational courses, special education classes either in or outside the district.  School term, vocational, and special education students are defined as eligible students in calculating a district's state transportation aid (5 CSR 30-261.040 (4)(A)).

What students who live less than one mile from school can be transported at no appreciable expense?

If a board of education determines that certain students who live less than one mile from school or who are provided shuttle transportation less than one mile to and from specialized learning opportunities are transported at no appreciable expense to that incurred in the transportation of eligible students, a district may provide transportation to these students without increasing or diminishing its entitlement to state transportation aid (5 CSR 30-261.040 (4)(B)).

What are the maximum administrative support service expenditures the district can claim?

Administrative support service expenditures cannot exceed five percent for district-operated and contracted transportation services for each school district's total allowable cost for transportation (5 CSR 30-261.040 (1)(I)).

What are non-allowable transportation costs?

Non-allowable costs include salaries for non-transportation related duties, expenses for the portion of a transportation facility not used for school transportation purposes, buses that are ten years of age or older, supplies for vehicles or equipment that are not used to transport pupils, administrative support service expenditures that exceed 5% of the transportation costs, video cameras, and vehicles other than school buses  (5 CSR 30-261.040 (1) (A), (C) 3, (F), (G), (H), and (I)).

What is the predicted cost used in the calculation of state transportation aid?

An analysis of transportation statistics has confirmed a strong correlation between the average number of bus miles per pupil traveled each day and the average cost per pupil mile.  Based on this correlation, a curvilinear regression analysis is computed to predict the cost per pupil mile, based on the number of miles per pupil per day for each district.  Each district has a unique predicted cost factor (5 CSR 30-261.040 (8)).

What is the cost factor?

The district’s cost factor is the ratio of the district’s actual costs to the district’s predicted costs based on an analysis of the district’s data.  If the ratio is one hundred percent or less, the district program is assumed to be efficient.  If the percentage is greater than one hundred percent, there is presumed inefficiency.  The State Board of Education uses this cost factor expressed as a percentage to adjust allowable costs as an incentive for economical service.  A variance factor of four percent based statistically on the standard error has been determined to allow for any possible error in the analysis (5 CSR 30-261.040 (8)).

What does it mean to be efficient or inefficient?

If a school district’s cost factor is 104.00% or below it is considered efficient.  If a district’s cost factor is above 104.00% it is considered inefficient and the district will receive a financial penalty (5 CSR 30-261.040 (8) (A) 1-5).

Is there an advantage to lowering the cost factor below 104.00%? If so, when?

If a district’s cost factor drops below 104.00% no additional transportation aid is generated; however, a drop in cost is always a local district savings, i.e., 75% maximum reimbursement by the state, 25% minimum paid out of local district funds (5 CSR 30-261.040 (8) (A) 4).

Should a district always code all eligible administrative costs to transportation?

Since administrative costs are indirect a district may want to review these expenses each year to see what effect coding the prorated portion as transportation expenses has on the district’s cost factor.

What effect do administrative costs have on efficiency?

Administrative costs increase allowable costs that could increase the district’s transportation reimbursement; however, administrative costs could also make a district more inefficient thereby incurring or increasing a penalty for inefficiency.

What effect do ineligible miles have on efficiency?

Ineligible miles are part of the Calculation for State Transportation Aid, Line 35, cost per mile calculation.  The more miles there are, eligible or ineligible, the lower the cost per mile, and the more efficient the district appears.

What effect do ineligible miles have on the state transportation aid calculation?

The Calculation for State Transportation Aid, Line 36, backs out the cost for ineligible miles by only multiplying the cost per mile (Line 35) by the eligible miles (Line 29).

What is the “less than one mile 12%” rule?

A local board of education can decide to transport students that live less than one mile from school.  If the district chooses to use the 12% allowance, and does not want to incur a financial penalty, the students must be transported at no additional cost and the number of students transported cannot exceed 12% of the district’s average daily number of eligible pupils transported (5 CSR 30-261.040 (4)(B)). 

What is it “costing” the district in eligible costs to transport students living less than one mile from school?

The “cost” of transporting students less than one mile from school is the difference between Line 36 and Line 38 (if any) on the Calculation for State Transportation Aid (BU110).

What weight does mileage carry in the transportation calculation? What happens when the mileage increases or decreases?

Mileage carries almost three times as much weight as the allowable cost or the ridership.  The district’s calculation is based on a per mile reimbursement.  If the mileage increases the cost per mile drops which has a positive impact on the district’s cost factor.  If the mileage drops, the cost per mile increases which has a negative impact on the district’s cost factor. 

A change in the cost factor doesn’t always mean there will be a change in the entitlement; refer to the Calculation for State Transportation Aid, Line 48.

Why is it important to code handicapped route costs as handicapped expenditures?

Always separating the direct handicapped costs such as the handicapped bus drivers’ and bus aides’ salaries and benefits, fuel, and supplies, and prorating  “global” expenses such as administrator’s salary and benefits, support staff’s salary and benefits, mechanic’s salary and benefits, utilities, insurance, facility operational costs and coding them as handicapped expenditures gives a true picture of the cost of non-handicapped versus handicapped routes. 

Properly coding handicapped expenses will have a positive effect on the district’s non-handicapped efficiency rating.  Handicapped costs do not have the efficiency adjustment applied to them, therefore, the entitlement is always calculated at the 75% maximum.

What effect does ridership have on the formula?

Ridership only effects the efficiency rating (see the Calculation for State Transportation Aid, Lines 39 and 40).  If a district’s cost factor is 104.00% or below, increasing ridership has no effect on the district’s transportation funding.

What effect does school bus and facility depreciation have on the calculation?

School buses and transportation facilities are placed on depreciation schedules and the depreciation is added to the district’s transportation allowable costs (Calculation for State Transportation Aid, Line 24).

What effect do school bus payments (Expenditure Function Code 6552) have on the calculation?

School bus payments have no effect on the calculation for state transportation aid since school bus payments (Expenditure Function 6552) are subtracted out of the allowable costs.

What effect does revenue received from the sale of a bus (Revenue Code 5640) have on the calculation?

The amount received from the sale of a bus is subtracted from the district’s total depreciation for the year.

Are employee benefits an allowable cost?

Yes, any benefits approved by public school district board of education action as necessary to recruit and retain qualified school bus drivers are allowable; however, as a school board considers adding benefits, the effect of the increase to the allowable costs on the cost factor should be considered (5 CSR 30-261.040 (1)(B)).

Where is data for Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Transportation reported?

No ECSE ridership or mileage data is reported on the Application for State Transportation Aid.  ECSE transportation expenditures should be coded to Function Code 2559 within the ASBR.

What is the definition of a school bus operator?

A school bus operator is an individual who operates a school bus in the transportation of school children and who receives compensation for such service (302.010, RSMo).

When must school bus drivers have a physical?

School bus drivers must have a physical examination annually no more than ninety days before the beginning of the school year (5 CSR 30-261.040).

Who must have a DOT physical?

Drivers employed with a contractor who drive more than home-school-home routes are required, by federal regulation, to have DOT physicals; however, local school district and/or contractor policy may require DOT physicals for other drivers.

Who can perform a school bus driver physical?

Anyone who is licensed in Missouri to perform physical examinations can perform a school bus driver physical (5 CSR 30-261.040).

What do I need to be a school bus operator?

No person shall operate any school bus owned by or under contract with a public school or the state board of education unless such driver has qualified for a school bus (S) endorsement and complied with the pertinent rules and regulations of the Department of Revenue.  A school bus operator must have successfully passed an examination for the operation of a school bus as prescribed by the director of revenue.  The examination shall include, but need not be limited to, a written skills examination of applicable laws, rules and procedures, and a driving test in the type of vehicle to be operated (302.272, RSMo).

When is a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) required?

When driving a vehicle capable of transporting 16 or more including the driver (Federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986).

When is a Class E (For-Hire) driver’s license required?

A Class E driver’s license is required when contracted with or employed with a school district to provide transportation services in a vehicle that transports less than 16 including the driver (Department of Revenue).

How do I obtain a school bus (S) endorsement?

To obtain a school bus endorsement, you must:

  1. Pass the knowledge and skills test for obtaining a CDL with passenger (P) endorsement (for vehicles that transport 16 or more including the driver) or a Class E (For Hire) license for vehicles that transport 15 or less including the driver.
  2. Pass a knowledge test for an S endorsement.
  3. Pass a driving skills test in a school bus of the same vehicle group as the school bus applicant will drive.
  4. Take your written and skills test results to the local license bureau to apply for a new CDL or Class E license with an S endorsement.
  5. Meet driving history review requirements (completed at the time of application).
  6. Pay the applicable fees for a new license and the required fees for the written and/or skills test.

What do I need to renew my school bus (S) endorsement?

The S endorsement is now part of the driver’s license process, when the license is renewed the S endorsement is also renewed (after a driving history is run by the local license bureau).

What if I employ a school bus driver over 70 years of age?

A driver who is over 70 years of age must renew their driver’s license annually and are required to submit proof of a school bus skills test to retain the S endorsement on their driver license at time of renewal.

Do school district employees who are not hired to transport students need a school bus (S) endorsement?

The term “school bus operator” shall not include any person who transports school children as an incident to employment with a school district, such as a teacher, coach, administrator, secretary, school nurse, or janitor, unless such person is under contract with or employed by a school district as a school bus operator (Section 302.010, RSMo). 

“School bus operators” and drivers of school buses that transport 16 or more including the driver are required to have an S endorsement.  All school bus operators must have the proper driver’s license for the vehicle they are operating.

What type of license do I need to drive a school bus?

A CDL w/passenger and S endorsement is needed for any driver of a vehicle that is 26,000 lbs or greater, a Class E with school bus (S) endorsement is needed for any driver of a vehicle that is less than 26,000 lbs. and who is compensated for transporting school children (302.010, RSMo).

Can a school district contract with a parent to provide student transportation?

A district may enter into a contract with a family member to transport their own children.  The contract must be stated in terms of reimbursement for mileage, not hourly, in an amount equal to or less than the current AAA mileage rate for a car (currently 54.1 cents per mile, 2008) to avoid the requirement that anyone paid to transport school children must have a Class E license with S endorsement. If the parent is paid a lump sum amount, an hourly wage, or more than the current AAA rating of the “average cost of operating a car” the parent is considered to be receiving pay for transporting school children.  In this case, the parent must have a Class E license with S endorsement.  The family would also be required to report any payments other than mileage as income to the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

Parents must agree to be properly licensed and to provide transportation in a safe, inspected, insured, licensed vehicle (5 CSR 30-261.045).

Can a school district contract with an individual, who is not the parent, to transport students?

Yes, districts may enter into a written contract with individuals that agree to transport children in their private vehicles.  The contract must be stated in terms of reimbursement for mileage, not hourly, in an amount equal to or less than the current AAA rating of the “average cost of operating a car” (currently 54.1 cents per mile, 2008) to avoid the requirement that anyone compensated to transport school children must be licensed as a school bus operator.  If the individual is paid a lump sum amount, an hourly wage or more than the current AAA rating of the “average cost of operating a car” the individual is considered to be receiving compensation for transporting school children. In this case, the driver must have a Class E license with S endorsement.

These individuals must agree to be properly licensed and to provide transportation in a safe, inspected, insured, licensed vehicle (5 CSR 30-261.045).

Can a school district contract with a taxicab to transport students?

Yes, however, taxicab drivers paid to transport school children must have a Class E For-Hire driver’s license with an S endorsement.  The driver or firm should operate only under written contract with the school district and agree to meet all applicable state statutes and State Board of Education regulations for the transportation of students (5 CSR 30-261.045).

How many hours in a row can a bus driver operate a school bus?

A bus driver cannot drive a school bus for more than eight consecutive hours unless the driver stops operation of the bus for at least sixty minutes.  A bus driver cannot operate a school bus for more than twelve hours in a twenty-four hour period (5 CSR 30-261.010 (3)(A)18 and for bus contractors-all applicable DOT regulations).

What does a driver with an out-of-state license need to operate a school bus in Missouri?

If the driver currently holds an out-of-state CDL license, the driver must meet the requirements for the S endorsement in their state of record and obtain the S endorsement on their CDL to be eligible to drive a school bus for a Missouri school.

What training is required for Missouri school bus drivers?

On an annual basis, each school district shall provide training in at least eight hours of duration to each school bus driver employed by the school district shall provide special instruction in school bus driving.

When should a fingerprint based criminal history check be run on a school bus driver?

The school district check is conducted for all new school bus drivers, effective June 2005. The district may allow such drivers to operate buses pending the result of the criminal background check. For bus drivers, the background check shall be conducted on drivers employed by the school district or employed by a pupil transportation company under contract with the school district (168.133, RSMo) and coordinated through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.  

Who retains the documentation on school bus driver physicals, training, and criminal history background checks?

The school district or school bus contractor should retain documentation for all school bus drivers of an annual physical, 8 hours of annual training, and (for new hires after June 2005) the criminal history background check results (162.065, RSMo).

How often do I renew my driver’s license and/or school bus endorsement?

The school bus endorsement renews with the driver’s license on the normal renewal cycle of every 6 years for drivers under 70 and annually for drivers over 70.

Who do I contact if I have questions about public school transportation?

DESE School Governance/School Transportation
573/751-0357
http://dese.mo.gov/divadm/trans/

MoDOT, Office of Highway Safety
Child Restraint Systems and Seat Belt Information
800/800-BELT

Department of Revenue
License Issuances
573/751-2730

As a new employee, what do I need for my first day?

  •   You will need to meet with the Human Resources office to complete your employee   
      paperwork.
  •   You will need to make sure you have submitted a Department employment    
      application and college transcripts.
  •   I-9 Information for the Employment Eligibility Verification form.  A driver’s license,  
      social security card, passport or appropriate visa.  The Department is unable to 
      sponsor applicants in their application for work visas through INS.

As a new employee, will I serve a probationary period?

  •   Yes, each new employee will serve a probationary period.
    •   Non-exempt (support) employees serve a six-month probationary period.
    •   Exempt (professional) employees serve a one-year period.

Do you keep resumes/applications on file?

  •   No, we do not keep resumes/applications on file.  It is necessary for you submit a
      new resume/application for each vacancy you apply for.

How often are DESE employees paid?

  •   Department employees are paid bi-monthly on the 15th and the last working 
      day of the month.

How often do we advertise vacancies?

  •  The Department advertises vacancies at the end of each week.  The vacancy website
      is updated on Mondays.

If I am currently a state employee that is transferring to DESE, how much annual leave may I transfer?

  •   The Department generally accepts a maximum of 80 hours of annual leave from
      another State agency.  Contact Human Resources to verify acceptance.

Is the Department a merit or non-merit agency?

  •   The Department is a non-merit agency.

What benefits do you offer?

  •   Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  •   Cafeteria Plan
  •   Deferred Compensation Plan
  •   Health Insurance
  •   Dental Insurance
  •   Vision Insurance
  •   Life Insurance
  •   Missouri State Employees Retirement System (MOSERS)
  •   12 Paid Holidays
  •   Sick and Vacation Leave
  •   Shared Leave Program

What is the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE)?

  •   The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is the                    
      administrative arm of the State Board of Education. It is primarily a service agency 
      that works with educators, legislators, government agencies and citizens to 
      maintain a strong public education system. Through its statewide school 
      improvement initiatives and regulatory functions, the Department strives to assure 
      that all citizens have access to high-quality public education.

What is the difference between merit and non-merit positions?

  •   The primary difference is the selection process. Merit divisions must fill positions by   
      using registers provided to them by the Office of Administration. Non-merit divisions 
      do not work through the Office of Administration when filling positions. Some small 
      differences also exist in the types of Personnel Advisory appeal rights employee's 
      have. Classification, pay and time/leave issues are the same in both merit and non-
      merit divisions.

What is the process once I submit my resume/application?

  •   When we receive your resume/application in our office, the hiring committee reviews 
      each resume/application to determine if the applicant meets the minimum 
      qualifications for the position.  The committee then selects individuals for interviews. 
      Applicants are then called to schedule an interview.  Once a finalist is selected, 
      approval from the division administrator is needed before an offer is made.

What is the timetable for this process?

  •   The timetable for this process depends on the hiring committee’s schedule in order 
      to review and schedule interviews. 

Who reviews my resume/application and who will interview me?

  •   You may contact Human Resources at (573) 751-9619. 

Will I be contacted when the position I applied for is filled?

  •   No, unless you have interviewed for the position. 

Age Requirements for Kindergarten and First Grade Entry

Section 160.053, RSMo, states that:

  • A child is eligible for admission to kindergarten if the child reaches the age of five (5) before the first day of August of the school year beginning in that calendar year. 
  • A child is eligible for admission to kindergarten/first grade if the child is a military dependent and has successfully completed an accredited pre-kindergarten program or has attended an accredited kindergarten program in another state.
  • A child who reaches the age of five (5) prior to the cut-off date is eligible for admission to the summer school session immediately preceding kindergarten.
  • A child is eligible for admission to first grade if the child reaches the age of six (6) before the first day of August of the school year beginning in that calendar year.
  • "Any child who completes the kindergarten year shall not be required to meet the age requirements of a district for entrance into grade one."  This law does not specify the type of kindergarten program that must be completed prior to promotion to the first grade.  Most school districts accept successful completion of kindergarten at any accredited public, private or parochial school as sufficient basis for promotion to the first grade.  A child transferring from an unaccredited school, such as a home school, may be subject to additional evaluation to determine promotion. 

Exceptions

  • Pursuant to statutes 160.054 and 160.055, RSMo, the St. Louis and Kansas City School Districts may establish a later kindergarten/first grade entry date.
  • A school may enroll a transfer student that has attended kindergarten or first grade in another state with a different entry age date on the theory of giving "full faith and credit" to the other states' entry age law. 
  • Parents seeking information regarding exceptions to kindergarten/first grade enrollment should contact the school district in which they intend to enroll their child.  

Certificates Required for Each Course or Grade Taught, Course Names, Course Code and Course Abbreviations (Includes information on middle school certification)

The Certificate Required for Each Course or Grade Taught, Along with Course Names, Course Codes and Course Abbreviations

This information provides a list of classes by course code, course name, abbreviation for the course and the certificate required to teach the course.  All certification must be for the proper grade level unless it specifies otherwise in the certificate required column.  The above information is available in Exhibit 10 of the 2003-2004 Core Data Manual.  Certification requirements for the middle grades are found below.  

Middle School Teaching Certificates

The following information is taken from a memorandum issued by Commissioner Robert E. Bartman in January 1995.  The information is still valid and provides clarification for middle school certification.

 

K-8 Elementary Certificate

Individuals holding K-8 or 1-8 elementary certificates may teach in all core areas in grades 5 and 6 in either   self-contained or departmentalized middle school programs.  They may also teach departmentalized classes in English, social studies, developmental classes in English, social studies, developmental reading, computer literacy, basic skills, and at-risk classes in grades 5-8.  Individuals holding K-8 or 1-8 elementary certificates are not eligible to teach departmentalized classes in math or science at the 7-8 grade levels.

4-8 Middle School Certificate

these are subject area specific certificates.  Individuals holding these certificates may teach in departmentalized programs in their subject area(s) only--Language Arts, social studies, mathematics, science.

7-9/7-12 Secondary Certificate

Individuals holding subject area specific certificates including those in fine arts, practical arts, vocational and physical education may teach in their subject area(s) in departmentalized programs to students in grades 5-9.

Guidance and Counseling

Individuals holding a 7-12 guidance certificate may provide counseling services to students in grades 5-12.  Individuals holding a K-8 guidance certificate may provide counseling services to students in grades K-8.

Principals

Individuals holding either an elementary or secondary principal's certificate may serve in the position of middle school principal regardless of the grade arrangement--6-8, 5-8, 4-8, 4-7, etc.

Grade Level Expansion

Individuals holding K-8, 1-8, 4-8, 7-9, or 7-12 certificates who desire a grade level expansion to their certificate must document completion of the minimum of eight (8) semester hours in approved areas of middle school psychology, curriculum/instruction and philosophy/organization and obtain an approved institutional recommendation.

September 1, 1997

Middle school teachers certificated after September 1, 1997, must hold a middle school certificate appropriate to their subject area and grade level assignment.

Who may teach the half-unit course in health required in the high school graduation requirements?

In 2005, the State Board of Education adopted new requirements for all students who graduate from public high schools in Missouri.  One of those requirements includes a half-unit course in health education.  Any person with a valid Missouri teaching certificate in Health Education or Family and Consumer Sciences education may teach the required health education.

What course code do I use for reporting this for Core Data?

The course code  to use is 096840. See Core Data Manual Pages 312-314.  Core Data Reporting 

The course numbers in the core data manual and the Family and Consumer Sciences Implementation Handbook do not match. Which course numbers should I use for my family and consumer sciences courses when reporting them in Core Data?

The numbers preceding the course titles/course descriptions for the family and consumer sciences courses in the Implementation Handbook are numbers used at the state level for federal reporting purposes. Core data is a state reporting system, therefore, you should use the numbers assigned to the family and consumer sciences courses as outlined on page 174 of the “Core Data Collection System Manual”.  The person who prepares the core data for your district will have a copy of this manual.  The family and consumer sciences course numbers for core data reporting all begin with “0968—“. 

There are different core data numbers for Career Development in Family and Consumer Sciences and Career Development/Entrepreneurship. What is the difference between these two courses?

A student competency list for a high school level semester course in Career Development/Entrepreneurship was developed in the 2000-01 school year and is located on the Curriculum & Resources page. This course includes career exploration/development concepts while focusing on entrepreneurship education. 

Career Development in Family and Consumer Sciences is a course (high school or middle level) that provides instruction in career development/exploration.  Student competencies have not been identified on the state level for this course.

If you have questions about core data reporting, please contact the state office.

Who decides when and where the Missouri ACTE conference will be held?

According to Missouri ACTE policy, the conference is held annually on the last full week of the month of July.  The Missouri ACTE Board of Directors, made of representatives of all the divisions of Missouri ACTE, determines the location of the conference on recommendation of its Program Improvement Committee.

Every two years, the Missouri ACTE Board sends out Requests for Proposals (RFP’s) to all Convention and Visitor Bureaus in the state. The proposals submitted in response to the RFP provide Missouri ACTE with information about available hotels, sleeping room and meeting space, and conference rates for each division of Missouri ACTE.

The Missouri ACTE Program Improvement Committee reviews all submitted proposals and makes recommendations to the Missouri ACTE Board of Directors as to the location that will provide accommodations for a high quality conference at the best value for all divisions of the organization. The Missouri ACTE Board votes and awards a two-year contract.

The conference has been held in Springfield for a number of years. Why isn’t it held in centrally located Columbia or another large city such as Kansas City or St. Louis, or the Lake of the Ozarks?

Location in the state is not the deciding factor for determining the conference location. Many other factors contributing to a quality, affordable conference for all members are considered by the Missouri ACTE Board of Directors during the proposal process. Springfield has been chosen the conference location for the past 14 years based on their proposals providing adequate, affordable housing for conference attendees; adequate meeting room and other accommodations needed by the divisions; and, for the other monetary support provided for the conference by the Springfield Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

When other cities have submitted proposals, individual sleeping room rates quoted by participating hotels in those cities have been consistently and significantly higher than those from Springfield, and meeting room space and availability quoted was often not sufficient to meet the needs of all divisions of the organization. Again, providing a high quality conference at the best value for all conference divisions and attendees has been the overall goal for conference location selection.

How are division hotels assigned?

Division hotels are assigned a headquarters hotel based on membership. Sleeping room accommodations and meeting room needs are reviewed and divisions are assigned to the properties that best fit the needs of the division.

Even though Springfield has a large number of hotels, many of the properties do not provide both adequate sleeping rooms AND meeting room space to accommodate individual divisions. Therefore, there are a limited number of hotels that can be utilized by individual divisions that meet their needs for BOTH meetings and sleeping room accommodations for every member.  For this reason, overflow hotels are assigned to each division to accommodate additional sleeping room needs.

Where can I obtain the latest revisions to the guidance curriculum?

The guidance and counseling curriculum lessons were last revised in 2008.  The curriculum lessons, as well as GLEs and unit and lesson templates can be found at the Guidance e-Learning Center.  The Guidance e-Learning Center is the repository for all online guidance and counseling resources. It is highly recommended that this site be bookmarked for future reference.

Are the Missouri Comprehensive Guidance Manual and Comprehensive Guidance Kits (1998 edition, also known as “The Box”) available for purchase?

"The Box" is no longer available for purchase.  Many of the lessons in the box are in the process of being converted electronically with the goal of having them available on the Guidance e-Learning Center. When the lessons are available, word will be sent out via the Guidance Digest Distribution Lists.

Why is a needs assessment necessary and what are the procedures to follow in order to obtain appropriate information?

A curriculum planning survey should be conducted on a schedule that is aligned to the district's regular curriculum review schedule.

The curriculum planning survey provides information for program planning, information that can be shared with policymakers in order to ensure program support, a basis for the selection of goals and teaching units that address the three content areas, and another means for interacting with students, staff and parents.

Because student enrollments by district vary widely in Missouri, it is recommended that the needs survey be administered to a locally determined representative sample of students in grades 3-12, faculty/staff, and parents so that reliable information on which to base revisions of the guidance curriculum can be obtained. That information can, in turn, be used to determine how to meet both the assessed needs of the students and the objectives of the comprehensive guidance and counseling program.

Who is qualified to administer individual psychological/educational tests?

There are no specific statutes that clearly define what courses/number of courses would constitute someone being fully qualified to administer individual psychological/educational tests.

Proper administration and interpretation of such tests would include the expertise to administer, score, interpret and integrate test results with observation of behaviors and other information about the student to make appropriate recommendations for intervention.

In addition to qualification guidelines contained in most test manuals, several professional organizations and Federal regulations have addressed this issue and are referenced below.

Counselors and other school professionals will vary in their abilities to administer individual psychological and educational tests based on their educational background and their experience.

As such, the decision must rest in the hands of the local district, relying on the expertise and experience of the school professional, and on the ethical guidelines established by appropriate professional organizations.

Interested parties may refer to ethical guidelines of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) at www.schoolcounselor.org and the qualifications guidelines in the manual of the tests being administered.

Additional References:

By training and experience the school psychologist and/or school psychological examiner is/are qualified to administer measures of cognitive ability, behavioral, and emotional development.  Other educational staff in your state’s public schools may also have the qualifications to administer these tests. 

Qualifications for test administration are determined by test publishers and are specified in the test manuals.  Other educational staff can assume responsibility for administering assessments in achievement and adaptive behavior.  They may also perform classroom observations.  Such staff may include special education teachers, school guidance counselors, remedial education teachers, classroom teachers, school nurses, and physical education teachers.

How can I obtain information about counselor certification?

For information regarding counselor certification, contact Educator Certification at (573) 751-0051

What is the school counselor’s role in special education?

Special services is an issue that must be addressed directly when the counselor’s job description is defined.  For example, if Special Education funds a percentage of counselor’s time, then that percentage of time must be deducted from the counselor’s time and effort in carrying out the district's comprehensive guidance program.  If the counselor’s time is not funded by Special Education funds, counselor involvement beyond the scope of the district’s comprehensive guidance program will keep them from spending 100 percent of their time in the guidance program.  Since comprehensive guidance program is for all students, there are many activities that include students enrolled in or who are eligible for Special Services.

Among these activities are:
*Participating with a member of the diagnostic team when counseling activities may be required
*Consulting with parents
*Conducting small group and individual guidance and counseling activities
*Conducting in-service training on topics such as team participation, skill or parenting conferencing techniques.

If there are any other questions, do not hesitate to call Guidance and Counseling Services at (573) 751-4383

I am working on the October MOSIS Cycle. I need to know if we are to show an enrollment for our primary and intermediate librarians. In the past, we have not shown an enrollment for librarians, but all of our classes in primary and intermediate do spen

For now just use the 884600 Elementary Librarian code. 

For the October cycle if a teacher/librarian is marked as having 500 students in enrollment, what would need to be reported for the students? Or do we report the librarians the same as last year...just reporting the number of total minutes on one line?

Normally librarians do not report enrollment. 

Last year our policy was that HS students were promoted based on credits earned. Our June MOSIS report shows a large number of students retained in 9th grade. Over the summer we switched Student Information systems and the tech person promoted everyone, r

Ideally you would revise the June MOSIS report to reflect the grade students are in this year.

When students change from full-time to part-time during the school year do I withdraw them as full-time and re-enroll them as part-time? Or do I just indicate the new status on their student info record?

Ideally you would withdrawn them as full-time and re-enroll them as part-time.

We have a fee based preschool program. We require the teachers to hold Pre-K certification. Since this is a fee based program is it necessary for us to report these teachers and students.

We request that all preschool programs be reported. 

Who is considered an educator? Is this district staff that are involved with teaching? Are principals submitted if they don't teach a class? How about school secretaries, counselors, etc... ?

All staff found in Exhibit 3 of the Core Data Manual.

I was under the assumption that there would be a row for each educator per school in this file. However, what is confusing me are the "Late Start Date", "Early End Date" and "Course Comment" fields. These seem to indicate that there should be a row per co

The dates in this file actually refer to late start and early end of positions/schools not the courses for the position or school. The comment is a single field to include comments for all courses related to that position/school.

Is the CTE Program Type an educator field or a course field? Can an educator have more than one Program Type Code per school?

They can have more than one Ed School record with different CTE Program Types.  See the key chart in our October PowerPoint.

While the elementary don't have the specific course codes like middle school and high school, does the fact that we are changing our elementary from K-05 to K-07 affect how those 'middle school' grade levels are reported? As in if the school is a K-07 wi

Self-contained classes do not report a course code. Departmentalized classes do have a course code. The grade level of the school  does not make a difference. 

Yes we plan to report pull out programs as caseloads this fall.

Students at the sites receiving television will be reported with a delivery system that indicates this, right?

Yes that is correct. 

Do you need a history of teachers who are assigned to sections? For instance, Mrs. Smith was assigned to teach Alg 1 from 8/1/08 – 9/1/08 when she retired. Then Mr. Jones was assigned the section 9/1/08 – end of year. Do I need to return a row for Mrs.

Yes a history of teachers who are assigned to sections should be reported.

Should I report the primary teacher only for sections or do all staff members associated with the section get reported? For example, do resource teachers get reported?

All assignments of all educators are reported (including resource teachers).

Field 170 – Course Sequence Number – Rule states ‘CourseSeqNum must be 0 or null since CourseNum is null.’ Does ‘0’ and null both mean that the course is non-multilevel?

Yes ‘0’ and null both mean that the course is non-multilevel.

We are taking a look at our secondary schedules in preparation for the October cycle, we have a class the is like a study hall (Academic Support) that is taught by an Instructional Assistant. How will that effect the October Cycle? We are going to try and

All classes for which student attendance is reported must be supervised by a certificated teacher.

I'm trying to make sure I am understanding grade level correctly. I get that grade level is the instructional grade level at which course curriculum is offered. I get that student enrollment should not exceed the minimum standard on individual grades K-

Performing group (band, vocal music, etc) instructional class enrollments are limited only by the size of the classroom. The standards for class size listed in the MSIP Standards and Indicators Manual can be found on the web.

When you say submit every student for a cycle, is this a correct definition for "every student": All students in attendance on the last day of the 2006-07 school year PLUS new students registered in the district before or during the 2007-08 school year.

Yes.

When will the federal government accept biracial as an ethnic group?

We will be changing to new racial codes over the next 3 years.

Is Migrant Status required for February Cycle?

Yes, Migrant is currently marked as required for February.

Please explain the code "C" in the file layout.

C means it is conditional.  There will be a rule that states when it is required or if it is required to be null or some specific value.

What if school was out the last day in January for a snow day?

That is still the count date, the students who are enrolled on that day are counted.  If the student was enrolled at the end of the previous school day they would still be enrolled on the count day.

When is the February cycle due?

February is a pilot so we will leave it open for awhile like we have the other pilot cycles.

Will the high school also be reporting what Area Career Center they attended?

The high school does report the Area Career center.  CTE attending district code and school code are the fields for that.

What if a graduate had more than 1 CIP and Program Type code?

When reporting you select which Program Type and select which CIP code.  A student can only be reported once.

Do adults need a MOSIS number?

Adults do need MOSIS IDs.  We now have a grade level field "AD" for them.

Do the CTE Codes come from the high school they attended or the career center they attended?

Generally the CTE center should tell the high school what CTE code should be used.

On CTE Attending District Code, the students were enrolled here and attended here half day and were at VoTec school the other half of the day. Would the CTE attending district be the VoTec district code?

Yes the CTE code would be the Vo Tech.

Who is considered an adult?

Adults are those enrolled in a 500+ clock hour program at an Area Career Center where they would earn an industrial recognized certificate. Adults are those attending a CTE program that ends in 10, such as 0110, 0210, 0410.

Does IEP/Disabled include the 504 students?

No, IEP/Disabled do not include 504 students.

Do high schools need to report the follow-up info on vocational schools this year or will this be required in 2009?

It is not required until 2009.

How are students with disabilities reported on the MOSIS December Student Core?

For the December Student Core File, you must must mark “Enrolled on count date” for students who had an IEP & were receiving services on December 1.

What does the Enrolled on Count Date mean?

The definition varies by cycle, but for December it indicates the student has an IEP/service plan and was receiving services on December 1

School-age placement categories used to talk about the percent of time outside the regular class, but now talk about the percent of time inside the regular class. What's the difference?

This is really just a label change and the reporting codes have not changed. “Outside regular education less than 21% of the day” is equivalent to “Inside regular class at least 80% of the day.” You can either use the same calculation you’ve always used, and subtract the percent of time removed from the regular class from 100%, or you can calculate the percent of time inside the regular class as time in the regular class divided by total time.

What placement code do we use for students who are placed in separate or residential facilities?

Students should only be reported in the separate or residential facility placements categories (1402; 1403 and 1701) if they have been placed there by the IEP team and it must be a setting for students with disabilities only. Students in integrated separate schools, even those operated by another school district, possibly by contract, should be reported in the appropriate "Inside Regular" placement categories.

We have students who attend the State School for the Severely Handicapped, Missouri School for the Blind or Missouri School for the Deaf. How do we report these students on the MOSIS December file?

You will not report these students on the MOSIS December File. These students are reported by the State Schools for the Severely Handicapped, Missouri School for the Blind or Missouri School for the Deaf.

We have children who are in an early childhood program in another district. Who should count those children?

A: Early childhood special education students should generally be reported by the district providing the services. 

Child Count is reported by building. Where should I report children who are receiving services from the public school, but not attending public school (private/parochial, home-schooled, early childhood students)?

A: You should report all students who are served by the public school, but are not attending the public school in the building that would be the most appropriate if they were attending the public school (the closest neighborhood school-elementary, middle, or high school). However, if the determination of the most appropriate building is difficult, it is acceptable to select a building or buildings to report all these students since most can be identified through the placement code.

Where would I report students receiving instruction in adult incarceration or in youth services facilities?

Are these students served (and counted) by Department of Corrections or Youth Services? If yes, you should not report them. If no, then report them in the closest school or alternative placement center that would be appropriate using the code 1801 - Correctional Facility.

Can we report all of our Early Childhood children under "YCDD" even if some of them have been identified under another disability category?

No, students should be reported under their identified disability category.

What students are to be reported on Screen 11?

Report students with disabilities who had an IEP in place and were receiving services on December 1.

Is there a reporting guide available to assist me in reporting accurately?

Yes, please see the “Reporting Guidelines for Special Education Child Count” athttp://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/DataCoord/Childcount.html

What information do I need to know about each student?

You need to know the student’s building, age as of December 1, primary disability category, placement or educational environment, gender, race/ethnicity and Limited English Proficiency status.

What is the difference between a student’s “placement” and “educational environment,” and which do I report?

Technically, you should always report the educational environment on Screen 11.  “Placement” is the decision that the IEP team makes, regarding how special education services are to be delivered. The placement decision is required for and recorded on the IEP. The “educational environment” refers to where the child is spending their time. For school-age, if the IEP team decides that services will be provided primarily in the regular classroom, then the educational environment and the placement are the same. The only categories for school age that are truly environments and not placement are the correctional facility and parentally-placed private school student categories. So a student in a local jail would still need a placement decision on the IEP, but for Screen 11 purposes, the code reported should be the correctional facility. ECSE uses only the environment and very rarely can the placement and environment be cross-walked. The IEP still needs to show the placement decision, but the environment needs to be reported on Screen 11.

Where can I find more information on the ECSE educational environments?

School-age placement categories used to talk about the percent of time outside the regular class, but now talk about the percent of time inside the regular class. What's the difference?

This is really just a label change and the reporting codes have not changed. “Outside regular education less than 21% of the day” is equivalent to “Inside regular class at least 80% of the day.” You can either use the same calculation you’ve always used, and subtract the percent of time removed from the regular class from 100%, or you can calculate the percent of time inside the regular class as time in the regular class divided by total time.

Where do I find all of the Special Education codes?

The Core Data Manual has several exhibits that contain special education codes. Exhibit 18 contains disability codes and Exhibit 19 contains educational environment/placement codes.

Should I enter only one student per line on Screen 11?

No. If you enter multiple lines with the same disability and educational environment, the Core Data system will give you an edit.  If you need to add a student, locate the line containing the same disability and educational environment code and revise that line. 

What category do I report students with disabilities who are receiving services from the resource teacher outside of the regular classroom for less than 21 percent of the time?

Students with disabilities who are receiving special education instruction up to 20.9 percent of the time (approximately six hours per week or less depending on your school day) would be counted under 1100-Inside Regular Class at Least 80% of the Day. This would include but not be limited to students receiving speech and language services from a resource speech therapist and students receiving services from special education staff such as LD, ED, etc., even if the class is referred to as a "resource room." The placement category should correspond with the amount of special education services that the student receives inside the regular classroom.

I have a student with a disability who goes to the self-contained teacher for three periods a day and is in a regular classroom for another four periods a day. What placement do I use?

The student's amount of time inside the regular classroom is used to calculate the placement. If it is between 40 percent and 79 percent of the school day (four periods out of seven period day) it would be a placement category of 1201-Inside Regular Class no more than 79% of the day and no less than 40% of the day. 

We have an alternative school that is in a separate building. How do we report those students?

The students could be reported in any of the "Inside Regular Classroom..." categories including 1100, 1201 and 1301. The only time the 1403-Public Separate (Day) Facility category would be used would is if the separate school services only students with disabilities.  (See Question 13 for more information) 

What if the student attends a home, private, or parochial school and is receiving special education services from the school district?

Use codes 2100 - Parentally-Placed Private School Students.

What placement code do we use for students who are placed in separate or residential facilities?

Students should only be reported in the separate or residential facility placements categories (1402; 1403 and 1701) if they have been placed there by the IEP team and it must be a setting for students with disabilities only. Students in integrated separate schools, even those operated by another school district, possibly by contract, should be reported in the appropriate "Inside Regular" placement categories.

We have students who attend the State School for the Severely Handicapped, Missouri School for the Blind or Missouri School for the Deaf. How do we report these students on the December 1 Child Count?

You will not report these students on the December 1 Child Count. These students are reported by the State Schools for the Severely Handicapped, Missouri School for the Blind or Missouri School for the Deaf.

How do we report our "census" children? ("Census" children were children with disabilities who were not receiving any special education and related services in the public school).

"Census" children are no longer reported on Screen 11.  To be included in the child count a child must have an active IEP and be receiving services on December 1.

How do I report five and six-year-olds whom the IEP team suggested continue in early childhood settings rather than starting kindergarten?

Five-year-olds can be coded under school age or early childhood placement categories, so code them accordingly. However, six-year-olds must be coded under a school-age placement category. Select the school-age placement which most clearly reflects the student's placement.

We have children who are in an early childhood program in another district. Who should count those children?

Early childhood special education students should be reported by the district of residence, not by the district providing the services. An exception is St. Louis County where students are reported by the serving district.

Child Count is reported by building. Where should I report children who are receiving services from the public school, but not attending public school (private/parochial, home-schooled, early childhood students)?

You should report all students who are served by the public school, but are not attending the public school in the building that would be the most appropriate if they were attending the public school (the closest neighborhood school-elementary, middle, or high school). However, if the determination of the most appropriate building is difficult, it is acceptable to select a building or buildings to report all these students since most can be identified through the placement code.

Where would I report students receiving instruction in adult incarceration or in youth services facilities?

Are these students served (and counted) by Department of Corrections or Youth Services? If yes, you should not report them. If no, then report them in the closest school or alternative placement center that would be appropriate using the code 1801 - Correctional Facility.

We have early childhood children who receive itinerant services. What building should they be reported in?

You should report these children in the appropriate pre-school/elementary building as if they were receiving services in the pre-school.

Can we report all of our Early Childhood children under "YCDD" even if some of them have been identified under another disability category?

No, students should be reported under their identified disability category.

Do I have to report testing (193100) and case management of IEPs (198600) if teachers do it during their plan time and/or before and after school?

Testing and case management only need to be reported as separate assignments if minutes are dedicated to those functions.  Therefore, if testing or case management of IEPs is done during plan time, before/after school or on an as needed basis, no assignment is needed.

How do I report paraprofessionals/aides?

Special Education aides or paraprofessionals (K-12) can be reported using the appropriate teaching code (most likely 195000 or 195010) or 888200.  In order for ECSE aides to be pulled over to the ECSE expenditure report, the aides must be coded with 195400 (ECSE). 

Personal Aides are reported as Delivery System PA with the appropriate Course Code (usually 195000).  Minutes/Week should reflect the minutes per week for each course code. Other line information should reflect the student to whom they are assigned, i.e. Grade Level and Program Code. 

 

How do I report special education teachers who co-teach with a general education teacher?

Report the special education teacher with the appropriate special education course code (begins with 19), delivery system of CO and a caseload number reflecting the number of students with disabilities in the co-taught classroom.  Report the general education teacher with the appropriate general education course code and student assignment listing which includes all students in the class.  The general education teacher should NOT use the CO delivery system.

Are we required to report ECSE personnel?

Yes, you need to report ECSE personnel on MOSIS October Cycle because the data are used for the ECSE Expenditure Report. Most ECSE teachers will be reported using course code 195400 with a program code of 17 (3 yr, 4 yr, 5 Pre-K).

How do I report speech/language pathologists?

  • For teaching assignments, report as Direct Service/Instruction Speech /Language Pathology – Course Code 195500 and position code 60 (teacher). 
  • For non-teaching assignments, such as diagnostics or oversight of speech implementers, report as Course Code 889000 and position code 90 (ancillary).

How do I report speech implementers?

Use course code 19550 (Speech/Language) and position code 60 (teacher).

How and when should consultation be reported?

a)  Consultation time with other teachers that is written into IEPs and is student directed is reported as course number 193000 – Consultation.  This time would most likely be in the IEP under Supplemental Aides and Services or as Support for School Personnel.

b)  Consultation time that is used for collaboration for co-teaching purposes would most likely be reported as Plan Time.

c)  Incidental consultation (daily/on-going) would not be reported separately.  This time would most likely be included with other minutes already reported.

d)  Consultation time with special education students would be reported using a direct service/instruction course number.

