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14th Annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day at Silver Dollar City

Source: Christopher Ludvigsen, Community Support Liaison, Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)

Intended Audience: Directors of Special Education, Teachers of Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Sign Language Interpreters

Date: July 22, 2014

Join us for our 14th Annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day on August 9, 2014.  The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) and Silver Dollar City are working together to provide a fun and educational experience to the supporters of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.  Sign Language interpreters will be stationed in several areas of the park throughout the day including shows, the train, Guest Relations, First Aid, and the Main Gate.  MCDHH and other organizations who are involved in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community will be stationed in the Grand Exposition area with information.

All family members and supporters of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community are welcome for this event; however, all individuals attending will require an admission ticket.

The park hours for this event are 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 

Questions or comments may be directed to Christopher Ludvigsen at Christopher.Ludvigsen@mcdhh.mo.gov or can be reached at (573) 415-0083.   


REVISIONS to Special Education Model Forms

Source: Nancy Thomas, Assistant Director, Special Education Compliance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Process Coordinators, Special Education Teachers, Related Services staff, School Administrators, School Counselors, Parents, Advocates, and other interested parties

Date: July 17, 2014

FOR YOUR INFORMATION:

Revisions have been made to the Special Education Model Forms as a result of a data analysis of child complaint decisions and special education compliance monitoring determinations.  Note that no revisions were made that need immediate attention by LEAs to achieve compliance.  Instead, these revisions to the model forms were designed to assist LEAs to efficiently and effectively comply with the provisions of IDEA and avoid common mistakes.  The revised model forms are posted on the Special Education Compliance webpage at http://dese.mo.gov/special-education/compliance/special-education-forms.   A list of those revisions and the reasons for them may also be found at that site.

If you have questions or concerns about this document, please do not hesitate to call the Compliance Section at 573-751-0699. 


Blind/VI/Public Forum/Rehabilitation Services for the Blind

Source: Stephen Barr, Assistant Commissioner

Intended Audience: Special Education Contacts, Post-Secondary Transition Coordinators

Date: July 17, 2014

The Rehabilitation Services for the Blind and the State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind are holding a public forum to get input on stakeholder concerns and comments regarding the services they provide for Missourians who are blind or visually impaired.  This information is needed to help them plan for services in the future, as well as to help them better serve the people of Missouri today.  In addition, Kevin Hollinger, a TVI/OM in Francis Howell, and an adjunct professor at Lindenwood University, will speak on "Alternative Techniques of Blindness."

Public Forum

August 14, 2014

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

St. Louis Society for the Blind

8770 Manchester Road

St. Louis, MO 63144

For additional information, call 800-592-6004.      


Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Alternate Assessment - External Reviewer Panelists Needed

Source: Nancy Keating, Assessment

Intended Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Contacts

Date: July 16, 2014

The Dynamic Learning Maps (DLM) Alternate Assessment Consortium is seeking educators from its partner states to review testlets (sets of 3-8 items) for the new assessments.  Panelists will review items in fall 2014.  We seek educators with a broad array of perspectives and backgrounds, especially individuals with content expertise in English language arts or math, and in education and assessment for students with significant cognitive disabilities.  Panelists will review testlets within a set window of time by previewing items on their computers and completing an online survey about each set of items.  All panelists must have access to a computer with internet access.  We ask that volunteers commit to at least five review assignments during a three-month window.  To volunteer as a panelist, complete the survey at https://kansasedu.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eQdnL0NA9nJEBYF.  

DLM will notify selected volunteers according to the following schedule:

* Volunteer by July 27 and you will be notified of selection by July 30.  Panelist will complete training by August 17.

* Volunteer by August 17 and you will be notified of selection August 20.  Panelist will complete training by August 31.

* Volunteer by September 5 and you will be notified of selection by September 12.  Panelist will complete training by September 19.

If you have any questions about DLM external review, please email dlm.externalreview@ku.edu.  


Free Workshop on Welcoming Students with Visual Impairment to Your School

Source: Missouri School for the Blind

Intended Audience: General and special education teachers, related service providers, paraprofessionals who are or will be providing services to students with visual impairments

Date: July 16, 2014

A free workshop on Welcoming Students with Visual Impairment to Your School will be held Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Missouri School for Blind (MSB), St. Louis, Missouri.

This session is intended to provide information to teachers and paraprofessionals who are or will be providing services to students with visual impairments.  The training will use Welcoming Students with Visual Impairment to Your School: A Guide for Training Public School Personnel and Families about the Needs of Students with Visual Loss published by Perkins School for the Blind as a framework.  Topics will include an overview for teachers and paraprofessionals of the abilities and needs of a student with visual impairment and begin to help them to develop their own accommodations to meet the needs of individual students who attend their school.  Additional topics will include orientation and mobility and social skills.

For questions and registration information, go to http://www.msb.dese.mo.gov/ or contact: Annette Miller, Vision Supervisor, Outreach Services, MSB, annette.miller@msb.dese.mo.gov


REVISIONS to Special Education Compliance Program Review Standards and Indicators Manual

Source: Nancy Thomas, Assistant Director, Special Education Compliance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Process Coordinators, Special Education Teachers, Related Services Staff, School Administrators, School Counselors, Parents, Advocates, and other interested parties

Date: July 16, 2014

FOR YOUR INFORMATION:

Revisions have been made to the Standards and Indicators Manual found on the Special Education Compliance web page http://dese.mo.gov/se/compliance/StandardsManual/.  The revisions include deletions, additions, as well as clarifications.  A list of all revisions and the reasons for them may be found at that site.  Please review these revisions and update your agency's practices and procedures to reflect these changes.

