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Special Education Listserv

Subject: Public School Responsibilities Concerning Approved Private Agencies (REVISED URL)

Source: Rick Lewis, Supervisor, Compliance

Intended Audience: Administrators, Special Education Administrators, Private Agency Administrators

Date: March 31, 2011

This is a reminder regarding the use of Approved Private Agencies.  When contracting with an Approved Private Agency, school districts still have the responsibility for ensuring that the IEPs of children placed in private agencies are implemented as written.  In addition, if the district contracts with the agency for other activities related to the IEP process, such as development of the IEP, evaluations, etc., the district is responsible for ensuring that the process is implemented in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Private agencies and school districts need to be aware that background checks for private agency employees are not required by Missouri law (Section 168.133 RSMo.).  However, school districts may want to consider requiring background checks of private agency employees who have contact with pupils as a part of their contractual agreement with the private agency.

Oversight of private agencies remains the responsibility of the Office of Special Education, Compliance Section.  Additional information on private agency approvals, copies of the application and on-site standards, and lists of our current Approved Private Agencies are posted on our website at http://dese.mo.gov/se/compliance/ then click on the Approved Private Agency link on the left side.  If you have questions, you may contact the Compliance Section at secompliance@dese.mo.gov or by calling 573-751-0699.