What delivery systems should be used for special education teachers and aides?

Codes and definitions are in Exhibit 14 of the Core Data Manual.  Appropriate delivery systems for special education teachers and aides include:

  • CO – Co-teaching
  • IG – Individual/Small Group
  • SC – Self-Contained
  • LI – Low Incidence Self-Contained
  • PA – Personal Aide (Position Code 80 only)

How do we report educators who are employed by one district (fiscal agent) but who work in another district (participating district)?

A:  The educator will be reported by both the fiscal agent district and the participating district in the following manner:

  • Fiscal Agent District: 
    • MOSIS Educator Core File:  Report educator information, including salary
    • MOSIS Educator School File:  Report educator/school information, including salary and FTE
    • MOSIS Educator Assignment:  Report educator/school/assignment information, using the Program Code 09.  Generally use the appropriate special education assignment code, but the generic 880010 (Contracted Services) code may be used.
    • MOSIS Student Assignment: Would generally not have any student assignments to attach to an assignment with Program Code 09
  • Participating District:
    • MOSIS Educator Core File:  Report educator information, showing $0 salary.  Report the fiscal agent county/district code in the Fiscal Agent field
    • MOSIS Educator School File:  Report educator/school information, showing 0 FTE and $0 salary
    • MOSIS Educator Assignment:  Report educator/school/assignment information, using the Program Code 19.  Use the appropriate special education assignment code
    • MOSIS Student Assignment: Report the student assignment lists for educator assignments, as appropriate

Do we need to report contracted personnel and, if so, how do we report personnel that we contract with to provide special education or related services?

Yes, all personnel providing special education or related services to students with disabilities must be reported.  Report individuals with whom you contract using Program Code 19.  These personnel would not have FTE or salary information reported.  Use the appropriate special education assignment code(s) and report the appropriate minutes for each assignment.

What MOSIS submission is used to report these data?

  • June Cycle Student Core
  • June Cycle Student Enrollment and Attendance

Who are special education exiters?

Special education exiters are students who were receiving special education services at some point during the school year, but are no longer receiving special education services from the district due to 1) returning to regular education as a result of having met the objectives of their IEP, 2) the parent withdrawing the student from the special education program or 3) leaving the district due to graduating, dropping out, transferring to another district, etc.

What are the special education exit codes?

Special education exit codes include those found in Exhibit 20 of the Core Data Manual and the exit codes used in the MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance file.

What does the code "17-Parent Withdrew Student" mean?

This code means that the student was receiving special education services, but the parent decided to withdraw the student from the special education program.  This does not imply that the student was withdrawn from the district. This code can be used at any age/grade.

How is special education exiter data derived from the MOSIS submission?

Aggregated exiting data from the MOSIS June cycle Student Core and Student Enrollment and Attendance are used to populate Core Data Screen 12 – Special Education Exiter Counts by Age and Core Data Screen 13 – Secondary Head Count.

Screen 12 will be populated using both the Special Education Program Exit Code in the MOSIS Student Core file and the Exit Code in the MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance file. If the MOSIS Student Core file indicates a special education exit code of 01-Return to Regular Education or 17-Parent Withdrew Student (from Special Education), that exit code will be used to populate Screen 12.  For students with disabilities without special education exit codes 01 or 17, the students’ final Exit Code in the MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance file will be used to populate Screen 12.

How is special education exit data reported on the MOSIS June Student Core?

A: Special Education exit data is reported through the MOSIS June submission using the fields: SPED Program Exit Code (MOSIS Student Core), Exit Date and Exit Code (MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance) and other demographic information from Student Core. Districts are to report all students with disabilities ages 3-22 who exited special education at any time during the current school year.

Do we still have to report children exiting early childhood special education who will continue receiving special education services in kindergarten?

Beginning with the 2008-09 school year, these children do not have to be reported as a special education exiter. 

Should I report a student who has left the district to be home-schooled?

Yes, students who leave the district and transfer to a home school or private/parochial school should be reported using the appropriate exit codes in the MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance file (see MOSIS Exit_Codes code set).

How do I report a student who has completed his or her IEP goals and objectives and has graduated?

 

  • The “Graduation Requirements for Students in Missouri's Public Schools” states that all students with disabilities who meet state and local graduation requirements by taking and passing regular courses with or without modification and/or successfully achieving IEP goals and objectives shall be graduated and receive regular high school diplomas.
  • Students who complete their IEP goals and objectives and receive a regular high school diploma should be reported with code G01 in the MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance file.
  • Students who reach age 21, or otherwise terminate their education, and who have met the district's attendance requirements but who have not successfully completed the goals and objectives of the IEP, can receive a certificate of attendance and should be reported with code D03 (Dropped Out: Received Cert) in the MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance file.
  • Students who reach age 21 who have not successfully completed the goals and objectives of the IEP and have not met the district's attendance requirements should be reported with code D04 (Dropped Out: Reached Max Age) in the MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance file.

How is the exiting information collected in the June Cycle used?

Data are used to determine the special education dropout and graduation rates for each district.  These data are reported in the Special Education District Profiles, used for the Annual Performance Report to OSEP, and used for monitoring and local determinations purposes.

Which exit categories constitute a dropout?

Any of the exit codes used in the MOSIS Student Enrollment and Attendance file that start with “D” are considered dropout codes.  In short, any student who leaves secondary school (excluding transfers to another district) without graduating with a regular diploma is considered a dropout.   

How are the special education graduation and dropout rates calculated?

A: Currently, the formula of calculating the graduation rate for students with disabilities is as follows:

(Number Graduated with a Diploma/(Number Graduated with a Diploma + Number of Dropouts ages 14-21)) x 100

The dropout rate is as follows:  (Number of Dropouts ages 14-21 / Child Count ages 14-21) x 100

Should I report a student that exited during the summer and thus did not return to school in the fall?

Report the student status as of the end of the year, so if the students haven't transferred yet, you would report them in the Student Enrollment and Attendance File as Remained-Advanced.  If they then move over the summer, you would report them as entering and exiting the district on the first day of school in the fall.

How do we report students who went to Job Corp?

A:  It depends.  Job Corp Centers offer credits towards a high school diploma or a GED.  If the student is pursuing a high school diploma, then he or she would be coded as a transfer; if the student is pursuing a GED, then he or she would be coded as a dropout.

Has the state of Missouri received an ESEA Flexibility Waiver?

Yes, the U.S. Department of Education approved Missouri's ESEA waiver on June 29, 2012, which gives Missouri a single, state-led accountability system for identifying high-performing and struggling schools.

Why did Missouri apply for a waiver?

The state’s ultimate goal is ensuring that all students graduate college- and career-ready through the professional practice of effective teachers and leaders.

Missouri was one of 36 other states and the District of Columbia that have applied for flexibility regarding some specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. Waiver approval allows Missouri to focus on its state-created system of school improvement, the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP). The state now has more autonomy in guiding improvement efforts in its schools by establishing ambitious, yet attainable, goals for schools.

When will the waiver go into effect?

The waiver will go into effect immediately for the 2012-2013 school year. There will be some implementation steps and assurances that will phase in during the upcoming school year and subsequent years thereafter.

What flexibility does the waiver give Missouri?

The waiver allows Missouri to use one aligned system of accountability for school districts. Since 2002, Missouri schools and districts have been held accountable to both the state’s Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) and the requirements of NCLB. Implementing these dual systems simultaneously has generated confusion for schools and the public, especially when reports from each system produce conflicting results. Without the waiver, the percentage of Missouri schools failing to meet a crucial goal under NCLB was expected to increase from the already troubling 2011 results of 87.6 percent.

By implementing an aligned accountability system through the flexibility of the ESEA waiver, Missouri can identify local education agencies (LEAs) in need of improvement and better utilize resources directed at improvement. The state can then provide appropriate support and interventions to help schools meet expectations.

How long will the waiver be in effect?

Missouri’s waiver will take effect for the 2012-2013 school year and remain in place for three years. At that point, the state may request an extension of the waiver. Once Congress passes the next reauthorization of the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) the reauthorized law would take priority over Missouri’s waiver.

What does the waiver mean for students, teachers, parents and families?

Under this flexibility, students, teachers, parents and families will get a more accurate report on the success of their child’s school. With NCLB, a school either did or did not meet adequate yearly progress (AYP), resulting in an accountability system that did not differentiate among the lowest performing schools and schools that needed help in only one or a few areas.

Through MSIP, a school's annual performance report (APR) provides a more complete and comprehensive picture of where a school or district is meeting performance expectations and where it is not. Using 2011 – 2012 school year assessment and graduation rate data, a percentage of schools will be identified as reward, priority, or focus schools. These new school designations will provide a deeper understanding of what resources schools need in order to be successful in their efforts to prepare students to be college- and career-ready. This flexibility allows Missouri to implement an aligned accountability and support system that requires real change in the lowest performing schools, promotes locally-designed solutions based on individual school needs, and recognizes schools for success. When schools are identified, families will know that school and district leaders will adopt targeted and focused strategies for the students most at risk or in need of support and intervention.

Who reviewed Missouri's waiver application?

Missouri's initial application was submitted February 24, 2012. A panel of six peer reviewers at the U.S. Department of Education examined the application and requested further clarification on areas as needed.

Why wasn’t Missouri approved with the first group of round two states?

As part of the waiver application process, the U.S. Department of Education wants to ensure that all students would be supported under one state system of accountability. The Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) has a 20-year history of setting high standards for our students. Missouri's program was unfamiliar to the U.S. Department of Education; therefore, Missouri needed to provide further explanation and clarification of its system. It’s important to note that MSIP 5 and the Educator Evaluation System pilot have been in the works for several years – long before applying for the waiver.

How will the waiver affect the standards/expectations of a child’s academic achievements?

Nothing in the waiver changes the state’s approach to rigorous academic standards. Statewide standards will remain in place. The state has changed the way it will measure each school's ability to help students meet those standards. The primary goal is to ensure all students exit Missouri's K-12 systems college- and career- ready.

What are the main points addressed in the waiver?

States that apply for a flexibility waiver must address three main principles:

  • Principle 1: College and career-ready expectations for all students.
  • Principle 2: State-developed differentiated recognition, accountability and support.
  • Principle 3: Supporting effective instruction and leadership.

Here is an overview of Missouri's ESEA waiver principles:

  • Principle 1
    • Implements college- and career-ready standards for reading/language arts and mathematics in schools statewide.
    • Develops and administers annual, statewide, aligned, high-quality assessments that measure student growth.
  • Principle 2
    • Creates one aligned system of accountability, reducing duplication and making more effective and efficient use of resources throughout the state.
    • Provides more accurate identification of buildings in need of school supports. As a result, more efforts can be spent on supports and determining which buildings truly need intervention.
  • Principle 3
    • Provides greater flexibility at a local level to allow better focus on improving student learning and increasing the quality of instruction in Missouri schools.
    • Improves the effective educational practices and the professional development of teachers, principals and superintendents. Missouri will hold educators accountable for continuous improvement.

Now that the waiver has been awarded, what are the next steps?

Missouri will begin by implementing strategies for improved student achievement for ALL students. The fifth cycle of the Missouri School Improvement Program, or MSIP 5, will guide schools, helping them identify areas for focused improvement. Title 1 schools will be identified as a reward, priority or focus school. A list of those schools will be released in the fall when 2012 data is available.

  • Reward school - Missouri will recognize reward schools throughout the state as models of excellence. Recognition will be based on measures of high achievement for all students and those schools that are making significant progress in closing the achievement gap.
  • Priority school - Priority schools are among the lowest-performing schools in the state when considering the school’s overall student population. If a school is not demonstrating the expected outcomes for students, the Department will intervene with rapid and targeted interventions. The intervention system includes tools and strategies to build capacity at the local level for district-focused school improvement.
  • Focus school - Focus schools are Title 1 schools whose Student Gap Groups are among the lowest-performing in the state according to state assessment results. Interventions and support will assist identified schools in improving the performance of all students, with a particular focus on improving the performance of groups of students that have the greatest achievement gap.

When did the Missouri Option Program begin in Missouri?

In 2002 the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education initiated the Missouri Option Program.  The program is approved by the American Council on Education (owners of the GED Tests) and the Missouri State Board of Education.

How many Missouri Option Program schools are there in Missouri?

The Missouri Option Program has grown to over 230 school districts across the state in urban, suburban and rural areas.

What is the Missouri Option Program?

The Missouri Option Program is designed to target students who have the capabilities to complete Missouri High School Graduation Requirements, but for a variety of reasons lack the credits needed to graduate with their class and are at risk of leaving school without a high school diploma.

The program specifically, targets those students who are 17 years of age or older and are at least one year behind their cohort group or for other significant reasons identified in the local Missouri Option Program plan.

How does the Missouri Option Program benefit a school?

School Districts approved by DESE to participate in the Missouri Option Program can continue to receive average daily attendance funds for the participating students. Additionally, students remain in school and are not required to dropout when it is time to take the GED Tests. Once the school district issues a High School diploma, participants are then counted as graduates.

Note: A credential that includes the word "diploma" will be awarded.  The school district issues a "regular" High School Diploma (the same as awarded to all students by local boards of education).

How does the Missouri Option Program benefit a student?

Students in the Missouri Option Program will be provided guidance and counseling services consistent with the high school program.  Ongoing academic/career advisement will be provided by the Missouri Option Program instructor(s), with supplemental guidance and counseling provided, as needed.  Students will have access to all educational programs and services available in the school district, have the opportunity to stay in school, receive valuable academic and life-skills instruction, earn a High School diploma, and are eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies.

What is required of Missouri Option Program students?

A minimum of 15 hours of academic instruction per week will be provided.  Students must also be enrolled in other school supervised instructional activities (career education courses, elective classes, work experience, etc.) that lead to student's classification by the district as a full-time student.  The school district/eligible agency should provide a level and quality of education that ensures the integrity of the Missouri Option Program and locally issued High School diploma.

School districts may have additional requirements when issuing a regular high school diploma that is consistent with what is required of all students.  They must take the required EOC's and MAP tests appropriate for their age/grade level.  They must take a course in government and the functions of government and pass the required tests related to the U.S. and Missouri Constitutions.  Participants must also complete a half unit course in Personal Finance and Health.  In addition, they must participate in appropriate substantive counseling and life-skills training that will assist them with job-readiness, financial management and independent living skills.

If a student takes the GED, what documentation will the district receive from the state verifying the students results?

The GED Tests are designed to measure the major academic skills and knowledge associated with a high school program of study.  Students enrolled in the Missouri Option Program take (and pass) the GED Tests to demonstrate and document the attainment of high school-level skills.  The GED score report is one of the academic components required for the awarding of a high school diploma by the local district, and as such, is placed in the student's permanent record.  Since the purpose of the Missouri Option Program is to qualify the student for a high school diploma, the scores are only valid in that context.

What happens if a student fails to complete the Missouri Option Program?

Should a student fail to complete other program requirements even if they have achieved a passing score, they will receive neither a high school diploma nor a certificate of High School Equivalence.  Their status will revert to that of a high school dropout.  The student would have to take the GED Test as a dropout to be eligible to earn a GED certificate.

What are some common misconceptions about the Missouri Option Program?

The Missouri Option Program is NOT an "early out" program or "easy out" alternative.  Schools that attempt to use it for these purposes will be disqualified.  It is specifically intended to meet the needs of students who are credit-deficient (for whatever reasons), but who otherwise could be expected to meet regular graduation requirements.  This program is NOT just intended to prepare students for the GED Test; it must provide substantive academic content aligned with the school's regular curriculum and expectations.  Students must attend school regularly and have access to the kind of counseling and support services that are available to all students.

What are the requirements for the faculty in the Missouri Option Program?

Teachers working in this program must have a valid Missouri teaching certificate in any area or in Adult Education and Literacy (AEL).  AEL certification is not required if the educator already has a valid teaching certificate.

Are specific funds available to support the Missouri Option Program?

No. The Missouri Option Program is not a grant program.  However, school districts do receive state aid for attendance of participating students.

How do schools or school districts "sign up" for the Missouri Option Program?

School districts may obtain a Missouri Option Program Application by following the contact information below.  The application process is currently pending Department approval of updated assurances and application form, however if you are interested in starting a program after August, please contact the Missouri Option Program directly.

What is a sheltered workshop?

Missouri sheltered workshops are different from shops in many other states, because they depend heavily on contracted work and the revenue from that work to maintain operations.  They are actually small businesses who hire individuals with disabilities. On the average, a workshop’s contract revenue account for 70-80% of workshop revenue, government assistance 10-24%, and the balance from other grants.  Because of the dependency on contract revenue, Missouri workshops readily respond to customer needs relating to quality, and turn-around time.  Jobs performed include packaging (bagging, shrink wrapping, blister packaging, skin packaging, boxing), assembly (simple to complex), marketing and public relations services (collating, stuffing, and sorting mailings),  products (pallets, wire spools, first aid kits, poultry watering systems, office products, furniture items, etc.). Services are also provided by workshops including, janitorial work, grounds maintenance, commercial laundry operations, microfilming, to mention a few.  Workshops also provide work crews that work in customer facilities.

How are workshops run?

Each workshop is a private not-for-profit corporation overseen by a volunteer board of directors. Board members include local business people, educators, lawyers, accountants, and family members of employees.  The board outlines the general course for a given shop and hires an operational manager for the day to day operations.

How are people paid?

Each workshop has a special certificate from the Department of Labor that allows it to pay sub-minimum wages.  Workshop employees are paid based on their ability to perform in relation to the performance of a person without a disability.  If an employee produces 50% of what a non-disabled person produces, then they receive 50% of what that person is paid (i.e., if the prevailing wage for that job is $8 per hour, the employee receives $4.00 per hour).  These procedures are checked frequently by the Department of Labor.

Because workshops pay less, can they do work for less?

No, not necessarily.  Workshops do not receive the same production per hour as a business hiring non-disabled would receive.  For example, in the comparison above a person that works at the 50% level takes 2 hours to produce what a non-disabled person would produce in 1 hour, so the cost for the same amount of work is still $8, no matter who is doing the work.  Overhead costs may actually be higher for workshops than normal businesses because of the increased supervision needed.  Workshops must depend on quality, flexibility, and a large workforce to sell their services.  What workshops can offer for their customers is a dependable workforce without the headaches of personnel management.

How do workshops obtain business?

Some workshops have their own sales representative(s) who call on local businesses to make them aware of the services the workshop can provide.  Other workshops have joined together in cooperative arrangements to share sales people, and still others depend on the manager to do the sales work.  Much of a workshops business is repeat business, or word of mouth, from satisfied customers.

How many people with disabilities are employed in workshops?

There are 93 workshop corporations located around the state of Missouri.  These shops provide employment for approximately 7500 people with disabilities and approximately 900 non-disabled staff.

What kind of disabilities do workshop employees have?

The majority of workshop employees have been diagnosed with mental retardation or other developmental disabilities.  Other common disabilities include mental illness, head injury, blindness, deafness, seizure disorders, and physical disabilities.  Prior to being hired for employment in the workshop, people must be assessed by the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation to determine whether or not they are capable of working in a competitive environment at this time.  If the Rehabilitation counselor determines they cannot work competitively at this time, he/she will certify them for employment in the workshop.

What role does the state play in the operation of the workshops?

Other than the fact that the state (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) provides some funding, and regulations and guidelines for the establishment and operation of sheltered workshops, and some technical assistance when requested, it's role is minor in the day to day operation of the shops.

What do the workshops do for the community?

Besides the obvious, providing employment, especially for people with disabilities, workshops also put money back into the community.  Payroll, purchase of goods and services, and participation in community affairs are a couple of ways that workshops contribute to the community.  Last year (FY09), Missouri workshops paid approximately $80,000,000 back into their communities, providing a significant contribution to the commerce of those communities.

What can a workshop do for your business?

Workshops can provide a ready and capable workforce, production space, equipment, and transportation of product. Some businesses turn over their entire operations, from receipt of inventory to customer shipping, to the workshop. This provides definite benefits to those businesses in that they are able to concentrate on selling, and not be burdened with a lot of issues like facilities, personnel, overhead burdens (utilities, insurance, etc.). Can one of Missouri’s shops help your business? Without a doubt they could. Contact Sheltered Workshop Section, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, PO Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Call (573) 751-0622 or e-mail[email protected].

Does the Missouri Safe Schools Act apply to students with disabilities?

Yes. However, this state law specifies that its provisions are subject to the state and federal regulations on disciplining students with disabilities. Those provisions come into play primarily where the disciplinary action involves a long-term suspension (defined in question #7) or expulsion, and where a student has been expelled from a prior district and is seeking to enroll in a new one.

Can students with disabilities be removed from school for possession of a dangerous weapon, possession or use of illegal drugs, or sale or solicitation of a controlled substance?

Yes. Such students may be removed from school in several ways: (1) a 45-calendar-day interim alternative educational placement; (2) a court injunction; (3) a long-term suspension or expulsion if the student’s conduct is determined to be unrelated to the student’s disability; or (4) a 45-calendar-day interim alternative educational placement following a decision by a formal due process hearing that the student is dangerous. (The 45-day interim placement also can be renewed through additional due process hearings if the student is deemed to be dangerous.)

Can a school district "stack" suspensions when drugs and weapons are involved?

Yes. When a student is involved with a dangerous weapon or drug situation, there is nothing to prohibit the school district from imposing an initial short-term suspension, followed by a 45-calendar-day alternative interim educational placement, and followed by a long-term suspension or expulsion (if the student’s conduct is then determined unrelated to the disability).

Are school districts required to use 45-calendar-day placement for drugs or weapons, or can they go right to a long-term suspension/expulsion if conduct is unrelated to the student’s disability?

No, a school district is not required to use the 45-calendar-day interim alternative educational placement when a student is involved with a dangerous weapon or drugs. School personnel may consider any unique circumstances in a case-by-case basis and determine if a short-term suspension is best. A school district may proceed immediately to a long-term suspension or expulsion if the IEP team determines the conduct is unrelated to the disability. As stated above, the school district may also "stack" suspensions. This means a school district could short-term suspend a student to allow time to convene the IEP team to determine if the child’s disability is related to the behavior that is subject to the disciplinary action (manifestation determination). If the conduct is determined to be unrelated to the student’s disability, a long-term suspension or expulsion may then be imposed.

How does the school district remove students with disabilities from school if they are dangerous or violent?

There are four options: (1) A court injunction; (2) a due process hearing order for a 45-calendar-day alternative interim educational setting; (3) a long-term suspension or expulsion if the conduct is unrelated to the disability; or, (4) a change of placement through the IEP process to a more restrictive environment based on needs of the student. This last method cannot be used as a long-term suspension/disciplinary option. 

When a student with a disability is suspended for more than 10 days in a school year, does the student still receive services?

When a student with a disability is suspended for more than 10 days in a school year, but is not long-term suspended, the school district administration, in consultation with the child’s teacher, will determine which services are needed to enable the child to appropriately progress in general curriculum and appropriately advance towards achieving goals set out in the IEP. 

What is considered a "long-term" suspension?

A long-term suspension is a suspension in excess of 10 consecutive days or in excess of 10 days cumulatively where a pattern of suspension is created. To determine whether a pattern is created, school districts must consider:

1) if the series of removals total more than ten(10) school days cumulatively in a school year;

2) if the child’s behavior is substantially similar to the child’s behavior in previous incidents that resulted in the series of removals; and,

3) such additional factors as length of each removal, the total amount of time the child has been removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another. 

When can students with disabilities be long-term suspended or expelled?

Students with disabilities may be long-term suspended or expelled if the conduct leading to the discipline is unrelated to the student’s disability. However, even where the conduct is unrelated, the student must continue to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and services which allow for continued progress in general education curriculum pursuant to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) during the period of long-term suspension or expulsion. 

Services must continue to a student with a disability who has been long-term suspended or expelled. Is a homebound placement an option and who determines this?

The IEP team determines placement and changes in placement. Homebound placement may be an appropriate option to consider as are alternative schools, or contractual arrangements with other districts or private agencies or mutually agreed sites off school grounds. 

Do students have a right to services when short-term suspended?

No. Students who receive short-term, out-of-school suspensions do not have a right to continued services. Students with disabilities who are short-termed suspended must be provided any services provided to nondisabled students. An example is providing homework to students who are short term suspended. However, if such students have been suspended in excess of 10 days cumulatively, the school administrator, in consultation with the student’s teacher, will determine if a pattern of suspensions exists. If no such pattern is determined, school personnel, in consultation with at least one of the child’s teachers, determine the extent to which services are required on the 11th day and thereafter.

See Question and Answers 6 & 7.

If the child is under age 18 and living with another family (related or non-related), who is the educational decision maker? Does it matter if the parent lives in another district?

The adult that the student lives with is considered to be “acting as a parent” with implicit authority from the natural parent(s) to act as an educational decision-maker, unless the natural parent has informed the school district that despite the fact that their child is living elsewhere, they intend to continue to be the educational decision-maker. It is advisable for a school district to clarify the intent of the natural parent(s) when a child is living outside the home by sending a letter to the parent and indicating that the school will look to the adult the child lives with, to make educational decisions, unless the parent notifies the school otherwise. This way there is no confusion. The district in which the child is living is the district that serves the student.

Can the Division of Children’s Services case worker be the educational decision maker?

A Division of Children’s Services case worker can temporarily serve as an educational decision maker until an educational surrogate has been assigned by the Department of by the judge overseeing the child’s case. The responsible public agency must, however, pursue that assignment without delay. (Also see, Educational Surrogate Q&A)

Can the foster parent be the educational decision-maker?

Yes, a foster parent is the educational decision-maker, as the foster parent is considered to be “acting as a parent.”

When parents have equal decision making rights and they don’t agree on consent, what do you do when one parent signs consent and the other objects?

Consent is only required to be obtained from one parent. The school can proceed with the process for which consent was obtained and the opposing parent has procedural safeguard rights, including due process hearing rights, assuming that they are indeed joint educational decision-makers. The same is true when a parent revokes consent for special education services.

Can another person stand in for a parent as the educational decision maker? What if he/she sends a signed note? What if he/she gives permission over the phone?

In general a parent cannot give away their educational decision-making rights. There are exceptions, like when the child is living with someone else who is acting as a parent or when a parent provides a Power of Attorney to someone, which transfers their rights. But practically speaking, the only time the status of educational decision-maker is really going to be at issue is when consent is needed, or written notice is being provided. As for attendance at IEP meetings, there is nothing to obligate a responsible public agency to convene an IEP meeting with a person the parent has indicated in a note or phone call will “act on the parent’s behalf.”

What do state and federal regulations require when determing the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for preschool children with disabilities?

State and federal regulations require that:

  1. A variety of placement options are available to meet the unique needs of the child (see Question 3.2 below)

  2. Placement is based upon the child’s IEP

  3. Placement is determined by the child’s IEP team

  4. Placement is determined annually

  5. At least annually, the IEP team must consider whether all of the special education and related services can be provided with non-disabled peers in a regular education setting with appropriate supplementary aids & services, accommodations and modifications.

  6. In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs

  7. A child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general curriculum.  For preschool children “regular classroom or “regular education” means settings that are designed primarily for children without disabilities and “general curriculum” refers to age-appropriate activities.

The LRE expectations set forth in IDEA clearly encompass preschool age children as well as children in grades K-12. Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilites from the regular education environment should occur only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes (or for preschool, setting designed primarily for children without disabilities) with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

 

What are the placement options for ECSE students?

State regulations list several placement options for preschool children.

Early Childhood Setting. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in educational programs designed primarily for children without disabilities.  No education or related services are provided in separate special education settings.

Some characteristics/examples of the above setting are:

  • Designed for children without disabilities

  • The special education teacher and or/therapist travel to the child and provide the services in the integrated setting (The child is not pulled from the classroom for the special education and related services.)

  • Daycare (Public or Private [not parochial])

  • Preschool (Public or Private [not parochial])

  • Head start

  • Home/early childhood combinations

  • Etc.

  • May be a collaborative program this is designed for children without disabilities, where the ratio of children without IEPs is equal to or higher than that of children with IEPs.  These classrooms could be team-taught or taught by one teacher who has a split position.  Examples of these combined programs include:

 

  • Title I/ECSE classroom

  • District Early Childhood/ECSE classroom

  • Headstart/ECSE classroom

  • Missouri Preschool Project (MPP)/ECSE classroom

Early Childhood Special Education Setting. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in educational programs designed primarily for children with disabilities housed in regular school buildings or other community-based settings.  No special education or related services as designated by an IEP are provided in an early childhood setting.

Some characteristics/examples of this setting are:

  • Designed for children with disabilities

  • Centerbased/self-contained

  • Integrated ECSE (formerly reverse mainstream)

  • Special education classrooms in trailers outside regular school building

Home. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in the principal residence of the child’s family or caregivers. 

Some characteristics/examples of this setting are:

  • Child's home

  • Foster home

  • Extended family's home (grandparent, aunt, etc.)

Part Time EC/Part time ECSE setting. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in multiple settings, such that: (1) general and/or special education and related services are provided at home or in educational programs designed primarily for children without disabilities AND (2) special education and related services are provided in programs designed primarily for children with disabilities.

Some characteristics/examples of this setting are:

  • Services are provided in two different placements

  • Home  + Itinerant Service Outside the Home

  • Home + ECSE

  • Early Childhood Setting + Itinerant Service Outside the Home

  • Early Childhood Setting + ECSE

Residential Facility. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in publicly or privately operated residential schools or residential medical facilities on an inpatient basis. 

Note:  Only use this option when the IEP team has determined that the child needs to be placed in a residential facility in order to receive FAPE, not because the child is already placed in a residential facility by another agency or because the location for the provision of services is located such a distance from the child’s home that residing in the facility is necessary. In those cases, another placement option would be used, such as Home, EC, ECSE, or Separate School. 

Separate School. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in educational programs in public or private day schools specifically for children with disabilities.

Itinerant Service Outside the Home. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services at a school, hospital facility on an outpatient basis, or other location for a short period of time (i.e., no more than 3 hours per week).  These services may be provided individually or to a small group of children.

This placement option would be used in the following instances:

  • The service is being provided at a location other than the child’s home

  • The child comes to the teacher (the service is being provided in a resource or non-school location, not in an integrated classroom setting)

  • The teacher or service provider goes to the child’s preschool/childcare setting, but provides services in a “pull-out” fashion—separating the child from children without disabilities

  • The service is being provided for a short period of time (3 hours or less per week)

  • The service is being provided to an individual child or a small group of children

Examples of this would be:

  • The child is receiving speech only services for 120 minutes per week.  The SLP goes to the child’s preschool, but provides the services one-on-one in a separate room

  • The child is receiving 60 minutes of speech and 120 minutes of OT per week.  For the speech, the child comes to the public school building, but receives the services in a small group in the speech resource room.  For the OT, the child goes to the local hospital’s rehabilitation clinic.

  • The child receives 30 minutes per week of specialized instruction in a small group pull-out setting and 15 minutes consultation is provided to the Early Childhood staff, at the child’s childcare center.

  • The child receives 60 minutes of ECSE teacher services weekly, pullout from Head Start, and 30 minutes consultative services from the SLP in a separate room at the Head Start, monthly with parent and Head Start staff present.

How can the LEA meet the federal and state requirements for LRE since all school districts do not make preschool or child care services available to all 3-5 year old children?

While the options for LEA early care and education programs have been increasing, not all school districts operate regular education preschools or childcare programs.  It was not the intent of the law that schools should be required to initiate those programs solely to satisfy the LRE requirements.  Districts need to be aware of and collaborate with Head Start and other non-parochial community preschool/childcare programs so that whenever appropriate, children can receive their special education and related services in Early Childhood settings.  In many cases children are already attending these settings and special education, related services, supplementary aids and services can appropriately be provided to the child in that location.  LEAs should also engage in ongoing short and long-range planning that leads to effective use of the itinerant/consultative approach to services.  Where district preschool/childcare programs are available, collaboration within the district is important to facilitate the collaboration and cooperation between the regular and special education programs to enhance the options for regular education placements.  Districts can also use Integrated ECSE (Reverse Mainstream) classrooms to provide a higher level of integration than a self contained classroom, however these classrooms are considered special education settings and they should be considered only after considering if an Early Childhood setting is appropriate.

If parents have enrolled their child in a preschool or daycare and the IEP team determines that their services will be provided there, does that obligate the district to pay for the preschool/daycare?

Not necessarily. The school is not obligated to pay tuition for any of the time involving itinerant services (pull out one-on-one or small group or consultation). The school is only obligated to pay tuition for the specific amount of time designated in the IEP for special education, related services and supplementary aids and services that are provided in the integrated setting. 

IEP teams need to carefully consider what special education, related service, supplementary aids, and service modifications and adjustments are necessary to address the IEP goals and objectives. While most people would agree that all children can benefit from pre-school experience, it is not the school’s responsibility to pay for these experiences with state or federal special education funds. These funds cover the cost of specialized instruction (above and beyond the curriculum and individualized instruction provided to all children in the class) related services, supplementary aids and services supports to school personnel, modifications and accommodations required by and documented on the child’s IEP.

How is the IEP team’s decision regarding LRE for ECSE children documented on the IEP?

There are three places on the IEP that the teams’ decisions regarding LRE are documented.  One is in the section called “Extent of Participation in Regular Education.”  One is in the section on “Placement Considerations and Decisions.” And one is in the Services Summary section when the team identifies the location for provision of services.

(For an example of these sections of the IEP, readers are directed to the State Model IEP on the Division of Special Education website at dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/index.html#Special Education Process). 

In the “Services Summary” section of the IEP the team will determine, for each service identified, the location where that service will be provided.  This should be more general, rather than specific (e.g., EC setting, not ABC Preschool, Headstart or Cooperative Program or ECSE setting, not center-based or integrated ECSE (Reverse mainstream, etc.) 

In the “Extent of Participation in Regular Education” Section, the IEP must indicate whether or not all of the child’s special education and related services are provided with non-disabled peers in a regular education setting. If the answer is “no”, then there must be a statement of the extent that the child will not receive his special education and related services with non-disabled peers and why integration with non –disabled peers in a regular education setting is not appropriate for this student.   

In the “Placement Considerations and Decisions” section on the IEP, the LEA must document which placement options were considered and the box for Early Childhood setting must always be checked under options considered so that it will be clear that integration with non-disabled peers in a regular education setting was considered.

 

For students who receive all or part of their services in a district center-based program, how does this affect placement and documentation of services on the IEP for an ECSE Child?

Districts are encouraged to look at all possible ways in which they can develop both effective and efficient programs to provide educational services to young children.  In the case where a district has established cooperative Early Childhood programs which serve both disabled and non-disabled children (i.e., Title I/ECSE), the same considerations and documentation on the IEPs of children with disabilities as was discussed in Questions 3.2 & 3.5 above would apply.   

When you document the extent of participation in regular education sections of the IEP, you are only addressing the period of the time the child received special education and related services-not the entire period of time the child might happen to be in an Early Childhood setting. Again, as in the answer to question 3.4, the team needs to carefully consider what special education, related services, supplementary aids and services modifications and adjustments, supports to school personnel are necessary to implement the IEP. (Over and above the instruction provided to all students in the class). 

If the child receives all his special education and related service in the cooperative Early Childhood classroom (not pull out), the placement is Early Childhood setting. If some of the special education, related services or supplementary aids and services are provided through pull-out and some are provided in the class room, the placement is part-time Early Childhood/part-time Early Childhood Special Education and the IEP must show documentation for the extent of and reason for the pull out services. 

It is important to remember that placement decisions are driven by the needs of the individual child as determined by the IEP and are not based upon how the district has chosen to administer their Early Childhood programs. State and federal regulations require that a range of placement options be available to provide for the Least Restrictive Environment needs of each child. 

For more information on effective instructional practices and funding of programs for children with disabilities, contact the Division of Special Education,

Effective Practices Section (573-751- 0187 or [email protected] or the Funds Management sections at 573-751-0622 or [email protected].  For more information regarding documentation of placement for an ECSE child, contact the Compliance Section at 573-751-0699 or [email protected].

What do we do when a parent has enrolled their child in a preschool or daycare (Early Childhood setting), the IEP team has determined that the child’s special education and related services will be provided in that Early Childhood setting and then the

The district would need to locate another integrated (Early Childhood) setting where the services could be provided.

Where/how do you document regular education minutes on the IEP?

See the answer to Question 5 above. State and federal regulations no longer require that regular education minutes be documented on the IEP.  The extent of participation in regular education is now documented by indicating if the child will receive all of his special education services with non-disabled peers in a regular education setting. If not, documentation must show the extent of time the special education will not be provided in a regular education setting and the reasons why.

If an ECSE teacher is monitoring a child in a regular preschool, and the service is consultative, would the minutes be listed as 0?

NO.  Consultative services would be noted as follows: 

Consultation can be the special education service, if that is the only special education service provided.  

Sometimes, a student's specialized instruction can come from the regular education teacher who receives assistance through consultation from a special educator in order to provide the modifications, accommodations, or adaptation of the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction required in the student's IEP.  While the consultation time would not be direct services to the student, the IEP minutes for services would reflect the minutes in the instructional program directed by the IEP.  For example, the goals are addressed during sharing time and the student's IEP directs the time during that activity, then the minutes on the IEP for special education instruction will equal the minutes for sharing time or the portion of sharing time required to address the goal(s).  Additional services provided as consultation to the teacher and/or the student by the special educator would also be listed and designated as consultation for "X" number of minutes.  The minutes of services are not always direct instruction by a special educator.   

When consultation is not the only special education service, it is generally listed as supplementary aids and services. The regulations require that the amount of time, the frequency, the duration and the location be listed for supplementary aids and services.

Do students who have met ECSE eligibility criteria in the past now require a reevaluation to determine eligibility for YCDD or another categorical eligibility?

No.

How are children who have previously been identified under the ECSE criteria reported to DESE for childcount purposes?

You may find the instructions for doing this on the web at dese.mo.gov/divspeced/DataCoord/
specialeducationcategoriesold&new.htm

Can a child go to kindergarten with a YCDD diagnosis?

It depends. If a district has adopted the policy to identify 3 to pre-K 5 year olds using the YCDD category and has also chosen to allow the continuation of that criteria for Kindergarten-age eligible children (age 5 by August 1), then for any children previously identified as ECSE/YCDD, the IEP team can choose to continue that non-categorical label until they are first-grade age eligible (age 6 by August 1).  It should be noted that, whatever the categorical label, once the child turns Kindergarten age eligible, ECSE grant funds may not be used to pay for the child’s services.

Can a kindergarten child receive services in ECSE?

Yes. If a child has been identified and served with ECSE services previously, the IEP team can choose to continue to provide ECSE services during the kindergarten year.  However, as noted in Question 3 above, ECSE grant funds may not be used to pay for this placement.  This is not a change from previous regulation. IEP teams should carefully consider the issue of number of hours in an ECSE placement versus the number of hours a child in kindergarten in their district receives (half-day or full-day kindergartens). The IEP needs to document the appropriate child-related reason, if the hours are less. IEP teams also need to carefully review the issue of LRE in making the decision to continue another year of ECSE service, which typically means the kindergarten-aged child will remain among preschool-aged children.  This may be appropriate, but the IEP team needs to carefully consider whether or not this is the LRE based upon all of the child’s educational needs.

When social/emotional behavior is the only area for delay, is a licensed psychologist still required?

NO.  Professional judgment is sufficient to identify a delay. 

Are sensory issues considered under physical or adaptive?

For children with sensory disabilities, the team would have some options.  If their district policy allowed them to use all of the disability categories for determination of eligibility, then they could determine the child eligible under Visual Impairment/Blindness or Hearing Impairment/Deafness.  If the district’s policy is to only use the YCDD category for 3, 4 and pre-k 5 year olds, then the team would need to look at how the sensory impairment affects the child’s educational progress in each of the areas covered under YCDD—Cognitive, Adaptive, Social/Emotional, Communication, Physical.

How is the communication area of delay interpreted?

If a district allows both a YCDD and a categorical diagnosis, the eligibility determination team has the option of determining the student eligible under YCDD, or the team can consider the categorical areas of language impairment, sound system disorder, voice, or fluency. 

When considering Language Impairment, the criteria is 2.0 standard deviations below peers for that age group (refer to 1500 - Language Impairment, in theCompliance Standards & Indicators Manual). In this case, receptive and expressive language can be looked at separately and 2.0 standard deviations in either area would qualify the child as eligible. The evaluation report must document the results of two standardized assessments that measure the same areas of language. 

If the team is using YCDD as the only option then the team must substantiate a communication delay by assessing all the areas of communication as they relate to the child’s educational needs. When looking at categorical eligibility for language delays, two assessments measuring the same area of language are not needed, but delays must be documented overall (expressive and receptive). Sound system (1.5) and language (1.5) do not count as two separate areas when considering a YCDD diagnosis.  However, sound system can qualify as a stand-alone delay for YCDD if the child’s sound production is outside the limits of normal development as established for same age peers. 

To use speech-sound system disorder, voice, or fluency either as YCDD delays or as categorical area, use the criteria in 1600 - Sound System Disorder800 - Speech/Voice1700 - Speech/Fluency.

Are we required to test gross motor if the child only has fine motor concerns?

The Missouri State Plan now uses terminology consistent with language in the federal regulations. As a result, the former fine/gross motor area is now referred to as the physical area. Eligibility determination needs to focus on the overall physical development for the preschool child, particularly as it relates to the child’s educational needs. The delays in motor refer to an overall motor score of 2 standard deviations.  Keep in mind that, even though the child may not qualify for YCDD in the motor (physical) area, OT and PT can be provided as related services if the child is determined eligible based on another area of development and the IEP determines OT or PT is necessary for the child to benefit from special education.

If a student has a 1.5 SD in fine motor and a 1.5 SD in language, do they qualify?

No. The motor area must be 1.5 overall with both fine and gross motor and they must have a 1.5 SD in communication.

Will the state schools require a categorical diagnosis to accept students?

No.  The State Schools for the Severely Handicapped (SSSH) will be looking for evidence that the child meets the cognitive requirement and that the child needs support across all life areas and whether there is a justification for a separate school placement.  (See Section XI in the Missouri State Plan for Implementing Part B).

For First Steps students, do we have to follow the 30-day timeline between diagnosis and IEP if the evaluation is completed well in advance of the third birthday?

It depends.  The regulations require that, for children who are being served in the Part C system (First Steps), by the time the child is 2 years, 6 months of age, with the parent’s permission, the local school district be notified and invited to attend a transition IFSP meeting and that an IEP be in place to allow for the provision of services for an eligible child no later than their third birthday.  Exceptions to this occur when the district was not made aware of the child in sufficient time to complete an evaluation and develop the IEP or when a child’s third birthday falls during a normal vacation period for the school.   