If you have questions or concerns about this document, please do not hesitate to call the Compliance Section at 573-751-0699. 


Visual Phonic Workshops

Source:  John Stains, Supervisor, Effective Practices

Intended Audiences:  Deaf Education Teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Audiologists, General Education Teachers, Other Professionals and Parents

Date: July 15, 2014

The Office of Special Education is sponsoring two sessions of the Visual Phonics workshop conducted by Missouri State University.  Visual Phonics is a tool that uses a combination of visual, tactile, kinesthetic, and auditory feedback to facilitate the development of phonemic awareness, reading, spelling, and speech production skills.  The system consists of 45 hand movements and written symbols that represent each phoneme and relate to how a sound is produced.

The workshops are free and will be held on August 4-5, 2014, and August 6-7, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. each day.  The workshops will be held at the Truman Office Building, 301 West High Street, Jefferson City, MO, Room 560A.  Attendees must attend both days and select which dates they prefer.   A light lunch will be provided but attendees are responsible for their own lodging, transportation, and other meals.

Registration is required.  To register or for more information, contact Leesa Schaumann by phone at 417-576-7959 or by email at LLS012@live.missouristate.edu.  There is a maximum of 15 participants per workshop.   


Webinars/Special Education/The Transfer Process for Students with Disabilities

Source: Office of Special Education

Intended Audience: School administrators, special education directors, and process coordinators, school counselors, school staff involved with enrollment of students

Date:  July 15, 2014

A webinar on the Special Education Transfer Student Process is available for viewing.  This webinar describes the process and compliance requirements that ensure a timely and seamless transfer for students with disabilities from one school district to another.  The updated model In-State and Out-of-State Transfer Documentation forms will be shared.  The webinar is presented by Nancy Thomas, Assistant Director, Special Education Compliance. 

To view this recorded webinar, go to: https://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/transfer-process-students-disabilities.  The webinar will later be posted under the Webinars - Recorded button at http://dese.mo.gov/webinar/.   


Seeking Applicants for Transition Liaisons

Source: John Stains, Supervisor, Effective Practices

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Special Education Teachers

Date: July 15, 2014

The Transition Coalition with sponsorship from Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is recruiting school personnel to join the team of secondary Transition Liaisons.  All applications will be considered, however, filling liaison vacancies in Regions 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8 are a priority.

RPDC Region 2 - Heart of Missouri (Columbia) RPDC Region 5 - Northwest (Maryville) RPDC Region 6 - South Central (Rolla) RPDC Region 7 - Southwest (Springfield) RPDC Region 8 - St. Louis (St. Louis)

Missouri Transition Liaisons devote time and energy increasing the capacity of local level secondary special educators and districts.  They work within their own districts to enhance transition programming and reach out to other districts to engage them in opportunities to enhance their practices and programs.  Liaisons disseminate information at both the district and regional levels to develop a collaborative network of colleagues around issues related to secondary transition of youth with disabilities.

If selected as a liaison, an honorarium of $1,000 is provided to offset costs for lLiaisons to meet their responsibilities (travel, lodging, meals for site-based meetings, and trainings).  During the 2014-15 school year, liaisons will be expected to:

*             Contact a minimum of 4 identified school districts to engage them in transition professional development activities and to provide peer assistance and document the contacts using provided materials;

*             Attend 2 face-to-face meetings/training sessions (one in Fall 2014 and one in Winter 2015);

*             Participate in 2 conference calls/web meetings in Fall 2014 and Spring 2015;

*             Participate in online discussions on the Missouri Liaison website and on the Missouri Transition Community of Practice both at http://missouritransition.org/moodle/; and

*             Attend the 2015 Missouri Transition Summer Institute and support liaison activities during the event.

If you or someone you know would like to become a Missouri Transition Liaison, please complete the Transition Liaison application and submit by August 1, 2014.   The application is located at http://dese.mo.gov/special-education/effective-practices/transition


Methods of Meeting the IDEA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Requirement

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Finance Administrators

Date: July 14, 2014

As indicated in the "Proposed IDEA Regulation Changes to Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Requirement" SELs sent on June 25, 2014, under the IDEA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement, LEAs must demonstrate they have spent at least the same amount for the education of children with disabilities from state and/or local funds in the current year as they have in the preceding fiscal year unless an adjustment or exception applies. LEAs can meet MOE by one of the following methods:

*             Total Local Funds Only 

*             Per Child/Per Capita Local Funds Only

*             Total Combination of State and Local Funds

*             Per Child/Per Capita Combination of State and Local Funds

Under the new proposed regulations, LEAs will no longer get to choose the method for which they meet MOE. LEAs must now report all expenditures by federal, state, and local funds separately, and the ePeGS system will select how the LEA meets MOE. In order to do this, LEAs will have to budget and track their expenditures from state and local funds separately, in addition to their expenditures with federal funds. There is no requirement on how much state vs. local funds goes into the special education program other than the LEA must continue to meet MOE from year to year by one of the methods described above.  

