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Speech Implementer Model

Requirements for Implementation

The following are requirements for use of the Speech Implementer Model as the delivery system for speech/language services in a Missouri public agency. Failure to appropriately implement the following may result in that position being listed as unqualified on the public agency's Highly Qualified Teacher Report.  Monitoring standards for this model are found in the Special Education Program Review Standards and Indicators Manual.  The agency compliance to these standards will be monitored during the special education cyclical monitoring as needed based on individual concerns. 

Prior to requesting approval for the use of the Implementer Model during a given school year, agency must advertise/recruit and attempt to hire a certificated speech language pathologist to fill the position. This recruitment must be conducted annually and documentation of recruiting efforts must be maintained on file in the agency. 

The Speech Implementer Model requires a supervising speech language pathologist.  This individual must hold either a valid Missouri license to teach as a Speech Language Pathologist or a valid license from the Missouri Board of Healing Arts.  The supervising pathologist is ethically responsible for practices and activities provided under this model and must be prepared to attest to the appropriateness of each student’s individual therapy program.  The agency remains legally responsible for compliance with state and federal regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA.) 

The individual hired as the implementer must have a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary

or Secondary Education and a current Missouri teaching certificate OR a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Disorders and a current Missouri teaching certificate. No exceptions to these requirements will be granted. 

Written request to use the model is made to the Compliance Section, Division of Special Education.  The request must be made using the Speech Implementer Model Approval Application at: http://dese.mo.gov/divspeced/Compliance/Guidance/documents/SIapplication.pdf. The application must be signed by the public agency's Superintendent. This application contains the names and social security numbers of the supervising pathologist and the speech implementer.  Permission to use the model is granted based on the qualifications of the individuals designated to serve as the supervising pathologist and the speech implementer and on the agency inability to hire a qualified speech pathologist after significant effort to do so. 

Requirements specific to the supervising speech pathologist:

  1. A written description outlining how the model will be implemented in the agency is developed and maintained by the pathologist.  In addition to the requirements specified here and in the Standards and Indicators Manual, there may be additional activities that the pathologist determines critical to the implementation of the program in the agency.  Those activities must be included in the agency outline describing the model.  It is important that the description include the procedures the agency has chosen to use to document the interaction between the pathologist and the students seen by the implementer. The specific activities assigned to the implementer are determined by the pathologist and are defined in this written outline.  The implementer can only perform those activities for which he/she has been trained and receives appropriate supervision from the pathologist.

  2. Program supervision and training by the pathologist requires diagnostic assessment, report writing, IEP development, training and supervising the implementer in all activities performed by the implementer and periodic therapy sessions with the students served by the implementer.  

  3. Evaluation activities are the responsibility of the supervising pathologist or other qualified agency diagnosticians.  A pathologist is a required member of the eligibility determination team when speech and/or language disabilities are considered the primary disability category.  The implementer may, at the discretion of the supervising pathologist, be trained to administer certain screening instruments.  However, the pathologist must administer any procedure involving judgment decisions based upon student response.

  4. IEP development is the responsibility of the pathologist.  The pathologist is a required participant for all initial IEP meetings.  The implementer may, at the discretion of the pathologist, represent the pathologist at subsequent IEP meetings for some students; however, the pathologist remains responsible for the appropriateness of the student’s therapy services and the information shared by the implementer during the IEP meeting.

  5. Direct contact by the pathologist with each student on the implement’s caseload is required.  This interaction between the pathologist and the students must be documented.  Through these periodic sessions, the pathologist will monitor progress, assess current needs and evaluate the effectiveness of the program. 

If the supervising pathologist is employed by the agency to provide direct services to a specific caseload of students, that caseload must be reduced to allow for the additional assessment, IEP responsibilities and training/supervision for the implementer.  If the supervising pathologist is serving the agency in some capacity other than as a speech pathologist (e.g., administrator, process coordinator, teacher), those duties must be adjusted to allow for the additional responsibilities associated with the Speech Implementer Model.  Finally, if the supervising pathologist is contracted as a consultant to the agency, that individual’s other responsibilities must be considered when determining the number of students she/he will be available to supervise.  For example, a pathologist employed in agency A and serving a full caseload in that agency would not be available to agency B to serve as the supervising pathologist.  With a full caseload in agency A, the pathologist would not have sufficient time to perform the duties required with this model during the regular school day. 

Each situation will be evaluated individually; however, approval will be withdrawn in any case where it is determined that the supervising pathologist cannot adequately carry out the duties outlined in this document and Section 400 of the Standards and Indicators Manual.   

For additional information regarding the approval process contact: 

Special Education Compliance Section
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
P.O. Box 480
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone:  573-751-0699
secompliance@dese.mo.gov

Reviewed 12/26/2012

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