 For children whose birthdays are May through August, their parent may elect for them to stay in First Steps until local districts begin operation in the fall. Students whose birthdays are in April can either stay in First Steps or begin services in Part B in their local district.  In both of these cases, the district must determine the child’s eligibility in the Part B system in order for the child to be able to continue with Part C services. According to the Office of Special Education Programs, an IEP must be developed within 30 days following a child’s determination of eligibility, except in the cases noted above where the child’s parents, because of the month in which their birthday falls, elects for them to remain in First Steps under an IFSP, the IEP can be developed any time prior to the beginning of the school year in which the child transitions to Part B services. For more information on transition of children from Part C to Part B, see the Missouri State Plan for either Part B or Part C and the Special Education Compliance Program Review Standards and Indicators Manual.

Who can serve as the regular education teacher for a child who is eligible for ECSE?

For preschool children, the regular education teacher can be

  • a Title 1 preschool teacher

  • a public school preschool teacher

  • a community preschool teacher/childcare teacher

  • an integrated ECSE teacher

  • a Head Start teacher

  • Title1/ECSE cooperative teachers

  • ECSE teachers who also hold an EC (PK-3) certificate

  • Kindergarten teachers.

Who determines who will serve as the regular education teacher in the child’s IEP?

The public agency must determine the most appropriate person to serve as the regular education teacher on each child’s IEP.   

When applicable, the regular education teacher participating in a child’s IEP meeting should be the teacher who is, or may be, responsible for implementing the IEP, so that the teacher can participate in discussions about how best to teach the child.

What is the role of the regular education teacher in the IEP meeting?

The regular education teacher of a child with a disability, as a member of the IEP team, must, to the extent appropriate, participate in the development, review, and revision of the child’s IEP, including assisting in the determination of:

  1. appropriate positive behavioral interventions and strategies for the child, and

  2. supplementary aids and services, program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the child.

Does a regular education teacher have to be present for every IEP meeting?

No, with the exception of the initial IEP meeting as indicated in Question 3.23 above.  Whether or not a regular education teacher must attend all or any part of an IEP meeting must be determined on a case-by-case basis by the public agency, the parents, and other members of the IEP team.  The decision must be based on a variety of factors. 

Thus, while a regular education teacher is a member of the IEP team, the teacher may not (depending on the child’s needs and the purpose of the specific IEP meeting) be required to:

  •  Participate in all decisions made as part of the meeting

  •  Be present throughout the entire meeting, or

  •  Attend every meeting.

For a preschool child, a regular education teacher must participate in discussions of appropriate preschool activities to ensure the child’s involvement and progress in appropriate preschool activities and what accommodations/modification would need to be provided for both the child and for the child’s adult caregivers to enable the child to participate in the regular education environment (early childhood setting). However, it may not be necessary for the regular education teacher to participate in a meeting or part of a meeting where the team is determining the extent of a particular related service that would be necessary for the child, unless the regular education teacher would have some responsibility for assisting in the implementation of the related services.

If the IEP team has determined that the regular education teacher does not need to be present at an IEP meeting, must that be documented and how/where would that be done?

Yes, the team’s decision must be documented. This could be done in a number of ways.  It could be indicated both on the IEP meeting notification in the “participants invited to attend” section and also on the IEP in the section where the meeting participants are listed.  The documentation would read something like “The IEP team determined that participation of the regular education teacher was not necessary for this IEP meeting.”  Documentation could also be in IEP meeting notes, in a parent contact log, etc. 

What is the School Entry Assessment Profile (SEAP) and is ECSE required to complete it?

No, ECSE staff are not required to complete the SEAP. 

The School Entry Assessment Profile (SEAP) was developed as part of the work of Governor Carnahan’s Show Me Results Early Childhood Education Interagency Team.  The SEAP is a comprehensive effort to gather information on the school-readiness of children after they have entered kindergarten in Missouri public schools.  Policy makers use the results of each year’s study to improve educational, social, and health services for young children and their families. 

A random selection of 10% of kindergartens is made. Selected kindergarten teachers must agree to a one-day training.  The SEAP involves a 65-question survey that each teacher completes on each child about 6 weeks after the school year begins.  Parents also must complete a survey.   

These items reflect important entry-level skills in knowledge, behaviors or disposition in seven (7) areas of development. These areas are: symbolic development, communication, mathematical/physical knowledge, working with others, learning to learn, physical development and conventional knowledge.  

As the purpose of the SEAP is to assist statewide decision-making, no participating schools receive results, other than the statewide report.  The reader can find more information regarding the SEAP at:http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/fedprog/earlychild/seap.pdf

If districts are not required to administer the SEAP, why does the first performance goal in the Missouri State Plan include SEAP results?

The SEAP was developed as a way to measure readiness of all children in Kindergarten.  The Division elected to use participation in the SEAP as a way to compare the readiness of children with disabilities with that of children without disabilities.  It is a way to measure improvement in skills over time.

What can ECSE staff do to increase these results for young children with disabilities?

The first place to start is to examine the practices, curriculum, appropriate goals and objectives/benchmarks, etc. with regard to the seven (7) areas of development as listed in Question 3.29.  ECSE staff needs to begin examining how their instructional practices can improve student outcomes on the SEAP and other elementary experiences.

What about collaborative efforts with Head Start?

Collaborative efforts between ECSE staff and Head Start staff enhance all children’s readiness to move to their elementary years. When ECSE staff provide service directly to children with disabilities in Head Start and join forces on Professional development activities, all children gain.

Why were the ECSE technical assistance bulletins pulled from the WEB?

Four Show Me How TA documents were pulled from the CISE Web site during the fall of 2001 because each included outdated information that has not been updated.  These document titles were: 
          “Helping children and families transition into ECSE” (Feb-97), 
          “Reevaluation: ECSE to KG” (May-97), 
          “Understanding early childhood LRE requirements” (Feb.-97), and 
          “Another ECSE Service Delivery Model Choice” (February 2000).  
Most of the changes needed in these documents are due to the 1997 IDEA re-authorization and changes in the Missouri State Plan that took effect on October 1, 2001.

Will DESE be developing a new ECSE brochure?

Yes, the ECSE tri-fold brochure is in the process of being updated.  When the updates are completed the field will be notified of how they can obtain copies of the revised brochure.

Does the Division have plans to update the Show Me How II manual?

No, the Division does not have plans to update the Show Me How II Manual.  Rather, ECSE staff are encouraged to watch for the new technical assistance document series entitled "ECSE Practices."  Each "ECSE Practices" document will address a current issue in providing appropriate special education and related services for children eligible for ECSE services.  The information will clarify a variety of topics for professionals and paraprofessionals in the ECSE field.  

Due to the changing nature of special education topics, the delay in approving/printing manuals, and the technological opportunities now available, these issues will be available exclusively on the WEB at http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/EffectivePractices/ ECSEpage.html under Related Links, ECSE Practices.

How do I obtain information from DESE regarding ECSE as well as other special education topics (data collection, funding, etc.)

The Division distributes critical information in a number of ways, but most often through SELS (Special Education Listserv) messages.  Each district has identified one individual to receive messages through SELS.  It is then up to that individual to distribute the messages to others in the district on a “need to know” basis.  SELS messages are also archived on the Division’s website and can be accessed by anyone with an interest by going tohttp://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Administration/
ListServPostings/LSPostings.html

You can reach DESE staff at the following phone numbers Compliance 573-751-0699 or[email protected]
Effective Practices 573-751-0187 orwebreplyspeep@dese.mo.gov
Funds Management 573-751-0622 orwebreplyspefm@dese.mo.gov
Data Coordination 573-526-0299 or webreplyspedc@dese.mo.gov
Information is also available on the DESE web site

What do the regulations say concerning extended school year?

Federal Regulations 300.106 state the following:

The term Extended School Year services means special education and related services are provided to a child with a disability:

a. beyond the normal school year of the public agency,

b. in accordance with the child’s IEP,

c. at no cost to the parents of the child,

d. and meet the standards of the State Education Agency (SEA).

Each public agency shall ensure that Extended School Year services are available as necessary to provide FAPE.

Extended School Year services must be provided only if a child’s IEP team determines, on an individual basis, that the services are necessary for the provision of FAPE to the child.

In implementing the requirements for ESY, a public agency may not:

a. limit Extended School Year services to particular categories of disability, or

b. unilaterally limit the type, amount, or duration of those services. 

When is a student determined eligible for ESY?

The consideration of eligibility for services must be done at the initial IEP and at least annually thereafter. The IEP of each child with a disability must document that the IEP team has considered the child’s eligibility for ESY. The IEP must state whether the team has determined that the child:

a. is eligible for ESY,

b. is not eligible for ESY, or

c. the decision of eligibility will be determined at a later date.

If the team has determined that the student is eligible for ESY, but is unable at that time to determine what specific services the child will receive during ESY, they must reconvene at a later date to determine services. If the team has decided that they will determine eligibility for ESY at a later date, again, they must reconvene to make that determination. While there are no specific guidelines regarding a time frame to which the team must adhere when making either of these determinations, the public agency must ensure that a determination of eligibility and a decision regarding any services to be provided during ESY be made prior to the end of the regular school year.

It is recommended that if there is insufficient data at the time of the initial IEP meeting to determine whether or not the child is eligible for ESY services, the team should specify a time frame and those methods that will be used to collect data to determine the appropriateness of ESY at a future IEP meeting.

How is a student determined eligible for ESY?

Students eligible for ESY are those students who require an extension of their educational program beyond the school year. The purpose of ESY services is not to provide the student with an opportunity to continue to progress toward existing annual goals or to initiate new goals. Extended School Year services are intended to prevent serious regression on existing goals.

Even though the regulations include a section addressing requirements for ESY, case law is still used for guidance on what criteria an IEP team must use to determine a child’s eligibility for ESY services. The seminal Extended School Year case in Missouri is Yaris v. Special School District, 558 F. Supp. 545 (E.D. Missouri 1983). In Yaris, the court held that the school year for special education students cannot arbitrarily be limited to 180 days. Because special education students require individualized programs, an Extended School Year may need to be part of an individual student’s program. Yaris also recognized the importance of regression/recoupment considerations in determining whether a 180-day school year meets the individualized program needs of a specific student; however, subsequent case law established that documented regression/recoupment cannot be the sole determining factor for Extended School Year eligibility—prediction of regression/recoupment must also be considered. In addition to documented and predicted regression/recoupment, case law from various jurisdictions has also suggested the following factors IEP teams could consider in making their determination of eligibility for ESY services:

a. the nature of the child’s disability,

b. the severity of the disability,

c. the areas of learning crucial to the child’s attainment of self-sufficiency and independence,

d. the child’s progress, behavioral, and physical needs

e. any opportunities to practice skills outside the formal classroom setting (the more functional the skill, the more opportunities the child has to practice it),

f. the availability of alternative resources,

g. areas of the child’s curriculum that need continuous attention,

h. the child’s vocational needs,

i. the ability of the child’s parents to provide educational structure at home,

j. the opportunity for the child to interact with nondisabled peers.

As with all other programming needs, it is recommended that the need for ESY be documented via data gathered on the student’s performance in relation to the IEP goals and objectives/benchmarks. 

How should ESY decisions be documented?

The Compliance Section of the Office of Special Education has established criteria for documentation of ESY decisions. First, the IEP must document the team’s decision regarding the student’s eligibility for ESY—eligible, not eligible, or to be determined at a later date. Second, for those students who are determined eligible for ESY services, the IEP must document:

a. the goals to be addressed through ESY services,

b. the type and amount of special education and related services to be provided,

c. the frequency of the services,

d. the duration of the services,

e. the location of the services.

It is not required that a student’s regular school year IEP be implemented in its entirety during the Extended School Year. The IEP team will decide what goals need to be addressed during ESY and what level of services are required.

How is Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) addressed during ESY?

Whereas all legal requirements that apply to educational programs during the regular school year apply to ESY programs (including provision of services in the LRE), districts are not required to maintain the full continuum of placement options during Extended School Year. For this reason, students in ESY programs may receive their services in a different environment than they do during the regular school year.

What are the requirements for ESY transportation?

The same requirements for transportation that exist during the regular school year apply to the Extended School Year. The IEP team must make a determination regarding whether or not transportation is a necessary related service for the ESY program and document this on the student’s IEP. When considering transportation as a necessary related service for a student with a disability, the student’s IEP team must look at the student’s transportation needs in respect to both access and disability. Does the student need transportation to access their educational program? Does the student’s disability require transportation in order to receive FAPE?

What if the child's parent/guardian or the child, if he/she is 18 or older, does not want ESY services?

Eligibility for ESY services is determined by the IEP team, not the parent or student. The regulations in Sec. 300.106 refer to ESY in the following way:

"Each public agency must ensure that Extended School Year services are available as necessary to provide FAPE."

Extended School Year is not an optional service; it is an extension of FAPE as provided in the IEP. If the IEP team determines that a student needs ESY services in order to achieve FAPE, the district must stand ready to provide those services even if the parent chooses not to make their child available to receive such services.

Must districts have policies in place for ESY?

It is recommended that districts have ESY policies in place in order to avoid arbitrary decisions concerning the provision of ESY services for students with disabilities and to assist district personnel in determining the appropriateness of ESY for individual students.

What about preschool students transitioning from First Steps during the Summer?

Part B of IDEA requires that students transitioning from the state’s early intervention system (Part C) have an IEP in place by their third birthday. In Missouri, the early intervention program (birth to age 3) for students with disabilities is First Steps.

Listed below are applicable parts of state policy regarding the consideration and provision of summer services for these children:

Part B eligible children whose third birth dates are May 1 through August 31 may continue in the First Steps program until the initiation of their local district’s school year in the fall.

Part B eligible children whose third birth dates are April 1 through May 1 may either transition to Part B services before the end of the current school year or continue services in First Steps until the initiation of their local district’s school year in August/September. This discussion is part of the transition conference held by the Part C system. The IEP teams of children who enroll in the local school district for the remainder of the school year must consider Extended School Year services and document the results of that consideration.

Can ESY services be provided through the district’s summer school program?

Yes, ESY services may be provided concurrently with the district’s summer school program. However, the summer school schedule may not dictate frequency or duration of ESY services. Those times/dates must be determined by the child’s IEP team on an individual basis.

If it has been determined that a student with an IEP is not eligible for ESY and that student attends the district’s regular summer school program, is the district obligated to implement all or any part of the student’s IEP in the summer school progra

No. The district may choose to provide some special education services including accommodations, modifications, etc., to students with disabilities in the regular summer school program, but they are not required to do so. Any services provided on a voluntary basis by the district would not be addressed by the IEP team or documented on the student’s IEP.

If a student with a disability who doesn't qualify for ESY services attends a regualar summer school program, are the regular classroom teachers obligated to provide those same accomodations/modifications during summer school?

This is a Section 504 issue. Just because the student does not qualify for ESY services does not mean that the student is not a student with a disability. Because the student did not qualify for ESY, IDEA does not apply to the student outside of the regular school year; however, the student may still be covered under Section 504. (See "Student Access—Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973" on the following web site:http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/Guidance/STUDENT_ACCESS.pdf

If the district’s summer school policy states that after two absences the student will not receive credit for their coursework, do students with disabilities have any recourse when they miss 3 days?

Again, this is a Section 504 issue. IDEA does not address district attendance policies or the awarding of credit to students with disabilities. See Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 167, Section 167.640 for further information.

If a district extends the year for students who score below district criteria in reading or math, and special education students are included in this criteria, are their IEPs implemented during this time?

Missouri state law, 167.640, provides that school districts may adopt a policy which requires remediation as a condition for promotion to the next grade level including requiring parent to conduct home-based tutorial activities or mandatory summer school. The statute provides that for students with disabilities the IEP team shall determine the nature of parental involvement and the instruction the student will receive. See Answer to Question #11.

Do IDEA’s discipline provisions apply to students attending summer school?

No, not if the student has been determined ineligible for ESY and is attending the district’s regular summer school program. There would be an exception here if the disciplinary incident during summer school resulted in days of suspension carrying over into the next regular school year. In this case, any days of the suspension that the student served during the next regular school year would apply toward the 10 days allowed for that year before it was considered a long-term suspension. For example, if the student was given a 30-day suspension during summer school and served 15 days during summer school and 15 days beginning with the first day of the next regular school year, the 15 days served at the beginning of the next regular school year would be considered a long-term suspension and would require that all of the IDEA provisions relating to a long-term suspension be implemented.

What is the responsibility of the school district when a student moves into the district during the summer and has extended school year (ESY) services on their IEP?

The school district into which the child has moved has the responsibility to provide FAPE for the child once they have knowledge the child is a resident and he/she enrolls in their school. If the district has staff available, they would proceed with transfer procedures as outlined in the Standards and Indicators, Indicators 500 and 550 for either transferring from another district within the state or transferring from a district out of the state. The appropriateness of the ESY services in the previous district’s IEP would be one of the considerations when deciding whether to accept or reject that entire IEP as written. If ESY services were determined necessary (either those listed and accepted from the previous IEP or those documented on a new IEP developed by the receiving district) the district would provide these.

In situations where there are no special education staff available at the time of the referral to conduct the transfer procedures and enroll the student, the district would convey to the parent and document their intent to review the previous district’s IEP and evaluation report when staff return from summer break and provide whatever compensatory services may be determined necessary to make up for any ESY services that were deemed necessary. Once staff is available, the district would complete the transfer procedures and the IEP team would address compensatory services at that time.

What do state and federal regulations say about provision of services to students with disabilities incarcerated in local city or county jails?

State and federal regulations do not speak directly to the obligations of public agencies to provide services to students incarcerated in local county or city jails. Rather, the obligation is implied in the regulatory requirement under the provisions of Section 300.101 Provision of FAPE. This regulation requires that “A free appropriate public education must be available to all children residing in the State between the ages of 3 and 21, inclusive, including children with disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school.-" The regulations in Section 300.102 make an exception to FAPE for some students incarcerated in Adult Prisons.

The group of students that we are referring to here are neither those incarcerated in Adult Prisons under the supervision of the Missouri Department of Corrections nor juveniles under the supervision of the Division of Youth Services in Juvenile Correctional facilities, but rather, students incarcerated in local, city or county jails. 

What procedures must my agency have in place to ensure that the regulatory requirements for provision of services to these students are being met?

Local agencies must have procedures in place to locate and offer the provision of services to resident students who are incarcerated in a local county or city jail. This means that when a student is enrolled in a responsible public agency and receiving services under an IEP, the agency must have procedures that include, if a student is not attending school, the district initiates an effort to identify the whereabouts of the student and, if he/she is incarcerated in a local county or city jail, offers or arranges for the provision of services while the student is incarcerated.

What if local law enforcement will not allow agency staff to provide services to the student during their incarceration?

Occasionally for security reasons, local law enforcement will not allow special education services to be provided to the student while he/she is incarcerated. If this is the case, the district must document that they located the student and offered services but were denied access to the student by law enforcement officials. When the student returns to school the IEP team should meet and determine if there has been a denial of FAPE and whether compensatory services are needed.

What if the student refuses to accept services during their incarceration?

Students who refuse to receive services would need to be identified as “drop-outs.”

When a student is incarcerated in a local city or county jail, who has the rights under the Procedural Safeguards, the student or parents?

This would depend on the age of the student. If the student is 18, then the Transfer of Rights provision in state and federal regulations would apply. However, if the student is under 18, the parents would retain their rights.

What if the student is incarcerated in a different city or county from the one in which they reside. Who is responsible for provision of services?

The public agency under whose jurisdiction the child falls is responsible (i.e., the agency who is responsible for enrolling the child for educational services or where the child is enrolled). In most cases, this is the agency where the child &/or child’s parents/guardians reside. For example, if a student with disabilities in District A gets into a fight in District B on Saturday night and is incarcerated in the local jail in District B, on Monday morning (or soon thereafter) District A would be responsible for locating that child and offering provision of services while the student is incarcerated. They may do that by sending someone to provide the services in the local jail in District B or by contracting with District B to provide the services in the local jail. 

How should the IEP address exploring career options, preparing for job interviews, or other transition-related activities?

The Transition Form C in the IEP is the appropriate place for postsecondary goals and services to be listed.  Transition services can also be addressed through annual goals with accompanying objectives and/or benchmarks as appropriate.  These goals must meet all of the requirements for a measurable goal as stated in state and federal regulations and the Special Education Compliance Standards and Indicators Manual, Section 200.810. There must be at least one annual measurable goal to support each postsecondary transition goal. 

Do students with a categorical eligibility of Other Health Impaired need to have specific goals addressing the health impairment?

IEP goals address the skills or behaviors for which specially designed instruction is required for the child to access and make progress in the general education curriculum.  The Present Level will address how the child’s disability affects her/his involvement and progress in the general education curriculum or for preschool children, appropriate activities.  When considering eligibility for IDEA resulting from a health, motor, sensory, or non-cognitive impairment, the IEP team must identify the educational concerns resulting from the disability and develop goals that address those educational concerns.  

What procedural requirements exist when a public agency does not agree with a specific request from the parent (e.g., including a specific goal or service in the IEP)?

State and federal regulations require that a prior written notice must be given to the parents of a child with a disability a reasonable time before the public agency proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child. 

If the parent makes a request to have something included in the child’s IEP that involves FAPE (i.e., a specific goal, service, accommodation, modification, etc) and the team concludes that the item requested is not appropriate or necessary for the current IEP, then the agency must provide the parent with a prior written notice refusing the parent’s request.  The Notice of Action Refused affords the parent the option of challenging the team’s decision through the Due Process Hearing system. 

How should goals be written for co-taught classes, including classes like science and social studies?

IEP goals address the skills or behaviors for which specially designed instruction is required.  IEP goals should not reiterate the curriculum but should address the skills or behaviors the child needs in order to be successful in the regular classroom.  Co-teaching is a service delivery model.  A child’s receipt of services through a co-teaching model should be decided after the goals and objectives/benchmarks are written.  Once the goals are written, the IEP team will address whether or not the goals can be implemented in the regular education classroom with the use of supplementary aids, services, or modifications, including the use of a co-teaching model of instruction. 

How do you write goals for students functioning significantly below grade level?

Since IEP goals address the specially designed instruction required for the child the IEP team will need to write goals that cover the skills/behaviors identified as priorities for the current IEP.  For some children the goals may not address skills typically associated with the curriculum at the child’s current grade level; however, the goals should address skills necessary to move the child closer to the appropriate grade level.  For some children, the IEP team will need to identify more functional skills related to the general curriculum (e.g., math concepts associated with banking, purchasing groceries, measurement, or other daily living concepts.) 

How do you write a goal for students who are in regular education classes and are only seen on an “as needed” basis?

The IEP is intended to provide specially designed instruction for students with disabilities, including, as appropriate, physical education, speech-language services, travel training, vocational education and transition services, if provided as specially designed instruction.  Each student’s IEP must contain some level of special education service.  If an IEP team determines that a student only requires the support of a special educator on an as needed basis for monitoring progress in the regular education classroom, then the IEP should reflect what skills or behaviors are to be monitored and a duration for the monitoring that does not exceed one semester.  Students not requiring specially designed instruction should not be identified for IDEA services.  At this point, if the student continued to require some modifications or accommodations in the regular classroom, a Section 504 plan could be considered. 

When a student needs just a few modifications in the regular curriculum, how would we write a goal to address “keeping up grades” or “pass the class”?

“Keeping up grades” or “passing the class” should be expectations for all students.  Neither of these would be goals requiring special education or related services as defined under IDEA.  Accommodations and/or modifications in the regular education classroom may be necessary for a student with a disability to have the appropriate outcome of “keeping up grades” or “passing the class”; however, the student’s goal(s) should address those skills or behaviors that require specially designed instruction.  If there is not a need for specially designed instruction, then the team should consider exiting the student from special education services. (see response to #6 above)

Is it best practice to include a percentage in your annual goal?

The Special Education Compliance Standards and Indicators Manual, Section 200.810, requires that annual goals are written in terms that include:

-- A specific skill or behavior to be achieved;

-- Must be measurable;

-- Must be attainable within the duration of the IEP;

-- Must be results oriented;

-- Must be time-bound (generally attainable within 1 year.)

The particular criteria used for the level of attainment of a goal will vary based upon what the IEP team is attempting to help the student achieve.  If the goal were to increase the number of sight words recognized by the child at the end of the IEP year, then the best measurement might be an exact number of words recognized compared to the baseline data (i.e., increase sight word recognition by 40 words).  However, a behavior goal to decrease acting-out behaviors might be represented with a percentage during a class period (i.e., decrease acting-out behaviors by 50% during a 50 minute class period).   

Where can we get more information on MAP-A, IEPs, wording for goals, and portfolio information?

The Department’s website: www.dese.mo.gov contains information on MAP, MAP-A, and other special education topics connected with assessments.  http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/assess/

More information regarding writing goals for the MAP-A portfolio process is provided in MAP-A training. The Department offers programs through the Regional Professional Development Centers (RPDC) to train teachers on how to develop IEP goals that will meet MAP-A portfolio requirements.

If you put a weakness or concern in the Present Level of Performance, is it required by law to have a goal or objective to address this?

The law does NOT require a goal for each concern in the Present Level.  The IEP team must consider which of the concerns are the most important for the coming year and write goals to address those concerns.  By prioritizing the concerns, the child’s IEP will be focusing on the skills or behaviors that are most critical for the child to acquire during the duration of the IEP (typically 12 months). 

Can you write a grade level on a goal (Example: the student will increase reading comprehension to a 5th grade level)?

For some children the use of a grade level may be the most appropriate way to define the goal and the level of attainment.  This is not, however, a requirement. 

Are we now being directed to write goals to address concerns as well as the specific areas of eligibility?

IDEA requires the IEP for each child with a disability to include a statement of measurable annual goals related to meeting the child’s needs that result from the disability.  The goals will address those skills and /or behaviors that are necessary to enable the child to be involved in and progress in the general curriculum or appropriate activities for preschool children.  The concerns identified in the Present Level should focus on the how the child’s disability affects this involvement and progress.   ( See Question #10 above.)

How should the goals for children in an Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program be written?

The Present Level should address how the disability affects the preschooler’s participation in appropriate activities for this age child.  The goals should be written in the same way the goals for school-age children are written.  The IEP team needs to consider what the child’s needs are in order for him/her to progress in the ECSE curriculum or to help the child be prepared to enter kindergarten at or near grade level.

How do we handle the situation of a high school junior with a disability in math who has fulfilled all graduation requirements for math and, therefore, takes no more math classes?

The IEP team should evaluate the student’s math needs across the curriculum (e.g., science, business courses, transition service needs, etc.) to determine the individual goals necessary for the student to continue making progress toward graduation and post-secondary expectations.

How should we address the situation of a high school student who is unable to function academically in a secondary curriculum?

If a student is receiving instruction in a functional curriculum, the goals should be written to help the child progress through that curriculum. The Present Level must include a statement about how the student’s disability affects his/her progress and involvement in the general education curriculum and should describe the concerns that demonstrate the student’s needs for a functional curriculum.

Who can provide occupational and physical therapy services?

Posted 01/05/2004

Only a licensed occupational therapist or occupational therapy assistant under the supervision of an occupational therapist provides occupational therapy services. Only a licensed physical therapist or physical therapist assistant under the supervision of a physical therapist provides physical therapy services. Other professionals may, at the discretion of the therapist, implement activities to support the physical or occupational therapy following training by the occupational or physical therapist. Consultation and ongoing monitoring by the therapist is necessary under all circumstances where other personnel are utilized. 

Can a paraprofessional or aide provide the designated occupational or physical therapy services as indicated on the IEP?

Posted 01/05/2004 

No. The minutes recorded as therapy on the IEP can only be provided by the licensed occupational or physical therapy practitioners (occupational therapist, occupational therapist assistant, physical therapist, physical therapist assistant). 

Can occupational therapy assistants and licensed physical therapist assistants delegate tasks or activities to be implemented and provide supervision to paraprofessionals?

Posted 01/05/2004 

Yes. Under the supervision of the occupational and physical therapist who holds ultimate responsibility.

Who can provide “motor services?”

Posted 01/05/2004 

Neither Federal nor State Regulations include a definition of motor services. Some districts use terms such as motor services interchangeably with OT and PT, but the requirement is that if the IEP states OT or PT those services must be provided by the OT, OTA, PT or PTA respectively. 

Can occupational therapy or physical therapy be provided to a child who is not eligible under IDEA but is eligible under Section 504?

Posted 01/05/2004 

Yes. In some cases this may be appropriate. The services are provided to a child who qualifies under Section 504 who may have a medical condition that impacts school performance. For example, a student with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis may be found ineligible for special education because a comprehensive educational evaluation did not indicate that the student was in need of special education. Under Section 504, this student may need assistance or adaptations to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and the responsible public agency may determine those service needs to be provided by an OT or PT. 

Does the concept of LRE in the federal law apply to the provision of OT and PT services too?

Posted 01/05/2004 

Yes. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) specifies that special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily. Related services are included in this requirement. Providing services to children in the general education environment helps ensure that the skill is generalized to that setting. 

Can physicians and outside service providers who are working with a child make specific recommendations for therapy services in the school environment?

Posted 01/05/2004 

Yes. Recommendations may be submitted and responsible public agencies must consider this information, however are not bound to accept or implement the recommendations. Neither are districts required to conduct an IEP meeting to consider the information unless the parent requests an IEP meeting to do so. If, however, either the responsible public agency or parent believes the information is significant to a student’s special education services, an IEP meeting should be conducted and consideration given to changes to the IEP, if determined necessary. 

Should a child receive therapy because he/she will benefit from therapy even though no educational need exists?

Posted 01/05/2004 

No. According to IDEA Part B, a child is only eligible for therapy services in order to benefit from special education. 

If the IEP team determines that a child with an orthopedic impairment or other health impairment requires only adapted physical education as special instruction, can the child receive occupational and physical therapy?

Posted 01/05/2004 

Yes. Adapted physical education is considered special education. If the IEP team determines the student requires occupational and/or physical therapy to benefit from adapted physical education, then the child may receive the related service of occupational or physical therapy. Therapy must relate to the goals and objectives in the child’s IEP. 

How does a child become eligible for occupational or physical therapy?

Posted 01/05/2004 

A child does not become eligible for occupational or physical therapy. The child becomes eligible for special education. There is no specific test or assessment tool that determines eligibility for OT or PT. The information from the evaluation report assists the IEP team in determining the need for occupational or physical therapy in order for the student to achieve his/her educational goals. 

Is it necessary that every child who has been assessed and determined to need help in fine and gross motor skills receive occupational therapy or physical therapy?

Posted 01/05/2004 

No. The IEP team determines the services, level of services, and specialists required to support the educational needs of the child. In some cases, the general or special education program can address the motor needs of the child without additional support from occupational or physical therapy. 

Who determines the type of service provision that the child will receive?

Posted 01/05/2004 

The IEP team determines the manner of providing the services that the child needs to meet his/her educational needs (direct, consultation, etc.). Evaluation results and recommendations from the licensed OT/PT should be carefully considered in the context of the child’s educational goals. 

Is an OT/PT evaluation needed prior to providing occupational or physical therapy respectively?

Posted 01/05/2004 

Yes, if occupational and/or physical therapy will be related services on the IEP, a licensed OT and/or PT, as appropriate, will need to provide an assessment before occupational or physical therapy are provided to the child. This process may or may not involve the use of a formal assessment instrument. In some cases a physician’s prescription is required before the therapist evaluates the child. 

If the OT is in the classroom doing integrated therapies, how is this documented on the IEP?

Posted 01/05/2004 

The amount of time and frequency determined necessary for the OT for the child is documented as Occupational Therapy and the location is shown as the classroom where the therapy is being provided. There is no need to use the term “integrated”. It is important to keep the documentation as clear and easy to understand for parents and all IEP team members as possible. 

When parents request to have their child receive a particular treatment technique or methodology such as sensory integration, how should the school administrator respond?

Posted 01/05/2004 

Sensory integration and other treatment methodologies such as neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) are just particular frames of reference or treatment perspectives which might be used by an OT or PT in the intervention process. The services that the schools are mandated to deliver are occupational or physical therapy and not a particular treatment regimen. In the schools, the focus of occupational and physical therapy is on the child’s ability to function in the educational environment. As long as the child’s educational needs are being appropriately met, the school based OT/PT is operating within their scope of practice and training. Therapists use their professional judgment, evaluation data, and expected outcomes to select the particular frame of reference which will guide the intervention. 

When must parents be included in meetings?

Parents must be provided the opportunity to participate in meetings with respect to the identification, evaluation, educational placement and provision of FAPE to the child. This includes, but is not limited to, eligibility determination meetings, IEP meetings, and, if a meeting is held, review of existing data meetings.

Are there times when district personnel are meeting to discuss issues surrounding a child with an IEP that the parent would not have to be invited to participate?

Yes. According to the regulations implementing IDEA,( http://www2.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/finrule/2006-3/081406a.pdf) a “meeting” does not include informal or unscheduled conversations involving public agency personnel and conversations on issues such as teaching methodology, lesson plans, or coordination of service provision if those issues are not addressed in the child’s IEP. A “meeting” also does not include preparatory activities that public agency personnel engage in to develop a proposal or response to a parent proposal that will be discussed at a later meeting. Again, if a meeting is held to review existing data, the parent must be invited to participate. The basic rule of thumb is that, if a meeting is being held to make a final decision regarding the identification, evaluation, placement or provision of FAPE, the parent must be provided the opportunity to participate.

What steps must a public agency take to demonstrate that they have provided the parent(s) with an opportunity to participate in a meeting?

State regulations require the public agency to make two attempts to convince the parent to attend a meeting before they hold the meeting without the parent in attendance. On each attempt, the agency must provide the parent with at least ten (10) calendar days prior notification unless the parent agrees to hold the meeting sooner.

A direct contact with the parent/guardian is not required for the first attempt to schedule a meeting. A public agency could have the child take the meeting notification home from school or send a message via e-mail. The second attempt to schedule a meeting must be a direct contact with the parent/guardian.

A direct contact IS:

Phone contact 
Face to face contact 
US Mail- regular or certified 

A direct contact IS NOT:

Fax 
Voice mail 
Email 
Hand carried by student 
Answering machine 

How many days are required for a public agency to notify parents for a meeting?

Ten (10) calendar days prior notification is required unless the parent waives this time frame.

How many days after the eligibility staffing does a public agency have to hold an IEP meeting?

According to state regulations, there are no exceptions to the requirement for holding the IEP meeting within thirty (30) days of the date of the eligibility determination staffing.

When meeting compliance timelines is an issue, is waiting to establish a date that will work for everyone that needs to participate in the meeting an acceptable justification to go beyond timelines?

When timelines are an issue, waiting to establish a date that will work for everyone on the team would not be an acceptable justification to go beyond the date. However, the public agency must begin the process of scheduling the meeting in sufficient time to allow for two attempts to be made if necessary. 

Is the public agency required to schedule IEP meetings to accommodate the schedule(s) of others that the parents want to include in the meeting (e.g., advocates)?

Parents have the right to invite others to an IEP meeting. The school needs to follow the procedures using two (2) attempts if necessary to accommodate the parents’ schedule. If it is possible within those parameters to arrange a time that works for the people the parents want to invite, that would be advisable, but is not required.

If the public agency proposed a number of dates at one time, does that equate to more than one attempt?

If this is the public agency’s first attempt and the public agency is trying to negotiate by phone or in person and the parent will not accept any dates presented, the district should set a date and count it as the first attempt. The fact that the district proposed a number of dates at one time does not equate to more than one attempt to hold a meeting. 

If the public agency suspends a meeting and needs to schedule another one, is the agency required to make two attempts before that meeting can be held?

When it is necessary to suspend a meeting and continue at another time, the agency should try to schedule the next meeting as soon as possible. The agency should try to stay within required timelines, but the requirement for two (2) attempts to schedule a meeting still applies in this case. 

What are the requirements related to parent participation in Resolution Meetings scheduled in conjunction with due process complaints?

Within 15 days of receiving notice of the parent’s due process complaint, and prior to the initiation of a due process hearing, the public agency must convene a meeting with the parent and the relevant member(s) of the IEP Team who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the complaint. The Purpose of the meeting is for the parent of the child to discuss the due process complaint, and the facts that form the basis of the due process complaint, so that the public agency has the opportunity to resolve the dispute that is the basis for the complaint.

Since the timelines are so short for Resolution Meetings, the public agency is not expected to give the parent two opportunities to attend with 10 days allowed for each date proposed. However, reasonable efforts must be made to obtain parental participation, and these efforts must be documented.

If the LEA is unable to obtain the participation of the parent in the resolution meeting after reasonable efforts have been made and documented, the LEA may, at the conclusion of the 30 day resolution period, request that the hearing chair dismiss the parent’s due process complaint. In these cases, the LEA must keep a record of its attempts to arrange mutually agreed on time and place, such as detailed records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls; copies of correspondence sent to the parents and any responses received, and/or detailed records of visits made to the parent’s home or place of employment and the results of those visits.

Where can I find the eligibility criteria for the disability categories under IDEA?

The definition and specific criteria required for each of the identified disability categories can be found in Section III. Identification and Evaluation of the Missouri State Plan for Special Education.    This document can be found at:   http://www.dese.mo.gov/schoollaw/rulesregs/Inc_By_Ref_Mat/documents/FinalReg-IIIIdentificationandEvaluation2010.pdf

Another good source for guidance on the specific criteria required for eligibility for each of the disability categories can be found in the Special Education Compliance:  Standards and Indicators Manual.  Each of the required criteria for each of the disability areas is described in detail along with descriptions of the components required for documenting each of the criteria in standards 600 - 2100.  This document can be found at: http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/StandardsManual/

Is the 1.5 standard deviation (SD) discrepancy between ability and achievement required to show an adverse impact on educational performance?

For all disability categories, adverse educational impact should come from a convergence of the data collected and reviewed by the eligibility team.  This includes both formal and informal assessment as well as formal and informal observations made before and during the evaluation.  Decisions should never be made on the basis of performance on only one test.  There are only four disability categories that specifically reference a standard deviation (SD) discrepancy in their eligibility criteria: Intellectual Disability/Mental Retardation, Language Disorder, Specific Learning Disability and Young Child with a Developmental Delay.

When a parent provides documentation of a medical or mental health diagnosis, how should this information be handled by the eligibility team?

The eligibility team has a duty to consider any information, including outside evaluations and a medical or mental health diagnosis, as it contributes to the process of determining if a student meets the eligibility criteria for a specific disability category.  This information should be referenced in the synthesis of information from the evaluation including all of the areas of functioning in the evaluation report.   It is important that the eligibility team take into consideration the credentials of the professional making the diagnosis as there are specific requirements in the eligibility criteria related to this.  Examples of this type of diagnosis would include Central Auditory Processing Disorder, ADD/ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc.

What is required to make a determination that a student is not eligible for special education services?

The eligibility team should consider all the possible disability categories that the student may be eligible for based upon a review of the existing data and any assessment data collected.  If there was reason to suspect a disability, state and federal guidelines require that the evaluation is sufficiently comprehensive to identify all of the child’s special education and related services needs, whether or not they are commonly linked to the disability category in which the child has been classified.  If after a careful review of the evaluation data and the eligibility criteria, the student is found not eligible for any disability category, this information should be included in the evaluation report as the basis for making the eligibility determination. 

What happens if the eligibility team does not agree on the conclusion?

State and federal law requires that upon completing the administration of tests and other evaluation materials, a group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child must determine whether the child is a child with a disability and the educational needs of the child.  If the team is not able to agree on the conclusion, it is the responsibility of the Local Education Authority (LEA) to make the final decision and to provide appropriate Notice of Action to the parent.  The parent then has the option to pursue due process if he/she disagrees with the decision of the LEA.  It is important to note that the  eligibility criteria requirements for the disability category of Specific Learning Disability also includes a requirement  that each team member, with the exception of the parent, must certify in writing whether the report reflects her/his conclusions.  If it does not, that team member must submit a separate statement presenting the member’s conclusions.

What is the difference between diagnosing a student with a disability and determining eligibility for a disability category?

This is based on the difference between a medical model and an educational model.  Simply having a medical diagnosis does not mean that a student will be eligible for a disability category under IDEA. 

In a medical model, a physician, psychiatrist, or other properly credentialed medical provider evaluates and diagnoses a child based on an array of symptoms which results in a medical diagnosis such as cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, Bipolar Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, etc.  Based on the diagnosis, a course of treatment is developed that could include medications, physical therapy, counseling, etc.

In an educational model, a group of individuals meeting the requirements of an IEP team conducts a review of existing data to determine the areas of concern that need to be evaluated and then additional assessments are conducted.  The same group of individuals meets again to review the results of the assessments and determines if the student meets the eligibility criteria for one of the disability categories under IDEA.  One of the main requirements for eligibility for special education under IDEA is that there must be an adverse educational impact for the student.  If there is no adverse educational impact, the student may not qualify for special education.  For example, the student may have a medical diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder,  but the disorder is being managed well and the student is able to maintain good grades and attend school regularly.  Because there is no adverse educational impact, the student would not qualify for special education. 

It is important that school district staff are clear that they are determining eligibility for special education services under IDEA and not diagnosing a disability.

Can professional judgment be used to make eligibility determinations?

Only certain eligibility categories allow for professional judgment in making eligibility determinations.  These categories are: Specific Learning Disability, Language Disorder, Sound System Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Young Child with a Developmental Delay.  No other categories permit eligibility determination through the use of professional judgment.

There are specific guidelines that must be followed to use professional judgment in determining eligibility for each of these disability categories.  It is important that the basis for the decision should be data based and that the basis for the decision is articulated through a clear summary in the evaluation report describing the rationale for the professional judgment.

Does “adversely affect educational performance” just mean grades and test scores?

The regulations under IDEA have made it clear that, when conducting evaluations, a variety of assessments tools and strategies must be used to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information.  It is OSEP’s stance that IDEA and the regulations clearly establish that the determination about whether a child is a child with a disability is not limited to information about the child’s academic performance.  Furthermore,  CFR 300.101(c) states that each state must ensure that FAPE is available to any individual child with a disability who needs special education and related services, even though the child has not failed or been retained in a course or grade and is advancing from grade to grade.  For example, some students on the higher end of the autism spectrum  get good grades or score well on tests but have significant concerns with social skills that may impact their success in life.  These students may have no friends, be inadvertently rude to teachers, not have the skills to interview for or keep a job, or lack functional skills that are necessary for life.  Adverse educational impact must be considered in the broad sense for a student’s educational career.

Does the Department consider it appropriate to use the eligibility category of Other Heath Impaired (OHI) for Asperger’s syndrome rather than educational autism?

Children with Asperger’s  syndrome would typically be found eligible for special education under the category of Autism as long as the child meets the eligibility requirements for that disability category.  While it is possible that a child with Asperger’s syndrome may also meet the criteria under an eligibility category other than Autism (for example, Language Impaired) it is unlikely that Asperger’s syndrome would truly fit under the description of Other Health Impaired which is a chronic or acute health problem that results in limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli – like diabetes, epilepsy, rheumatic fever, asthma, ADD/ADHD, lead poisoning, etc.

For initial evaluations, do we count weekends over holiday breaks for timelines exceeding the 60-day timeline?

The weekend days do count if they are in the middle of a holiday break.  Be sure to document specific vacation/no school dates, especially if an extension of the 60 days is necessary.