More information about tracking expenditures separately and MOE can be found in the MOE Proposed Regulation Guidance posted at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/special-education-maintenance-fiscal-effort

We will continue to provide information to LEAs regarding the impact of the MOE changes once final MOE regulations are issued.

Please contact our section by email at spedfunding@dese.mo.gov or by calling 573-751-0622 with any questions regarding MOE.


Special Education Finance Staff Vacancy

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Financial Administrators, Superintendents

Date: July 8, 2014

The Data Specialist position in the Special Education Finance section that assists districts with county codes 051 through 115 is currently vacant.  Until the position is filled, questions regarding completing and submitting IDEA Part B Budget Applications, Payment Requests, Final Expenditure Reports (FERs), and Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Expenditure Reports should be directed to Cathy Ellingsworth.  Cathy can be reached at (573) 751-0623 or by email at Cathy.Ellingsworth@dese.mo.gov


State Performance Plan and OSEP's Evaluation of Missouri's Part C Program, First Steps

Source: Stephen Barr, Assistant Commissioner

Intended Audience: System Points of Entry (SPOEs), Early Intervention Providers, State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC) Members

Date: July 2, 2014

For Your Information:

Missouri recently received notification that the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has completed its evaluation of Missouri's performance under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  These are the regulations that govern the First Steps Early Intervention Program.  OSEP has identified Missouri in the determination category of "Needs Intervention." The determination was based on slippage in two compliance indicators that previously had 100% performance and two compliance indicators that were based on new federal requirements for specific documentation in the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The determination did not include an evaluation of Missouri's results data which indicate a high level of performance in delivering services in the natural environment, child find activities, and positive child and family outcomes.

To view the 2014 Determination Letter to Missouri, Response Table, Explanation of Determination, and Compliance Matrix go to http://www.dese.mo.gov/se/SPPpage.html (under the OSEP Correspondence and Rankings Section). 

Missouri's Part C State Performance Plan (SPP), required by IDEA, provided measurable and rigorous targets for Missouri in the area of 14 required indicators identified by OSEP.  On January 24, 2014, Missouri filed the Part C Annual Performance Report (APR) with OSEP; this reported the state's performance on the indicators and targets.  To view the 2014 SPP and APR go to:  http://www.dese.mo.gov/se/SPPpage.html.  

The APR for each state underwent an evaluation process by OSEP over the last few months.  This evaluation involved a review of Missouri's performance on all of the indicators as well as a review of the state's ability to provide valid, reliable, and timely data for each of the indicators.  I encourage you to be familiar with these documents as the SPP drives our monitoring focus and reflects the connection between compliance and performance.

Today, a letter will be sent electronically to each SPOE Director containing the Determination their SPOE agency received as a result of a review of their performance on selected SPP Indicators and other requirements.  A chart explaining the indicators reviewed and the SPOE's performance on each will be included with the letter.

Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. 


FY14 Special Education Part B Entitlement Final Expenditure Report (FER) Now Open

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Financial Administrators, Superintendents

Date: July 1, 2014

The 2013-14 (FY14) Special Education Part B Entitlement Final Expenditure Report (FER) is now available for data entry and due on or before September 30, 2014.  If the FY14 Part B FER is not submitted on or before September 30, 2014, current year (2014-15) Payment Requests will be held until the FER is submitted in an approvable format.  The FER grid should include federal Part B expenditures for all payments through September 30, 2014, that were obligated prior to June 30, 2014.  For step-by-step instructions on completing and submitting the FY14 Part B FER, review the ePeGs Final Expenditure Report Training Guide FY14 located at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.

Remaining unexpended Part B funds from the FY14 grant may be carried over and expended in 2014-15.  However, in order for carryover funds to appear in 2014-15, the district must amend their FY15 Part B Budget Application once the FY14 Part B FER is approved.

Maintenance of Effort (MOE) for 2013-14 can only include non-federal special education expenditures from July 1, 2013, through June 30, 2014.   

The FY14 Part B FER must be accurate and account for all special education expenditures before it is submitted as there will be no FY14 Part B FER revisions allowed unless there is an audit/monitoring finding.

Questions may be directed by email to spedfunding@dese.mo.gov or by calling 573-751-0622. 


Requesting Payment of Federal IDEA Part B Funds in FY15

Source: Special Education Finance, Division of Financial and Administrative Services

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, District Administrators

Date: June 26, 2014

The FY15 Part B Payment Request due date schedule has been posted at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations under Due Dates.

When submitting Part B Payment Requests, please note the following requirements: 

- LEAs must have an approved current year budget application prior to requesting payments.

- LEAs do not have to submit a prior year (FY14) Part B FER to start requesting payments in July for FY15.  However, if LEAs fail to submit the prior year Part B FER by September 30, 2014; any future payment requests will be held until the prior year FER is submitted in an approvable format.

- LEAs must request Part B IDEA funds based on cumulative expenditure amounts that are reported on payment requests. 

- Payment requests may only include amounts already expended and/or amounts that will be expended within three business days of receipt of funds.