How can you prevent being out of timelines when a vision exam (permission, appointments, glasses, etc.) all take time during the evaluation?

During the first 30 days following a referral, the district needs to look at information they already have to determine if a disability is suspected.  If so, a review of existing data and an evaluation plan are developed.  If a vision screening/evaluation is needed, that becomes part of the evaluation plan, and the district has 60 days to complete that.  If the vision testing is not complete, the district must complete the evaluation and determine eligibility with the information available.  If new information becomes available after the 60 days, the district may need to begin a reevaluation by looking at existing data now available.  Inability to complete the evaluation because of doctor appointments is not an acceptable reason to extend the timelines.

Would a student being evaluated for a new eligibility category be considered an initial evaluation or a reevaluation?

Conducting further evaluation to determine whether to change the identification category of disability for a student already eligible for special education services is a reevaluation.

Must eligibility reports be provided in the native language if other than English?

The only documents required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the native language of the parent are Procedural Safeguards and notices of action (NOA).

Is consent required before conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)?

If the FBA involves formal assessment, you must obtain consent.  If it involves only a review of existing information or observation, consent is not required.

Was the requirement for a “positive behavioral intervention plan” removed from the discipline regulations?

No.  Federal Regulations 300.324 indicates the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports must be considered in the case of a child whose behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others.  The requirement in 300.530 that a child with a disability receive, as appropriate, an FBA and a BIP and modifications designed to address the child’s behavior now only applies to students whose behavior is a manifestation of their disability as determined by the LEA, the parent and the relevant members of the child’s IEP team.  However, FBAs and BIPs must also be used proactively, if the IEP team determines they would be appropriate for the child.  The regulations also require that school districts provide FBAs and behavior intervention services (and modifications) “as appropriate” to students when the student’s disciplinary change in placement would exceed 10 consecutive school days and the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of his or her disability.

Under what circumstances must an IEP team use FBAs and BIPs?

As noted above, FBAs and BIPs are required when the LEA, the parent, and the relevant members of the child’s IEP team determine that a student’s conduct was a manifestation of his or her disability.  If a child’s misconduct has been found to have a direct and substantial relationship to his or her disability, the IEP team will need to conduct an FBA of the child, unless one has already been conducted.  Similarly, the IEP team must write a BIP for this child, unless one already exists.  If a BIP already exists, then the IEP team will need to review the plan and modify it, as necessary, to address the behavior.

An FBA focuses on identifying the function or purpose behind a child’s behavior.  Typically, the process involves looking closely at a wide range of child-specific factors (e.g., social, affective, environmental).  Knowing why a child misbehaves is directly helpful to the IEP team in developing a BIP that will reduce or eliminate the misbehavior.

For a child with a disability whose behavior impedes his or her learning or that of others, and for whom the IEP team has decided that a BIP is appropriate, or for a child with a disability whose violation of the code of student conduct is a manifestation of the child’s disability, the IEP team must include a BIP in the child’s IEP to address the behavioral needs of the child.

How can an IEP address behavior?

When a child’s behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others, the IEP team must consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address that behavior.  Additionally, the team may address the behavior through annual goals in the IEP.  The child’s IEP may include modifications in his or her program, support for his or her teachers, and any related services necessary to achieve those behavioral goals.  If the child needs a BIP to improve learning and socialization, the BIP can be included in the IEP and aligned with the goals in the IEP.

If a parent disagrees with the results of an FBA, may the parent obtain an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense?

Yes.  The parent of a child with a disability has the right to request an IEE of the child if the parent disagrees with an evaluation obtained by the public agency.  However, the parent’s right to an IEE at public expense is subject to certain conditions, including the LEA’s option to request a due process hearing to show that its evaluation is appropriate.  An FBA that was not identified as an initial evaluation, was not included as part of the required triennial reevaluation, or was not done in response to a disciplinary removal, would nonetheless be considered a reevaluation or part of a reevaluation under Part B because it was an individualized evaluation conducted in order to develop an appropriate IEP for the child.  Therefore, a parent who disagrees with an FBA that is conducted in order to develop an appropriate IEP also is entitled to request an IEE.  Subject to the conditions in 300.502, the IEE of the child will be at public expense.

If a student with a disability exhibits behaviors that are not related to the disability, should the statement on the Special Considerations page concerning behavior be marked “yes” or “no”?

The behaviors need to be addressed whether they are related to the disability or not.  You can certainly document in the IEP whether you have determined them related or not.  There is no requirement to develop a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).  However, if one is needed it must become a part of the IEP.  The requirement is to consider positive behavior interventions/strategies if the student’s behavior is impeding the learning of himself or others.

If student behaviors are absolutely not related to the disability (student receives speech therapy for articulation errors but also exhibits problem behaviors) why would the IEP team need to address this as part of the IEP?

The reason could be because the behaviors impede the student’s learning or the learning of others.

If a BIP is a part of the IEP, do we need to use the amendment process if a change needs to be made in the BIP?

IDEA requires that the BIP be a part of the IEP.  This triggers the use of the amendment process when the BIP needs to be amended. 

Must transportation be addressed on every IEP?

Yes, transportation must be addressed as a related service.  The IEP team must document in the IEP their decision as to the child’s need for transportation.

Can the excusal form be used only for IEP meeting participants, or may it be used for the review of existing data (RED) meeting and eligibility determination meeting?

Members should not be excused from review of existing data meetings or eligibility meetings.  The circumstances involved in an IEP team member being excused are very specific.  Those circumstances do not pertain to the RED meeting or eligibility meetings.  IEP team attendance, including the circumstances when IEP team members may be excused, can be found in Federal Regulations 300.321(e).  Required members for eligibility teams are listed in Federal Regulation 300.306: “…a group of qualified professionals and the parent of the child.”  The eligibility team for a specific learning disability must include:” (a) 1) the child’s regular teacher, or 2) if the child does not have a regular teacher, a regular classroom teacher qualified to teach a child of his or her age; or 3) for a child of less than school age an individual qualified by the SEA to teach a child of his or her age; and (b) at least one person qualified to conduct individual diagnostic examinations of children, such as a school psychologist, speech-language pathologist, or remedial reading teacher.”

Is it permissible to use goals from the bank of goals provided in the SEAS IEP program? Are they written correctly?

The Department does not monitor or endorse the IEP goals written by SEAS or any other privately owned organization serving as a special education resource.  Each team is responsible for developing IEPs based on the individual needs of the students.  More information on appropriate goals may be found in the Standards and Indicators Manual, Indicator 200.810.

Are independent living skills activities only required for students with severe disabilities?

No. Think about any of the skills that adults use every day to successfully do the things we need to do.  Consider whether a particular disabled child is prepared to do the things that he/she needs to do to manage his/her own welfare.  Whether a child needs independent living goals and what those are will be very different for each individual.  There are resources for quality transition planning on the Compliance webpage at:http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/specedpost-sectransition.htm.

If a student indicates he wants to join the military after graduation, but changes his mind after graduation, is the school responsible if the postsecondary goal is not met?

No, the school district is responsible for providing transition services that are “focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities.”  (Federal Regulations 300.43)   If the school district has provided transition services that were based on the child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests, and has prepared him to reach the postsecondary goals in his IEP, the school district cannot be held responsible if he/she changes his/her mind about what to do after graduation.  Quality transition planning that begins early in the child’s academic career and uses age appropriate transition assessments to guide transition planning, and which routinely checks and reassesses the child’s postsecondary goals, is vitally important.  A key part of the process should be providing the child with a rich variety of community experiences that allow him to learn first-hand about several vocations that he may have interest in pursuing to help him narrow his focus as graduation draws nearer.

How does a student enroll in MoVIP?

There are three ways  a student may  enroll in MoVIP to participate in an online class. A student may be a dually enrolled student enrolled in both the local school district and MoVIP, the student may be a dually enrolled student in both a private school and MoVIP or the student may be enrolled by a parent.. If the student is dually enrolled in the local district and MoVIP he/she is considered to be  attending the local district and enrolled in the local school district. If the student is not enrolled in the local district, he/she is a parentally enrolled student participating in a publicly funded educational/instructional program.

Can a child with a disability enroll in MoVIP?

Yes.  If a student with a disability is enrolled in the public school district, the IEP team must determine that virtual education isappropriate for the student. A student with a disability who is not enrolled in the public district can be a full time student if the parent has determined that MoVIP is appropriate.

Does MoVIP have an obligation to provide FAPE to students enrolled full-time?

No. For dually enrolled students the requirement to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) rests with the district where the student is enrolled. MoVIP is a program intended to assist the district in providing FAPE. MoVIP has no obligation to provide FAPE to parentally enrolled students.

Does MoVIP have to comply with the special education laws?

Yes, to the extent applicable to students with IEPs and who are enrolled in a public school district and accessing MoVIP coursework. MoVIP must provide the applicable  modifications and accommodations in the curriculum to implement students’ IEPs.

Who prepares the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for special education students enrolled in MoVIP full-time?

The local school district prepares the IEP. If the student is not enrolled in the public school district he/she  is a parentally enrolled student and an IEP is not needed.

What if the local district refuses to develop the IEP?

The local district will be out of compliance if it fails to develop an IEP for a child with a disability. HOWEVER there is no requirement that the IEP team find that the virtual school is an appropriate setting. Students who are not enrolled in the local school district are parentally enrolled students participating in a public instructional program. The local school district is not required to prepare parentally enrolled students, but they may be eligible for services under the proportionate share requirements of the IDEA.

Who is responsible for modifications of an IEP of a full-time MoVIP student dually enrolled in a public school?

The MoVIP contractor  ensures the MoVIP  teachers are aware of the modifications and  require them to implement the modifications of an IEP, but the local district is responsible for developing and revising/amendingthe IEP.

If a student is dually enrolled full-time in MoVIP and receives related services from the district who is responsible for preparing the annual IEP?

The local school district.

Who provides the special education or related services for a student dually enrolled full-time in MoVIP?

As MoVIP is a virtual program there is no intent for it to provide services that require in person contact. Students enrolled in the district receive related services from the district. Students not enrolled in the district are parentally enrolled students who are not entitled to related services but may be able to receive some related services under the proportionate share requirement of the IDEA.

How much of the IEP should be provided to MoVIP?

In order to understand the student’s specific needs it is sometimes helpful to receive the entire IEP, but at a minimum the district should provide the  documentation  that MoVIP needs to ensure  the modifications and accommodations of the IEP are providedin the regular education program.

If a parent enrolls a student in MoVIP part-time and part-time in a private or home school, is that student entitled to special education services from the public school district?

The student is not entitled to individualized special education services if enrolled in a private school or home schooled. Part-time enrollment by a parent in a private school or home school classifies the child as a private/nonpublic school student. The district where the private or home school is located has an obligation to identify the children with special needs in the district and to spend a proportionate share of the federal funding on special education for children enrolled in private schools. It is highly unlikely that an individual student will get a full range of special education services under the proportionate share requirement.

If the IEP team determines that virtual school is the appropriate method to provide FAPE is the student guaranteed to be able to participate in the MoVIP classes?

Yes, if the district IEP team has determined that a virtual school is the best way to provide FAPE, the student will have a seat in MoVIP. If the state funded tuition seats  are all filled, the local school district, not the parent, will be required to pay tuition.

If the IEP team does not support education at a virtual school and is prepared to provide FAPE at the school, but the parent prefers virtual school, can the student attend MoVIP?

Yes, as a parentally enrolled student. The student would not be enrolled in the school district. If the state funded tuition seats are full, the parent would have to pay the tuition in order for the student to attend.

If the district and the parent disagree about the appropriateness of MoVIP classes and a parent enrolls the student in MoVIP is that a refusal of services? If so, does the district need to provide related services?

Yes, it is a refusal of special education  services  because the student would be considered a parentally enrolled student. The student may not be entitled to any  special education services. Related services, if any, would be provided through the proportionate share program of the district.

What if a student comes in with an IEP that states MoVIP is not an appropriate placement?

If the IEP states that MoVIP is not an appropriate placement, the student would have to enroll as a parentally enrolled student.

Are there age requirements for the elementary and high school programs? Can students of one age take courses from another program?

Younger students are permitted to take higher level courses. When older students  take elementary classes, they may not earn credit for completing elementary classes.  However, if an IEP team determines that the child needs a certain level of course work that is offered by MoVIP  the IEP will be implemented as it is written.

How is observation as a part of a special education evaluation by the IEP team handled for a student in MoVIP?

Obviously, the virtual education setting is not the proper environment for an observation. However,  a paper review of work produced in consultation with teachers could be helpful to the evaluation team.

Is MoVIP a school district?

No. MoVIP is publicly funded educational/instructional program not a school district. The language of 161.670 uses the term school district when talking about entities other than MoVIP. The statutory definition of school district is not applicable to MoVIP. See 160.011(1), (5), (10), (13) and 160.021 RSMo.

Is MoVIP subject to MSIP reviews?

Yes. 161.670 (4) RSMo.

Is MoVIP subject to IDEA compliance reviews?

No. MoVIP is a program, not a local education authority (LEA) or a school.

Can an IDEA (special education) due process complaint be filed against MoVIP?

No.

How much time can a student enrolled in MoVIP classes expect to spend working online and off to successfully complete the classes?

A student should plan to spend at least one hour five days a week for each class the student is enrolled.

Must parents sign a Notice of Action to waive the 10 days in order to begin earlier with the implementation of an amended IEP?

A parent’s signature documents their consent to initiate any change requiring prior written notice.  The district must wait 10 days to implement that change unless the parent waives the 10-day waiting period.  If the parent has agreed to such a change through the amendment process and a signature has not been obtained, the school district should document the date the agreement was obtained and implement the change immediately.

Is a Notice of Action needed for an annual IEP review if services and placement remain the same, but there are changes in modifications or accommodations?

No, based upon guidance from OSEP,http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/LS09.17.08.htmchanges in modifications and accommodations do not trigger a Notice of Action.

When completing a Notice of Action for ineligibility, do we check “proposed” or “refused”?

If using the State sample form for Notice of Action, it is appropriate to check “proposed” if you are also checking that the Notice is for “ineligibility for services,” since that is the action being proposed.  However, it may also be appropriate to check “refused” if the evaluation was triggered by a parent request for an evaluation for eligibility or IEP.  Most importantly, the body of the Notice should contain the required information and clearly communicate to the parent the action taking place.

If a student has already been placed in special education without signed parental consent, how can that problem be corrected?

This cannot be corrected retroactively because IDEA requires signed parental consent before a child receives special education services. You should, however, provide the parent with a Notice of Action for initial services, obtain consent and include this documentation in the child’s special education record.

What is Indicator 13?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires states to report data annually on 20 indicators related to compliance and performance of students with disabilities. The 13th Indicator relates to transition services for students: “Percent of youth age 16 and above with an individualized education program (IEP) that includes coordinated, measurable, annual IEP goals and transition services that will reasonably enable the student to meet the postsecondary goals” [20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B)]. The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) has developed an OSEP-approved checklist to evaluate the transition planning components of the IEP. You can find it at: http://www.nsttac.org/?FileName=indicator13.

The Department’s Office of Special Education Compliance is monitoring IEPs from school districts to report the state’s level of proficiency in meeting Indicator 13. This monitoring is part of each district’s cyclical compliance monitoring. 

I would like more training or clarification on writing a notice of action.

Do you want information on when to provide prior written notice or how to provide prior written notice? For the “when to” please see the SELS message from Heidi Atkins Lieberman, Assistant Commissioner of Education, from September 17, 2008, located at: http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/LS09.17.08.htm

For the “how to” (and the “when to”) please refer to the Missouri Special Education Compliance Program Review Standards and Indicators. When the standards were revised indicators were added to describe in detail when to provide prior written notice and the required content of the notice. These indicators are embedded in the standards addressing the parts of the special education process requiring prior written notice. For example, when the team decides during the reevaluation process that individual assessment is needed and so consent must be obtained, you would refer to the standards beginning with indicator 200.360 and follow them through indicator 200.420.

You may call a Compliance Supervisor at the Office of Special Education or your local RPDC Compliance Consultant if you need more specific help. 

There are many acronyms in special education, but the actual words are not known by everyone – such as IEP (individual education plan), PL (present level), PLAAFP - ?

PLAAFP is the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance. (IEP is actually “individualized education program.”) A list of acronyms can be found on the Department web site at: http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/documents/Acronyms.pdf

When is consent required for transition assessment?

The consent requirements for transition assessment are not any different than the consent requirements for any special education assessment. Please refer to the Missouri Special Education Compliance Program Review Standards and Indicators Manual. Indicator 200.60 specifies the times when consent is not required to collect certain data. 200.60 states that agencies are not required to obtain parental consent for teacher and related service provider observations, for ongoing classroom evaluations, or for administration of or review of the results of adapted or modified assessments that are administered to all children in a class, grade or school.

Is there ever a time when consent is not required to conduct a formal assessment?

Whether or not consent is required is determined by whether the assessment is being administered on an individual basis. The type of assessment used does not by itself trigger the need for parental consent. Consent is not required for assessment when the assessment is administered to all students in a class, at a grade level, in a school district building or district-wide unless consent is required for all students participating in the assessment. 

When is a reevaluation required for transition assessment?

Reevaluation is triggered in the same way for children with transition plans as it is for any child with an IEP. When the IEP team decides that they do not have the appropriate information that they need to write a child’s IEP, then a reevaluation should be started for the child. The team then reviews existing data, decides what additional information is needed and how they are going to get it. While reevaluations are required every three years, they can and should be conducted more often if the IEP team decides that they do not have the appropriate information that they need to write the child’s IEP. Please refer to the Missouri Special Education Program Review Standards and Indicators Manual, indicators 200.330 through 200.590, for details about the reevaluation process. 

What are the Department’s prescribed transition assessments?

The Department has no prescribed transition assessments. We suggest that you start with assessments that are given to all children. Then choose assessments based on the student’s strengths, interests, experiences, and needs. Starting with a comprehensive assessment can often help lead to more specific assessments. To learn more about transition assessments, please view the assessment resources on the Missouri online Community of Practice in Transition, www.MissouriTransition.org. The Transition Coalition in collaboration with the Department has also developed a Missouri-specific online training module, Transition Assessment: The Big Picture that can be accessed for free at www.TransitionCoalition.org.

How often should transition assessments be completed? How often can we complete transition assessments?

A student’s postsecondary goals have to be based on age-appropriate transition assessment. So you will have to have done some transition assessment before the student turns sixteen and is required to have a transition plan. After that, you should do transition assessment when the team decides it is necessary to get any additional information that they need for transition planning. The IEP team would consider this at least annually during IEP review and revision.

If all freshmen in special education are given the Transition Planning Inventory (TPI) on an individual basis, is parent consent needed?

If the assessment is not given to all children in a classroom as part of a course, or to all children at a grade level or in a certain school building or district-wide, then parental consent is needed as this is considered an individual assessment and would be part of the reevaluation process.

All students complete a transition inventory during the freshman year. Do you need permission to give this same inventory to a student or group of students at the beginning of the sophomore year that were not present when it was given as a freshman?

If the student missed that day, then it could have been administered later during that school year. If the student is a transfer from another district and didn’t attend at all last year, then you will need to get consent (through the reevaluation process) if it is being given as an individual assessment – that is, if you are not giving it to every child in that child’s class, or grade or building.

As we see, work with, and talk to the students on our caseload through monitoring services and/or during specialized instruction, do we need permission to document this informal interview in which we have discussing interests, preferences, and goals?

No, teachers don’t need consent to converse with students about their plans for the future during the course of the school day. Teachers often converse with students about their interests and preferences during the course of the day. This type of conversation does not require consent. You would document it in the same way you document any information regarding IEP development that you want to discuss at the next IEP meeting.

Do you have to obtain parental consent to do informal transition assessment? How is this different from any assessment a classroom teacher does with a class (e.g., FACS - life skills assessments, personal finance – budgeting, money management)?

You need consent to conduct any individual assessment. If the assessment is given to all the kids in a classroom or grade level or building or district-wide, it is not considered an individual assessment. The difference is due to the wording in the Federal Regulations and the comments to the Federal Regulations which specifically exclude assessments that are given to all children in a class, grade or building (unless consent is required for ALL students) from the consent requirements that are applied to individual assessments.

If our district is giving a battery of informal transition assessment to all 9th graders in special education, and we get written permission from parents, should we only be doing this at 3-year reevaluation time?

There is no context outside of the reevaluation process for getting consent for evaluation. If these assessments aren’t done as part of a class curriculum or for all the students at a grade level, they should be done in the context of a reevaluation. You don’t have to wait for the triennial if the team thinks it needs the information now for transition planning. See also question B3.

If you give a transition inventory to your entire special education class, do you have to get parental permission? You are not singling out one student.

If you are giving it to all students in a class (as part of the class curriculum) you would not need parental consent.

For the three year reevaluation, do I need to use a formal assessment for transition or will the informal classroom assessments that I use with my whole class be sufficient?

This is a team decision and should be made individually based on the needs of the child. When the IEP team reviews existing data as part of the reevaluation, the team will document what data they already have for the area of transition planning and then decide if they need additional data for transition planning purposes. The team may decide that they don’t need more information to write appropriate postsecondary goals and determine appropriate transition services or they may decide that information gained through assessment (formal or informal) is needed.

What methods of gathering information qualify as age-appropriate transition assessment but would NOT require consent?

When you are not obtaining information directly from the student, then consent is not required. Examples of such assessment may include:

Parent interviews

Teacher surveys

Behavior Observations

Situational Assessments

Observational Rating Scales

Curriculum-Based Assessments

Observational Checklists

Person-Centered Planning

Environmental Assessments

Functional Behavior Assessment

For more information on these transition assessment methods, please watch the presentation by Dr. Gary Clark on informal transition assessments http://itcnew.idahotc.com/st/training/cec/player.html

Is parental consent needed when a teacher completes a survey or checklists about a student?

If the student does not participate in the assessment, it would fall under the category of an observation and consent would not be required.

If I am using transition assessment for all of the children in a class because it is part of the course curriculum, do I have to use the same assessment for each of the children or can I modify an assessment or chose an alternate assessment?

Teachers have discretion to modify assessments or chose alternate assessments so that appropriate assessments are being used to meet the objectives of the course curriculum. Let the IEP be your guide. Use modifications that are consistent with those provided for any other kind of assessment.

How should the postsecondary goals be worded?

Because the postsecondary goals are the student’s goals, the best practice is to word them in the first person. For example, “After graduation, I will complete a degree in early childhood education.” It is also acceptable to use third person, “After graduation, Joey will earn a welding certificate through coursework at a vocational-technical school.” For younger students, this specificity may be difficult to obtain. If a student wants to attend college but is unsure of a major, the postsecondary goal might state, “Upon completion of high school, I will enroll in courses at a community college.” There are also students who do not plan to pursue postsecondary education. An appropriate goal in postsecondary education/training might state, “After graduation, Tara will complete on-the-job training to expand her duties at the local grocery store to include cash register and deli positions.”

On the IEP, how do I document that postsecondary goals are based on age-appropriate transition assessments?

The results of transition assessments can be listed in the Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance. You may also consider including the information with the postsecondary goal such as, “In an interview with Joey on October 3, 2007, he stated that after graduation he will earn a welding certificate through coursework at a vocational-technical school.” Or, you can keep documentation of age-appropriate transition assessment in the student’s educational record. If you do not document use of age-appropriate transition assessment in the IEP, make sure to include it with any IEPs that you send to the Department as part of your special education self-assessment during your MSIP review year. Make sure there is evidence of age-appropriate transition assessment for all postsecondary goal domain areas including independent living.

How do we know when it is not appropriate to include a postsecondary goal for independent living?

Postsecondary goals are required for the areas of Employment and Education or Training and, when appropriate, Independent Living. Independent living includes the skills and knowledge an individual needs to direct his or her life at home and in the community. Transition assessments for independent living could address: (a) home living, (b) household & money management, (c) transportation, (d) community involvement, (e) sexual awareness, and (f) self-advocacy.

The Department has provided the Independent Living Postsecondary Goals Worksheet to help IEP teams decide if a postsecondary goal is needed in the area of independent living. This form can be found at: http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/MOSample_Forms/Index.html.

After the IEP team discusses the student’s transition assessment information, the team can decide if it is appropriate for a student to have a postsecondary Independent Living Goal. If the team decides it is not appropriate for the student to have a postsecondary goal for Independent Living, the implication is that student doesn’t need any transition services to reach his or her desired level of independence. If this is the case, then the section for Independent Living on Form C of the State Sample IEP should indicate that the team decided that it is not appropriate for the child to have a postsecondary goal for independent living. The student’s file must include evidence that this decision was based on the results of age-appropriate transition assessment.

Most students have a goal to live independently in an apartment. They usually live at home for a few years and move out when they earn enough money. Is it okay to write, “Within three years after graduation, the student will live independently?"

Yes, it’s okay to write a postsecondary goal that will take a few years after graduation to achieve. Many times a student’s employment goal won’t be achieved until his/her education/training goal is obtained. If the student’s goal is to live independently immediately after graduation, it is also okay to write that. Schools will be held accountable for providing the services that the IEP team has determined are necessary to reasonably enable a child to meet his or her postsecondary goals. Schools will not be responsible for the child meeting the postsecondary goal or meeting the postsecondary goal within a certain timeframe. The first thing the team should do is decide whether it is appropriate for the student to have an independent living postsecondary goal. You can use the Independent Living Postsecondary Goal Worksheet to help the team decide. It can be found at: http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/MOSample_Forms/documents/PTGoals.... If the team decides that an Independent Living postsecondary goal is appropriate then they should provide services to get the child ready to live independently whether they think the child will move out right away or not.

If independent living is not a necessary postsecondary goal, how is that documented?

The best practice is to include a statement describing why the team decided an independent living postsecondary goal is not appropriate. For example, “Based on the results of the Independent Living Postsecondary Goal Worksheet and student and parent interviews, the team decided that including a goal for independent living is not appropriate.”

Are terms such as “will explore” or “plans” acceptable in a postsecondary goal?

If the “exploring” and “planning” are happening in high school then it is not a measurable postsecondary goal. The expectation is that the goal is describing what the student will do after high school. This may seem semantic, but think about it in the context of measuring a goal. If you use a phrase like “wants to” then you are measuring the child’s desire to do something after high school. Do they still have that desire? Measuring that can be a tricky proposition. When you use the word “will” you are measuring concrete results. The child either did it or did not do it after graduation. “Will” is measurable. 

How do you address transition when a student changes his or her postsecondary goals as a senior?

Schools will be held accountable for providing the services that the team has determined are necessary to prepare the child to meet the child’s postsecondary goals. If the child changes his or her mind, the team should react by reviewing the IEP and then deciding if any IEP revisions are needed. If the team decides that it needs to revise the IEP, then it should determine what services are needed and provide them in the time they have left before graduation.

How do you address transition when the student is unmotivated and has no career/employment postsecondary goals – no idea what they want to do after high school?

It sounds like the student might benefit from self-determination training. The Transition Coalition in collaboration with the Department has developed a Missouri-specific online training module, The Essentials of Self-Determination that can be accessed for free at www.TransitionCoalition.org. Additional resources are available on the Missouri Community of Practice, www.MissouriTransition.org. You can also get the family involved, talk with friends, use transition assessment, and do the best you can to teach the child employment and self-determination skills that will benefit them after they leave high school. You have to have a transition plan.

Is the school district held responsible if the child does not obtain employment in a certain area where they have training within high school?

The school is not held responsible if the student does not obtain employment after high school. They are held responsible for creating and implementing a plan that will lead toward the student’s post school goals. School districts do have to report exit data for State Performance Plan Indicator 14. They have to report how many graduates were contacted and how many are employed or continuing their educations and how many were engaged in other activities. Performance on this indicator is reported to the public.

If a certain post-secondary school is named on the transition plan but the student is not accepted will the public school be held responsible?

It is recommended that a specific post-secondary school not be named in the IEP. The local school district is typically not held responsible if the student does not gain admission as long as there has been a coordinated set of activities during school to help the student move toward the goal of attending college.

It seems like everything is geared to LD and when you work with low EMH and non-verbal students you are very limited. Just knowing what the student wants to do after hih school is a challenge. I feel like these students are overlooked.

For students with more significant disabilities, it’s important to assess their preferences and interests and include them in IEP planning. Postsecondary goals can be based on these preferences. A newly released IEP example on the Missouri Transition Community of Practice, www.MissouriTransition.org, provides examples for a student with a more significant disability.

When using the Department’s model form C, does there have to be a service listed under school, student, and parent to be in compliance?

No, minimum compliance requires that at least one service be listed under each postsecondary goal. If only one service is listed, this is typically listed as the school’s responsibility.

If sections don’t apply on the transition page, can they be left blank (i.e., outside agency)?

You can write “NA” or “referral to an outside agency is not appropriate” in that section. Best practice is to note why a section is left blank.

Can the 4-year plan be attached to the IEP and used for the course of study?

Yes, a 4-year plan can be attached to the IEP, and the course of study can state, “See 4-year plan.” It is important that the 4-year plan include a detailed list of courses, including specific courses that will help the student reach his/her postsecondary goals. If the courses are not uniquely titled (e.g. Algebra I is a unique title, but Math or Life Skills is not), then additional information on the course content should be included either in the 4-year plan or in the course of study section on Form C.

On a 4-year plan, if the student is in 9th grade, do all 4 years have to be filled out?

Yes, the coursework for the student’s current grade as well as the anticipated coursework through the student’s anticipated exit year should be listed. Here is what the Missouri Special Education Compliance Program Review Standards & Indicators say:

200.800.f. The transition services include courses of study that focus on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child to facilitate their movement from school to post-school. 200.800.f.(1) The course of study (or courses) listed align with the student’s identified postsecondary goal(s).

200.800.f.(2) The courses of study are multi-year description of coursework from the student’s current grade to anticipated exit year that is designed to help achieve the student’s desired post-school goal(s).

Do we have to list past coursework taken (if not attaching a 4-year plan) if they are an upper classman?

No, refer to standard cited above. You are required to list classes being taken in the current school year through the anticipated exit year. 

Can the multi-year course of study be one “plan” that is not categorized under “education/training,” “employment,” and “independent living”?

When using the Department’s model Form C, you can either use the spaces provided on Form C and group courses under the postsecondary goal they support OR you can attach a four-year plan. You do not have to identify the courses that are related to each postsecondary goal, but it should be clear that there are courses related to each postsecondary goal. The IEP team may choose to identify the courses related to each postsecondary goal to ensure that all postsecondary goals are being addressed.

Do courses that the student is taking during the present IEP year that relate to a postsecondary goal need to be highlighted if using a 4-year plan?

No, courses on a 4-year plan do not have to be highlighted, but the plan should identify which year the courses will be taken. If the IEP team chooses to do this through highlighting or color-coding, that is fine.

Is it acceptable to list Life Skills Math for each year on the 4-year plan?

If a course does not have a course curriculum, knowledge, performance, or alternate standards associated with it, it is recommended that the course of study list the standards that will be covered during each academic year. This will help ensure that the student continues to move toward his/her postsecondary goals.

On the 4 year plan do you need to specify which classes will be co-taught or special education classes, etc.?

No. You can, but it is not a requirement for the transition plan. This information is found on the service summary page of the IEP.

How do you determine if a student will graduate by completing required courses or by completing IEP goals?

How a student with a disability earns credits towards graduation is an IEP team decision that should be made on an individual basis for each child. When a child graduates by meeting IEP goals the child earns a regular diploma and is not counted a dropout. 

The following is from the Graduation Handbook for Missouri Public Schools published by the Department (found on the Department’s web site at http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/sia/gradndex.htm): 

SPECIAL POLICY CONSIDERATION FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES UNDER IDEA

Each school district must provide a free, appropriate public education for students with disabilities until they are graduated with a regular diploma or attain the age of 21 years. Local school boards must establish policies and guidelines that ensure that students with disabilities have the opportunity to earn credits toward graduation in a nondiscriminatory manner and within the spirit and intent of that requirement. Provisions include:

Any specific graduation requirement may be waived for a disabled student if recommended by the IEP Committee.

Students with disabilities receive grades and have credit transcripted in the same manner as all other students when they complete the same courses as other students.

Students with disabilities who complete regular courses modified as indicated in their IEPs to accommodate their disabilities will receive grades and have credit transcripted in that same manner as students who complete the same courses without modification; however, the fact that the courses were modified may be noted on the transcripts.

Students with disabilities who meet the goals and objectives of their IEPs, as measured by the evaluation procedures and criteria specified in the IEPs, will have credit transcripted in accordance with the state definition of units of credit.

All students with disabilities who meet state and local graduation requirements by taking and passing regular courses without modification; taking and passing regular courses with modification; or successfully achieving IEP goals and objectives shall be graduated and receive regular high school diplomas.

Students with disabilities who reach age 21, or otherwise terminate their education, and who have met the district’s attendance requirements but who have not completed the requirements for graduation, receive a certificate of attendance.

The Department was provided guidance about what kind of information can be included on the transcript of a student with a disability. According to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), transcripts may not contain information disclosing students' disabilities but can indicate that the student took classes with a modified or alternate education curriculum. For more detailed information please refer to the SELS message from October 30, 2008. It can be found at the following address: http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/LS10.30.08.htm

Where can I find guidelines from the Department for students graduating through the IEP to be sure we meet state requirements?

Please refer to the Graduation Handbook for Missouri Public Schools. You can find it using the following link: http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/sia/gradndex.htm

What documentation does a district need to support graduation of a child when the IEP team has determined that the child should graduate by meeting IEP goals?

The IEP team must consider at the annual IEP review before the child turns 16, and any subsequent IEP review, how the child is going to meet graduation requirements. This should be at the center of transition planning for the child. The Department’s model IEP Form C includes a place to document the IEP team’s decision about how the child will meet graduation requirements. It should indicate that the child is going to graduate by meeting IEP goals. The model form also includes a place to document the anticipated month and year of graduation. Recording this information in the IEP will help the IEP team, including the child and the parents, be aware of the plan and timeline for graduation.

As the anticipated month and year of graduation draws near, IEP team members who are responsible for implementing IEP goals and providing transition services should take stock of the child’s progress towards the goals. They should be doing this as part of their routine reporting of progress towards IEP goals, at the frequency described in the IEP, and parents should be provided a copy of these progress reports. If any team members, including the parent and the student, have concerns that a student will not meet any particular IEP goal, that a transition services has not been provided, or that the child is not ready to graduate even if the goal is met, that team member may request the team reconvene. The IEP team would then consider whether goals should be revised and whether the anticipated month and year of graduation should be changed.

If goals are met and no team members ask to reconvene the IEP team to revise goals or change the anticipated date of graduation, then the student will be graduated according to the IEP. A notice of action for graduation would be provided no less than ten days prior to graduation, without exception. The notice of action for graduation is required to include certain information. The notice must describe the proposed action, such as, “The student will graduate resulting in a change in placement and eligibility because graduation ends a student’s right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE).” The notice of action for graduation must also include a description of other options considered and why they were rejected, such as, “Continuing to provide FAPE through an IEP was considered but that option was rejected because the team decided the child would graduate by meeting IEP goals and the goals have been met.” The notice of action for graduation must also include a description of the information used as the basis for the action. It would be appropriate to list the transition plan, progress reporting and all other information considered to make the decision to graduate the student because goals have been met. When a student with a disability graduates by meeting IEP goals a regular diploma is awarded.

What should be included in the Summary of Performance?

The Summary of Performance (SOP) is a provision of IDEA that requires the local education agency to provide a summary of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance for all students with IEPs exiting school with a standard diploma or exceeding the age of eligibility (21) for FAPE. The summary should include recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his/her postsecondary goals. Refer to the Special Education Compliance Standards and Indicators 200.1320.a. The Department has developed a sample SOP form that can be downloaded at http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/MOSample_Forms/allspecedform....

Do you give the Summary of Performance to the student or the parents?

Refer to the Special Education Compliance Standards and Indicators 200.1320.b. It says "student" in the standards, and most of the time you will provide it to a student who has reached the age of majority, but there will be exceptions to this rule. If a child graduates with a regular diploma before the age of 18 the SOP would have to be provided to the parents because the child is not yet his or her own educational decision maker. If parents have obtained legal guardianship for a child through a court of competent jurisdiction so that they retain educational decision making rights after the child turns 18, then the SOP would have to be provided to the parents. It is recommended that you encourage the student to share the SOP information with parents/guardians who will be assisting in the transition process. Students should also understand how the information can be used to access services and accommodation in postsecondary settings.

When do we give the Summary of Performance to the student?

The summary must be provided to the student not more than 60 days before or 30 days after the child is graduating with a regular diploma or turning 21. Refer to the Special Education Compliance Standards and Indicators 200.1320.a and 200.1320.c or 200.1320.d.

What if the school sent the student the Summary of Performance 30 days before graduation and then the student failed to graduate?

As far as compliance is concerned, the school would just have to provide the summary again (updated, of course) when the child actually graduates. If a student is on the cusp, it might be easier for the school to wait until graduation is official to provide the SOP rather than possibly having to provide and then update the SOP if the student takes longer to graduate than expected.

Where can I find guidance on completing the summary of performance?

An example Summary of Performance is provided on the Missouri Best Practices in Transition Planning online learning module located on the Transition Coalition website, www.TransitionCoalition.org.

Two case studies, each with a sample summary of performance, can be found on the Missouri Community of Practice, www.MissouriTransition.org.

When writing SMART IEP goals, is it assumed that the timeline for completion will be by the end of the IEP cycle?

You can specify a duration for an annual measurable goal that is different from the annual dates of the IEP, but typically the duration coincides with the annual IEP dates. That is the “attainable” part of SMART goals. You should make sure that your annual goals meet all the criteria outlined in the Missouri Special Education Compliance Program Review Standards and Indicators, see Indicator 200.810.

Does the baseline of each annual IEP goal need to be documented?

Baseline is not a requirement for annual measurable IEP goals, but best practice is to document the student’s current performance (baseline). It can be included in the Present Levels, in the annual goal comments section, or in the annual goal itself.

If a student is only being serviced in co-teaching classes, no resource (study skills), how is that shown on placement?

Specialized instruction provided in a co-teaching classroom is not considered time removed from general education. 100% in general education is in the “inside regular education at least 80% of time” placement category.

Do co-taught classes need to have minutes on the service summary page and do you show that on placement?

When a child with a disability is in a co-taught classroom because the IEP team decided that it is the appropriate place for the child to receive special education services (not just by chance through scheduling) then the service summary page should list the amount of specialized instruction to be provided in that setting. When the special education service is provided in the general education setting it does not count as time removed from general education. Make sure to list the location of the service as, “general education.”

How do you document paraprofessional support on the service summary page?

The IEP should list the amount of time including frequency, location and duration that the IEP team determined this service is needed for the child as a supplementary aid and service. That would include services from a one-on-one paraprofessional the team has determined necessary and could include time from a paraprofessional that also works with other students in the class if the team determined that dedicated time was needed for that paraprofessional to work with this child (individually or in a group) for a particular amount of time daily, weekly etc. to address the annual goals. If a paraprofessional is working in a classroom and a child with an IEP gains incidental benefit from this, it would not be reflected on the IEP. The key factor is whether the team determined that paraprofessional services were necessary, and for what period of time, to implement this IEP and that amount of time would need to be dedicated to working with the child as indicated in accordance with the IEP.

Postsecondary goals are required for both education and employment. In some scenarios, it makes senses, but in others it may not. For example: Johnny plans to go into the military, and he wants a military career. What would his goals be?

His employment postsecondary goal could state: After graduation from high school and qualifying for admittance, Johnny will enlist in the military. (This is an appropriate employment aspiration.) His postsecondary education/training postsecondary goal could state: After graduation from high school and qualifying for admittance, Johnny will complete basic training in the military.

What are appropriate postsecondary education and employment goals for a student who wants to become a teacher?

You could write two separate postsecondary goals for education/training and employment, or you could write a combination postsecondary goal and list it for both postsecondary goals: After graduation, Sue will complete college, earn a teaching certificate and become employed as a teacher. 

What are appropriate postsecondary education/training and employment goals for a student who will go to work on the family farm upon graduation?

Employment: After graduation, ‘student’ will work full-time on his family’s farm.

Training: After graduation, ‘student’ will participate in on-the-job training on the family farm to learn [independent operation of a combine, buying and selling crops, etc.]. When writing transition services, this would be a good opportunity to help the child explore the training/education options in the community that are available to him or her.

How do you write a postsecondary goal when the student’s dream is unattainable or unreasonable?

Involving a student in the IEP process and interpreting transition assessment can often help the student identify attainable postsecondary goals. Sometimes the IEP team also has to think creatively as they strive to include postsecondary goals that take into consideration the student’s desires and write a meaningful transition plan that will prepare the student for life after high school. 

The following is a goal from the Department’s example IEP for “Katie,” a mild MR student: Upon graduation from high school, I (Katie) will take a first aid class at the community college and continue on-the-job training.

Katie’s transition plan shows that she will attend college, but she is a senior and has not been taking college preparatory courses. This IEP identifies creative thinking in creating a plan that leads Katie toward her postsecondary goal but does so in a realistic manner.

Dr. Ed O’Leary, who is a leader in the field of postsecondary transition training, recommends that the IEP team should follow-up with a line of questions when they believe the student’s postsecondary goal is unreasonable. Use the “wh” questions:

Why do you want to do that? Where do you want to be? What do you like about that job? A student who wants to be a veterinarian probably doesn’t want to complete seven or eight years of college. He or she may enjoy working with animals and knows that is what a veterinarian does. When that student learns about all the other occupations in the area of animal care, he or she is likely to find one that is a better fit.

How should the sound system disorder criteria be implemented at a district level?

  1. The student exhibits a delay of correct sound production based on state designated normative data.
    The state designated norms address the age at which students acquire correct sound production (individual phonemes). Students meet this part of the criteria when they are beyond those norms. The normative data does not apply to phonological patterns or overall intelligibility as that is addressed in 2 and 3 below.
     
  2. The child's sound system is significantly delayed based on a single word test and/or sentence/phrase repetition task and a connected speech sample withconsideration given to the type of error recorded (substitutions, omissions, distortions, and/or additions). These errors may be described as single sound errors or errors in phonological patterns or multiple errors in the child's speech that compromise intelligibility and/or listener perception even though the recorded errors are considered within normal developmental guidelines.
    This describes the methods required to evaluate and document a significant delay. It is important to note that there is no quantifier identified for significant delay as applicable to sound system factors other than single sound norms -- such as phonological processing, number of sound errors, overall intelligibility, etc. This allows for identification of phonological processing problems and compromised intelligibility as a basis for eligibility via professional judgment, even if the requirements of (1) are not met. If districts have been using some guidelines for phonological processing pattern errors and/or compromised intelligibility that document the child's sound system is significantly delayed, those can continue to be used to find children eligible using professional judgment.

Are there state designated norms for phonological processing?

No. DESE has not designated norms for phonological processing to use for IDEA eligibility purposes. Similarly no norms or quantitative criteria are established for intelligibility ratings or other factors. Instead these factors are left to professional judgment. External groups (MSHA) and some local school districts have identified guidelines for using phonological processing in eligibility determinations, but these have not been state designated norms in the past and are not currently state designated norms.