- Expenditures on payment requests by object code subtotals may not exceed 10% of the grand total amount budgeted.

- Payment requests must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the first day of the month in order to be processed in that month's school payment, even if the first day of the month falls on a weekend or holiday.

- LEAs with proportionate share obligations must ensure there are sufficient funds left to cover any unexpended proportionate share obligation amounts.  Therefore, LEAs should not request 100% of their funds in their final payment request and/or Part B FER if the LEA has unexpended proportionate share funds.

For more information, please review the ePeGs Payment Request Training Guide FY15 at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.  Questions may be directed to spedfunding@dese.mo.gov or 573-751-0622. 


Proposed IDEA Regulation Changes to Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Requirement

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Finance Administrators

Date: June 25, 2014

Under the IDEA Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement, LEAs must demonstrate they have spent at least the same amount for the education of children with disabilities from state and/or local funds in the current year as they have in the preceding fiscal year unless an adjustment or exception applies.  LEAs can meet MOE using a combination of state and local funds or local funds only.  The proposed IDEA regulation changes to MOE require LEAs to report special education expenditures paid with state funds and special education expenditures paid with local funds separately when demonstrating MOE compliance.  This change will be effective on the 2014-15 Part B FER MOE actual grid in ePeGs.  Therefore, in order to be able to report MOE accurately in 2014-15, LEAs are encouraged to track special education expenditures paid from state, local, and federal sources separately beginning July 1, 2014.

LEAs should use project/source codes to track special education expenditures paid from state, local, and federal sources separately.  More information about tracking expenditures separately and MOE can be found in the MOE Proposed Regulation Guidance posted at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/special-education-maintenance-fiscal-effort

We will continue to provide information to LEAs regarding the impact of the MOE changes once final MOE regulations are issued.

Please contact our section by email at spedfunding@dese.mo.gov or by calling 573-751-0622 with any questions regarding MOE. 


REMINDER: FY15 IDEA Part B Budget Applications due July 1, 2014

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Finance Administrators

Date: June 25, 2014

FY15 IDEA Part B Budget Applications are due July 1, 2014.  Applications submitted before July 1 will be substantially approved as of July 1, while applications submitted July 1 and after will be substantially approved as of the submission date.  Districts may only start obligating IDEA Part B funds after the substantially approved date of the application.

The FY15 IDEA Part B allocation amount is shown as the funds available link at the top of the Part B Budget Application grid in ePeGs.  FY15 IDEA Part B allocation amounts are also posted at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.  Please note that FY14 IDEA Part B carryover and proportionate share carryover amounts are NOT part of the FY15 allocation amounts. 

To assist districts in budgeting the current year obligation of proportionate share funds prior to the approval of the 2013-14 Part B FER, the Special Education Finance Section has calculated an estimated current year proportionate share obligation amount for each eligible district.  A spreadsheet with the estimated current year proportionate share obligation amounts is posted at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.  Districts with an estimated current year proportionate share obligation must budget this amount on their initial 2014-15 Part B budget application.  After the 2013-14 Part B FER is approved, a 2014-15 budget revision can be created to budget the final current year and carryover proportionate share amounts.  More information regarding budgeting proportionate share funds can be found at http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/budgeting-and-releasing-proportionate-share-funds.  

Some districts may also have an opportunity to reduce Maintenance of Effort (MOE) in 2014-15 by taking the adjustment to MOE.  A spreadsheet indicating which districts are eligible for this option along with a guidance document providing information about this opportunity and describing how the adjustment to MOE is tied to using Part B funds for Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) are posted at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.    

New charter schools will show a zero FY15 Part B IDEA allocation until the Special Education Finance Section calculates estimated allocations in November 2014.  Existing charter schools with significant expansion will have their FY15 Part B IDEA allocations recalculated in November 2014 as well.

A training guide for completing and submitting the 2014-15 Part B Budget Application is available at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.     

Please contact the Special Education Finance Section with any questions at (573) 751-0622 or spedfunding@dese.mo.gov.  


FY15 Special Education Finance Due Dates

Source: Special Education Finance Section

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Financial Administrators, Superintendents

Date: June 18, 2014

The Special Education Finance due dates for FY15 are posted on the Special Education Finance website under "Due Dates" at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.   Please note that the due date for the FY14 Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Expenditure Report (ER) has changed to October 17, 2014.

Please contact the Special Education Finance Section if you have any questions at (573) 751-0622 or by email at spedfunding@dese.mo.gov.


21st Annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day

Source: Christopher Ludvigsen, Community Support Liaison, Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH)

Intended Audience: Directors of Special Education, Teachers of Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Sign Language Interpreters

Date: June 18, 2014

Join us for our 21st Annual Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day on June 21, 2014.  The Missouri Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) and Six Flags St. Louis are working together to provide a fun and educational experience to the supporters of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.  Sign Language interpreters will be stationed in several areas of the park throughout the day including all shows, the train, Guest Relations, First Aid, and the Main Gate.  MCDHH and other organizations who are involved in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community will be stationed in the Palace Gardens Area with information.

Prices for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day are $27.99 + tax if purchased online in advance or $32.99 + tax if purchased at the Main Gate with a Deaf Awareness Day coupon.  Coupons and information on how to purchase tickets are available through the MCDHH Needs a link.  All family members and supporters of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community are welcome for this event, however, all individuals attending will require an admission ticket.