What is significantly different between the current and previous sound system criteria?

The major difference is that school districts again have consistent state designated norms for single sound production to use as part of the determination of eligibility. Districts had such norms in past State Plans. Other factors such as phonological processing problems, compromised intelligibility, percent of consonants correct, number of individual sound errors, severity ratings and other factors can be used to qualify students who do not meet the state designated norms for single sound production based on professional judgment. This has not changed from the previous State Plan. In addition, it is critical to remember that the sound system disorder must adversely affect the child’s educational performance, cannot be the result of dialectal differences or second language influence and the child must need special education services to be IDEA eligible.

Can a district serve children with speech production problems outside of special education?

Yes. Children with speech production problems can receive non-special education intervention designed to address those problems. Some Missouri schools are successfully utilizing alternative service delivery models with speech-language pathologists delivering sound system intervention outside of special education. Districts may develop guidelines regarding students for whom such interventions are appropriate using procedures aligned with a response to intervention approach that continues to ensure access to special education when necessary.

How did Missouri get involved in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to develop assessments based on the Common Core State Standards?

Governor Jay Nixon and Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro, with the approval of the State 
Board
of Education, signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in 2010 committing Missouri to participate 
as a governing state in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.
Additional information:
- Smarter Balanced Governance Structure Document:  
- Smarter Balanced Race to the Top Assessment Program Application:

What data are collected by the Missouri Departmen and Secondary Education through its comprehensive data system?

A list of data collected by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education can be 
found at
Department by local school districts are subject to the confidentiality provisions of the Family 
Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g), which bars disclosure of personally 
identifiable student information without parental consent or unless authorized by federal law. This 
includes transmission of data to the federal government.

What is the comprehensive data system? How is the data gathered?

 
The comprehensive data system collects, analyzes and uses student data from preschool to high 
school, college and the workforce.
 
Missouri schools have been collecting and reporting data to the Missouri Department of Elementary 
and Secondary Education since 1989. These data are used for education accreditation and accountability purposes and related federal program purposes. Federal programs that require the collection of data are the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ‒ Special Education), Federal Title Programs, School Food Services, Migrant Education Programs and Carl Perkins Career Technical Education.
 
The information is collected by the Department to comply with Missouri statutes, federal program
standards and Missouri school improvement accountability. No information ‒ with the exception of Migrant Education ‒ is reported to the U.S. Department of Education at the student level. Student
information reported to the U.S. Department of Education is done only at the aggregate (school and 
district) level and is not personally identifiable.

Has the adoption of the Common Core State Standards changed the data reporting requirements for school districts in Missouri?

No. The adoption of the Common Core State Standards has not increased the data reporting requirements
for school districts. Missouri school districts have been collecting and reporting data to the State
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education since 1989. These data are used for education
accreditation/accountability purposes and related federal program purposes. Federal programs that
require the collection of data are: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA - Special Education); Federal Title Programs; School Food Services; Migrant Education Programs; and Carl Perkins Career Technical Education.

How did Missouri get involved in the effort to develop the Common Core State Standards?

 
Governor Jay Nixon and Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro, with the approval of the State 
Board of Education, signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) in 2009 committing Missouri to work with other 
states on the development of the Common Core State Standards. The MOA document can be found at

What are the Common Core State Standards, and how are they impacting the Missouri Learning Standards?

Missouri regularly updates its learning standards so that students graduate from high school with 
the knowledge and skills they need for success in college and careers. The most recent revision updates 
standards in English/language arts and math with Common Core State Standards content. The 
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education recently provided information about the 
development and implementation of the updated standards in a letter to state lawmakers. The letter 

How is Missouri funding the implementation of the Common Core State Standards?

Missouri is using existing resources to implement the Common Core State Standards. No additional funding has been requested. During the past three years, local school districts have been providing information about the Common Core State Standards to educators during professional development time and have been using existing resources to update their curriculum and align it with the standards. Educators throughout the state have been working with the Department to develop a model curriculum for districts to adapt or adopt as locally determined.
The following information about the Missouri Learning Standards and the Common Core State Standards has been provided to members of the Missouri General Assembly:
- Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro's testimony: dese.mo.gov/legislative/coe-ccss-testimony.pdf
- Information for legislators: dese.mo.gov/documents/ccss-legislators.pdf
- Common Core State Standards supporters: dese.mo.gov/documents/CCSS-Support-lists.pdf
- Fordham Institute testimony: dese.mo.gov/documents/Fordham.pdf
- Common Core State Standards news release:

Is Missouri one of the 37 states that applied for a federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver? Did the waiver require Missouri to adopt the Common Core State Standards?

Missouri did apply and was granted a federal ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) flexibility waiver.
When applying for an ESEA waiver, states could choose Option A or B (see chart below). Missouri 
chose Option A because the state had already adopted the Common Core State Standards.
Option A
The state has adopted college- and career- ready standards in at least reading/language arts and 
mathematics that are common to a significant number of states, consistent with part (1) of the 
definition of college- and career-ready standards.
i.  Attach evidence that the state has adopted the standards, consistent with the state’s 
standards adoption process.
Option B
The state has adopted college- and career-ready standards in at least reading/language arts and mathematics that have been approved and certified by a state network of institutions of higher education (IHEs), consistent with part (2) of the definition of college- and career- ready standards.
i. Attach evidence that the state has adopted the standards, consistent with the state's standards adoption process.
ii. Attach a copy of the memorandum of understanding or letter from a state network of IHEs certifying that students who meet these standards will not need remedial coursework at the postsecondary level.

Will student data from the Smarter Balanced Assessment system be shared with the United States Department of Education (USDOE)?

No. Joe Willhoft, executive director of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, provided the following response:

"As executive director of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, I can unequivocally state that there is no agreement, nor discussion of any arrangement between Smarter Balanced and USDOE regarding transmission of student-level data to USDOE.

The Consortium has no intention to seek any such agreement, and we have not been asked or pressured to do so by USDOE. Each of the 21 Governing State members in Smarter Balanced manages the student records within its state. The privacy and handling of individually-identifiable education records are subject to pertinent state laws and to the federal Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). State and federal privacy rules would not permit the transmission of records you describe."

How many children are being served by the Missouri Preschool Project? What guidelines are used to determine program participants? W to provide early childhood education to all children in Missouri?

The Missouri Preschool Project (MPP) provided services to 4,103 children during fiscal year 2012. 
With the reduced funding in the current fiscal year, the Department anticipates serving approximately 3,500 
children. Gov. Nixon’s proposed $10 million increase in funding would serve an additional 1,600 
to1,800 children in new programs, based on a cost of approximately $5,000 to $6,000 per child.
 
Programs must implement a sliding scale fee to ensure all families, regardless of income, have an 
opportunity to participate. Private providers generally use a sliding fee schedule from the 
Department of Social Services, and public schools generally use criteria based on free and reduced 
price lunch guidelines.
 
Providing early childhood education for all 3- and 4-year-olds in Missouri (139,742 children, based  on fiscal year 2012 kindergarten enrollment), at a cost of $6,000 per child, would total $838,452,000.

How much funding will school districts and charter schools in the Kansas City area receive for summer school for 2013?

A chart showing summer school funding for Kansas City area school districts and charter schools can be viewed at: dese.mo.gov/documents/kc-area-summer-funding.pdf. All charter schools in the Kansas City area will receive $3,730 per weighted average daily attendance (WADA) plus $4,587 in local tax dollars, for a total of $8,317 for each WADA served in summer school programs.

What happens when a school district that has implemented a four-day school week demonstrates a decline in student achievement as measured by the MSIP performance standards?

State law (Section 171.029 RSMo) allows school districts to adopt a four-day school week. Section 2 of the statute states: "If a school district that attends less than one hundred seventy-four days meets at least two fewer performance standards on two successive annual performance reports than it met on its last annual performance report received prior to implementing a calendar year of less than one hundred seventy-four days it shall be required to revert to a one hundred seventy-four-day school year in the school year following the report of the drop in the number of performance standards met. When the number of performance standards met reaches the earlier number, the district may return to the four-day week or other calendar consisting of less than one hundred seventy-four days in the next school year."

How many FTEs has the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education had for the past five years? What are the Department's personnel expenditures for the past five years?

The following chart provides information about the Department's FTEs over the past five years:

General Department of Elementary and Secondary Education FTEs 2009-2013*
                       FY2009        FY2010        FY2011        FY2012          FY2013
General
Revenue:            976              892              840              834                  825
Federal:              854              854              877              877                  864
TOTAL:              1,830           1,746           1,717           1,711              1,689
*Note: All numbers have been rounded for clarity
 
A graph showing the Department's FTEs can be viewed at dese.mo.gov/documents/full-time-
 
Information about the Department's personnel expenditures can be viewed at

What school calendars (beginning and ending dates) are followed by Missouri school districts?

A list of beginning and ending dates for all school districts in the state for the 2011-2012 school year can be viewed at dese.mo.gov/legislative/schoolcalendars.pdf. Complete data for the 2012-2013 school year won't be available until the end of the school year.

How do Missouri school districts' administrative costs compare to instruction costs over the past 10 years?

Administrative and instruction costs for Missouri school districts over the past 10 years can be viewed at: dese.mo.gov/legislative/instruction-admin-costs.pdf.

What are achievement level descriptors and how will they impact the assessment of English/language arts and math?

Achievement level descriptors describe the knowledge, skills and processes expected of students at different levels of performance on the Smarter Balanced assessments. Missouri schools will begin using the assessments to measure student achievement in English/language arts and math in the spring of 2015. For more information about achievement level descriptors, visit www.smarterbalanced.org/achievement-level-descriptors-and-college-readiness.

How many schools in Missouri have adopted a four-day school week?

Currently, six Missouri school districts are following a four-day school week. They are: Orearville, Lathrop, Albany, East Lynne, Harrisburg and Montgomery County.

Why is the cost of the GED test increasing?

The GED® test is used by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for awarding a high school equivalency. The test, published by the American Council on Education (ACE) GED Testing Service (GEDTS), was selected using the state’s procurement process. The current contract with the ACE-GEDTS expires on December 31, 2013.
The Department is currently seeking bids for a high school equivalency test to be implemented on January 2, 2014. The bid closes on February 15, 2013.
The current paper-pencil test will continue to be available at a total cost of $40 until December 31, 2013.
In March 2011, the American Council on Education (ACE) and Pearson, a for-profit education and testing company, announced a joint venture. They established a for-profit organization to develop a new “21st Century” computer-based high school equivalency test to be released on January 2, 2014. Shortly after the announcement, GEDTS revealed that the price of the 2014 test – available only on computer with the exception of approved accommodations – would cost $120, not including any state administrative fees.
The Department expects the price to go up in 2014, irrespective of the vendor. The Department will use the state’s bid process to determine the lowest and best bid to meet the needs of Missouri's citizens.

How was Missouri's new Model Educator Evaluation System developed, and how will it impact the state's school districts?

Missouri's Model Educator Evaluation System, developed by the Department of Elementary and  Secondary Education, is currently being piloted during the 2012-2013 school year at more than 100 school  districts across the state. Educators throughout Missouri, guided by national research and experts  in the field, contributed to the development of the system, which focuses on effective educational practices and the professional development of teachers, principals and superintendents. School
districts in Missouri can adopt the state's model system or develop or revise their own system to  align with the seven essential principles included in the state's system.
 
More information about how the system was developed and how it will impact Missouri schools can be found at dese.mo.gov/eq/ees.htm.
 
 

What is Missouri's Top 10 x 20 initiative?

Missouri's performance on a broad range of educational measures matches its geography‒in the middle. While Missouri is moving in the right direction, the state needs to ensure that its students are prepared for the workforce and for success in the quickly changing global economy. That's why the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education launched its Top 10 by 20 initiative in 2009.
The focus of the Top 10 by 20 is for student performance in Missouri to rank among the top 10 performing states in education by the year 2020. The plan outlines four goals:
• Preparing all students for success in college and career
• Ensuring all children enter kindergarten prepared to be successful in school
• Preparing, developing and supporting effective educators
• Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the Department
The Department believes the success of the state depends upon a collective effort to prepare all Missourians for the future. For more information ‒ including a video, state education data dashboard, supporter materials and more ‒ visit dese.mo.gov/top10by20.
 
Additional information:

Does the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education follow up with employers of graduates of vocational-technical programs?

The Department requires a 180-day follow-up of all graduates of career education programs. Schools must report whether students are employed, continuing their education or in the military. The Department does not require schools to follow up with employers to determine how well students were prepared for the workforce. Some follow-up may be done at the local school district level, but it is not a reporting requirement of the Department.

How much state funding does the Kansas City School District receive?

The Kansas City School District received the following state funds for fiscal year 2012:
• Basic Formula ‒ state money: $62,191,733
• Transportation: $3,057,496
• Early Childhood Special Education: $2,968,583
• Basic Formula ‒ Classroom Trust: $5,856,306
• Educational Screening Program/Parents as Teachers: $205,660
• Vocational/Technical Aid: $408,121

How much money do Missouri school districts spend on athletics?

Schools districts report total student activity expenditures to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, however spending related to athletics is not reported separately. A list of student activity expenditures for 2011-2012 can be viewed at dese.mo.gov/legislative/activity-expenditures.pdf. The totals do not include salary and benefits for school staff assigned to the activities.

Who sets the income guidelines for free and reduced-price school lunches? What percentage of students attending Missouri schools are eligible for free and reduced- price lunches?

The income guidelines for free and reduced-price lunches are set under federal regulations and are currently 130 percent of the poverty level for free lunches and 185 percent of the poverty level for reduced-price lunches. Those standards have not changed recently. Based on the most recent data, 49.5 percent of students enrolled in Missouri schools are eligible for free and reduced-price lunches under the National School Lunch Program.

What school districts in Missouri are Hold Harmless Districts?

A list of the Hold Harmless School Districts can be viewed at: dese.mo.gov/legislative/hold-harmless.pdf.

How much funding does the Missouri Lottery provide for education?

Revenue from the Missouri lottery was first included in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's budget in fiscal year 1994. Revenue from gaming followed in fiscal year 1995. For fiscal year 2013, the Department's budget includes a total of $510, 674,533 from the lottery and gaming. That total amounts to about 10 percent of the state's education budget.
A chart showing education budget appropriations, including a breakdown of funds from the lottery and gaming since 1994, can be viewed at dese.mo.gov/legislative/funding-breakout.pdf.

Commissioner of Education's presentation to new state legislators

Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro presented an overview of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for new state legislators on Wednesday, January 23. The presentation can be viewed at dese.mo.gov/commissioner/documents/new-legislator-orientation.pdf.

What is the difference between MSIP 5 Performance, Process and Resource standards?

The standards are organized in three sections: Resource Standards, Process Standards and
Performance Standards. The Resource Standards address the basic requirements that all districts 
should have in place. They are generally quantitative in nature and include such components as 
class size, course offerings, and appropriate certification.  Some standards are appropriate for 
all districts. Other standards need to be tailored for districts in different contextual settings.
 
The Process Standards address the instructional and administrative processes used in schools. They 
include standards on instructional design and practices, effective teachers and leaders,  and 
governance.
 
Performance Standards include multiple measures of student performance. The standards against which 
all school districts will be assessed include academic achievement; subgroup achievement; college 
and career readiness (K-12) or high school readiness (K-8); attendance; and graduation rate. The 
Department annually collects and analyzes data for the performance
standards as part of the accreditation process.

When will districts be held accountable to the Performance Standards in MSIP 5?

The Performance Standards and Indicators are used to generate a district’s Annual Performance Report (APR). The 2013 APR—which will be published during the summer of 2013—is the first MSIPAPR that will be used to inform district classification recommendations. Three APRs, reflecting three years of performance data, will be used for classification recommendations.
This means that for the vast majority of districts, the department will review a district’s 2013 APR, 2014 APR, and 2015 APR for MSIP 5 accreditation classifications made in fall of 2015. If a district’s accreditation should warrant a change from its classification prior to 2015, the district’s fourth cycle APR will be reviewed in conjunction with the MSIP 5 APR. If this should 
occur, the 4th Cycle APR will be reviewed in relation to district performance as measured by the 4th Cycle standards and indicators and the MSIP 5 APR in relation to district performance as measured by the MSIP 5 standards and indicators. MSIP 5 is a completely different system than 4th Cycle MSIP; therefore, the APRs generated from the two systems should not be compared.

State Board of Education (SBE) Action

APRs reviewed

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Fall 2012 (Districts not previously classified in 4th cycle or those with a recommendation for a change in 4th Cycle classification were taken to SBE.)

4th Cycle 2008

4th Cycle 2009

4th Cycle 2010

4th Cycle 2011

4th Cycle 2012

 

 

 

*Fall 2013 (A school district’s classification designation remains in effect until the SBE approves another designation. The SBE may consider changing a district’s classification designation at any time.)

 

 

 

4th Cycle 2011

4th Cycle 2012

MSIP 5

2013

 

 

*Fall 2014 (A school district’s classification designation remains in effect until the SBE approves another designation. The SBE may consider changing a district’s classification designation at any time.)

 

 

 

 

4th Cycle 2012

MSIP 5

2013

MSIP 5

2014

 

Fall 2015 (All districts reviewed annually to determine if a recommendation for classification designation is needed.)

 

 

 

 

 

MSIP 5

2013

MSIP 5

2014

MSIP 5

2015

*The Department does not intend to make MSIP 5 classification recommendations to the SBE until the district has acquired three MSIP 5 APRs, fall 2015. However, the SBE may consider changing a district’s classification designation at any time as outlined in the MSIP 5 rule http://dese.mo.gov/qs/documents/MSIP-5-Performance-Standard-Rule.pdf
 
 
 
 

What is the difference between a district’s accreditation status and a district’s accreditation classification?

The term “accreditation status” is used when describing the status of district’s APR for a given year. For example, in MSIP 5 a district’s APR may show that it has earned 89% of the overall points possible. The APR reflects a fully accredited status. The term “accreditation classification” is used to describe the official SBE designation for the district. Since multiple APRs are used to recommend an official accreditation classification, there are times when a district’s APR accreditation status for a given year may differ from the district’s official accreditation classification.

For College and Career Readiness Standard *1-3 (CCR *1-3), which measures postsecondary placement for all students, may we use scores from any of the four assessments listed (ACT, SAT, COMPASS or ASVAB)?

Yes. While in 4th Cycle the APR included only the ACT for this measure, the intent of MSIP 5 is to broaden the measures used to meet the standard through assessments that best meet the needs of individual students.

As we implement higher standards, is it reasonable to expect that fewer districts will be designated as “Accredited with Distinction” in MSIP 5 than have received “Distinction in Performance” (DIP) in previous cycles?

The criteria for earning “Accredited with Distinction” will be different than the criteria utilized for DIP in prior cycles of MSIP. For a district to be “Accredited with Distinction”, they must earn 90% or greater of the points available as well as other criteria to be determined.

When will the Resource and Process standards go into effect?

The Resource and Process Standards were approved by the State Board of Education at the September 2012 board meeting. The public comment period began on November 1, 2012 and closed on November 30, 2012. The comments will be reviewed by the State Board of Education. Comments will be responded to during the January meeting. If approved, the resource and
process standards will take effect during the spring of 2015.

In what way will the revised Resource and Process Standards impact accreditation?

During the 4th cycle of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP), the Department began utilizing performance as the main factor in determining a district’s classification level. The Department will continue to utilize performance measures as the main determinant for classification during MSIP 5. Resource and Process Standards will not be used to determine a district’s classification, but will be used to provide feedback to districts who may be in jeopardy of receiving a classification other than fully accredited.

If a district cannot afford to implement the desirable Resource Standards, what is the impact on a district?

As has been the practice since 2006, the department will monitor the district’s Annual Performance Report for accreditation purposes. The district should continue to tailor the Resource Standards to meet the needs of the students in the district.

Because the district must choose between the Algebra I test and the grade level mathematics assessment for each student and is no longer able to include two scores for some students, will our scores go down from prior years?

The MSIP 5 DRAFT APR calculates data from the 2010, 2011 and 2012 assessments consistent with the Department’s algebra policy. Data from those assessment years are not included as a duplicated count in mathematics if the student took both the grade level and EOC assessment. The grade level results are removed so that appropriate annual progress can be calculated.
Scores from all mathematics assessment are reported in total rather than by grade span for the MSIP 5 DRAFT APR.

The A+ program requires a student to score proficient on the Algebra I EOC in order to be eligible for A+. May a student take the EOC each semester until he or she passes the test? If a student takes it multiple times, will their school

A student may take the Algebra I EOC multiple times to attain A+ scholarship eligibility. If the student has been assessed in a prior accountability year and is simply retesting for A+ eligibility, the district may submit a letter of appeal to have the additional scores(s) removed from accountability for the current year. Any time a district assesses a student on the state assessment, the results are included in the district’s data. It is up to the district to ensure that the appeal is filed during the current accountability year. The accountability year begins with the summer administration and ends with the spring administration (summer, fall, spring).

What are the main differences in 4th Cycle and MSIP 5?

MSIP 4th Cycle

MSIP 5

APR indicates whether each indicator is MET or NOT MET. Each indicator is weighted equally and accreditation recommendations are made on the total number of METs earned.

APR indicates the number of points earned for each indicator. Indicators are not weighted equally. Accreditation recommendations are made on the total percentage of overall points earned.

APR includes 5 years of data.

APR includes 3 years of data.

APR includes MET/NOT MET for each grade span (3-5, 6-8, high school) for English Language Arts and Mathematics.

APR includes percent of points earned by each subject area for English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies.

Performance is calculated for grade span, grade level and subgroup to assist in school improvement planning.

District-level APRs provided.

District-level and building-level APRs provided.

State targets are set using the state norm.

State targets are set using the goal of reaching Top 10 by 20 goal.

Standards and Indicators are calculated using Status and Progress.

Standards and Indicators are calculated using Status, Progress and Growth where applicable.

Post-secondary preparation standard includes a measure for ACT performance.

Post-secondary preparation includes a measure for ACT or SAT or COMPASS or ASVAB performance.

Post-secondary preparation measures enrollment in Advanced Courses.

Post-secondary preparation measures successful completion in Advanced Courses.

Post-high school preparation measures the student’s high school GPA. (K-8 districts)

Post-high school preparation measures the district’s proficiency rate on MAP end-of- course assessments. (K-8 districts)

Attendance standard measures aggregate attendance.

Attendance standard measures attendance of the individual child.

Graduation rate standard measures the cohort graduation rate.

Graduation rate standard measures the 5-year adjusted cohort graduation rate.

The focus is on continuous improvement.

The focus is on continuous improvement.

MSIP 5 is a completely different system than 4th Cycle MSIP; therefore, the APRs generated from the two systems should not be compared.

I’m reviewing our district’s data and would like additional information on how each performance standard is calculated.

Additional information on the calculation of the data for each standard may be found in the Guidance Document for the fifth version of the Missouri School Improvement program located at: http://www.dese.mo.gov/qs/documents/MSIP_5_APRcalculationsOctober30topost.pdf.

What are the new accreditation levels and how will a district earn each classification?

There are four levels of accreditation as follows:
Accredited With Distinction – Equal to or greater than 90% of the points possible on the APR and meets other criteria yet to be determined by the State Board of Education.
Accredited – Equal to or greater than 70% of the points possible on the APR. 
Provisional – Equal to or greater than 50% to 69.9% of the points possible on the APR.
Unaccredited –Less than 50% of the points possible on the APR.

Is there additional information available that our district can share with stakeholders about MSIP 5?

The Department has developed a variety of resources for districts, parents and other stakeholders to assist districts in the transition from 4th Cycle MSIP to MSIP 5. These resources can be located at http://www.dese.mo.gov/qs/MSIP5.html and include Commissioner Nicastro’s video message, a toolkit, recorded webinars and other tools developed to assist districts in the transition from 4th Cycle MSIP to MSIP 5.

What is significant about the new standards?

The minimum number of credits needed to graduate will increase to 24. The current requirement of 22 units has been in place for 20 years. The new standards put more emphasis on the core academic areas by requiring 4 units of English and 3 units each in math, science and social studies. Compared with the previous standards, this means that many students will be required to complete one additional unit in each of the core academic areas. (Some school districts may have already required the additional credits in these subjects.)
In addition, there will be NEW requirements for a half-unit course (one semester) in “personal finance” and a half-unit course in health education. (See next page for specific questions regarding the required course in personal finance.)

Do the new graduation standards apply to private or parochial schools?

No.

Do these standards apply to transfer students?

Local school boards already have policies that govern the awarding of credit and diplomas to  students who transfer in during grades 9-12. Districts may wish to review and update such policies to reflect the state’s new minimum standards and any local requirements.

 

Who may teach the required health class?

Any person with a valid Missouri teaching certificate in health education or family and consumer sciences may teach the required health course.

Can students satisfy graduation standards with “embedded credits”?

State education officials anticipate that this will be possible. For example, it should be possible in the future to verify if a student has mastered enough math or science competencies in other courses to qualify for math or science credit. Use of such “embedded credits” could give students the flexibility to take a larger number and variety of courses in high school.

Schools that want to consider the use of embedded credits must submit a formal proposal, including an assessment plan, to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) for approval before using this method to award academic credit.

May schools use non-traditional methods to grant credit to students?

The policy approved by the State Board of Education specifies the number of minutes that a class must meet in order for a student to earn a traditional unit of credit. The policy also states: “However, if a student demonstrates mastery of the required competencies of a course, the district may grant credit through an alternative method with prior approval by DESE. Alternative time schedules may be approved if requested by the district.”

The intent of this “alternative method” policy is to allow local and state school officials to develop creative and flexible learning opportunities for young people, while assuring academic rigor and quality in nontraditional course offerings. State education officials are working to develop guidelines and procedures that will assist school districts that wish to explore alternative methods of awarding academic credit. The publication of grade-level expectations (GLEs) for various subjects should provide a firm basis for identifying required course competencies. Students and schools are likely to want more “virtual learning” opportunities in the future, and the new state policy will allow schools to consider awarding credit to students who complete virtual courses.

State education officials also intend to continue exploring the feasibility of course-specific competency tests that could be used by high schools as a basis for awarding academic credit. Such exams could be developed by the state, by local school districts, or by a consortium of high schools. If they become available, such state-approved, end-of-course tests would provide the means for students to “test out” of a class and earn credit for that subject.

With the new high school graduation requirements now in effect, the Department is no longer producing College Preparatory Studies Certificates (CPSC) for dissemination. The new graduation requirements now closely reflect the credit standards that had been required for the certificate, and it is the expectation that all students will be college and career ready. Districts may continue to offer such recognitions locally using the standards for the certificate as outlined in the high school graduation handbook.

When should personal finance be taught?

Classes in personal finance may be offered in grades 10, 11 and 12. Each student’s transcript must indicate that he or she earned a passing grade in this course.

Where does personal finance fit in the curriculum?

Personal finance may be categorized as a practical arts course, a social studies course or as a stand-alone course.

Who may teach personal finance?

The school district should select the most qualified person to teach the course. The instructor must hold a valid Missouri teaching certificate.

How may the personal finance class be counted for credit?

If the personal finance class is offered in the practical arts department, it may be counted to meet: (1) the personal finance requirement; and (2) as one-half of the required credit in practical arts. If personal finance is offered in the social studies department, it may be counted to meet: (1) the personal finance requirement; and (2) as a half-unit (0.5) of the 3 units of required social studies. In either of these cases, the electives available to a student would increase to 7.5 units, and the student would earn the full 24 units of credit required for graduation.

Is DESE developing a model curriculum and assessment?

Yes. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is working with the Missouri Center for Career Education, located at Central Missouri State University, to develop and publish a model, problem-based curriculum for high schools to use in teaching personal finance. It should be available by summer 2006. When the model curriculum is ready, professional development workshops will be offered for teachers and school officials.

State education officials also are exploring the feasibility of developing a state-level assessment that could be used as a competency exam in personal finance. A final decision has not been made about this assessment.

A list of recommended competencies has been developed to provide a foundation for personal finance classes. The competencies were developed by an advisory committee of business representatives; higher education officials; the Centers for Economics Education; and teachers from the areas of family and consumer sciences, business education and social studies. The competencies may be viewed on the DESE Web site (Division of Career Education).

Are high schools required to use the model curriculum?

No.

What is the course code for personal finance?

The Core Data course code for personal finance is 996400.

Where can I find the definition of homeless children or youths?

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) defines homeless children or youths. (See http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode42/usc_sec_42_00011434---  a000-.html.) Section 167.020.1, RSMo, the state statute defining Missouri’s public school residency requirements, conforms to the federal definition. (See http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C100-  199/1670000020.HTM.) Most Missouri school districts have adopted a written “Homeless Education Program” or “Admission of Homeless Students” policy or regulation that includes this definition. Homeless coordinators/liaisons and school admissions personnel should familiarize themselves with this policy.

Are homeless children and youths subject to the same residency requirements as other students?

No. Pursuant to § 167.020.6, RSMo, homelessness is an exception to the residency requirements defined in § 167.020.2 and 3, RSMo.

What is meant by “immediate” enrollment?

It means that a homeless student should be enrolled without undue or unreasonable delay. The goal is to ensure that the district does not create a barrier to enrollment.

May a school district wait until a new semester begins to enroll a homeless child?

No. The McKinney-Vento Act supersedes district practice regarding enrollment. District personnel should review their board-adopted policy regarding the enrollment of homeless students.

How does the school district determine if a student fits the definition of “awaiting foster care”?

The Department recommends contacting the Children’s Division of the Department of Social Services for assistance in making a determination as to a student’s care status.

What is Missouri’s policy on immunizations for homeless children and youths?

A.  Once district officials have determined that an enrolling student is homeless, the district’s homeless coordinator must assist in the student in obtaining his/her education, immunization, medical, and other records. According to McKinney-Vento, the student must be enrolled in the interim. If the homeless coordinator is unable to obtain prior immunization records within thirty (30) days of enrolling and the student is still eligible for services under the homeless education program; the student must begin the immunization series and demonstrate that satisfactory progress has been accomplished within (90) days. If the homeless student maintains that he/she is exempted from receiving immunizations, then after thirty (30) days the student must provide documentation in accordance with the exemption requirements provided for in § 167.181.3, RSMo. (See http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C100-  199/1670000181.HTM.)

If a parent is incarcerated is the child automatically considered a homeless student?

A review of the facts specific to the child should assist the district in determining whether homelessness is a consequence of the incarceration. It may depend on the immediacy and longevity of the parent’s incarceration; it may also depend on who has custody of the child during the parent’s incarceration and/or whether the student is residing in a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence during the incarceration. If the child isn’t identified as homeless, s/he may be residing in the district as the result of hardship or good cause.

If a homeless coordinator suspects that a “homeless” child is not truly homeless, how would the district prove that a person is not homeless?

McKinney-Vento requires homeless children to be enrolled immediately even if the student can’t provide education records. Until the district determines otherwise, the student should be enrolled. Most school districts have a standard enrollment/registration form and/or a proof of residency waiver form that should provide the homeless coordinator enough information to make a determination as to the student’s homeless status. If not, the homeless coordinator can continue to monitor the child’s status throughout the school year if the form doesn’t provide enough information for the coordinator to initially make an informed decision.

At what age can districts begin using grant funds to serve homeless children and youths? Do they need to only serve school-aged children as our state defines it?

A.  McKinney-Vento addresses the needs of homeless children and youths from pre-school through grade 12 and requires comparable services for enrollment in preschool programs for which non-homeless preschool students are eligible. Therefore, a school district that operates a pre-school program in one or more schools should be providing comparable services for children who are homeless. School districts wanting to use grant funds for preschool may do so only for students who meet the age requirements of the district preschool program.

Does our school district need to provide transportation for detention?

A homeless student receiving an after-school detention would be treated comparably to other students who have been detained after school. In some cases, that may mean the school provides after hours transportation.

May school districts use transportation funds to transport a 19 year-old from a shelter to take GED classes? The student is not enrolled in the school district at this time.

The use of federal funds would not be appropriate for this purpose since the student is not enrolled in high school. On the other hand, a homeless student participating in a district’s GED Option Program would still be eligible for transportation since the student remains enrolled in high school.

Are school districts required to provide transportation to alternative schools for homeless students?

If the student is assigned to an alternative school by the district, then transportation must be provided to the school.

Are school districts required to provide transportation during summer school for homeless children and youth?

Transportation during summer school is only required when it is provided to non-homeless students. Transportation should be provided if summer school is required for the homeless student to advance to the next grade.

Once a homeless child is permanently housed are districts required to provide transportation for the remainder of the school year?

For the sake of educational continuity, a school district has the discretion to use Title I or Title V funds to continue transporting the student for the remainder of the year.

Is the school district required to transport a homeless student to the school of origin/best interest if the student disobeys the rules in a cab and the driver refuses to transport the child for safety?

All students are subject to the school district’s discipline policies including those related to student transportation. Subject to the district’s discipline policy, a homeless student may temporarily or permanently lose access to transportation if it’s warranted under the circumstances.

Which school is the “school of origin”?

The term “school of origin” is defined as the specific school building in a school district that the student attended when permanently housed or the school in which the student was last enrolled before becoming homeless.

Is a school of origin required to enroll kindergarteners who are siblings of homeless students at the beginning of the new school year?

Again, it comes down to determining the school of best interest for that child. However, if an entire family is homeless, the district can presume the kindergartener is too.

Once a child is homeless, who determines the “school of best interest”?

The school of origin shall comply, to the extent feasible, with the request of a parent or guardian regarding school selection; however, the school district ultimately determines the school of best interest. If the school district elects to send a child or youth to a school other than the school of origin or a school requested by the parent or guardian, district officials shall provide a written explanation, including the right to appeal the decision, and a copy of the standard complaint resolution to the parent or guardian or unaccompanied youth. While the school of best interest is being determined the child must be enrolled in the school of the parents’ choice until a final decision is made.

Which school district is responsible for providing transportation to the school of best interest?

If the school of origin and the school of residence can not agree upon providing transportation, then McKinney-Vento requires the school districts to share the responsibility and cost for transportation equally.

Are migrant children considered homeless?

A.  The McKinney-Vento Act definition of homeless children and youths makes specific reference to “migratory children”. Therefore, migrant children’s circumstances should be reviewed with this definition in mind. Many migrant families share housing. Not all families who “double up” consider themselves homeless; sometimes families choose to live together. Other families are forced to double up because they’ve been made homeless due to unforeseen circumstances or because the immediacy of a circumstance requires sharing a residence. Migrant children residing in a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence may not appear to be homeless; however, by definition, migrant families/children are highly mobile and often resort to residing in substandard housing.  Therefore, the house they live in may not be fixed, regular or adequate. School districts should review the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless and evaluate each situation on a case-by-case basis.

Are families living in Section 8 housing considered homeless? Are families living in transitional housing considered homeless?

A.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 8 housing is considered as fixed, regular and part of a permanent housing plan. Other HUD housing is designed to serve as transitional housing for no more than two years at a time. School personnel will need to review the terms of housing contracts to determine if they are Section 8 (fixed, regular) or transitional (time limitations are imposed). For more information regarding HUD requirements go to http://www.hud.gov/offices/cpd/homeless/rulesandregs/laws/title4/index.cfm

What if the student remains in transitional housing for four years, would they be considered homeless for all 4 years?

For HUD purposes some transitional housing is defined as two years or less. In cases where transitional housing is not supplied by HUD, the district may have to review the student’s circumstances to determine whether or not the student remains homeless. For example, if a student continues to reside in a shelter or in some other housing that is not intended to be fixed and regular or is not adequate, then the student is defined as homeless under the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless. Homelessness is not always temporary; sometimes it’s chronic.

A family is sharing the housing of other persons for one year. During the year the children were transported to their school of origin in another district. Is the school that transported/enrolled them last year required to do so again?

Homelessness is not limited in time and can, over time, become chronic.  Therefore, the district of origin should review the family’s current living situation for purposes of determining whether the family remains homeless. For example, a family may have lost their home in a fire. If the home is being re-built, but is not yet finished, then the family may still be homeless. This question can only be answered by  reviewing the McKinney-Vento definition of homeless and determining whether the family still falls within that definition.

A district has a family that has been living in a hotel located in another district for three years. The children have been transported and enrolled each year in the non-resident district. Which district enrolls and transport them?

While living temporarily in a hotel qualifies as homeless, the above situation may not be considered fixed, regular, and adequate enough to stop providing McKinney-Vento services to the students. The school must determine whether the living arrangement is due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation.

What if a family is homeless during one school year and the next year they are still homeless, what does a school district have to do to provide services for that child?

If a child is homeless during one school year they can receive services for the remainder of that school year as a homeless child. If the child returns to the school district the next school year claiming to be homeless, the homeless coordinator should reevaluate the situation prior to determining whether the child should remain in the district. Some questions to consider are: What is the family’s current housing situation? Does it continue to meet one of the definitions of homeless under McKinney-Vento or § 167.020, RSMo? Is the child staying in the same location or is it a different location from the previous school year? What are the parents’ plans? How far is it between the school of origin and the district of residence? Would it be in the child’s best interest to enroll in the district of residence at the start of the new school year? What are the parents’ plans?

A homeless student violates the Safe Schools Act and is suspended or expelled from the school of origin. Is the school of residence required to immediately enroll this student?

Any time the enrolling district knows that a student has been suspended or expelled from another school as the consequence of the Safe Schools Act, the district must review its written discipline policy to determine if it would have suspended or expelled the student for the same reason. If so, the district would not have to enroll the student until such time as the suspension or expulsion expires. If the homeless student has an IEP, the school in which the student was enrolled must continue to provide a free and adequate education as required under the IDEA. If the district does not know about the Safe Schools Act violation, the student should be enrolled until the district receives the student’s disciplinary record from the school he/she previously attended.  If the district has reason to suspect that a child poses an immediate danger to others the superintendent may convene a hearing within five working days of the request to enroll to determine the appropriate course of action.

Are there reliable web sources of information I can refer to when I have questions about educating homeless children and youth?

The Department’s “Homeless Children and Youth Program” website is located at http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/fedprog/discretionarygrants/homeless/index.html. This site provides links to useful informational sources such as the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE) and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth (NAEHCY).

Why should I have a User ID?

An individual should register for a User ID if they are a certificated teacher and need access to their Educator Certification files. Once employed by a district, this same User ID should be used if the individual is given responsibility that requires accessing web applications for the district.

Individuals employed by a district should register for a User ID if their district responsibilities require accessing web applications for the district.

How was the model educator evaluation system developed?

The roll out of the Missouri model Educator Evaluation System, during the summer of 2012, is the culmination of efforts first started in 2008 when MACCE (Missouri Advisory Council of Certification for Educators) developed professional teaching standards for Missouri educators. The original standards defined teacher performance at sequentially increasing levels of demonstrated competence, illustrating the growth that was expected of a teacher throughout a career. DESE used these standards to convene multiple, purposeful meetings throughout the state to determine how professional standards could inform practice. Hundreds of Missouri’s most accomplished educators were involved in this work resulting in the model Educator Evaluation System. Over 170 school districts field-tested the original language of the evaluation system, as well as related areas of work (e.g. mentoring practices related to the standards and indicators) during the 2011-2012 academic year. This positive and productive work resulted in the 2012-2013 pilot project of the Educator Evaluation System. Feedback from participating pilot districts resulted in revisions made to the model which was then adopted by the State Board of Education at the May 2013 meeting.

Why is the state’s model called an “Educator Evaluation System”?

The state’s new model is a systemic approach to assessing and developing the effective practice of educators. The system includes three evaluation instruments: one for teacher, one for principal, and one for superintendent. The instruments are based on the same professional frames at all levels: commitment, practice and impact. In this way, it connects the evaluation of performance across the district instead of simply evaluating performance for one particular audience and at one particular level.

What is the basic philosophy of the state’s model?

The basic philosophy of the state’s model is articulated in "Missouri’s Theory of Action." This statement maintains that improving the effective practice of those teaching and leading in our schools will improve the learning of students in our schools. The state’s model is designed to clearly articulate and measure elements of effective practice and provides developmental technical assistance and support.

How does the state’s new model evaluate performance?

The state’s model includes Growth Guides which articulate discrete elements of performance across a professional continuum. These guides are available for the teacher, principal and superintendent. The Growth Guides not only provide a measure of status in performance, but also provide a measure of growth in educator practice over time. The model includes possible sources of evidence that serves as a type of blueprint for improvement.

How will the Educator Evaluation System be presented to educators in the state?

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has worked with educators throughout the state to create this model educator evaluation system. As the work progressed, it was posted on the DESE website. There will be a webpage for the model educator evaluation system providing unrestricted, free access to all educators. In June 2012, the State Board of Education approved a statewide pilot project for the 2012-2013 school year to gather feedback about the model system.

Information and feedback gathered throughout the pilot have been incorporated into the version of the Educator Evaluation System that was adopted by the State Board of Education in May 2013. The revised model system and supporting resources will be posted on the Educator Evaluation System webpage and will also be presented at the Administrator Conference, July 28-30, 2013. Webinars will be offered throughout the month of August. Regional technical assistance and support will be provided to public school districts, charter schools and educator preparation programs throughout the 2013-2014 school year.

In what way does the NCLB Waiver impact the Educator Evaluation System?

The NCLB Waiver requires a state to address 3 principles: College and career-ready expectations for all students; state developed recognition, accountability, and support; and supporting effective instruction and leadership. The third principle is the articulation of the state’s Educator Evaluation System. Districts would have the option of either adopting the state’s model system or aligning their local system to the seven Essential Principles of Effective Evaluation. The approval of Missouri’s NCLB Flexibility Waiver requires that every district have an effective evaluation process in place by the 2014-2015 school year. An effective evaluation process is one that is directed and aligned to the seven Essential Principles.

What are the Seven Essential Principles of Effective Evaluation?

The essential principles are those particular research-based practices and components associated with an effective process for the evaluation of educator performance. An evaluation process is effective if it helps to improve educator practice. The seven principles include:

  • Measuring performance based on research-based and proven tactics
  • Using differentiated levels of performance
  • Highlighting the probationary period as a significant time of intensive support
  • Including measures of growth in student learning as evidence of performance
  • Providing regular, timely and meaningful feedback on performance
  • Including standardized and ongoing training for evaluators
  • Using evaluation results to inform employment decisions and policy

Does the NCLB Waiver give DESE the authority to determine the evaluation system a school district uses; the compensation that employees receive; the determination of which employees receive tenure or are terminated?

No, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has developed a model system of evaluation that is articulated in Principle 3 of the NCLB Flexibility Waiver Request. The model system is designed based on the seven essential principles that are indicative of effective evaluation systems.

Language used in Standard 1 references “knowledge base” and uses “academic language” where the Common Core would call it “domain specific vocabulary” or tier III words. Will there be alignment between the state’s EES and other Department initiatives?

Yes, part of the second round revision includes incorporating Missouri Leader Standards (Common Core) where appropriate. This would most likely fall into either Standard 1 (as noted) on Content Knowledge, or Standard 3, Curriculum Implementation. However, there is hesitation in making the alignment too tight in that it dates this version of the evaluation system. Any changes to terminology in other  initiatives like Common Core would require changes to the standards.

Which evaluation systems, besides the state model, align with Missouri Standards and the Essential Principles?

Three of the seven Essential Principles describe the structure of the evaluation system. Most current models offered would likely meet these expectations. The other four Essential Principles describe how the system is implemented. Even a great evaluation model can be implemented poorly and not produce the desired results. Given that, it would be difficult to simply indicate compatible systems without also knowing the manner in which it will be implemented. Data will be collected from all public school districts and charter schools on how well their local evaluation system aligns to these Essential Principles. This collection will happen through a Core Data screen which opened in mid-May and will extend through the end of June.

When using a differentiated scale for evaluation, the accountability of the school’s administration to have a viable and “thought out” plan for PD is HUGE! Is there any type of accountability piece for districts to have a plan in place for this?

There are six sets of guidelines currently being developed. These include: Use of Student Growth Measures in Evaluation, Evaluator Training, Probationary Period of the Novice Educator, Providing Meaningful Feedback, Policies and Implementation, and Professional Learning. The final set of guidelines is a revision of the PD Guidelines and will address this issue. These guidelines will be completed and released in the summer of 2013. The above designated guidelines will be the foundation for the training that will occur in the 2013-2014 school year.

I am concerned about time management for administrators. What type of guidance or direction will be offered to administrators to help them manage their time in order to make this type of evaluation process possible?

A district has the flexibility to determine the depth of evaluation for each teacher. Understandably, novice educators and those needing specific interventions and support should receive the greatest depth of monitoring and feedback. Others may not require this degree of intensity. The Essential Principles, as articulated in the ESEA Flexibility Waiver, recommend annual feedback for everyone. This can be provided either formally, informally or both. This allows flexibility in determining the degree of intensity or depth of the process that will be provided to teachers based on the degree of their need.

Researchers who have studied the issue of evaluation agree that to use an evaluation to generate growth in practice is a complex undertaking requiring a commitment of time on both the evaluator and those being evaluated. Given that there are only so many hours in a day, researchers advise that careful consideration be given to how that time is spent. One of the most important tasks of the principal is the development and growth of their staff. They recommend that this be given top priority and that other duties, where possible, be addressed by other personnel or in other ways. The Evaluator Training and Meaningful Feedback guidelines will offer suggestions and strategies to help administrators more effectively manage their time.

Is there an ideal number of observations that should be completed for each teacher?

There is little definitive research on this topic. The most appropriate research comes from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project which found that multiple evaluators created higher levels of reliability. So for each lesson observed, your reliability increases if you can use multiple observers, or raters. It seems to make sense from a reliability perspective, that the evaluations be balanced between the observers. In addition, having 1 observer complete 7 observations, while the other only completes 1, increases the possibility of bias. Given that, a balanced number of observations from trained observers would seem to be the best approach.

Will the revised model offer more examples of evidence or artifacts for each indicator?

The revised model will include a revised Possible Sources of Evidence document. While it is not possible to provide a comprehensive list of all things that could serve as evidence, it will attempt to provide more possibilities for consideration.

Some of us have been in education forever and readily see that the teaching craft is one of constant change and improvement. Anyone who thinks they cannot improve needs out of the business. Was this the thinking behind the professional continuum?

There are those that reason that the craft of teaching is an ongoing pursuit of excellence to help kids learn better because the particular challenges and needs that students bring to the learning environment is constantly evolving. As a profession, in order to continually meet these evolving challenges and needs, we must be a learning professional that continually grows and improves.

Is there any research on the benefit of multiple walk-thru observations as opposed to one 45-60 minute summative observation?

Current research (particularly noted in the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project and the work of Kim Marshall) maintains that multiple 15 minute observations have a higher degree of reliability than one 45-60 minute observation. The greatest challenge seems to be in observing enough of a teacher’s practice in one class period to make an accurate assessment of performance. Multiple observations of the teacher’s practice in multiple lessons provides a greater variability of data from which to make determinations on performance.

Does the state’s new model Educator Evaluation System focus on just a few indicators or on all 36 indicators to determine an educator’s performance?

Actually, both. Some of our districts in the 2012-2013 pilot project advocated for a more comprehensive review of performance across more than just 2-3 indicators. This will certainly occur in the first two  years of practice when the novice educator’s performance is reviewed broadly. The guidelines on the Probationary Period detail how this occurs. After that, a more focused approach is possible. One of the forms created in the pilot this year provides an overview of each of the 9 standards, as well as focused feedback on a few selected indicators. However, please note that it is difficult to do an in-depth evaluation on 36 different indicators in a valid and reliable manner. To achieve growth, focus is needed.

Will the Department provide on-going professional development in regards to the use and understanding of the evaluation process and evaluation tools?

There are six sets of guidelines currently being developed. These include: Use of Student Growth Measures in Evaluation, Evaluator Training, the Probationary Period of the Novice Educator, Providing Meaningful Feedback, Policies and Implementation, and Professional Learning. These guidelines will be the foundation for the training that will be offered online, as well as regionally by the end of the summer and then throughout the year.

Will there be specific professional development provided about what feedback looks like?

One set of guidelines specifically addresses providing feedback. It addresses not only how to effectively provide feedback in terms of where and how it is delivered, but also addresses how to ensure that the feedback being delivered is meaningful to the recipient. This set of guidelines, as well as the others being completed, will be the foundation for the training that will be offered online, as well as regionally by the end of the summer and then throughout the year.

If you cannot see the evidence in a walk-thru observation, how do you collect data and determine growth on a specific indicator?

One of the feedback forms that was developed during this year's pilot project provides for the collection of general data. In other words, it allows the observer to capture data on anything that is observed.

However, when seeking particular evidence for a specific indicator, it might be necessary to arrange scheduled observations in which the performance will be intentionally demonstrated. A series of observations would be designed to provide evidence on the progression of improvement on the performance of that particular skill.

Is it always necessary for teachers to be moving toward distinguished on a certain indicator or do you want them distinguished in areas of strength? In other words, is it ok to choose areas to excel in?

Certainly. Where possible and appropriate, the choice of indicators to be selected should focus on the needs of the students. After all, the entire evaluation process is actually about helping students learn better. If any improvement on any indicator at any level results in students learning at higher levels, then the evaluation process has had a positive impact on student learning in the district. On any of the indicators, you will have teachers who are “ok” and can improve to be “good” and teachers who are “good” and can improve to be “great”.

What issues need to be considered when determining how to incorporate multiple evaluators and/or the role of peer evaluation?

This issue is heavily influenced by context. The particular way a school or district makes use of mentors, coaches, master teachers, principals and assistant principals depends significantly on the availability of these options and their potential for impacting the evaluation process. Researchers, like Kim Marshall, maintain that there are creative ways to use personnel in a district to positively impact the overall process. Multiple observers provide for a higher degree of reliability and create more broad-based ownership in the common goal of improving practice. But it is important to note, peers or external evaluators are not the sole source of evaluation data and ultimate determination still resides with the administrator.

Will there be any type of technology support or platform to improve the functionality of the state’s model Educator Evaluation System?

Yes, the Department is working on creating an electronic platform to support and manage the educator performance data generated through the Educator Evaluation System process. This should be completed and ready for interested districts by the end of the summer. In addition, we will make all forms and final revisions available to all vendors working with any public school districts or charter schools in Missouri. Our goal still remains, to make information and materials available to as many districts as possible for as little cost as possible.

Is the Department considering any strategies for the training and/or certifying of evaluators, perhaps using online/video training or web-based activities?

Training of evaluators is an absolute necessity if multiple observations and evaluators are to be used. It is the key to ensuring reliable assessment of performance and growth in practice. The Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Project provided information and examples for how to use video to both train and certify evaluators. The six sets of guidelines currently being developed include, Evaluator Training, as well as the Use of Student Growth Measures in Evaluation, Probationary Period of the Novice Educator, Providing Meaningful Feedback, Policies and Implementation, and Professional Learning. The evaluator training guidelines, based on information learned from the MET Project and other research, was created in collaboration with professional organizations and practitioners. It will address, in-part, how to go about creating inter-rater reliability. The guidelines, and possibly video activities will form the foundation for this training planned for the fall of 2013.

I am concerned that adopting the state’s model Educator Evaluation System might pose some legal issues if evaluations are used to make high-stakes employment decisions. How can I be sure that the state’s model is legally defensible?

The state’s model Educator Evaluation System is rooted in the most current research available and has been vetted through numerous highly respected legal authorities and stakeholders. Moreover, the model contains in its design the necessary elements of legal defensibility for an evaluation system: it uses multiple measures to determine effectiveness, it considers multiple years of data for high-stakes decisions, and it provides notice and an opportunity to improve. That being said, while the model is defensible in its design, districts should consult with their respective counsel before implementing or adapting the model. Factors to consider before implementation or adaptation include but are not limited to: any collective bargaining agreement that may exist, the unique needs of the respective district, and any other issues relevant to evaluation and high-stakes decisions.

What is WIDA?

WIDA (World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment) is a consortium of states dedicated to the design and implementation of high standards and equitable educational opportunities for English language learners. As of August 2013, the WIDA consortium consists of 31 states and territories plus Washington, D.C.

What is the W-APT?

W-APT stands for the WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test. This assessment tool, known as the "screener", is used by educators to measure the English language proficiency of students who have recently arrived in the U.S. or in a particular district. It can help to determine whether or not a child is in need of English language instructional services.

Who takes the W-APT?

Upon enrollment, Missouri districts are required to ask all students if there is a language other than English spoken in their home AND if English is not their native language using a home language survey or questions on an enrollment form. If the answer to either question is yes, or if a district feels that a child might have an English language deficiency, the district is required to screen the child using the W-APT screening assessment.

Who can administer the W-APT?

Any district employee that at a minimum meets the requirements of a paraprofessional  under Title I and has received training may administer the W-APT.

Can districts screen kids using the W-APT during the kindergarten roundup?

Yes, districts may screen kids using the W-APT during the kindergarten roundup in the spring instead of waiting until the beginning of the school year.

How many times will a student take the W-APT?

Ideally, a student will only take the W-APT one time. There are a few circumstances where a student may take the W-APT screener again, such as when being screened to possibly re- enter an ESL program.

Can the W-APT be administered in groups?

No. The W-APT is meant to be administered in an individual setting.

Who scores the W-APT?

The W-APT is scored completely by the test administrator. No part of the W-APT is sent away for scoring.

What is the W-APT calculator?

The W-APT Score Calculator is a tool to save test administrators the time of manually converting raw scores and calculating the composite proficiency level (CPL) scores. With the click of a button, it calculates Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening proficiency scores, along with the CPL score and a grade-adjusted CPL score. Using the calculator will also generate a basic printable score report. Unfortunately, it cannot be applied to Kindergarten scores at this time. Please note that scores are not saved in the calculator.

How much does the W-APT cost?

There is no cost to public school districts and charters for the W-APT screening assessment.

Is the W-APT a secure test?

Yes. Individual test administrators must be trained in its administration and have agreed to maintain the security of test questions. Once tests are downloaded and printed, they are kept as secure as other state assessments, and are administered following standard procedures.

Can Title III money be used for W-APT?

Title III money cannot be used for anything related to the W-APT screening assessment. This includes attending training for the assessment, hiring substitute teachers to free up district teachers to give the assessment or any other costs associated with either assessment. If you have further questions regarding how you can use Title III money, please contact Shawn Cockrum, Title III director at 573-751-8280.

Can private schools take the W-APT?

Missouri does allow private schools access to its assessments at complete cost to the school. Private schools may purchase materials directly from WIDA.

How do I get the W-APT?

The W-APT can be downloaded from www.wida.us/assessment/w-apt/. You must have a WIDA Login to access the W-APT materials.

I am a district test coordinator. What does my W-APT account give me access to?

Your W-APT account gives you access to all of the W-APT materials. You can download and print materials from the WIDA site. Your account will also give you access to the WIDA  Account Creator, so that you may create individual accounts for yourself and those giving the ACCESS for ELLs assessment.

Is the ACCESS training account the same as the W-APT account?

No, the training course and W-APT accounts are independent of each other. Each district is given one login for W-APT. Each individual has his or her own unique login for the ACCESS online training course. The district test coordinator can use the WIDA Account Creator to create individual accounts for themselves and those giving the ACCESS for ELLs assessment.

I have my username and password, but the system still does not allow me to log in.

Make sure you are logging into the correct website www.wida.us. If it does not work, contact WIDA through WIDA Help or call at 866-276-7735 to request assistance.

I lost my username and/or password. What should I do?

Users may look up their passwords by typing their email address into WIDA’s password  lookup form. This system will generate an email to you which contains your username and password.  If this system does not work for any reason, please email WIDA at [email protected] with your first name, last name, district name, school email address, and phone number. WIDA will contact you to remind you of your login information within one business day.

I am a new District Test Coordinator (DTC) and I need a login for the WIDA website. What do I do?

If your district gets a new District Test Coordinator (DTC), the new DTC must contact the WIDA Help Desk to request a username and password. The WIDA Help Desk will then verify with DESE the identification of the new DTC. Once the DTC has been verified, WIDA will send login information to the DTC.

Do I need to attend a live training?

Any test administrator must have either attended a MELL training or have gone through training at the district level given by someone who attended a MELL training. For more information please contact your local MELL Instructional Specialist.

How do I find out where live trainings are?

For information on live trainings, please visit the Missouri WIDA page.

How long do I have to screen possible ELL students?

Possible ELL students must be screened in the first 30 days of the school year. Any possible ELL student that enrolls after the first 30 days must be screened within two weeks of enrollment.

If a student moves in from another district but already has a W-APT or ACCESS report do they need to be screened again?

If a student has moved in from another district in Missouri and already has a W-APT or ACCESS score report, they do not need to be re-screened.

If a student moves in from another state, do they need to be screened here?

If a student moves in from another state that belongs to the WIDA consortium, and the student has a W-APT or ACCESS score report, they will not need to be screened here. If they move in from a non-WIDA consortium state or from a WIDA state but do not have a W- APT or ACCESS score report, they will need to be screened using the W-APT. The list of WIDA states can be found at www.wida.us.

Can districts screen students for the local private school?

No, Missouri districts and charter schools may not screen students for private schools. Having access to the W-APT screener is part of a package paid for by DESE and thus may not be used to provide direct services for private school students.

Which form of the W-APT should be used?

Please use the following chart to determine which form of W-APT should be used. For first semester students, WIDA recommends that students should NOT be screened at a grade level where they have yet to receive instruction.

 

FOR First Semester Students

Grade Level

K

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Test to be used

K

K

1-2

1-2

3-5

3-5

3-5

6-8

6-8

6-8

9-12

9-12

9-12

FOR Second Semester Students

Grade Level

K

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Test to be used

K

1-2

1-2

3-5

3-5

3-5

6-8

6-8

6-8

9-12

9-12

9-12

9-12

How does the screening process work?

For the purposes of screening, there are three groups of students to consider:

  • 1st semester Kindergarten students
  • 2nd semester Kindergarten students/1st semester 1st graders
  • 2nd semester 1st graders through 12th graders

First semester Kindergarten students

Because most 1st semester Kindergarten students cannot read or write you will screen them on the listening and speaking modalities only, using the Kindergarten W-APT.

If the student scores a combined:

  • 28 or less (out of 30), they will be identified as LEP in MOSIS and be eligible for services. They will then take the ACCESS test during the state window so that a determination based on all four modalities can be made.
  • 29 or 30 (out of 30) they will be identified as LEP in MOSIS. They are eligible for services but may not need them. They will then take the ACCESS test during the state window so that a determination based on all four modalities can be made.

 

What are the educational environment data categories for early childhood special education (effective 2010-11)?

00A4    Children with disabilities receiving the majority of hours of special education and related 
services
in the regular early childhood program (and the child attends a regular early childhood program at 
least 10 hours per week)
00A5   Children with disabilities receiving the majority of hours of special education and related 
services in some other location (and the child attends a regular early childhood program at least 
10 hours per week)
00A6    Children with disabilities receiving the majority of hours of special education and related 
services in the regular early childhood program (and the child attends a regular early childhood 
program less than 10 hours per week)
00A7    Children with disabilities receiving the majority of hours of special education and related 
services in some other location (and the child attends a regular early childhood program less than 
10 hours per week)
00B1    Separate class 00B2    Separate school 00B3    Residential facility 00B4    Home
00B5    Service provider location
 
Definitions, instructions and examples for determining the appropriate category are ava
following web address http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/DataCoord/EdEnvironments.html.

Do the educational environments replace the IDEA placement categories for children in ECSE?

NO. State and federal regulations still require that the child’s placement be based upon the IEP  and reflect the services that are provided for in the IEP. The IDEA ECSE placement categories have not changed and are listed below. Definitions of the placement categories are included in the State. Plan for Special Education, http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/stateplan/index.html.
Home
Itinerant Services Outside the Home Early Childhood Setting
Early Childhood Special Education Setting Separate School
Part Time EC / Part Time ECSE Setting
Residential Facility

Several of the ECSE placement categories have the same name as the educational environment categories. Can we make the assumption a placement of “Home,” “Separate School” or Residential Facility equates to the educational environment of the same name?

NO. The placements look at where the child is receiving services, while the educational environments
first look at participation in a regular early childhood program. Therefore, while a child may be receiving
services in the home, the child may also be attending a regular early childhood program, in which case
the placement would be home, but the educational environment would be one of the regular early
childhood program environments (00A4-00A7).

Does the child’s placement still have to be documented on the IEP?

YES. The requirements for documenting the IEP team’s decision regarding placement on the IEP have
not changed.

Does the educational environment category need to be documented on the child’s IEP?

NO. The new categories should not be documented on the IEP, as these categories reflect not only  the services that are listed in the IEP, but also regular education services that the child is receiving that are not required by the IEP or provided or paid for by the LEA. However, the LEA must have a system for documenting the district’s determination of the child’s “educational  environment” for reporting purposes. A worksheet has been developed that districts may use for documenting the educational environment. The worksheet can be located at the following web address: http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/DataCoord/EdEnvironments.html.

What does “Receives majority of special education services in regular program” mean?

This means that the child receives at least half of his/her special education services in a classroom/setting/physical location where there are nondisabled peers.

What Happens When a School District Becomes Unaccredited?

Pursuant to state law the State Board of Education classifies (accredits) public school districts. Under the standards of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP), a school district may be given one of three ratings: accredited, provisionally accredited, or unaccredited. A provisionally accredited district is still considered to be accredited. State law defines the consequences for a school district that becomes unaccredited. The date that the loss of accreditation becomes effective is set by the State Board of Education. If no effective date is set by the State Board, the action becomes effective on the date of the board action.

May students transfer from an unaccredited district to another district?

Mo. Rev. Stat. §167.131 provides that an unaccredited school district must pay tuition for students transferring to an accredited school district, and that the receiving district must accept those students. Application of this law has been litigated in two cases, Breitenfeld, et al. v. School District of Clayton and Blue Springs School District, et al. v. School District of Kansas City, Missouri. In both cases, the Missouri Supreme Court has affirmed the right of students to transfer to an accredited school district. Families residing in an unaccredited school district and wishing to transfer should contact school officials in the accredited district to which they wish to enroll to determine how the district is implementing these rulings.​

Does unaccredited status affect students’ diplomas?

Students who graduate from an unaccredited school district still receive diplomas.

Does unaccredited status affect students’ diplomas?

Students who graduate from an unaccredited school district still receive diplomas.

What about admission to college?

Higher education institutions typically consider multiple sources of information (transcript, ACT/SAT score, portfolio, recommendations, etc.) when determining whether to admit a student. The Department has not identified any instance where a student who graduated from an unaccredited school district has been disqualified from consideration for admission. However, higher education institutions set their own policies and criteria for admissions. Families should contact the admissions office at the institution under consideration to determine that program’s policy.

What about eligibility for scholarships?

An unaccredited district classification does not reflect the qualifications or accomplishments of any individual student. Students who graduate from an unaccredited school district should be eligible for any scholarship for which they would otherwise qualify. As with school admission, families should contact the financial aid office of any program under consideration.

What about eligibility for extracurricular activities?

Eligibility for interscholastic activities for most schools is determined by the Missouri State High School Activities Association (MSHSAA). MSHSAA By-Law 3.10.4 provides that students who transfer schools or do not meet the requirements for residency upon enrollment at the school are ineligible for 365 days unless they meet one or more exceptions. Exception 4 relates to students transferring from an unaccredited public school:
A student may be eligible upon his or her first transfer from an unaccredited public school to an accredited public school where the student’s tuition is required by state law to be paid by the home district provided the transfer does not involve undue influence and is not for athletic reasons. Likewise, a student may be eligible upon his/her first transfer back to his/her home school if the school regains accreditation provided: 1. the student transfers within 365 days of accreditation being regained and 2. the transfer does not involve undue influence and is not for athletic reasons.


For more information regarding eligibility contact Missouri State High School Activities Association, P.O. Box 1328, Columbia, MO 65205-1328, phone: (573) 875-4880, fax: (573) 875-1450, email: [email protected].

What is the correct process to go through if your district is above one percent in students who qualify for MAP‐A?

Answer:   Remember the 1% only applies for accountability purposes – NOT participation.  If you have questions regarding the impact of exceeding the 1% rule for accountability purposes, please contact the Accountability/Data section at 573‐526‐4886.

I know it is an IEP team decision to consider MAP‐A for a student, but what if we had a student on MAP‐A last year but based on what you mentioned today this student does not need MAP‐A, what can we do now?

Answer: The IEP team can change the eligibility determination if the team believes that the student is not eligible for the MAP‐A based upon an analysis of the criteria. The IEP team will need to focus on how the student will access the general education curriculum in order to be able to participate in the regular assessment of that curriculum. The IEP team will need to carefully consider accommodations/modifications as well as supplementary aids and services to allow access to the general education curriculum. In addition, the IEP team will need to consider what accommodations the student will require when taking the regular assessment.

If a child is so profoundly disabled cognitively and physically that they could not complete even the lowest APIs for the MAP‐A, could they be exempted from the MAP‐A and use an alternative type of evaluation?

Answer: There is no “alternate” to the alternate assessment. The student either takes the regular assessment of the general education curriculum or the alternate assessment of the alternate achievement standards as required by a number of state and federal laws. In Missouri, the regular assessment is the MAP which consists of both Grade‐Level and End‐of‐Course Assessments, and the alternate assessment is the MAP‐A which is currently the Measured Progress Profile. In the future, the MAP‐A will be the Dynamic Learning Maps. There is no exemption due to profound intellectual disabilities. Not all students who take MAP‐A will be proficient or advanced.

We have a student in our district who is medically fragile and has been exempt in the past from the MAP‐A. Is this still an option and, if so, what is the process?

Answer: The district should contact the Department’s Accountability and Data office at 573‐526‐4886 to report individual student concerns for extended absences during the collection window and to determine the next steps. Regardless, at the end of the second collection window, the district must return the particular student’s portfolio to the Assessment Resources Center along with the any other MAP‐A portfolios from the district.

We have students that have only taken the MAP‐A and have never taken the regular MAP. Can those students still take the MAP‐A (grandfathered in) or will we have to review their eligibility using the criteria from this webinar?

Answer: At each annual IEP team meeting, a decision must be made regarding participation in either the regular assessment of the general education curriculum or the alternate assessment of the alternate achievement standards. If a student is no longer eligible to participate in the alternate assessment, they are required to participate in the regular assessment. A student cannot be “grandfathered” in to the alternate assessment. IEP teams are encouraged to use the updated checklist and the other new resources to guide the decision for determining eligibility for participation in the alternate assessment. Please note that this is not new guidance – compliance with IDEA has always required IEP teams to annually determine which type of assessment the student will participate in for that IEP cycle.

Does the 1 percent cap apply only to school districts in which the “students with disabilities” subgroup exceeds Missouri’s minimum subgroup/cell size?

Answer: Again, the 1% only applies to accountability – NOT participation. Districts will need to discuss
individual situations with staff in the accountability section.

May a student take the MAP‐A based on alternate achievement standards in one content area but take the regular assessment of the general education curriculum in another content area?

Answer: No.

I notice that the old version of the MAP‐A Eligibility Checklist refers to “significant cognitive disabilities” and the new resources talks about “most significant cognitive disabilities”. Why has this changed?

Answer: This is the first time since the original guidance was developed that the MAP‐A guidance has been reviewed and updated. This review and update was prompted by the state reaching the 1% threshold for accountability purposes.

Here’s a little history about the alternate assessment. . . In 1997 IDEA first introduced the requirement that ALL students would be accountable in state and district assessments beginning in 2000. Missouri, like the other states, developed an alternate assessment based on alternate achievement standards, as well as guidance for participation in the new alternate assessment. Beginning in 2003, federal regulations related to IDEA and ESEA began using the term “the most significant cognitive disabilities, and in August 2005, NCLB guidance was published entitled “Alternate Achievement Standards for Students with the Most Significant Cognitive Disabilities”. The updated checklist, new flowchart, and new guidance document provided with this webinar are consistent with the most current federal guidance for IDEA, ESEA and NCLB.

The terms “alternate assessment” and alternative assessment were used during the webinar – are these the same thing? And how does the MAP‐A fit into the new guidance?

Answer: Remember that the updated checklist, new flowchart and new guidance document are not introducing “new” guidance. Instead these documents along with the webinar were created to clear up
common questions and provide additional clarification on the eligibility criteria. These documents and the guidance are consistent with previous information provided by the Department in regards to MAP‐A.

The term “alternate assessment” is used in the IDEA, ESEA and NCLB. However, in common practice, the terms “alternate assessment” and “alternative assessment” are used interchangeably. MAP‐A is the acronym for Missouri Assessment Program – Alternate. It is Missouri’s state‐wide assessment of alternate achievement standards and meets the federal requirements of IDEA, ESEA and NCLB.

What happens if school staff are instructed by the superintendent or principal that a student will take the MAP‐A and to make sure the IEP reflects that decision?

Answer: This would be a very difficult situation for a special education staff to handle if the student does not meet the criteria to be eligible to take the alternate assessment. It would be important to identify the reason for this directive in order to best respond. If the directive was made because of a lack of information such as not being aware of the eligibility criteria, it would be appropriate to share this webinar and the resources to inform the superintendent or principal of the compliance requirements. Since this situation would qualify as a Testing Concern, it could be reported to the Department. The Department would then follow‐up with the district and determine why the directive was issued. Department staff would then provide appropriate information to all concerned personnel.

The district is ultimately responsible for developing an IEP that will provide the student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE); if the parent does not agree with the IEP team decision, they have the option of following the complaint system including mediation, filing a child complaint or filing for due process.​

Will these same criteria be used when Missouri switches its state‐wide alternate assessment from the current Measured Progress ProFile to the new Dynamic Learning Maps?

Answer: Yes, the criteria for eligibility to participate in the alternate assessment will remain the same.

How will the Department monitor for compliance for the alternate assessment?

Answer: Compliance monitoring will be accomplished in the same way as currently conducted. For the Office of Special Education, the file review and self‐assessment as part of the cyclical tiered monitoring process will continue to verify indicators 200.810.f, 200.910.c, 200.910.d, 200.920.c and 200.920.d. In addition, the Office of Special Education will continue to monitor compliance through child complaint investigations. The Missouri Assessment Program through the Office of College and Career Readiness will continue to monitor the administration of the alternate assessment through onsite visits as well as self‐monitoring by LEA staff.

How is the 1% determined? Is it 1% of the entire school population? Or 1% of each grade level?

Answer: Federal accountability rules allow for the inclusion of no more than 1% of advanced or proficient scores for the total tested population in a content area to be derived from the alternate assessment for district accountability calculations. This means the 1% is calculated based on the total number of students in a school district who take a particular content area assessment in the particular school year the assessment was administered. For questions related to  the 1% rule and accountability, please contact the Office of Data System Management in the Accountability Data Section at 573‐526‐4886.

If the IEP team makes the determination that the student no longer qualifies for MAP‐A, will a Notice of Action need to be provided to the parent?

Answer: The correct answer is “NO.” The Department’s original guidance in March 2008 for when to provide prior written notice did include this particular situation; however, an OSEP Guidance Letter dated August 15, 2008 and a discussion with OSEP staff in September 2008 provided further clarification that changed that original guidance. A SELS message dated September 17, 2008 makes it clear that no prior written notice is required when changing a student from the alternate to the regular assessment or vice versa. When to provide prior written notice generates many questions and a webinar is planned for May 15, 2013.

What are the specific implications of the four cognitive levels of support from formal instruments since none of them mention the most significant cognitive disability?

Answer: The four cognitive levels discussed in the guidance document and webinar reflect the categories of intellectual disabilities from the most commonly referred to professional resources in the field: the American Association of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). This information was provided to assists IEP teams to make informed decisions regarding student’s eligibility to participate in the alternate assessment. It is extremely important that tests and assessments be administered and interpreted by trained professionals in accordance with publisher’s instructions. Those instructions will provide guidance for interpreting the test results. The IEP team will need to determine the impact of that information for each individual student.

Please define most significant level of support. Could students within the 50‐70 IQ range qualify when other required factors are also present? If not would these students be required to take the required EOC’s before graduation?

Answer: The guidance document was developed to provide additional clarification on determining the most significant levels of support. The second question addresses levels of support and indicates this information must come from multiple sources of information (not just an adaptive behavior assessment) and include both skills the student is capable of performing as well as those areas in which he/she has difficulty. A comprehensive review would be expected to include each of the following areas: communication; self‐care; daily living; social skills; access to community; self‐direction; health and safety; functional academics; leisure; and, work.

The IEP team of a student falling within the 50‐70 IQ range could be found eligible to participate in the alternate assessment if all the criteria are met. As with any student taking alternate assessments, it would be important to justify that decision in the IEP. If the IEP team determined the student was not eligible to participate in the alternate assessment, then the student would be required to participate in any required regular assessment. Child specific questions should be directed to the Office of Special Education at 573‐751‐0699 or the Assessment section at 573‐751‐3545.

A student’s IEP team just recently met and determined that the student is eligible to take the MAP‐A. Should the IEP team reconvene to see if they still qualify for the alternate assessment?

Answer: As stated in the webinar, the Office of Special Education is not recommending that an IEP meeting be held immediately for every student to see if they still qualify to participate in the alternate assessment unless the IEP team feels that it is necessary to re‐visit the determination sooner. This is because the criteria for eligibility for participation for the MAP‐A has not changed; rather it has only been clarified. At every annual IEP team meeting, the updated checklist and new resources should be used to assist the IEP team in making a determination.

Could a student who is not eligible for the state‐wide alternate assessment (MAP‐A) ever be eligible for an alternate district assessment?

Answer: No. As stated in the webinar, a student must meet the eligibility criteria to be able to participate in the alternate assessment at both the state‐wide and district‐wide assessment levels.

Are there suggested alternate achievement assessments if the district gives Terra Nova to K‐2 students? If the district gives a group cognitive assessment to kindergarten and 2nd, are there recommendations for an alternate district assessment?

Answer: In this situation, the IEP team would want to consider the purpose of the district‐wide assessment and whether the most individual assessment results from the student’s most current special education evaluation would fulfill that purpose. If so, an explanation would be included on form E of the IEP. If not, then the IEP team would need to select another alternate assessment instrument to serve the same purpose as the district‐wide assessment.

Will there be an extension this year to the MAP‐A window due to the multiple snow days?

Answer: The Assessment Section will provide any decisions regarding extensions. Any questions should be directed to their staff at 573‐751‐3545.

What is a standard score that is considered significantly below non‐disabled peers?

Answer: There is no “magic” number for this determination. The IEP team makes this decision for each student based on a careful analysis of a variety of factors. The standard scores are only one factor that must be considered. Levels of support and adaptive behavior must also be factored into the decision for each student. Please refer to the guidance document for further clarification.

Where do we find the technical assistance bulletin that was referenced on the last side?

Answer: The technical assistance bulletin can be found at the following webpage:

Where can I find the AEL Teacher Certification requirements?

This form can be found on the DESE website at: http://www.dese.mo.gov/divcareered/certifications.htm#ael

Does a teacher who attended the PCW last year, still have to do the BTAP this year? Can they do the resource workshop instead?

Teachers with an initial certification must complete the BTAP, 60 hours of professional development (PD), and have completed 4 years of Adult Education teaching to apply for the Career Continuous certificate. Though it is not required, it is suggested that teachers complete 20 hours of PD per year to meet this requirement. This aids in simplifying the tracking process for both the director and the teacher.

If a teacher is switching from GED to ESL and attended the PCW last year, do they need to do the ESL PCW this year?

The teacher may choose to take an ESL PCW, but is not required to do so. The BTAP is required. The purpose of the different workshops is to best match the workshop material with the needs of the teacher. Teachers should train based on teaching assignments and certification needs.

Can an experienced AEL instructor attend an ESL workshop and if so, does it need to be the PCW ESL?

Experienced AEL and ESL teachers are able to train at the ETW level without having to go back to a PCW or BTAP. Teachers should train based on teaching assignments and certification needs.

Can a teacher go "out of order" if they cannot attend the appropriate workshop (should go to a BTAP/ETW, but the dates are not possible)?

Teachers should attend the BTAP following the PCW. It is important that teacher workshops be taken in sequence: Pre-Certification Workshop (PCW), Beginning Teacher Assistance Program (BTAP), and then the Experienced Teacher Workshops (ETW). Taking the BTAP out of order is strongly discouraged. The purpose of the BTAP is to provide additional support for the beginning teacher. All teachers are strongly encouraged to attend the BTAP as close to their beginning teaching as possible. Teachers should not substitute an ETW for a BTAP, though other workshops and in-services may be attended in addition to the BTAP.

Career Continuous Certification requirements include 20 hours of professional development each year. Individuals possessing an AEL-Career Continuous, who do not complete twenty (20) contact hours of professional development, may within two (2) years make up the missing hours. The individual must first meet the twenty (20) hour requirement for the current year and then count the excess hours as make-up hours.

Other PD may be used if the program director submits a written request using the Application for PD Approval.

If a teacher has 10 years of teaching experience, and a Master’s Degree, can they apply for exemption at any time or must they complete the Initial Certification process first?

The 10 years of teaching experience must be in AEL in order to apply for the High Quality Career Continuous certification. This means that the Initial Certification phase will be complete, as well as some years of Career Continuous certification. After these requirements have been met, those teachers with 10+ years and a master’s degree may apply for the High Quality Career Continuous Certificate.

In order to receive the certification that exempts PD (High Quality Career Continuous certification), is it 10 years of teaching experience in any teaching setting?

To apply for a High Quality Continuous certificate the teacher must have taught in an AEL classroom for 10 years.

What kind of documentation of teaching experience is required?

Documentation requires a school administrator to verify the teacher has taught the requisite number of years. To submit this verification, two forms may be needed: the application for the AEL certificate and the verification of teaching experience if experience has been completed in other districts.
 
The new application for certification has a place for verification of experience that the school official must sign on the APPLICATION FOR MISSOURI ADULT EDUCATION AND LITERACY CERTIFICATE form MO500-2292 (05/05) (Application - Section F, page 2 ). This form can be found on the DESE website at: http://www.dese.mo.gov/divteachqual/teachcert/forms.htmlClick on the “Career Education (Vocational) Forms” button and scroll down until you find this form.
 
If a teacher has taught in more than one district, the teacher needs to send VERIFICATION OF TEACHING EXPERIENCE form MO 500-2182 (01/02). This form can be found on the DESE website at: http://www.dese.mo.gov/divteachqual/teachcert/forms.html. Click on the “Frequently Requested Forms” button and scroll down until you find this form.

Can a Master’s degree be in anything?

We do not accept the Master of Divinity. All other master’s degrees are accepted.

What kind of documentation of the master’s degree is required?

Teachers must submit original transcripts to the state certification office showing achievement of a master’s degree. The original transcripts must be on file with the state certification office for this requirement to be met.

Can a teacher on the old 10-year certificate still skip a year of PD?

Teachers currently working on the 10-year certificate who have achieved a master’s degree and 10 years of experience possess the qualifications of the High Quality Career Continuous upgrade. These teachers may go ahead and apply for this certificate at any time.

All teachers should be completing professional development based on the requirements. Teachers who have a Career Continuous certificate must still complete 20 hours of PD each year. There is no exemption from this requirement unless the teacher has 10 years of AEL teaching experience, a master’s degree, a professional development plan in place, and has achieved the High Quality Career Continuous certificate upgrade.

What do I need for a Professional Development Plan?

The professional development plan is an agreement that the teacher and the program director have discussed, signed and dated indicating that the teacher will continue to participate in professional development as indicated. No specific form is needed. Record of the plan for each teacher should be kept on file locally.

The experienced teacher needs to submit a plan of professional development activity to the program director. Together, an agreement of what is appropriate for the teaching assignment should be reached in order for the teacher to stay current in the field, and to best serve the students assigned to that teacher. Some options may include local staff meetings, in-services, area or district professional development opportunities, or workshops presented through the MAEL PDC.

How do I track teacher Professional Development?

Certification requirements and a sample local tracking form can be found on the DESE website at: http://www.dese.mo.gov/divteachqual/teachcert/professional_development.html
The PD Report that must be completed by October 1st of each year can also be accessed at this site, as well as directions for completion.

Who takes the Personal Finance Assessment?

Students who are taking a course in which the Personal Finance competencies are embedded are required to take the assessment.
•    Students who are attempting to “test out” are required to take the assessment.
•    For students who are enrolled in a stand-alone Personal Finance course, the assessment is optional.

In what grades may the state Personal Finance class and/or the Assessment be taken?

It is recommended that the Personal Finance course be completed after the ninth grade because of the specific content and its relevance for persons reaching the age at which they must begin to assume financial responsibilities. However, grade level designations are not included in the Rule, so the grade level at which Personal Finance may be taught is ultimately an individual school district’s decision. Although the Graduation Handbook does refer to specific grade levels at which the course is to be offered, that document is meant for technical assistance only.

What is the “test out” option?

Districts have the option to allow students to “test out” in order for that student to receive the ½ unit of credit in Personal Finance required to graduate. To “test out,” a student must attain a score of 90% or higher on the Personal Finance Assessment.

What is the pass rate for the Personal Finance Assessment?

For students attempting to “test out,” the passing rate is 90%. Districts have the flexibility to set their own passing rate for all other students who take the Personal Finance Assessment.

How many times can a student take the Personal Finance Assessment?

A student may take the Personal Finance assessment one time per assessment window. This includes those students attempting to “test out.”

Are English Language Learners (ELLs) or students with Individual Education (IEP) Plans/504 plans allowed accommodations?

ELLs or students with an IEP/504 plan are allowed the same accommodations they would receive on an End-Of- Course assessment. Please note: The Personal Finance Assessment is not available in a paper and pencil, large print or Braille version at this time.

How quickly are the results for the Personal Finance Assessment available?

Test results are available immediately. When a student finishes the test, the score is shown to the student.

How do test examiners view results for the Personal Finance Assessment?

Test examiners may view results once all students in the class have finished the assessment. To view results, follow the link on the DESE Personal Finance Assessment page.

Can local districts use student scores on the Personal Finance Assessment as part of the student grade?

Yes, districts may, but are not required to use the scores from the Personal Finance Assessments as part of the student grade.

Are there achievement levels for the Personal Finance Assessment?

No, there are no achievement levels for the Personal Finance Assessment.

Where does Personal Finance fit into the curriculum and how may it be counted for credit?

Personal Finance may be counted as ½ credit as a practical arts course, a social studies course or a standalone elective course.

How are the new hardware purchasing guidelines different from minimum specifications?

New hardware purchasing guidelines support state, districts, and school administrators as they determine which new computers that support their instructional programs may also be used in the Smarter Balanced assessments in 2014-15. By contrast, minimum specifications provide information about which existing computers—already in schools—will be compatible with the assessments.

Do I need to purchase new computers just for the assessment?

No. Decisions regarding new computers should be made as part of a larger technology plan to support instruction and individual student needs. Smarter Balanced is committed to achieving a successful compromise between allowing the oldest hardware possible, while still meeting the requirements to assess the full depth and breadth of the Common Core State Standards.

When will I know which existing computers will be eligible to be used on the Smarter Balanced assessments in 2014-15?

The decision about legacy operating systems will be informed by the data received from the Technology Readiness Tool. The first data collection for the survey closes in mid-June 2012. We expect to complete our analysis of the data by mid-July and will vet among our member states a comprehensive approach to the use of legacy systems by mid-August.

How much network bandwidth will the assessment use?

Bandwidth requirements will be determined after the process for RFP-11 Test Engine Development is completed. We anticipate that this information will be included in the August 2012 technology plan.

Why might mechanical keyboards be needed as an accessory to tablets?

The Common Core State Standards require students to analyze text carefully and to write cognitively complex responses. A mechanical keyboard (wired or wireless) may be a necessary means to preserve the smaller screen real-estate on tablets so that students can successfully engage in this type of process. Smarter Balanced will make the decision regarding mechanical keyboards based on existing available research and cognitive labs scheduled for this spring as a means of observing how students use tablets and what policies need to be put in place to optimize their opportunities for success.

Why might mechanical mice be needed as an accessory to tablets?

The use of touch-based devices with large-scale assessments is relatively new. While we believe that mice are likely not necessary, we will make the final determination based on the cognitive labs scheduled for this spring as a means of observing how students  use tablets and what policies need to be put in place to optimize their opportunities for success. Mice may be wireless or wired.

How will Smarter Balanced address any potential test security concerns associated with the iPad?

The growing popularity of tablets over the past several years has given school districts a broader range of technology options to support instruction for students. To ensure that schools can leverage their investment in tablets for assessments, we are committed to including the iPad as an eligible device for the Smarter Balanced assessments in 2014-15. After meeting with Apple, we are confident that the iPad will be able to deliver the Smarter Balanced assessments in a secure manner. We will continue to work with Apple and will notify our member states as soon as additional information is available.

What is an educational surrogate?

An educational surrogate fills the role of a parent for the student with a disability whenever decisions are being made about the student’s educational placement and program.

Why do we need educational surrogates?

Parents of children with disabilities are important members of a decision making team, which decides the appropriate educational program for their child. Sometimes for various reasons there is no one to fill this important role. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that States train and provide educational surrogates, impartial individuals, to fill the role of a parent. 

Who can be an educational surrogate?

Anyone who is 18 years old or older and has no conflict of interest concerning the child’s education may serve as an educational surrogate. A criminal record check and child abuse or neglect check are required. Also, an educational surrogate may not be an employee of a public agency providing care, custody or educational services to the specific child in need of educational surrogate representation.

How much time and money will this commitment take?

Educational surrogates devote approximately one day to the training provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education. After a student with disabilities is assigned, the educational surrogate reviews the student’s school record well enough to understand the student’s needs, strengths, and interests as well as their school history. A meeting between the student and surrogate is arranged. After that, surrogates attend IEP meetings and parent-teacher conferences.

This costs the surrogate nothing. Training is provided free of charge. All reasonable expenses are reimbursed. 