If you are planning to purchase online, visit the website, https://www.sixflags.com/stlouis.  You need to click on "promo code" on the top right hand corner and enter "MCDHH".

The park hours for this event are 10:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.  Hurricane Harbor is included with your paid admission ticket.

Questions or comments may be directed to Christopher Ludvigsen at Christopher.Ludvigsen@mcdhh.mo.gov.  For more information about MCDHH, go to http://mcdhh.mo.gov/.   


Subject: DESE Announces New Superintendent for Missouri School for the Blind

Source: Stephen Barr, Assistant Commissioner

Date: June 17, 2014

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is pleased to announce the selection of Mr. Geoffrey Barney as Superintendent for the Missouri School for the Blind beginning with the 2014-15 school year.  Mr. Barney succeeds Ms. Patty Yocum who successfully led the residential school in St. Louis for the past five years.  In addition to the residential program, the Missouri School for the Blind provides support services to blind and visually impaired students and their families and to school districts statewide. 

Mr. Barney received his initial degree in the area of zoology from Brigham Young University in Utah.  His master's degree in educational administration was conferred by Chapman University in California and his Specialist in administration was obtained from Missouri Baptist University in Union, MO.  He has many years of successful experience in educational administration.  Many of those experiences were gained in districts in the state of California.  Most recently, Mr. Barney was a building administrator and then an area director for the Missouri Schools for Severely Disabled.   

The Department is appreciative of the members of the selection committee from the Missouri School for the Blind Advisory Board and the Alumni Association.  We also thank the many members of the school and the department who assisted with school tours, communication, technology, space, etc.  A special thank you goes to Ms. Yocum for the dedication and enthusiasm she brought to the job.  We wish her well in retirement. 


2014 Missouri Transition Institute and Dropout Prevention Summit June 23-25, 2014 - Reminder to Register

Source: John Stains, Supervisor, Effective Practices

Intended Audience: Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers, Counselors, Work Experience Coordinators, Administrators, Parents, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors

Date: June 9, 2014

Registration is still open for the DESE Transition Institute to be held June 23-25, 2014.  The theme this year is Engagement: Parent, Student, Community.  Participants will be given opportunities to receive valuable, up-to-date information on how to improve engagement for students, their parents, and increase positive school and community engagement.  Keynote speakers and breakout sessions will focus on parent involvement in their child's educational career; dropout prevention strategies for school personnel, agency personnel, and parents; technical assistance in transition action planning; and, support agency involvement in engaging students. 

To register follow this link: http://dese.mo.gov/special-education/effective-practices/workshops-presentations.   

This year's institute will be held at the Holiday Inn Executive Center, 2200 I-70 Drive SW, Columbia, MO 65203.  Registration fee will be $15 per person.  The fee may be paid in advance or at the time of registration.  Payment may be check or money order to be made out to Treasurer, State of Missouri.  No purchase orders will be accepted.  Registration fee is nonrefundable but substitutes will be allowed.  If mailing your registration fee in advance, mail to: Lina Browner, Office of Special Education, DESE, P. O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102.  Please indicate the name(s) of all registrants(s) for whom the check is paying.  Registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 23.  Opening session begins at 12:00 p.m. (noon). 

Registrants will be responsible for their lodging costs and all other expenses.  Lunch will be provided on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.  Registrants will be responsible for all other meals during the Institute.  There will be a list of area restaurants in your packets for your convenience.  The room rate for this event is $64.20 per night with one and two bed rooms available.  You must contact the hotel directly to reserve rooms.  Reservations can be made by calling the Holiday Inn Executive Center at 573-445-8531, toll free at 888-465-4329, or online at http://goo.gl/6qJTHA (whether calling in or reserving online, use Event Code "UMM" to receive the discounted rate).

The agenda is on My Learning Plan to view.

Deadline for registration is June 13, 2014.

If you have questions or need additional information, contact John Stains at John.Stains@dese.mo.gov (573-751-0225) or Barb Gilpin at Barb.Gilpin@dese.mo.gov


Function Code 1931 Change

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Financial Administrators, Superintendents

Date: May 27, 2014

Function Code 1931 is changing from "Tuition, Severely Disabled Program Within the State" to "Tuition, Special Education Program Within the State" beginning with the 2014-15 Special Education Part B Budget Application.  This code should be used in ePeGS to report the tuition paid for students with IEPs to attend the following: school districts in the state, state institutions (approved by the Department's Office of Special Education), and private institutions both in and out of state (approved by the Department's Office of Special Education).

However, because 1931 can't be used for posting expenditures in the ASBR, districts should continue to use 1932 to report the tuition expenditures described above in the ASBR.

Districts should continue to code payments for tuition from one school district to another school district (e.g. for a child from an elementary K-8 district to attend a high school district or for a child who cannot be served by his resident district) to Function Code 1911 as these are not specific special education tuition payments. Function Code 1911 is also used to cover: (1) instances in which pupils are legally assigned to another district and (2) bill back for local tax effort (including payments to the Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled).  Again, these are not specific special education payments and, therefore, should NOT be coded to 1931 in ePeGs or 1932 in the ASBR.