What do educational surrogates do on behalf of the student?

Educational surrogates are expected to attend conferences and meetings concerning the educational program and placement of the student. Educational surrogates advocate for the student’s educational rights. 

How often should educational surrogates visit the student's classroom?

Surrogates may need to visit the student's classroom a couple of times in order to get to know him/her and start to develop a record of his/her needs and abilities. The surrogate may also need to visit during the year in order to monitor how the program is working. Surrogates must go through the necessary steps to set up each visit by contacting the teacher or principal ahead of the visit.

Can a surrogate be held liable if he/she makes a wrong decision about the student?

Missouri provides that a person appointed to act as an educational surrogate shall be immune from any liability for any civil damage arising from any act or omission in representing the student in any decision related to the student's education. This immunity shall not apply to intentional conduct, wanton and willful conduct or gross negligence. Section 162.999 (7) RSMo. 

How can educational surrogates learn more about a student's particular disability?

Surrogates should ask the student's teacher about the characteristics of a particular disability. Many resources may be found on the Department’s website concerning special education and eligibility criteria for the disability categories in Missouri. http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/StandardsManual/index.html

Surrogates may also contact a Compliance supervisor for information on this subject.

Who will evaluate the activities of an educational surrogate?

The Office of Special Education is responsible for monitoring the activities of each educational surrogate to make sure he/she is doing his/her job. This will be through an evaluation form sent to each school district using the surrogate process, and it is required yearly or more often if warranted. The Department will use this information to help decide whether or not to continue a surrogate’s assignment. 

What if the school terminates an educational surrogate’s assignment?

A school district is not allowed to terminate an educational surrogate’s assignment. If a student’s status changes or a school district has concerns, the district must contact the Department for a decision regarding the educational surrogate. There are several reasons that the Department may terminate/dismiss your assignment: 1) the student changes schools; 2) the student's status changes and he/she is no longer eligible for an educational surrogate; or 3) the Department feels that you have not done an adequate job as an educational surrogate. If a surrogate believes his/her assignment was unfairly discontinued, he/she may contact the Office of Special Education, Compliance at 573-751-0699 to discuss. 

If a student no longer needs an educational surrogate, how do educational surrogates get assigned to another student?

The Office of Special Education will automatically reassign a surrogate unless a request is received not to be reassigned or the educational surrogate resigns from the program.

Can educational surrogates be required to share the costs of the student's education?

No. All special education and related services must be provided at no cost to the educational surrogate of the student. The intent is that extra costs of providing an education for students with disabilities should not be borne by the student, parent, or guardian.

What kinds of records are parents and educational surrogates allowed to see?

All records, files, documents and other material which contain information directly relating to a student and which are maintained by an educational agency, such as an elementary school, an office of a school district, or university may be viewed by parents and educational surrogates. The type or location of the records does not matter--discipline folders, psychological reports, health files, and grade reports or other records found in a cumulative folder are all included.

Are there any records that a school can refuse to show parents or an educational surrogate?

Yes. A school can refuse to show parents and educational surrogates the following records:

A teacher's or counselor's "personal notes"--these are notes that a school official makes for his or her own use and are not to be shown to anyone else, except a substitute teacher.

Personnel records of school employees.

School officials cannot refuse to show you a record simply because it was sent to them by someone outside the school system. 

May educational surrogates read the student's record themselves? What if a surrogate doesn’t understand something in the records?

Yes. Surrogates have the right to examine the records themselves. If a school official only agrees to read to a surrogate from the records, he or she is violating the law. Educational surrogates also have a right to receive an explanation of any item they do not understand. There may be a counselor, teacher, or other school staff person in the room with the surrogate while he/she reviews the records. If this person cannot answer the surrogate’s questions, he/she should ask the principal to find someone who can. 

Does a student residing with foster parents also need a surrogate?

No, a foster parent is considered a parent, therefore, no surrogate assignment is necessary. A foster parent is selected as the custodian for a student by a state or local agency and reimbursed for expenses. 

Can a foster parent serve as an educational surrogate for other students?

Foster parents are not prohibited from also serving as educational surrogates. Foster parents may volunteer to be trained and serve as educational surrogates provided they have no conflict of interest. 

When did the most recent charter law go into effect?

The most recent charter law went into effect as of Aug. 28, 2012.

In the past, charter schools were only permitted within the boundaries of the St. Louis City School District a nd Kansas City School District. Where are schools permitted now?

Except as further provided in subsection 4 of this section, charter schools may be operated
only:

1. In a metropolitan school district;
2. In an urban school district containing most or all of a city with a population greater than three hundred fifty thousand inhabitants;
3. In a school district that has been declared unaccredited;
4. In a school district that has been classified as provisionally accredited by the state board of education and has received scores on its annual performance report consistent with a classification of provisionally accredited or unaccredited for three consecutive school
years beginning with the 2012-13 accreditation year under the following conditions:

a.The eligibility for charter schools of any school district whose provisional accreditation is based in whole or in part on financial stress as defined in sections 161.520 to 161.529, or on financial hardship as defined by rule of the state board of education, shall be decided by a vote of the state board of education during the third consecutive school year after the designation of provisional accreditation; and
b.The sponsor is limited to the local school board or a sponsor who has met the standards of accountability and performance as determined by the department based on sections 160.400 to 160.425 and section 167.349 and properly promulgated rules of the department; or

5. In a school district that has been accredited without provisions, sponsored only by the local school board; provided that no board with a current year enrollment of one thousand five hundred fifty students or greater shall permit more than thirty-five percent of its student enrollment to enroll in charter schools.

Do charter schools still have to have a sponsor?

Yes. Refer toSection 160.400(3), RSMo 2012:
Except as further provided in subsection 4 of this section, the following entities are eligible to sponsor charter schools:

1. The school board of the district in any district which is sponsoring a charter school as of August 27, 2012, as permitted under subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 2 of this section, the special administrative board of a metropolitan school district during any time in which powers granted to the district’s board of education are vested in a special administrative board, or if the state board of education appoints a special administrative board to retain the authority granted to the board of education of an urban school district containing most or all of a city with a population greater than three hundred fifty thousand inhabitants, the special administrative board of such school district;
2. Apublic four-year college or university with an approved teacher education program that meets regional or national standards of accreditation;
3. A community college, the service area of which encompasses some portion of the district;
4. Any private four-year college or university with an enrollment of at least one thousand students, with its primary campus in Missouri, and with an approved teacher preparation program;
5. Any two-year private vocational or technical school designated as a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which is a member of the North Central Association and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission,
with its primary campus in Missouri; or
6. The Missouri Charter Public School Commission created in section 160.425.

Clarification: In accredited districts, only the local school board can sponsor a charter school. After three consecutive years of classification as a provisionally accredited or unaccredited district, schools in that district can be sponsored by any of the entities listed in 160.400(3) after
approval from the State Board of Education. The three years start with the 2012-2013 accreditation year.

Does this mean that in provisionally accredited districts, only school boards will be able to sponsor cha rter schools until the fall of 2015?

Yes. A provisionally accredited school district must first be classified as provisionally accredited or unaccredited for three years starting with the 2012-2013 school year. Refer to Section 160.400(4), RSMo 2012.

What school districts are unaccredited in Missouri?

For a list of accreditation classifications please visit the MO School Improvement Page.

Are sponsors paid any funds for sponsoring charter schools?

Yes. Pursuant to Section 160.400(11): The expenses associated with sponsorship of charter schools shall be defrayed by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education retaining one and five-tenths percent of the amount of state and local funding allocated to the charter school under section 160.415, not to exceed one hundred twenty-five thousand dollars, adjusted for inflation.
Refer to Sections 160.400 to 160.425 and 167.349, RSMo 2012.

What are the expectations for being a sponsor?

The expectations for being a charter sponsor can be found in Section 160.400(11): The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education shall remit the retained funds for each charter school to the school’s sponsor, provided the sponsor remains in good standing by fulfilling its sponsorship obligations under sections 160.400 to 160.425 and 167.349 with regard to each charter school it sponsors, including appropriate demonstrations of the following:
1. Expends no less than ninety percent of its charter school sponsorship funds in support of its charter school sponsorship program, or as a direct investment in the sponsored schools; 
2. Maintains a comprehensive application process that follows fair procedures and rigorous criteria and grants charters only to those developers who demonstrate strong capacity for establishing and operating a quality charter school;
3. Negotiates contracts with charter schools that clearly articulate the rights and responsibilities of each party regarding school autonomy, expected outcomes, measures for evaluating success or failure, performance consequences, and other material terms;
4. Conducts contract oversight that evaluates performance, monitors compliance, informs intervention and renewal decisions, and ensures autonomy provided under applicable law; and 
5. Designs and implements a transparent and rigorous process that uses comprehensive data to make merit-based renewal decisions.
 
Also Section 160.400(12): Sponsors receiving funds under subsection 11 of this section shall be required to submit annual reports to the joint committee on education demonstrating they are in compliance with subsection 17 of this section. Refer to Sections 160.400 to 160.425 and 167.349, RSMo 2012

What is the application process to become a charter school sponsor?

The Department of Elementary establishes an application and approval process for all entities eligible to sponsor charters. Guidelines are available and applications for sponsorship must be submitted by Feb.1, 2014. The application will include, at a minimum:

1. Written notification of intent to serve as a charter school sponsor in accordance with applicable rule and regulations;
2. Evidence of the applicant sponsor's budget and personnel capacity;
3. An outline of the request for proposal that the applicant sponsor would, if approved as a charter sponsor, issue to solicit charter school applicants;
4. A performance framework that the sponsor would, if approved as a charter sponsor, use to guide the establishment of a charter contract and for ongoing oversight and a description of how it would evaluate said charter schools; and
5. The sponsor's renewal, revocation and nonrenewal processes. Refer to Section 160.403(1)(2), RSMo 2012.

What is the timeline for applying to be a sponsor?

The timeline for applying to be a chart sponsor is as follows:
• Each interested/eligible sponsor's application must be submitted by Feb.1.
• Each year, the Department will grant or deny sponsoring authority to a sponsor applicant by April 1.
 
Refer to Section 160.403(1)(2)(3), RSMo 2012.

Is a charter school considered a public or private school?

Charter schools are considered public schools.

Can anyone attend a charter school?

A charter school may establish a geographical area around the school whose residents will receive a preference for enrolling in the school, provided that such preferences do not result in the establishment of racially or socioeconomically isolated schools and provided such preferences conform to policies and guidelines established by the state board of education. If capacity is insufficient to enroll all pupils who submit a timely application, the charter school shall have an admissions process lottery that assures all applicants of an equal chance of gaining admission.

What restrictions are placed on charter board members?

No member of the governing board of a charter school shall hold any office or employment from the board or the charter school while se rving as a member, nor shall the member have any substantial interest, as defined in Section 105.450, in any entity employed by or contracting with the board. No board member shall be an employee of a company that provides substantial services to the charter school. All members of the governing board of the charter school shall be considered decision-making public servants as defined in Section 105.450 for the purposes of the financial disclosure requirements contained in Sections105.483, 105.485, 105.487, and 105.489.
 
The governing body of a charter school is authorized to accept grants, gifts or donations of any kind and to expend or use such grants, gifts or donations. A grant, gift or donation may not be accepted by the governing body if it is subject to any condition contrary to law applicable to the charter school or other public schools, or contrary to the terms of the charter.

What is the process for opening a new charter school?

If a charter is approved by an approved sponsor, the charter application shall be submitted to the State Board of Education, including:
1. A statement of finding that the application meets the requirements of the charter school law; and
2. A monitoring plan under which the charter sponsor shall evaluate the academic performance of students enrolled in the charter school. The state board of education may, within sixty days, disapprove the granting of the charter. The state board of education may disapprove a charter on grounds that the application fails to meet the requirements of sections of the law or that a charter sponsor previously failed to meet the statutory responsibilities of a charter sponsor.

A charter school shall be, as provided in its charter: nonsectarian, compliant with laws and regulations of the state, county or city relating to health safety, state minimum educational standards, financially accountable, compliant with all federal audit requirements, providing a comprehensive program of instruction, measuring pupil progress, submitting an annual report card, compliant with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding students with disabilities, and numerous other requirements.
Refer to Sections 160.400 to 160.425 and 167.349 , RSMo 2012.

What is the timeline for opening a charter school?

The law requires that charter applications have to be approved by Dec.1 for opening the following fall. For an application to be reviewed and approved bythe Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the application must be submitted before Oct.1. The writing of an application by a charter board, as well as application for all necessary nonprofit
status and incorporation usually takes six to 12 months.

How are state funds distributed to charter schools?

Charter schools receive funding just like other public school/LEAs. They report their Average Daily Attendance through the core data system at the Department.

Do charter schools h ave to participate in the state wide testing program?

Yes, charter schools must participate in the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP).

Are charter school MAP scores published somewhere?

Yes, all charter and public school test scores are available through the Missouri Comprehensive Data System (MCDS) at http://mcds.dese.mo.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Some Missouri charter schools have closed in recent years. How did this happen?

Closure of charter schools in Missouri has occurred for a variety of reasons including poor academic performance, financial distress or unsafe conditions. Sometimes the charter school boards make the decision to close a charter school because the school is financially insolvent. Other schools have closed because the school did not reach the goals agreed upon with their sponsors, so the sponsor closed them. Others have closed because their sponsor ceased being their sponsor due to poor performance.

Once a charter school is approved, do they have to be renewed for so many years?

Charter schools may only be renewed for five-year terms.

Do teachers and administrators have to be certified to work in a charter school ?

Yes, teachers must be certificated to work in a charter school. There is a provision given in Missouri Charter School Law for charter schools in Missouri to have 80 percent of their teachers certificated and 20 percent qualified to teach with certification in other states, countries, etc. However, if the school wishes to use federal funding, it must hire 100 percent certificated staff in order to meet the Highly Qualified Teacher requirements.

Are charter schools responsible for all accountability measures expected of public schools in the state?

Charter schools are held accountable for all performance standards applicable to the grades served in the school. Charter schools are not held accountable for resource and process standards.

Do charter schools offer summer schools like other public schools?

Like any public school, charter schools have the option to offer a 120 hour summer school. Many charter schools do, but it is a local decision that is made by the charter board.

1.What are the evaluation criteria to be considered for Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled?

The criteria for eligibility consideration are discussed at length in the Eligibility Determination Resource Guide on this website. Essentially, the student must be functioning overall in the severe range of ability (including adaptive behavior) of below four (4) standard deviations below the mean and MSSD must be the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for the student. Both criteria must be met. A single IQ score at or below the criterion level is not sufficient to qualify the student. The entire packet of information about the student is reviewed. Decisions on eligibility are made by a team of MSSD personnel and the decision on such eligibility is not appealable. The home district may resubmit new information for consideration, but all information previously submitted will also be included in the decision
making process. It is incumbent on MSSD to ensure that a student is appropriate for placement in our District.

The answers in the Justification for Separate School Placement (JOP) are used when determining whether or not MSSD would be the LRE for the student. Responses to all eight (8) questions are required.

What is the next step once the local school district has been notified that a student has been found eligible for MSSD?

The IEP team must determine if a referral to MSSD is the most appropriate placement for the student to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). If so, the district may refer the student to the MSSD program by submitting the referral form, a copy of the amended IEP, and a copy of the Notice of Action. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) team should amend
the IEP to reflect that MSSD operates for 1800 minutes of service per week. The IEP team should consider the range of placement options available for the student.

The district shall submit the referral only after the parents have been offered all rights available to them in relation to the Procedural Safeguards.

Upon receipt of the referral information, enrollment papers will be mailed to the parent by MSSD.

Within thirty (30) days following initial enrollment of the student in the MSSD, an IEP/placement review conference shall be held. The purpose of this review is to confirm the appropriateness of continued placement in the MSSD as the LRE to provide a free appropriate public education for the student.

Do charter schools offer summer schools like other public schools?

Like any public school, charter schools have the option to offer a 120 hour summer school. Many charter schools do, but it is a local decision that is made by the charter board.

Does the Missouri Safe Schools Act apply to students with disabilities?

Yes. However, this state law specifies that its provisions are subject to the state and federal regulations on disciplining students with disabilities. Those provisions come into play primarily where the disciplinary action involves a long-term suspension (defined in question #7) or expulsion, and where a student has been expelled from a prior district and is seeking to enroll in a new one.

Can students with disabilities be removed from school for possession of a dangerous weapon, possession or use of illegal drugs, or sale or solicitation of a controlled substance?

Yes. Such students may be removed from school in several ways: (1) a 45-calendar-day interim alternative educational placement; (2) a court injunction; (3) a long-term suspension or expulsion if the student’s conduct is determined to be unrelated to the student’s disability; or (4) a 45-calendar-day interim alternative educational placement following a decision by a formal due process hearing that the student is dangerous. (The 45-day interim placement also can be renewed through additional due process hearings if the student is deemed to be dangerous.)

Can a school district "stack" suspensions when drugs and weapons are involved?

Yes. When a student is involved with a dangerous weapon or drug situation, there is nothing to prohibit the school district from imposing an initial short-term suspension, followed by a 45-calendar-day alternative interim educational placement, and followed by a long-term suspension or expulsion (if the student’s conduct is then determined unrelated to the disability).

How does the school district remove students with disabilities from school if they are dangerous or violent?

There are four options: (1) A court injunction; (2) a due process hearing order for a 45-calendar-day alternative interim educational setting; (3) a long-term suspension or expulsion if the conduct is unrelated to the disability; or, (4) a change of placement through the IEP process to a more restrictive environment based on needs of the student. This last method cannot be used as a long-term suspension/disciplinary option. 

When a student with a disability is suspended for more than 10 days in a school year, does the student still receive services?

When a student with a disability is suspended for more than 10 days in a school year, but is not long-term suspended, the school district administration, in consultation with the child’s teacher, will determine which services are needed to enable the child to appropriately progress in general curriculum and appropriately advance towards achieving goals set out in the IEP. 

What is considered a "long-term" suspension?

A long-term suspension is a suspension in excess of 10 consecutive days or in excess of 10 days cumulatively where a pattern of suspension is created. To determine whether a pattern is created, school districts must consider:

1) if the series of removals total more than ten(10) school days cumulatively in a school year;

2) if the child’s behavior is substantially similar to the child’s behavior in previous incidents that resulted in the series of removals; and,

3) such additional factors as length of each removal, the total amount of time the child has been removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another. 

When can students with disabilities be long-term suspended or expelled?

Students with disabilities may be long-term suspended or expelled if the conduct leading to the discipline is unrelated to the student’s disability. However, even where the conduct is unrelated, the student must continue to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and services which allow for continued progress in general education curriculum pursuant to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) during the period of long-term suspension or expulsion. 

What are some discipline options that can be used with a student with a disability?

Short-term suspensions; community service; detentions; paying for damage to school property; Saturday school; counseling or social skills training; long-term suspensions or expulsions (if the conduct is determined unrelated to the disability); 45-calendar-day interim alternative educational placements if the student possessed a dangerous weapon, or possessed/used illegal drugs, or solicited/sold controlled substances. 

Services must continue to a student with a disability who has been long-term suspended or expelled. Is a homebound placement an option and who determines this?

The IEP team determines placement and changes in placement. Homebound placement may be an appropriate option to consider as are alternative schools, or contractual arrangements with other districts or private agencies or mutually agreed sites off school grounds. 

Do students have a right to services when short-term suspended?

No. Students who receive short-term, out-of-school suspensions do not have a right to continued services. Students with disabilities who are short-termed suspended must be provided any services provided to nondisabled students. An example is providing homework to students who are short term suspended. However, if such students have been suspended in excess of 10 days cumulatively, the school administrator, in consultation with the student’s teacher, will determine if a pattern of suspensions exists. If no such pattern is determined, school personnel, in consultation with at least one of the child’s teachers, determine the extent to which services are required on the 11th day and thereafter.

If the student is under age 18 and is married, who is the educational decision maker or if the student is under age 18 and lives on his/her own, who is the educational decision maker?

A minor (person under age 18) is emancipated if he/she is responsible for his/her own financial support. For example, (1) if a minor moves out of his home and lives on his own in an apartment or a room he rents, (2) that minor moves out and is living in an apartment with his girlfriend, (3) a minor gets married. Marriage automatically results in a minor being emancipated. However, in general, financial independence is the key to determining if a minor is emancipated. An emancipated minor is his/her own educational decision maker.

When parents have equal decision making rights and they don’t agree on consent, what do you do when one parent signs consent and the other objects?

Consent is only required to be obtained from one parent. The school can proceed with the process for which consent was obtained and the opposing parent has procedural safeguard rights, including due process hearing rights, assuming that they are indeed joint educational decision-makers. The same is true when a parent revokes consent for special education services.

How much time and money will this commitment take?

Educational surrogates devote approximately one day to the training provided by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Office of Special Education. After a student with disabilities is assigned, the educational surrogate reviews the student’s school record well enough to understand the student’s needs, strengths, and interests as well as their school history. A meeting between the student and surrogate is arranged. After that, surrogates attend IEP meetings and parent-teacher conferences. This costs the surrogate nothing. Training is provided free of charge. All reasonable expenses are reimbursed. 

Can a surrogate be held liable if he/she makes a wrong decision about the student?

Missouri provides that a person appointed to act as an educational surrogate shall be immune from any liability for any civil damage arising from any act or omission in representing the student in any decision related to the student's education. This immunity shall not apply to intentional conduct, wanton and willful conduct or gross negligence. Section 162.999 (7) RSMo. 

Does a student residing with foster parents also need a surrogate?

No, a foster parent is considered a parent, therefore, no surrogate assignment is necessary. A foster parent is selected as the custodian for a student by a state or local agency and reimbursed for expenses. 

What is the next step once the local school district has been notified that a student has been found eligible for MSSD?

The IEP team must determine if a referral to MSSD is the most appropriate placement for the student to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). If so, the district may refer the student to the MSSD program by submitting the referral form, a copy of the amended IEP, and a copy of the Notice of Action. The Individual Education Plan (IEP) team should amend
the IEP to reflect that MSSD operates for 1800 minutes of service per week. The IEP team should consider the range of placement options available for the student.

The district shall submit the referral only after the parents have been offered all rights available to them in relation to the Procedural Safeguards.

Upon receipt of the referral information, enrollment papers will be mailed to the parent by MSSD.

Within thirty (30) days following initial enrollment of the student in the MSSD, an IEP/placement review conference shall be held. The purpose of this review is to confirm the appropriateness of continued placement in the MSSD as the LRE to provide a free appropriate public education for the student.

A student currently attending MSSD moves into our district, how should we proceed in order to continue placement in MSSD?

A student who is enrolled in a school that is part of the MSSD district and moves from one home school district to another may transfer enrollment immediately on the basis of the justification for separate school placement, current IEP and evaluation report. Such a move is considered an interim placement, not to exceed thirty (30) days, during which the new local
district follows the transfer procedures outlined in Regulation III.3 of the State Plan, Procedures for Evaluation and Determination of Eligibility, to confirm placement in the MSSD as the least restrictive educational environment for the student. The district then compiles and submits to the MSSD the Agreement for Continued Placement under the existing IEP.

Are medical diagnoses or mental health diagnoses required for some of the disability categories?

Yes. Several of the disability categories refer to the necessity of medical or mental health diagnoses including:  Hearing Impairment/Deafness (a hearing impairment must be diagnosed by an audiologist), Orthopedic Impairment (an orthopedic impairment must be diagnosed by a licensed physician), Visual Impairment/Blindness (a visual impairment or a progressive vision loss has been diagnosed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist), Other Health Impaired (a health impairment has been diagnosed by a licensed physician, licensed psychologist, licensed professional counselor, licensed clinical social worker, or school psychologist), and Traumatic Brain Injury (a traumatic brain injury/head injury has been diagnosed by a licensed physician or through a neuropsychological assessment although his requirement can be met by professional judgment when the team determines that substantial data to document the medical basis for a head injury is present).

What are the evaluation criteria to be considered for Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled eligibility?

The criteria for eligibility consideration are discussed at length in the Eligibility Determination Resource Guide on this website. Essentially, the student must be functioning overall in the severe range of ability (including adaptive behavior) ofbelow four (4) standard deviations below the mean and MSSD must be the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for the student. Both criteria must be met. A single IQ score at or below the criterion level is not sufficient to qualify the student. The entire packet of information about the student is reviewed. Decisions on eligibility are made by a team of MSSD personnel and the decision on such eligibility is not appealable. The home district may resubmit new information for consideration, but all information previously submitted will also be included in the decision
making process. It is incumbent on MSSD to ensure that a student is appropriate for placement in our District.

The answers in the Justification for Separate School Placement (JOP) are used when determining whether or not MSSD would be the LRE for the student. Responses to all eight (8) questions are required. 

What do state and federal regulations require when determing the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for preschool children with disabilities?

State and federal regulations require that:

  1. A variety of placement options are available to meet the unique needs of the child (see Question 3.2 below)
  2. Placement is based upon the child’s IEP
  3. Placement is determined by the child’s IEP team
  4. Placement is determined annually
  5. At least annually, the IEP team must consider whether all of the special education and related services can be provided with non-disabled peers in a regular education setting with appropriate supplementary aids & services, accommodations and modifications.
  6. In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs
  7. A child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general curriculum.  For preschool children “regular classroom or “regular education” means settings that are designed primarily for children without disabilities and “general curriculum” refers to age-appropriate activities.

The LRE expectations set forth in IDEA clearly encompass preschool age children as well as children in grades K-12. Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilites from the regular education environment should occur only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes (or for preschool, setting designed primarily for children without disabilities) with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

What do state and federal regulations require when determing the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for preschool children with disabilities?

State and federal regulations require that:

  1. A variety of placement options are available to meet the unique needs of the child (see Question 3.2 below)
  2. Placement is based upon the child’s IEP
  3. Placement is determined by the child’s IEP team
  4. Placement is determined annually
  5. At least annually, the IEP team must consider whether all of the special education and related services can be provided with non-disabled peers in a regular education setting with appropriate supplementary aids & services, accommodations and modifications.
  6. In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs
  7. A child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general curriculum.  For preschool children “regular classroom or “regular education” means settings that are designed primarily for children without disabilities and “general curriculum” refers to age-appropriate activities.

The LRE expectations set forth in IDEA clearly encompass preschool age children as well as children in grades K-12. Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilites from the regular education environment should occur only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes (or for preschool, setting designed primarily for children without disabilities) with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

How can the LEA meet the federal and state requirements for LRE since all school districts do not make preschool or child care services available to all 3-5 year old children?

While the options for LEA early care and education programs have been increasing, not all school districts operate regular education preschools or childcare programs.  It was not the intent of the law that schools should be required to initiate those programs solely to satisfy the LRE requirements.  Districts need to be aware of and collaborate with Head Start and other non-parochial community preschool/childcare programs so that whenever appropriate, children can receive their special education and related services in Early Childhood settings.  In many cases children are already attending these settings and special education, related services, supplementary aids and services can appropriately be provided to the child in that location.  LEAs should also engage in ongoing short and long-range planning that leads to effective use of the itinerant/consultative approach to services.  Where district preschool/childcare programs are available, collaboration within the district is important to facilitate the collaboration and cooperation between the regular and special education programs to enhance the options for regular education placements.  Districts can also use Integrated ECSE (Reverse Mainstream) classrooms to provide a higher level of integration than a self contained classroom, however these classrooms are considered special education settings and they should be considered only after considering if an Early Childhood setting is appropriate.

For students who receive all or part of their services in a district center-based program, if the district chooses to operate its ECSE program as a cooperative program with other preschool programs such as Title I, MPP, or district-funded preschool, how d

Districts are encouraged to look at all possible ways in which they can develop both effective and efficient programs to provide educational services to young children.  In the case where a district has established cooperative Early Childhood programs which serve both disabled and non-disabled children (i.e., Title I/ECSE), the same considerations and documentation on the IEPs of children with disabilities as was discussed in Questions 3.2 & 3.5 above would apply.   

When you document the extent of participation in regular education sections of the IEP, you are only addressing the period of the time the child received special education and related services-not the entire period of time the child might happen to be in an Early Childhood setting. Again, as in the answer to question 3.4, the team needs to carefully consider what special education, related services, supplementary aids and services modifications and adjustments, supports to school personnel are necessary to implement the IEP. (Over and above the instruction provided to all students in the class). 

If the child receives all his special education and related service in the cooperative Early Childhood classroom (not pull out), the placement is Early Childhood setting. If some of the special education, related services or supplementary aids and services are provided through pull-out and some are provided in the class room, the placement is part-time Early Childhood/part-time Early Childhood Special Education and the IEP must show documentation for the extent of and reason for the pull out services. 

It is important to remember that placement decisions are driven by the needs of the individual child as determined by the IEP and are not based upon how the district has chosen to administer their Early Childhood programs. State and federal regulations require that a range of placement options be available to provide for the Least Restrictive Environment needs of each child. 

For more information on effective instructional practices and funding of programs for children with disabilities, contact the Division of Special Education,

Effective Practices Section (573-751- 0187 or [email protected] or the Funds Management sections at 573-751-0622 or [email protected].  For more information regarding documentation of placement for an ECSE child, contact the Compliance Section at 573-751-0699 or [email protected].

How are children who have previously been identified under the ECSE criteria reported to DESE for childcount purposes?

You may find the instructions for doing this on the web at dese.mo.gov/divspeced/DataCoord/
specialeducationcategoriesold&new.htm

Can a child go to kindergarten with a YCDD diagnosis?

It depends. If a district has adopted the policy to identify 3 to pre-K 5 year olds using the YCDD category and has also chosen to allow the continuation of that criteria for Kindergarten-age eligible children (age 5 by August 1), then for any children previously identified as ECSE/YCDD, the IEP team can choose to continue that non-categorical label until they are first-grade age eligible (age 6 by August 1).  It should be noted that, whatever the categorical label, once the child turns Kindergarten age eligible, ECSE grant funds may not be used to pay for the child’s services.

When social/emotional behavior is the only area for delay, is a licensed psychologist still required?

NO.  Professional judgment is sufficient to identify a delay.  

How is the communication area of delay interpreted?

If a district allows both a YCDD and a categorical diagnosis, the eligibility determination team has the option of determining the student eligible under YCDD, or the team can consider the categorical areas of language impairment, sound system disorder, voice, or fluency. 

When considering Language Impairment, the criteria is 2.0 standard deviations below peers for that age group (refer to 1500 - Language Impairment, in the Compliance Standards & Indicators Manual). In this case, receptive and expressive language can be looked at separately and 2.0 standard deviations in either area would qualify the child as eligible. The evaluation report must document the results of two standardized assessments that measure the same areas of language. 

If the team is using YCDD as the only option then the team must substantiate a communication delay by assessing all the areas of communication as they relate to the child’s educational needs. When looking at categorical eligibility for language delays, two assessments measuring the same area of language are not needed, but delays must be documented overall (expressive and receptive). Sound system (1.5) and language (1.5) do not count as two separate areas when considering a YCDD diagnosis.  However, sound system can qualify as a stand-alone delay for YCDD if the child’s sound production is outside the limits of normal development as established for same age peers. 

To use speech-sound system disorder, voice, or fluency either as YCDD delays or as categorical area, use the criteria in 1600 - Sound System Disorder, 800 - Speech/Voice, 1700 - Speech/Fluency.

How is the communication area of delay interpreted?

If a district allows both a YCDD and a categorical diagnosis, the eligibility determination team has the option of determining the student eligible under YCDD, or the team can consider the categorical areas of language impairment, sound system disorder, voice, or fluency. 

When considering Language Impairment, the criteria is 2.0 standard deviations below peers for that age group (refer to 1500 - Language Impairment, in the Compliance Standards & Indicators Manual). In this case, receptive and expressive language can be looked at separately and 2.0 standard deviations in either area would qualify the child as eligible. The evaluation report must document the results of two standardized assessments that measure the same areas of language. 

If the team is using YCDD as the only option then the team must substantiate a communication delay by assessing all the areas of communication as they relate to the child’s educational needs. When looking at categorical eligibility for language delays, two assessments measuring the same area of language are not needed, but delays must be documented overall (expressive and receptive). Sound system (1.5) and language (1.5) do not count as two separate areas when considering a YCDD diagnosis.  However, sound system can qualify as a stand-alone delay for YCDD if the child’s sound production is outside the limits of normal development as established for same age peers. 

To use speech-sound system disorder, voice, or fluency either as YCDD delays or as categorical area, use the criteria in 1600 - Sound System Disorder, 800 - Speech/Voice, 1700 - Speech/Fluency.

What do state and federal regulations require when determing the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for preschool children with disabilities?

State and federal regulations require that:

  1. A variety of placement options are available to meet the unique needs of the child (see Question 3.2 below)
  2. Placement is based upon the child’s IEP
  3. Placement is determined by the child’s IEP team
  4. Placement is determined annually
  5. At least annually, the IEP team must consider whether all of the special education and related services can be provided with non-disabled peers in a regular education setting with appropriate supplementary aids & services, accommodations and modifications.
  6. In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs
  7. A child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general curriculum.  For preschool children “regular classroom or “regular education” means settings that are designed primarily for children without disabilities and “general curriculum” refers to age-appropriate activities.

The LRE expectations set forth in IDEA clearly encompass preschool age children as well as children in grades K-12. Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilites from the regular education environment should occur only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes (or for preschool, setting designed primarily for children without disabilities) with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

2. What are the placement options for ECSE students?

State regulations list several placement options for preschool children.

Early Childhood Setting. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in educational programs designed primarily for children without disabilities.  No education or related services are provided in separate special education settings.

Some characteristics/examples of the above setting are:

  • Designed for children without disabilities
  • The special education teacher and or/therapist travel to the child and provide the services in the integrated setting (The child is not pulled from the classroom for the special education and related services.)
    • Daycare (Public or Private [not parochial])
    • Preschool (Public or Private [not parochial])
    • Head start
    • Home/early childhood combinations
    • Etc.
  • May be a collaborative program this is designed for children without disabilities, where the ratio of children without IEPs is equal to or higher than that of children with IEPs.  These classrooms could be team-taught or taught by one teacher who has a split position.  Examples of these combined programs include:

 

  • Title I/ECSE classroom
  • District Early Childhood/ECSE classroom
  • Headstart/ECSE classroom
  • Missouri Preschool Project (MPP)/ECSE classroom

Early Childhood Special Education Setting. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in educational programs designed primarily for children with disabilities housed in regular school buildings or other community-based settings.  No special education or related services as designated by an IEP are provided in an early childhood setting.

Some characteristics/examples of this setting are:

  • Designed for children with disabilities
  • Centerbased/self-contained
  • Integrated ECSE (formerly reverse mainstream)
  • Special education classrooms in trailers outside regular school building

Home. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in the principal residence of the child’s family or caregivers. 

Some characteristics/examples of this setting are:

  • Child's home
  • Foster home
  • Extended family's home (grandparent, aunt, etc.)

Part Time EC/Part time ECSE setting. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in multiple settings, such that: (1) general and/or special education and related services are provided at home or in educational programs designed primarily for children without disabilities AND (2) special education and related services are provided in programs designed primarily for children with disabilities.

Some characteristics/examples of this setting are:

  • Services are provided in two different placements
  • Home  + Itinerant Service Outside the Home
  • Home + ECSE
  • Early Childhood Setting + Itinerant Service Outside the Home
  • Early Childhood Setting + ECSE

Residential Facility. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in publicly or privately operated residential schools or residential medical facilities on an inpatient basis. 

Note:  Only use this option when the IEP team has determined that the child needs to be placed in a residential facility in order to receive FAPE, not because the child is already placed in a residential facility by another agency or because the location for the provision of services is located such a distance from the child’s home that residing in the facility is necessary. In those cases, another placement option would be used, such as Home, EC, ECSE, or Separate School. 

Separate School. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services in educational programs in public or private day schools specifically for children with disabilities.

Itinerant Service Outside the Home. Children with disabilities who receive all of their special education and related services at a school, hospital facility on an outpatient basis, or other location for a short period of time (i.e., no more than 3 hours per week).  These services may be provided individually or to a small group of children.

This placement option would be used in the following instances:

  • The service is being provided at a location other than the child’s home
  • The child comes to the teacher (the service is being provided in a resource or non-school location, not in an integrated classroom setting)
  • The teacher or service provider goes to the child’s preschool/childcare setting, but provides services in a “pull-out” fashion—separating the child from children without disabilities
  • The service is being provided for a short period of time (3 hours or less per week)
  • The service is being provided to an individual child or a small group of children

Examples of this would be:

  • The child is receiving speech only services for 120 minutes per week.  The SLP goes to the child’s preschool, but provides the services one-on-one in a separate room
  • The child is receiving 60 minutes of speech and 120 minutes of OT per week.  For the speech, the child comes to the public school building, but receives the services in a small group in the speech resource room.  For the OT, the child goes to the local hospital’s rehabilitation clinic.
  • The child receives 30 minutes per week of specialized instruction in a small group pull-out setting and 15 minutes consultation is provided to the Early Childhood staff, at the child’s childcare center.
  • The child receives 60 minutes of ECSE teacher services weekly, pullout from Head Start, and 30 minutes consultative services from the SLP in a separate room at the Head Start, monthly with parent and Head Start staff present. 

How can the LEA meet the federal and state requirements for LRE since all school districts do not make preschool or child care services available to all 3-5 year old children?

While the options for LEA early care and education programs have been increasing, not all school districts operate regular education preschools or childcare programs.  It was not the intent of the law that schools should be required to initiate those programs solely to satisfy the LRE requirements.  Districts need to be aware of and collaborate with Head Start and other non-parochial community preschool/childcare programs so that whenever appropriate, children can receive their special education and related services in Early Childhood settings.  In many cases children are already attending these settings and special education, related services, supplementary aids and services can appropriately be provided to the child in that location.  LEAs should also engage in ongoing short and long-range planning that leads to effective use of the itinerant/consultative approach to services.  Where district preschool/childcare programs are available, collaboration within the district is important to facilitate the collaboration and cooperation between the regular and special education programs to enhance the options for regular education placements.  Districts can also use Integrated ECSE (Reverse Mainstream) classrooms to provide a higher level of integration than a self contained classroom, however these classrooms are considered special education settings and they should be considered only after considering if an Early Childhood setting is appropriate.

Can a child go to kindergarten with a YCDD diagnosis?

It depends. If a district has adopted the policy to identify 3 to pre-K 5 year olds using the YCDD category and has also chosen to allow the continuation of that criteria for Kindergarten-age eligible children (age 5 by August 1), then for any children previously identified as ECSE/YCDD, the IEP team can choose to continue that non-categorical label until they are first-grade age eligible (age 6 by August 1).  It should be noted that, whatever the categorical label, once the child turns Kindergarten age eligible, ECSE grant funds may not be used to pay for the child’s services.

When social/emotional behavior is the only area for delay, is a licensed psychologist still required?

NO.  Professional judgment is sufficient to identify a delay.  

How is the communication area of delay interpreted?

If a district allows both a YCDD and a categorical diagnosis, the eligibility determination team has the option of determining the student eligible under YCDD, or the team can consider the categorical areas of language impairment, sound system disorder, voice, or fluency. 

When considering Language Impairment, the criteria is 2.0 standard deviations below peers for that age group (refer to 1500 - Language Impairment, in the Compliance Standards & Indicators Manual). In this case, receptive and expressive language can be looked at separately and 2.0 standard deviations in either area would qualify the child as eligible. The evaluation report must document the results of two standardized assessments that measure the same areas of language. 

If the team is using YCDD as the only option then the team must substantiate a communication delay by assessing all the areas of communication as they relate to the child’s educational needs. When looking at categorical eligibility for language delays, two assessments measuring the same area of language are not needed, but delays must be documented overall (expressive and receptive). Sound system (1.5) and language (1.5) do not count as two separate areas when considering a YCDD diagnosis.  However, sound system can qualify as a stand-alone delay for YCDD if the child’s sound production is outside the limits of normal development as established for same age peers. 

To use speech-sound system disorder, voice, or fluency either as YCDD delays or as categorical area, use the criteria in 1600 - Sound System Disorder, 800 - Speech/Voice, 1700 - Speech/Fluency.

Are we required to test gross motor if the child only has fine motor concerns?

The Missouri State Plan now uses terminology consistent with language in the federal regulations. As a result, the former fine/gross motor area is now referred to as the physical area. Eligibility determination needs to focus on the overall physical development for the preschool child, particularly as it relates to the child’s educational needs. The delays in motor refer to an overall motor score of 2 standard deviations.  Keep in mind that, even though the child may not qualify for YCDD in the motor (physical) area, OT and PT can be provided as related services if the child is determined eligible based on another area of development and the IEP determines OT or PT is necessary for the child to benefit from special education.

If a student has a 1.5 SD in fine motor and a 1.5 SD in language, do they qualify?

No. The motor area must be 1.5 overall with both fine and gross motor and they must have a 1.5 SD in communication.

If districts are not required to administer the SEAP, why does the first performance goal in the Missouri State Plan include SEAP results?

The SEAP was developed as a way to measure readiness of all children in Kindergarten.  The Division elected to use participation in the SEAP as a way to compare the readiness of children with disabilities with that of children without disabilities.  It is a way to measure improvement in skills over time.

What about collaborative efforts with Head Start?

Collaborative efforts between ECSE staff and Head Start staff enhance all children’s readiness to move to their elementary years. When ECSE staff provide service directly to children with disabilities in Head Start and join forces on Professional development activities, all children gain.

Does the Division have plans to update the Show Me How II manual?

No, the Division does not have plans to update the Show Me How II Manual.  Rather, ECSE staff are encouraged to watch for the new technical assistance document series entitled "ECSE Practices."  Each "ECSE Practices" document will address a current issue in providing appropriate special education and related services for children eligible for ECSE services.  The information will clarify a variety of topics for professionals and paraprofessionals in the ECSE field.  

Due to the changing nature of special education topics, the delay in approving/printing manuals, and the technological opportunities now available, these issues will be available exclusively on the WEB at http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/EffectivePractices/
ECSEpage.html
under Related Links, ECSE Practices.

Is consent required before conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA)?

If the FBA involves formal assessment, you must obtain consent.  If it involves only a review of existing information or observation, consent is not required.

If a student with a disability exhibits behaviors that are not related to the disability, should the statement on the Special Considerations page concerning behavior be marked “yes” or “no”?

The behaviors need to be addressed whether they are related to the disability or not.  You can certainly document in the IEP whether you have determined them related or not.  There is no requirement to develop a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP).  However, if one is needed it must become a part of the IEP.  The requirement is to consider positive behavior interventions/strategies if the student’s behavior is impeding the learning of himself or others.

What if local law enforcement will not allow agency staff to provide services to the student during their incarceration?

Occasionally for security reasons, local law enforcement will not allow special education services to be provided to the student while he/she is incarcerated. If this is the case, the district must document that they located the student and offered services but were denied access to the student by law enforcement officials. When the student returns to school the IEP team should meet and determine if there has been a denial of FAPE and whether compensatory services are needed.

What if the student refuses to accept services during their incarceration?

Students who refuse to receive services would need to be identified as “drop-outs.”