The name change to Function Code 1931 in the Missouri Financial Accounting Manual and ePeGs system will not take place until the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, however the Division wanted districts to be aware of the upcoming change as they budget for FY15.

Contact the Special Education Finance Section with any questions at (573) 751-0622 or spedfunding@dese.mo.gov


Subject: Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) Lease Agreements for 2013-14

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Financial Administrators, Superintendents, ECSE Coordinators

Date: May 23, 2014

Action Required: YES

In order to seek reimbursement for facility/modular unit, copier, and bus/vehicle leases for the 2013-14 school year, districts must submit a copy of the lease agreement and a completed Lease Form to the Special Education Finance Section by June 13, 2014.  All facility leases must contain the square footage and total lease cost.  Districts may not charge lease costs to the ECSE program for buildings that are owned by the district.

The Lease Form is located at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/early-childhood-special-education-finance.  Leases and Lease Forms may be faxed to: (573) 526-6898, emailed to cathy.ellingsworth@dese.mo.gov, or mailed to: Division of Financial and Administrative Services, Special Education Finance, P O Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102.  Special Education Finance staff will upload the information into the ECSE Expenditure Report for the 2013-14 year.      

If the lease amount is not listed in the 2013-14 ECSE Expenditure Report at the time of submission or the amount is incorrect, please contact the Special Education Finance Section.

Questions may be directed to the Special Education Finance Section at (573) 751-0622 or by email at spedfunding@dese.mo.gov


Webinars/Special Education and English Language Learners:  Issues and Implications in the Referral Process for Special Education

Source: Office of Special Education

Intended Audience:  Special Education Teachers, ESL Teachers, school administrators, special education administrators, ELL coordinators, Special education process coordinators, school counselors, General Education Teachers, Parents of ELL students, school board members, and other persons involved with decision making for ELL students

Date: May 20, 2014

The Office of Special Education and the Office of Quality Schools have developed guidance and resources to assist school staff working with English Language Learners who are experiencing difficulty in the school setting and may need to be referred for consideration of a special education evaluation.  This is the second in a series of webinars designed to address the issues and implications for English Language Learners (ELL) throughout the special education process.  The 75 minute recorded webinar highlighting Tier 1 instructional supports as well as Tier 2 and 3 instructional interventions unique to ELLs has been posted at http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/SpecEdELL06-02-14.  The recorded webinar will also highlight resources to assist school staff in differentiating the effect of second language influence and the suspicion of a disability.  Agency staff are encouraged to watch the recorded webinar and submit any questions to: nancy.thomas@dese.mo.gov (indicate "ELL and SpEd webinar" in the subject line). 

A LIVE question and answer webinar will be held on Monday, June 2, 2014, beginning at 1:30 p.m. to answer submitted questions as well as to respond to any questions that are received during the webinar as time allows.  These questions will be compiled into an ELL and Special Education FAQ and posted along with the original recording. 

To participate in the LIVE question and answer webinar, go to http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/SpecEdELL06-02-14.  The webinar will be recorded and posted under the Webinars - Recorded button at http://dese.mo.gov/webinar/.

Both webinars will be presented by Tiffani Muessig, Supervisor of Special Education Effective Practices; Lori Hanna, Director of ELL Curriculum; and, Nancy Thomas, Assistant Director of Special Education Compliance.

If you need an accommodation as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to participate in this webinar, please call 573-751-5739 at least 48 hours in advance of the webinar to discuss the accommodation.


 

Second May and June School Payment Option for IDEA Part B Funds

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Superintendents, School Administrators, Special Education Directors, and Financial Staff

Date: May 20, 2014

Districts have the option of requesting a second school payment in May and June for their 2013-14 IDEA Part B grant.  If the second payment option is chosen, the district must continue to meet Cash Management Improvement Act (CMIA) requirements that funds requested are either for expenditures that have already occurred or funds requested will be expended within three days of receipt.  The district will return any funds overpaid and pay interest on any funds that do not meet the CMIA requirements.

Second May Payment

Payment requests for second May payment must be submitted by noon on Wednesday, May 21 with a comment indicating the request is for the second May payment. Districts that already have a payment in submitted status that would like it to be processed in the second May payment must revise the payment request to make any necessary changes to the requested amount to be in compliance with CMIA and insert a comment indicating the request is for second May payment.  Districts will receive the funds on May 30.  Any payment requests without a comment will be held and processed in the next month's school payment.

Second June Payment

Districts will be able to request funds in the first school payment as well as the second school payment in June.  Payment requests for first June payment are due by midnight on June 1.  Payment requests for second June payment must be submitted by noon on Monday, June 23 with a comment indicating the request is for the second June payment.  Districts will receive the funds on June 30.  Any second June payment requests without a comment will be held and processed in the next month's school payment.

Contact the Special Education Finance Section with any questions at (573)751-0622 or spedfunding@dese.mo.gov


Webinars - The Speech Implementer Model:  Past, Present and Future - REMINDER

Source: Office of Special Education

Intended Audience:  Special education administrators, special education process coordinators, speech/language pathologists, speech language pathology assistants, speech implementers, school administrators, school board members, representatives of institutes of higher education, parents of children with disabilities, and advocates

Date: May 14, 2014

REMINDER:  The Office of Special Education has UPDATED guidance and requirements for the use of the speech implementer model as a service delivery option for providing speech/language services to students with disabilities.  A LIVE question and answer webinar will be held on Friday, May 16, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. to answer submitted questions as well as to respond to any questions received during the webinar as time allows.  To participate in the LIVE question and answer webinar, go to http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/speech-implementer.  The webinar will be recorded and posted under the Webinars - Recorded button at http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar

NOTE:  The updated Speech Implementer Model Application for Approval form is now posted at http://dese.mo.gov/forms/MO5002087.pdf.

The 25 minute recorded webinar highlighting changes in the application process has been posted at http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/speech-implementer.   This recorded webinar also highlights changes in the expectations for use of the model beginning with the 2014-15 school year as well as introduces new resources to help LEAs to meet compliance requirements.  


2014-15 IDEA Part B Budget Application Now Open

Source: Special Education Finance
Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Superintendents, Financial Administrators
Date: May 13, 2014

The 2014-15 Part B Budget Application is now open for data entry and is due on July 1, 2014.  Applications submitted before July 1 will be substantially approved as of July 1, while applications submitted July 1 and after will be substantially approved as of the submission date.  Districts may only start obligating IDEA Part B funds after the substantially approved date of the application.

The FY15 IDEA Part B allocation amount is shown as the funds available link at the top of the Part B Budget Application grid in ePeGs.  FY15 IDEA Part B allocation amounts are also posted at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.  Please note that FY14 IDEA Part B carryover and proportionate share carryover amounts are NOT part of the FY15 allocation amounts. 

To assist districts in budgeting the current year obligation of proportionate share funds prior to the approval of the 2013-14 Part B FER, the Special Education Finance Section has calculated an estimated current year proportionate share obligation amount for each eligible district.  A spreadsheet with the estimated current year proportionate share obligation amounts is posted at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.  Districts with an estimated current year proportionate share obligation must budget this amount on their initial 2014-15 Part B budget application.  After the 2013-14 Part B FER is approved, a 2014-15 budget revision can be created to budget the final current year and carryover proportionate share amounts.  More information regarding budgeting proportionate share funds can be found at               http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/budgeting-and-releasing-proportionate-share-funds

Some districts may also have an opportunity to reduce Maintenance of Effort (MOE) in 2014-15 by taking the adjustment to MOE.  A spreadsheet indicating which districts are eligible for this option along with a guidance document providing information about this opportunity and describing how the adjustment to MOE is tied to using Part B funds for Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS) are posted at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.   

New charter schools will show a zero FY15 Part B IDEA allocation until the Special Education Finance Section calculates estimated allocations in November 2014.  Existing charter schools with significant expansion will have their FY15 Part B IDEA allocations recalculated in November 2014 as well.

A training guide for completing and submitting the 2014-15 Part B Budget Application will soon be available at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.   

Please contact the Special Education Finance Section with any questions at (573) 751-0622 or spedfunding@dese.mo.gov


IDEA Part B Payment Requests

Source: Special Education Finance, Division of Financial and Administrative Services
Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, District Administrators
Date: May 13, 2014

Districts may now request 100% of their approved budgeted amount of IDEA Part B funds beginning with the June school payment as indicated on the payment request schedule located at: http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/part-b-funding-and-allocations.   Payment requests must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on the first day of the month in order to be processed in that month's school payment. 

Districts with proportionate share obligations must ensure they leave sufficient funds to cover any unexpended proportionate share obligation amounts.  These funds must carry over into the next fiscal year.  If sufficient funds are not left, a Part B refund may be necessary.

Questions may be directed to spedfunding@dese.mo.gov or 573-751-0622.  


Local Compliance Plan

Source: Thea Scott, Interim Director, Compliance
Intended Audience: Superintendents and Administrators of Special Education
Date: May 12, 2014

Action: Approval by local Board of Education and submission to DESE by July 1, 2014

A letter was sent by electronic mail to all superintendents April 24, 2014, informing them of the revised Local Compliance Plan posted on our website at: http://dese.mo.gov/special-education/compliance/local-compliance-plan.   Attached to the letter were instructions for adopting/adapting the Local Compliance Plan and for completing the Certification Statement concerning the Plan.  This certification needs to be completed, including signatures of authorized representatives of the local agency, and returned to our office by no later than July 1, 2014.  The Local Plan in its entirety, as well as the letter, instructions, and certification statement are located at the website above.

Recent changes to state regulations have been incorporated into this Local Compliance Plan.  We recommend a thorough review of its contents and careful consideration of the agency's responsibilities in serving students with disabilities. 


Save the Date for the Hand In Hand Course: Understanding Deafblindness for Education Teams of Students with Combined Vision and Hearing Loss 

Source:  Missouri Deafblind Technical Assistance Project/Missouri School for the Blind
Intended Audience:  Parents, teachers, paraprofessionals, therapists, administrators of students with combined vision and hearing loss
Date: May 6, 2014

Mark your calendars for the 2014-2015 Hand In Hand course which will be October 22, 23, and 24, 2014; January 27 and 28, 2015 and April 21 and 22, 2015 in Springfield, Missouri at the Holiday Inn and Suites, 2720 North Glenstone.  The course combines self-studies, homework assignments, and action planning with on-site mentoring and three face-to-face sessions with course instructors.  Participants will apply acquired knowledge regarding visual impairment, auditory impairment, communication, and movement to the programming of the students they serve with the combined vision and hearing loss.  College credit is available. 