Is it permissible to use goals from the bank of goals provided in the SEAS IEP program? Are they written correctly?

The Department does not monitor or endorse the IEP goals written by SEAS or any other privately owned organization serving as a special education resource.  Each team is responsible for developing IEPs based on the individual needs of the students.  More information on appropriate goals may be found in the Standards and Indicators Manual, Indicator 200.810.

If a student indicates he wants to join the military after graduation, but changes his mind after graduation, is the school responsible if the postsecondary goal is not met?

No, the school district is responsible for providing transition services that are “focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities.”  (Federal Regulations 300.43)   If the school district has provided transition services that were based on the child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests, and has prepared him to reach the postsecondary goals in his IEP, the school district cannot be held responsible if he/she changes his/her mind about what to do after graduation.  Quality transition planning that begins early in the child’s academic career and uses age appropriate transition assessments to guide transition planning, and which routinely checks and reassesses the child’s postsecondary goals, is vitally important.  A key part of the process should be providing the child with a rich variety of community experiences that allow him to learn first-hand about several vocations that he may have interest in pursuing to help him narrow his focus as graduation draws nearer.

When must parents be included in meetings?

Parents must be provided the opportunity to participate in meetings with respect to the identification, evaluation, educational placement and provision of FAPE to the child. This includes, but is not limited to, eligibility determination meetings, IEP meetings, and, if a meeting is held, review of existing data meetings.

What steps must a public agency take to demonstrate that they have provided the parent(s) with an opportunity to participate in a meeting?

State regulations require the public agency to make two attempts to convince the parent to attend a meeting before they hold the meeting without the parent in attendance. On each attempt, the agency must provide the parent with at least ten (10) calendar days prior notification unless the parent agrees to hold the meeting sooner.

A direct contact with the parent/guardian is not required for the first attempt to schedule a meeting. A public agency could have the child take the meeting notification home from school or send a message via e-mail. The second attempt to schedule a meeting must be a direct contact with the parent/guardian.

A direct contact IS:

Phone contact 
Face to face contact 
US Mail- regular or certified 

A direct contact IS NOT:

Fax 
Voice mail 
Email 
Hand carried by student 
Answering machine 

How many days are required for a public agency to notify parents for a meeting?

Ten (10) calendar days prior notification is required unless the parent waives this time frame.

When meeting compliance timelines is an issue, is waiting to establish a date that will work for everyone that needs to participate in the meeting an acceptable justification to go beyond timelines?

When timelines are an issue, waiting to establish a date that will work for everyone on the team would not be an acceptable justification to go beyond the date. However, the public agency must begin the process of scheduling the meeting in sufficient time to allow for two attempts to be made if necessary. 

If the public agency proposed a number of dates at one time, does that equate to more than one attempt?

If this is the public agency’s first attempt and the public agency is trying to negotiate by phone or in person and the parent will not accept any dates presented, the district should set a date and count it as the first attempt. The fact that the district proposed a number of dates at one time does not equate to more than one attempt to hold a meeting. 

If the public agency suspends a meeting and needs to schedule another one, is the agency required to make two attempts before that meeting can be held?

When it is necessary to suspend a meeting and continue at another time, the agency should try to schedule the next meeting as soon as possible. The agency should try to stay within required timelines, but the requirement for two (2) attempts to schedule a meeting still applies in this case. 

What are the requirements related to parent participation in Resolution Meetings scheduled in conjunction with due process complaints?

Within 15 days of receiving notice of the parent’s due process complaint, and prior to the initiation of a due process hearing, the public agency must convene a meeting with the parent and the relevant member(s) of the IEP Team who have specific knowledge of the facts identified in the complaint. The Purpose of the meeting is for the parent of the child to discuss the due process complaint, and the facts that form the basis of the due process complaint, so that the public agency has the opportunity to resolve the dispute that is the basis for the complaint.

Since the timelines are so short for Resolution Meetings, the public agency is not expected to give the parent two opportunities to attend with 10 days allowed for each date proposed. However, reasonable efforts must be made to obtain parental participation, and these efforts must be documented.

If the LEA is unable to obtain the participation of the parent in the resolution meeting after reasonable efforts have been made and documented, the LEA may, at the conclusion of the 30 day resolution period, request that the hearing chair dismiss the parent’s due process complaint. In these cases, the LEA must keep a record of its attempts to arrange mutually agreed on time and place, such as detailed records of telephone calls made or attempted and the results of those calls; copies of correspondence sent to the parents and any responses received, and/or detailed records of visits made to the parent’s home or place of employment and the results of those visits.

What is Indicator 13?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004 requires states to report data annually on 20 indicators related to compliance and performance of students with disabilities. The 13th Indicator relates to transition services for students: “Percent of youth age 16 and above with an individualized education program (IEP) that includes coordinated, measurable, annual IEP goals and transition services that will reasonably enable the student to meet the postsecondary goals” [20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(B)]. The National Secondary Transition Technical Assistance Center (NSTTAC) has developed an OSEP-approved checklist to evaluate the transition planning components of the IEP. You can find it at: http://www.nsttac.org/?FileName=indicator13.

The Department’s Office of Special Education Compliance is monitoring IEPs from school districts to report the state’s level of proficiency in meeting Indicator 13. This monitoring is part of each district’s cyclical compliance monitoring. 

How do I learn more about the state sample IEP form and Form C?

The state sample IEP is available at dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/IEP/Index.html. An online Ask the Expert event from February 2008 is archived on the Missouri Community of Practice web site. Sample completed IEP forms with Form C are also available on the Community of Practice. missouritransition.org/moodle/.  The Transition Coalition in collaboration with the Department has also developed a Missouri-specific online training module, Best Practices in Transition, that can be accessed for free atwww.transitioncoalition.org

Another great training resource available to Missouri school districts is the RPDC. Transition Consultants can provide training for many transition topics. Contact your local RPDC.

Also available is the Office of Special Education Webstream Training Series Fall 2007. The Webstream for postsecondary transition is available at:http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Webindexpostsec.html. There is also a list of resources at this site including handouts and web links.

When is consent required for transition assessment?

The consent requirements for transition assessment are not any different than the consent requirements for any special education assessment. Please refer to the Missouri Special Education Compliance Program Review Standards and Indicators Manual. Indicator 200.60 specifies the times when consent is not required to collect certain data. 200.60 states that agencies are not required to obtain parental consent for teacher and related service provider observations, for ongoing classroom evaluations, or for administration of or review of the results of adapted or modified assessments that are administered to all children in a class, grade or school.

Is there ever a time when consent is not required to conduct a formal assessment?

Whether or not consent is required is determined by whether the assessment is being administered on an individual basis. The type of assessment used does not by itself trigger the need for parental consent. Consent is not required for assessment when the assessment is administered to all students in a class, at a grade level, in a school district building or district-wide unless consent is required for all students participating in the assessment. 

What are the Department’s prescribed transition assessments?

The Department has no prescribed transition assessments. We suggest that you start with assessments that are given to all children. Then choose assessments based on the student’s strengths, interests, experiences, and needs. Starting with a comprehensive assessment can often help lead to more specific assessments. To learn more about transition assessments, please view the assessment resources on the Missouri online Community of Practice in Transition, www.MissouriTransition.org. The Transition Coalition in collaboration with the Department has also developed a Missouri-specific online training module, Transition Assessment: The Big Picture that can be accessed for free at www.TransitionCoalition.org.

How often should transition assessments be completed? How often can we complete transition assessments?

A student’s postsecondary goals have to be based on age-appropriate transition assessment. So you will have to have done some transition assessment before the student turns sixteen and is required to have a transition plan. After that, you should do transition assessment when the team decides it is necessary to get any additional information that they need for transition planning. The IEP team would consider this at least annually during IEP review and revision.

As we see, work with, and talk to the students on our caseload through monitoring services and/or during specialized instruction, do we need permission to document this informal interview in which we have discussing interests, preferences, and goals?

No, teachers don’t need consent to converse with students about their plans for the future during the course of the school day. Teachers often converse with students about their interests and preferences during the course of the day. This type of conversation does not require consent. You would document it in the same way you document any information regarding IEP development that you want to discuss at the next IEP meeting.

Do you have to obtain parental consent to do informal transition assessment? How is this different from any assessment a classroom teacher does with a class (e.g., FACS - life skills assessments, personal finance – budgeting, money management)?

You need consent to conduct any individual assessment. If the assessment is given to all the kids in a classroom or grade level or building or district-wide, it is not considered an individual assessment. The difference is due to the wording in the Federal Regulations and the comments to the Federal Regulations which specifically exclude assessments that are given to all children in a class, grade or building (unless consent is required for ALL students) from the consent requirements that are applied to individual assessments.

What methods of gathering information qualify as age-appropriate transition assessment but would NOT require consent?

When you are not obtaining information directly from the student, then consent is not required. Examples of such assessment may include:

Parent interviews

Teacher surveys

Behavior Observations

Situational Assessments

Observational Rating Scales

Curriculum-Based Assessments

Observational Checklists

Person-Centered Planning

Environmental Assessments

Functional Behavior Assessment

For more information on these transition assessment methods, please watch the presentation by Dr. Gary Clark on informal transition assessments http://itcnew.idahotc.com/st/training/cec/player.html

Is parental consent needed when a teacher completes a survey or checklists about a student?

If the student does not participate in the assessment, it would fall under the category of an observation and consent would not be required.

If I am using transition assessment for all of the children in a class because it is part of the course curriculum, do I have to use the same assessment for each of the children or can I modify an assessment or chose an alternate assessment?

Teachers have discretion to modify assessments or chose alternate assessments so that appropriate assessments are being used to meet the objectives of the course curriculum. Let the IEP be your guide. Use modifications that are consistent with those provided for any other kind of assessment

How should the postsecondary goals be worded?

Because the postsecondary goals are the student’s goals, the best practice is to word them in the first person. For example, “After graduation, I will complete a degree in early childhood education.” It is also acceptable to use third person, “After graduation, Joey will earn a welding certificate through coursework at a vocational-technical school.” For younger students, this specificity may be difficult to obtain. If a student wants to attend college but is unsure of a major, the postsecondary goal might state, “Upon completion of high school, I will enroll in courses at a community college.” There are also students who do not plan to pursue postsecondary education. An appropriate goal in postsecondary education/training might state, “After graduation, Tara will complete on-the-job training to expand her duties at the local grocery store to include cash register and deli positions.”

How do we know when it is not appropriate to include a postsecondary goal for independent living?

Postsecondary goals are required for the areas of Employment and Education or Training and, when appropriate, Independent Living. Independent living includes the skills and knowledge an individual needs to direct his or her life at home and in the community. Transition assessments for independent living could address: (a) home living, (b) household & money management, (c) transportation, (d) community involvement, (e) sexual awareness, and (f) self-advocacy.

The Department has provided the Independent Living Postsecondary Goals Worksheet to help IEP teams decide if a postsecondary goal is needed in the area of independent living. This form can be found at: http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/MOSample_Forms/Index.html.

After the IEP team discusses the student’s transition assessment information, the team can decide if it is appropriate for a student to have a postsecondary Independent Living Goal. If the team decides it is not appropriate for the student to have a postsecondary goal for Independent Living, the implication is that student doesn’t need any transition services to reach his or her desired level of independence. If this is the case, then the section for Independent Living on Form C of the State Sample IEP should indicate that the team decided that it is not appropriate for the child to have a postsecondary goal for independent living. The student’s file must include evidence that this decision was based on the results of age-appropriate transition assessment.

Most students have a goal to live independently in an apartment. They usually live at home for a few years and move out when they earn enough money. Is it okay to write, “Within three years after graduation, the student will live independently?"

Yes, it’s okay to write a postsecondary goal that will take a few years after graduation to achieve. Many times a student’s employment goal won’t be achieved until his/her education/training goal is obtained. If the student’s goal is to live independently immediately after graduation, it is also okay to write that. Schools will be held accountable for providing the services that the IEP team has determined are necessary to reasonably enable a child to meet his or her postsecondary goals. Schools will not be responsible for the child meeting the postsecondary goal or meeting the postsecondary goal within a certain timeframe. The first thing the team should do is decide whether it is appropriate for the student to have an independent living postsecondary goal. You can use the Independent Living Postsecondary Goal Worksheet to help the team decide. It can be found at:http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/MOSample_Forms/documents/PTGoals.... If the team decides that an Independent Living postsecondary goal is appropriate then they should provide services to get the child ready to live independently whether they think the child will move out right away or not.

If independent living is not a necessary postsecondary goal, how is that documented?

The best practice is to include a statement describing why the team decided an independent living postsecondary goal is not appropriate. For example, “Based on the results of the Independent Living Postsecondary Goal Worksheet and student and parent interviews, the team decided that including a goal for independent living is not appropriate.”

Are terms such as “will explore” or “plans” acceptable in a postsecondary goal?

If the “exploring” and “planning” are happening in high school then it is not a measurable postsecondary goal. The expectation is that the goal is describing what the student will do after high school. This may seem semantic, but think about it in the context of measuring a goal. If you use a phrase like “wants to” then you are measuring the child’s desire to do something after high school. Do they still have that desire? Measuring that can be a tricky proposition. When you use the word “will” you are measuring concrete results. The child either did it or did not do it after graduation. “Will” is measurable. 

How do you address transition when a student changes his or her postsecondary goals as a senior?

Schools will be held accountable for providing the services that the team has determined are necessary to prepare the child to meet the child’s postsecondary goals. If the child changes his or her mind, the team should react by reviewing the IEP and then deciding if any IEP revisions are needed. If the team decides that it needs to revise the IEP, then it should determine what services are needed and provide them in the time they have left before graduation.

How do you address transition when the student is unmotivated and has no career/employment postsecondary goals – no idea what they want to do after high school?

It sounds like the student might benefit from self-determination training. The Transition Coalition in collaboration with the Department has developed a Missouri-specific online training module, The Essentials of Self-Determination that can be accessed for free at www.TransitionCoalition.org. Additional resources are available on the Missouri Community of Practice,www.MissouriTransition.org. You can also get the family involved, talk with friends, use transition assessment, and do the best you can to teach the child employment and self-determination skills that will benefit them after they leave high school. You have to have a transition plan.

Is the school district held responsible if the child does not obtain employment in a certain area where they have training within high school?

The school is not held responsible if the student does not obtain employment after high school. They are held responsible for creating and implementing a plan that will lead toward the student’s post school goals. School districts do have to report exit data for State Performance Plan Indicator 14. They have to report how many graduates were contacted and how many are employed or continuing their educations and how many were engaged in other activities. Performance on this indicator is reported to the public.

If a certain post-secondary school is named on the transition plan but the student is not accepted will the public school be held responsible?

It is recommended that a specific post-secondary school not be named in the IEP. The local school district is typically not held responsible if the student does not gain admission as long as there has been a coordinated set of activities during school to help the student move toward the goal of attending college.

It seems like everything is geared to LD and when you work with low EMH and non-verbal students you are very limited. Just knowing what the student wants to do after hih school is a challenge. I feel like these students are overlooked.

For students with more significant disabilities, it’s important to assess their preferences and interests and include them in IEP planning. Postsecondary goals can be based on these preferences. A newly released IEP example on the Missouri Transition Community of Practice, www.MissouriTransition.org, provides examples for a student with a more significant disability.

When using the Department’s model form C, does there have to be a service listed under school, student, and parent to be in compliance?

No, minimum compliance requires that at least one service be listed under each postsecondary goal. If only one service is listed, this is typically listed as the school’s responsibility.

If sections don’t apply on the transition page, can they be left blank (i.e., outside agency)?

You can write “NA” or “referral to an outside agency is not appropriate” in that section. Best practice is to note why a section is left blank.

On a 4-year plan, if the student is in 9th grade, do all 4 years have to be filled out?

Yes, the coursework for the student’s current grade as well as the anticipated coursework through the student’s anticipated exit year should be listed. Here is what the Missouri Special Education Compliance Program Review Standards & Indicators say:

200.800.f. The transition services include courses of study that focus on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child to facilitate their movement from school to post-school. 200.800.f.(1) The course of study (or courses) listed align with the student’s identified postsecondary goal(s).

200.800.f.(2) The courses of study are multi-year description of coursework from the student’s current grade to anticipated exit year that is designed to help achieve the student’s desired post-school goal(s).

Do we have to list past coursework taken (if not attaching a 4-year plan) if they are an upper classman?

No. You are required to list classes being taken in the current school year through the anticipated exit year. 

Can the multi-year course of study be one “plan” that is not categorized under “education/training,” “employment,” and “independent living”?

When using the Department’s model Form C, you can either use the spaces provided on Form C and group courses under the postsecondary goal they support OR you can attach a four-year plan. You do not have to identify the courses that are related to each postsecondary goal, but it should be clear that there are courses related to each postsecondary goal. The IEP team may choose to identify the courses related to each postsecondary goal to ensure that all postsecondary goals are being addressed.

Is it acceptable to list Life Skills Math for each year on the 4-year plan?

If a course does not have a course curriculum, knowledge, performance, or alternate standards associated with it, it is recommended that the course of study list the standards that will be covered during each academic year. This will help ensure that the student continues to move toward his/her postsecondary goals.

What documentation does a district need to support graduation of a child when the IEP team has determined that the child should graduate by meeting IEP goals?

The IEP team must consider at the annual IEP review before the child turns 16, and any subsequent IEP review, how the child is going to meet graduation requirements. This should be at the center of transition planning for the child. The Department’s model IEP Form C includes a place to document the IEP team’s decision about how the child will meet graduation requirements. It should indicate that the child is going to graduate by meeting IEP goals. The model form also includes a place to document the anticipated month and year of graduation. Recording this information in the IEP will help the IEP team, including the child and the parents, be aware of the plan and timeline for graduation.

As the anticipated month and year of graduation draws near, IEP team members who are responsible for implementing IEP goals and providing transition services should take stock of the child’s progress towards the goals. They should be doing this as part of their routine reporting of progress towards IEP goals, at the frequency described in the IEP, and parents should be provided a copy of these progress reports. If any team members, including the parent and the student, have concerns that a student will not meet any particular IEP goal, that a transition services has not been provided, or that the child is not ready to graduate even if the goal is met, that team member may request the team reconvene. The IEP team would then consider whether goals should be revised and whether the anticipated month and year of graduation should be changed.

If goals are met and no team members ask to reconvene the IEP team to revise goals or change the anticipated date of graduation, then the student will be graduated according to the IEP. A notice of action for graduation would be provided no less than ten days prior to graduation, without exception. The notice of action for graduation is required to include certain information. The notice must describe the proposed action, such as, “The student will graduate resulting in a change in placement and eligibility because graduation ends a student’s right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE).” The notice of action for graduation must also include a description of other options considered and why they were rejected, such as, “Continuing to provide FAPE through an IEP was considered but that option was rejected because the team decided the child would graduate by meeting IEP goals and the goals have been met.” The notice of action for graduation must also include a description of the information used as the basis for the action. It would be appropriate to list the transition plan, progress reporting and all other information considered to make the decision to graduate the student because goals have been met. When a student with a disability graduates by meeting IEP goals a regular diploma is awarded.

What should be included in the Summary of Performance?

The Summary of Performance (SOP) is a provision of IDEA that requires the local education agency to provide a summary of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance for all students with IEPs exiting school with a standard diploma or exceeding the age of eligibility (21) for FAPE. The summary should include recommendations on how to assist the student in meeting his/her postsecondary goals. Refer to the Special Education Compliance Standards and Indicators 200.1320.a. The Department has developed a sample SOP form that can be downloaded athttp://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/MOSample_Forms/allspecedform....

Do you give the Summary of Performance to the student or the parents?

Refer to the Special Education Compliance Standards and Indicators 200.1320.b. It says "student" in the standards, and most of the time you will provide it to a student who has reached the age of majority, but there will be exceptions to this rule. If a child graduates with a regular diploma before the age of 18 the SOP would have to be provided to the parents because the child is not yet his or her own educational decision maker. If parents have obtained legal guardianship for a child through a court of competent jurisdiction so that they retain educational decision making rights after the child turns 18, then the SOP would have to be provided to the parents. It is recommended that you encourage the student to share the SOP information with parents/guardians who will be assisting in the transition process. Students should also understand how the information can be used to access services and accommodation in postsecondary settings.

When do we give the Summary of Performance to the student?

The summary must be provided to the student not more than 60 days before or 30 days after the child is graduating with a regular diploma or turning 21. Refer to the Special Education Compliance Standards and Indicators 200.1320.a and 200.1320.c or 200.1320.d.

What if the school sent the student the Summary of Performance 30 days before graduation and then the student failed to graduate?

As far as compliance is concerned, the school would just have to provide the summary again (updated, of course) when the child actually graduates. If a student is on the cusp, it might be easier for the school to wait until graduation is official to provide the SOP rather than possibly having to provide and then update the SOP if the student takes longer to graduate than expected.

Where can I find guidance on completing the summary of performance?

An example Summary of Performance is provided on the Missouri Best Practices in Transition Planning online learning module located on the Transition Coalition website, www.TransitionCoalition.org.

Two case studies, each with a sample summary of performance, can be found on the Missouri Community of Practice, www.MissouriTransition.org.

If a student is only being serviced in co-teaching classes, no resource (study skills), how is that shown on placement?

Specialized instruction provided in a co-teaching classroom is not considered time removed from general education. 100% in general education is in the “inside regular education at least 80% of time” placement category.

Do co-taught classes need to have minutes on the service summary page and do you show that on placement?

When a child with a disability is in a co-taught classroom because the IEP team decided that it is the appropriate place for the child to receive special education services (not just by chance through scheduling) then the service summary page should list the amount of specialized instruction to be provided in that setting. When the special education service is provided in the general education setting it does not count as time removed from general education. Make sure to list the location of the service as, “general education.”

How do you document paraprofessional support on the service summary page?

The IEP should list the amount of time including frequency, location and duration that the IEP team determined this service is needed for the child as a supplementary aid and service. That would include services from a one-on-one paraprofessional the team has determined necessary and could include time from a paraprofessional that also works with other students in the class if the team determined that dedicated time was needed for that paraprofessional to work with this child (individually or in a group) for a particular amount of time daily, weekly etc. to address the annual goals. If a paraprofessional is working in a classroom and a child with an IEP gains incidental benefit from this, it would not be reflected on the IEP. The key factor is whether the team determined that paraprofessional services were necessary, and for what period of time, to implement this IEP and that amount of time would need to be dedicated to working with the child as indicated in accordance with the IEP.

Johnny plans to go into the military, and he wants a military career. What would his education/training and employment postsecondary goals be?

His employment postsecondary goal could state: After graduation from high school and qualifying for admittance, Johnny will enlist in the military. (This is an appropriate employment aspiration.) His postsecondary education/training postsecondary goal could state: After graduation from high school and qualifying for admittance, Johnny will complete basic training in the military.

What are appropriate postsecondary education and employment goals for a student who wants to become a teacher?

You could write two separate postsecondary goals for education/training and employment, or you could write a combination postsecondary goal and list it for both postsecondary goals: After graduation, Sue will complete college, earn a teaching certificate and become employed as a teacher. 

What are appropriate postsecondary education/training and employment goals for a student who will go to work on the family farm upon graduation?

Employment: After graduation, ‘student’ will work full-time on his family’s farm.

Training: After graduation, ‘student’ will participate in on-the-job training on the family farm to learn [independent operation of a combine, buying and selling crops, etc.]. When writing transition services, this would be a good opportunity to help the child explore the training/education options in the community that are available to him or her.

How do you write a postsecondary goal when the student’s dream is unattainable or unreasonable?

Involving a student in the IEP process and interpreting transition assessment can often help the student identify attainable postsecondary goals. Sometimes the IEP team also has to think creatively as they strive to include postsecondary goals that take into consideration the student’s desires and write a meaningful transition plan that will prepare the student for life after high school. 

The following is a goal from the Department’s example IEP for “Katie,” a mild MR student: Upon graduation from high school, I (Katie) will take a first aid class at the community college and continue on-the-job training.

Katie’s transition plan shows that she will attend college, but she is a senior and has not been taking college preparatory courses. This IEP identifies creative thinking in creating a plan that leads Katie toward her postsecondary goal but does so in a realistic manner.

Dr. Ed O’Leary, who is a leader in the field of postsecondary transition training, recommends that the IEP team should follow-up with a line of questions when they believe the student’s postsecondary goal is unreasonable. Use the “wh” questions:

Why do you want to do that? Where do you want to be? What do you like about that job? A student who wants to be a veterinarian probably doesn’t want to complete seven or eight years of college. He or she may enjoy working with animals and knows that is what a veterinarian does. When that student learns about all the other occupations in the area of animal care, he or she is likely to find one that is a better fit.

What is adapted physical education?

Adapted physical education is specially designed instruction provided to students who are unable to participate in a regular physical education class, even with modifications, accommodations or supplementary aids and services. Adapted P.E. includes special P.E., adapted P.E., movement education, and motor development. It is considered a special education service.

What is the goal of adapted physical education?

The primary goal of adapted physical education should be to ensure that the child is provided with physical education services that meet his/her unique needs. A consideration of the IEP team when determining if the child needs an adapted program would be the safety of the student. Another consideration would be the development of the student’s motor skills. Adapted physical education programs strive to ensure that each student actively participates in physical education programs at his or her own level and that the student is integrated into the regular education program whenever possible. Other goals might include assisting students to develop self-esteem, further socialization skills, and promote sportsmanship.

What makes a child eligible for adapted physical education?

The IEP team determines whether a student requires adapted physical education or is able to participate in regular physical education. Federal Regulations under IDEA (300.108) states: “Physical education services, specially designed if necessary, must be made available to every child with a disability receiving FAPE, unless the public agency enrolls children without disabilities and does not provide physical education to children without disabilities in the same grades. Each child with a disability must be afforded the opportunity to participate in the regular physical education program available to nondisabled children unless: (1) the child is enrolled full time in a separate facility; or (2) the child needs specially designed physical education, as prescribed in the child’s IEP.” When developing an IEP, regular PE would be the first consideration. If necessary, the team would next consider regular PE with accommodations or modifications to the curriculum and/or performance expectations. If these two models are not appropriate, the team may determine that adapted PE services are necessary in the child’s IEP to assist the student in a parallel physical education curriculum. Adapted physical education is not a related service. Related services, such as OT and PT cannot be considered a substitute for physical education.

What are the qualifications for an adapted physical education teacher?

The adapted PE service may be provided by a physical education teacher or a special education teacher. This is one circumstance in which it is not necessary that the specialized instruction be provided by a teacher certificated in special education.

What is the role of the adapted physical education teacher?

The individual providing the adapted physical education should collaborate with the occupational therapist, the physical therapist, the special education teacher and/or the physical education teacher to meet the child’s needs related to:

  • health and safety, including specific medical needs.
  • modifications of equipment or the environment.
  • specific sensorimotor programming.
  • specific play or leisure needs.
  • activities of daily living related to physical education such as dressing, showering or toileting.
  • positioning during exercises and games.
  • access to the general curriculum. 

Should all students with disabilities receive adapted physical education services?

No. Many children do quite well in regular physical education with or without modifications/accommodations or support help, and they benefit from being with their non-disabled peers.

Where is the provision of adapted PE shown on the IEP?

It is shown as a special education service in the services summary section.

Does "adversely affect educational performance" just mean grades and test scores?

The regulations under IDEA have made it clear that, when conducting evaluations, a variety of assessments tools and strategies must be used to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information.  It is OSEP’s stance that IDEA and the regulations clearly establish that the determination about whether a child is a child with a disability is not limited to information about the child’s academic performance.  Furthermore,  CFR 300.101(c) states that each state must ensure that FAPE is available to any individual child with a disability who needs special education and related services, even though the child has not failed or been retained in a course or grade and is advancing from grade to grade.  For example, some students on the higher end of the autism spectrum  get good grades or score well on tests but have significant concerns with social skills that may impact their success in life.  These students may have no friends, be inadvertently rude to teachers, not have the skills to interview for or keep a job, or lack functional skills that are necessary for life.  Adverse educational impact must be considered in the broad sense for a student’s educational career.

What do the regulations say concerning extended school year?

Federal Regulations 300.106 state the following:

The term Extended School Year services means special education and related services are provided to a child with a disability:

a. beyond the normal school year of the public agency,

b. in accordance with the child’s IEP,

c. at no cost to the parents of the child,

d. and meet the standards of the State Education Agency (SEA).

Each public agency shall ensure that Extended School Year services are available as necessary to provide FAPE.

Extended School Year services must be provided only if a child’s IEP team determines, on an individual basis, that the services are necessary for the provision of FAPE to the child.

In implementing the requirements for ESY, a public agency may not:

a. limit Extended School Year services to particular categories of disability, or

b. unilaterally limit the type, amount, or duration of those services. 

When is a student determined eligible for ESY?

The consideration of eligibility for services must be done at the initial IEP and at least annually thereafter. The IEP of each child with a disability must document that the IEP team has considered the child’s eligibility for ESY. The IEP must state whether the team has determined that the child:

a. is eligible for ESY,

b. is not eligible for ESY, or

c. the decision of eligibility will be determined at a later date.

If the team has determined that the student is eligible for ESY, but is unable at that time to determine what specific services the child will receive during ESY, they must reconvene at a later date to determine services. If the team has decided that they will determine eligibility for ESY at a later date, again, they must reconvene to make that determination. While there are no specific guidelines regarding a time frame to which the team must adhere when making either of these determinations, the public agency must ensure that a determination of eligibility and a decision regarding any services to be provided during ESY be made prior to the end of the regular school year.

It is recommended that if there is insufficient data at the time of the initial IEP meeting to determine whether or not the child is eligible for ESY services, the team should specify a time frame and those methods that will be used to collect data to determine the appropriateness of ESY at a future IEP meeting.

How is a student determined eligible for ESY?

Students eligible for ESY are those students who require an extension of their educational program beyond the school year. The purpose of ESY services is not to provide the student with an opportunity to continue to progress toward existing annual goals or to initiate new goals. Extended School Year services are intended to prevent serious regression on existing goals.

Even though the regulations include a section addressing requirements for ESY, case law is still used for guidance on what criteria an IEP team must use to determine a child’s eligibility for ESY services. The seminal Extended School Year case in Missouri is Yaris v. Special School District, 558 F. Supp. 545 (E.D. Missouri 1983). In Yaris, the court held that the school year for special education students cannot arbitrarily be limited to 180 days. Because special education students require individualized programs, an Extended School Year may need to be part of an individual student’s program. Yaris also recognized the importance of regression/recoupment considerations in determining whether a 180-day school year meets the individualized program needs of a specific student; however, subsequent case law established that documented regression/recoupment cannot be the sole determining factor for Extended School Year eligibility—prediction of regression/recoupment must also be considered. In addition to documented and predicted regression/recoupment, case law from various jurisdictions has also suggested the following factors IEP teams could consider in making their determination of eligibility for ESY services:

a. the nature of the child’s disability,

b. the severity of the disability,

c. the areas of learning crucial to the child’s attainment of self-sufficiency and independence,

d. the child’s progress, behavioral, and physical needs

e. any opportunities to practice skills outside the formal classroom setting (the more functional the skill, the more opportunities the child has to practice it),

f. the availability of alternative resources,

g. areas of the child’s curriculum that need continuous attention,

h. the child’s vocational needs,

i. the ability of the child’s parents to provide educational structure at home,

j. the opportunity for the child to interact with nondisabled peers.

As with all other programming needs, it is recommended that the need for ESY be documented via data gathered on the student’s performance in relation to the IEP goals and objectives/benchmarks. 

How should ESY decisions be documented?

The Compliance Section of the Office of Special Education has established criteria for documentation of ESY decisions. First, the IEP must document the team’s decision regarding the student’s eligibility for ESY—eligible, not eligible, or to be determined at a later date. Second, for those students who are determined eligible for ESY services, the IEP must document:

a. the goals to be addressed through ESY services,

b. the type and amount of special education and related services to be provided,

c. the frequency of the services,

d. the duration of the services,

e. the location of the services.

It is not required that a student’s regular school year IEP be implemented in its entirety during the Extended School Year. The IEP team will decide what goals need to be addressed during ESY and what level of services are required. 

How is Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) addressed during ESY?

Whereas all legal requirements that apply to educational programs during the regular school year apply to ESY programs (including provision of services in the LRE), districts are not required to maintain the full continuum of placement options during Extended School Year. For this reason, students in ESY programs may receive their services in a different environment than they do during the regular school year. 

What are the requirements for ESY transportation?

The same requirements for transportation that exist during the regular school year apply to the Extended School Year. The IEP team must make a determination regarding whether or not transportation is a necessary related service for the ESY program and document this on the student’s IEP. When considering transportation as a necessary related service for a student with a disability, the student’s IEP team must look at the student’s transportation needs in respect to both access and disability. Does the student need transportation to access their educational program? Does the student’s disability require transportation in order to receive FAPE? ---

What if the child's parent/guardian or the child, if he/she is 18 or older, does not want ESY services?

Eligibility for ESY services is determined by the IEP team, not the parent or student. The regulations in Sec. 300.106 refer to ESY in the following way:

"Each public agency must ensure that Extended School Year services are available as necessary to provide FAPE."

Extended School Year is not an optional service; it is an extension of FAPE as provided in the IEP. If the IEP team determines that a student needs ESY services in order to achieve FAPE, the district must stand ready to provide those services even if the parent chooses not to make their child available to receive such services. 

Must districts have policies in place for ESY?

It is recommended that districts have ESY policies in place in order to avoid arbitrary decisions concerning the provision of ESY services for students with disabilities and to assist district personnel in determining the appropriateness of ESY for individual students. 

What about preschool students transitioning from First Steps during the Summer?

Part B of IDEA requires that students transitioning from the state’s early intervention system (Part C) have an IEP in place by their third birthday. In Missouri, the early intervention program (birth to age 3) for students with disabilities is First Steps.

Listed below are applicable parts of state policy regarding the consideration and provision of summer services for these children:

Part B eligible children whose third birth dates are May 1 through August 31 may continue in the First Steps program until the initiation of their local district’s school year in the fall.

Part B eligible children whose third birth dates are April 1 through May 1 may either transition to Part B services before the end of the current school year or continue services in First Steps until the initiation of their local district’s school year in August/September. This discussion is part of the transition conference held by the Part C system. The IEP teams of children who enroll in the local school district for the remainder of the school year must consider Extended School Year services and document the results of that consideration.

Can ESY services be provided through the district’s summer school program?

Yes, ESY services may be provided concurrently with the district’s summer school program. However, the summer school schedule may not dictate frequency or duration of ESY services. Those times/dates must be determined by the child’s IEP team on an individual basis. 

If a student with a disability who does not qualify for ESY services is attending the district’s regular summer school program and receives accommodations/modifications to his/her general education classroom instruction during the regular school year, are

This is a Section 504 issue. Just because the student does not qualify for ESY services does not mean that the student is not a student with a disability. Because the student did not qualify for ESY, IDEA does not apply to the student outside of the regular school year; however, the student may still be covered under Section 504. (See "Student Access—Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973" on the following web site: http://www.dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/Guidance/STUDENT_ACCESS.pdf

If the district’s summer school policy states that after two absences the student will not receive credit for their coursework, do students with disabilities have any recourse when they miss 3 days?

Again, this is a Section 504 issue. IDEA does not address district attendance policies or the awarding of credit to students with disabilities. See Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 167, Section 167.640 for further information. 

When I log in, I get a message that states, "No duties have been assigned, contact your agency administrator."

Where can I find the resources on your website that would help me in conducting my self-assessment?

How do I begin my districts self-assessment in IMACS?

Will the Department tell me what files to use for my self-assessment.

The system logs me out while I’m in the middle of conducting a file review.

I accidentally clicked the submit button before I was finished entering information and now I can’t enter anything.

If I have a student where Initial Evaluation Timelines (or C to B Timelines) were not met, what do I need to enter for the reason the timeline was not met?

When entering the Initial Evaluation Timelines, do I include students who were found ineligible for special education services?

Do I send my self-assessment files to the Department?

I'm finished with my Self-assessment File Review and I've entered all of my Initial Evaluation and Part C to B Transition timelines into IMACS. How do I submit this to the Department?

I'm working on my CAP. Am I also required to submit an Improvement Plan?

Can I submit my CAP to the Office of Special Education as an upload in IMACS or on paper via Fax or mail?

What procedures must my agency have in place to ensure that the regulatory requirements for provision of services to these students are being met?

Local agencies must have procedures in place to locate and offer the provision of services to resident students who are incarcerated in a local county or city jail. This means that when a student is enrolled in a responsible public agency and receiving services under an IEP, the agency must have procedures that include, if a student is not attending school, the district initiates an effort to identify the whereabouts of the student and, if he/she is incarcerated in a local county or city jail, offers or arranges for the provision of services while the student is incarcerated.

Can a child with a disability enroll in MoVIP?

Yes.  If a student with a disability is enrolled in the public school district, the IEP team must determine that virtual education isappropriate for the student. A student with a disability who is not enrolled in the public district can be a full time student if the parent has determined that MoVIP is appropriate.

Does MoVIP have an obligation to provide FAPE to students enrolled full-time?

No. For dually enrolled students the requirement to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) rests with the district where the student is enrolled. MoVIP is a program intended to assist the district in providing FAPE. MoVIP has no obligation to provide FAPE to parentally enrolled students.

If the district and the parent disagree about the appropriateness of MoVIP classes and a parent enrolls the student in MoVIP is that a refusal of services? If so, does the district need to provide related services?

Yes, it is a refusal of special education  services  because the student would be considered a parentally enrolled student. The student may not be entitled to any  special education services. Related services, if any, would be provided through the proportionate share program of the district.

Are there age requirements for the elementary and high school programs? Can students of one age take courses from another program?

Younger students are permitted to take higher level courses. When older students  take elementary classes, they may not earn credit for completing elementary classes.  However, if an IEP team determines that the child needs a certain level of course work that is offered by MoVIP  the IEP will be implemented as it is written.

Is MoVIP a school district?

No. MoVIP is publicly funded educational/instructional program not a school district. The language of 161.670 uses the term school district when talking about entities other than MoVIP. The statutory definition of school district is not applicable to MoVIP. See 160.011(1), (5), (10), (13) and 160.021 RSMo.

Is MoVIP subject to MSIP reviews?

 Yes. 161.670 (4) RSMo.

 

Is MoVIP subject to IDEA compliance reviews?

No. MoVIP is a program, not a local education authority (LEA) or a school.

How much time can a student enrolled in MoVIP classes expect to spend working online and off to successfully complete the classes?

A student should plan to spend at least one hour five days a week for each class the student is enrolled.

Are there state designated norms for phonological processing?

No. DESE has not designated norms for phonological processing to use for IDEA eligibility purposes. Similarly no norms or quantitative criteria are established for intelligibility ratings or other factors. Instead these factors are left to professional judgment. External groups (MSHA) and some local school districts have identified guidelines for using phonological processing in eligibility determinations, but these have not been state designated norms in the past and are not currently state designated norms.

What is significantly different between the current and previous sound system criteria?

The major difference is that school districts again have consistent state designated norms for single sound production to use as part of the determination of eligibility. Districts had such norms in past State Plans. Other factors such as phonological processing problems, compromised intelligibility, percent of consonants correct, number of individual sound errors, severity ratings and other factors can be used to qualify students who do not meet the state designated norms for single sound production based on professional judgment. This has not changed from the previous State Plan. In addition, it is critical to remember that the sound system disorder must adversely affect the child’s educational performance, cannot be the result of dialectal differences or second language influence and the child must need special education services to be IDEA eligible.

How should goals be written for co-taught classes, including classes like science and social studies?

IEP goals address the skills or behaviors for which specially designed instruction is required.  IEP goals should not reiterate the curriculum but should address the skills or behaviors the child needs in order to be successful in the regular classroom.  Co-teaching is a service delivery model.  A child’s receipt of services through a co-teaching model should be decided after the goals and objectives/benchmarks are written.  Once the goals are written, the IEP team will address whether or not the goals can be implemented in the regular education classroom with the use of supplementary aids, services, or modifications, including the use of a co-teaching model of instruction. 

How do you write goals for students functioning significantly below grade level?

Since IEP goals address the specially designed instruction required for the child the IEP team will need to write goals that cover the skills/behaviors identified as priorities for the current IEP.  For some children the goals may not address skills typically associated with the curriculum at the child’s current grade level; however, the goals should address skills necessary to move the child closer to the appropriate grade level.  For some children, the IEP team will need to identify more functional skills related to the general curriculum (e.g., math concepts associated with banking, purchasing groceries, measurement, or other daily living concepts.) 

How do you write a goal for students who are in regular education classes and are only seen on an “as needed” basis?

The IEP is intended to provide specially designed instruction for students with disabilities, including, as appropriate, physical education, speech-language services, travel training, vocational education and transition services, if provided as specially designed instruction.  Each student’s IEP must contain some level of special education service.  If an IEP team determines that a student only requires the support of a special educator on an as needed basis for monitoring progress in the regular education classroom, then the IEP should reflect what skills or behaviors are to be monitored and a duration for the monitoring that does not exceed one semester.  Students not requiring specially designed instruction should not be identified for IDEA services.  At this point, if the student continued to require some modifications or accommodations in the regular classroom, a Section 504 plan could be considered. 

When a student needs just a few modifications in the regular curriculum, how would we write a goal to address “keeping up grades” or “pass the class”?

“Keeping up grades” or “passing the class” should be expectations for all students.  Neither of these would be goals requiring special education or related services as defined under IDEA.  Accommodations and/or modifications in the regular education classroom may be necessary for a student with a disability to have the appropriate outcome of “keeping up grades” or “passing the class”; however, the student’s goal(s) should address those skills or behaviors that require specially designed instruction.  If there is not a need for specially designed instruction, then the team should consider exiting the student from special education services. (see response to #6 above)

If you put a weakness or concern in the Present Level of Performance, is it required by law to have a goal or objective to address this?

The law does NOT require a goal for each concern in the Present Level.  The IEP team must consider which of the concerns are the most important for the coming year and write goals to address those concerns.  By prioritizing the concerns, the child’s IEP will be focusing on the skills or behaviors that are most critical for the child to acquire during the duration of the IEP (typically 12 months). 

How do we handle the situation of a high school junior with a disability in math who has fulfilled all graduation requirements for math and, therefore, takes no more math classes?

The IEP team should evaluate the student’s math needs across the curriculum (e.g., science, business courses, transition service needs, etc.) to determine the individual goals necessary for the student to continue making progress toward graduation and post-secondary expectations.

How should we address the situation of a high school student who is unable to function academically in a secondary curriculum?

If a student is receiving instruction in a functional curriculum, the goals should be written to help the child progress through that curriculum. The Present Level must include a statement about how the student’s disability affects his/her progress and involvement in the general education curriculum and should describe the concerns that demonstrate the student’s needs for a functional curriculum.   

Is a regular education teacher required at the initial IEP meeting for children eligible for ECSE services (even speech only)?

Yes. A regular education teacher must participate in the initial IEP meeting for all eligible children, including those eligible for ECSE, even if the child is not already participating in an age appropriate program. This avoids pre-determination of placement.