Registration will be posted August 2014 at:  http://www.msb.dese.mo.gov/.  Select Resources to Schools/Missouri Deafblind Technical Assistance Project.

For information contact:  Susan Bonner, Project Coordinator, MSB at (314) 776-4320 ext. 3255 or susan.bonner@msb.dese.mo.gov


Webinars - The Speech Implementer Model:  Past, Present, and Future

Source: Office of Special Education
Intended Audience:  Special education administrators, special education process coordinators, speech/language pathologists, speech language pathology assistants, speech implementers, school administrators, school board members, representatives of institutes of higher education, parents of children with disabilities, and advocates
Date: May 5, 2014

The Office of Special Education has UPDATED guidance and requirements for the use of the speech implementer model as a service delivery option for providing speech/language services to students with disabilities.  A 25-minute recorded webinar highlighting changes in the application process has been posted at http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/speech-implementer.  This recorded webinar also highlights changes in the expectations for use of the model beginning with the 2014-15 school year as well as introduces new resources to help LEAs to meet compliance requirements.

**Please note the updated Application for Approval of the Speech Implementer Model is not yet posted.  We will inform you as soon as it is on the web.**

Agency staff is encouraged to watch this webinar and submit any questions to: nancy.thomas@dese.mo.gov (indicate "Speech Implementer Model webinar" in the subject line). There will be a LIVE question and answer webinar on Friday, May 16, 2014, beginning at 10:00 a.m. to answer submitted questions as well as respond to any questions received during the webinar as time allows.  These questions and answers will be compiled into a Speech Implementer FAQ and posted with the original recording. 

To participate in the LIVE question and answer webinar, go to http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/speech-implementer.  The webinar will be recorded and posted under the Webinars - Recorded button at http://dese.mo.gov/webinar/.

If you need an accommodation as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act to participate in this webinar, please call 573-751-5739 at least 48 hours in advance of the webinar to discuss the accommodation.  


Free Workshop on Assessments for Students with Visual Impairments

Source: Beth Bashore, Assistant Director, Effective Practices
Intended Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors/Process Coordinators, teachers working with a student with a visual impairment and additional severe disabilities, paraprofessionals, and parents
Date: May 5, 2014

DESE, through the Office of Special Education, in coordination with the Northeast Regional Professional Development Center would like to invite you to a professional development opportunity; "Functional Vision Assessment/Learning Media Assessment" on June 20, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Northeast RPDC Truman State University. There will be a working lunch - must bring sack lunch, no lunch provided.  Must register to attend!  Participation is limited to 30.

This workshop is intended for certificated teachers of students with visual impairments, paraprofessionals who may be assisting the teachers with functional vision evaluations, administrators who are interested in learning more about Functional Vision Assessments (FVA), and parents who may be interested in knowing what to expect when their child has been referred for a functional vision evaluation.  Components of an appropriate FVA will be discussed, demonstrations of specific instruments, and appropriate report writing will be topics covered.

To register for the workshop, go to the Northeast RPDC web site at http://rpdc.truman.edu.   Click on 'Workshops"; click on "Northeast RPDC Workshop Registrations"; make sure the between dates in the search options box include June; scroll down the screen to see the workshop offerings (listed by date); click on the workshop title you want; and, follow the directions to enroll.

For more information, contact J. Anthony Blades, Blindness Skills Specialist, Northeast RPDC Truman State University, at ablades@truman.edu or Northeast Regional Professional Development Center, 1312 Violette Hall, Truman State University, 100 East Normal, Kirksville, MO 63501.


2014 Missouri Transition Institute and Dropout Prevention Summit - UPDATED REGISTRATION LINK

Source: John Stains, Supervisor, Effective Practices
Intended Audience: Special Education Teachers, General Education Teachers, Counselors, Work Experience Coordinators, Administrators, Parents, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors
Date: May 2, 2014

Registration is now open for the DESE Transition Institute to be held June 23-25, 2014.  The theme this year is Engagement: Parent, Student, Community.  Participants will be given opportunities to receive valuable, up-to-date information on how to improve engagement for students, their parents, and increase positive school and community engagement.  Keynote speakers and breakout sessions will focus on parent involvement in their child's educational career; dropout prevention strategies for school personnel, agency personnel, and parents; technical assistance in transition action planning; and, agency involvement in engaging students.

To register follow this link: http://dese.mo.gov/special-education/effective-practices/workshops-presentations.

This year's institute will be held at the Holiday Inn Executive Center, 2200 I-70 Drive SW, Columbia, MO 65203.  Registration fee will be $15 per person.  The fee may be paid in advance or at the time of registration.  Payment may be check or money order to be made out to Treasurer, State of Missouri.  No purchase orders will be accepted.  Registration fee is nonrefundable but substitutes will be allowed.  If mailing your registration fee in advance, mail to: Lina Browner, Office of Special Education, DESE, P. O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102.  Please indicate the name(s) of all registrants(s) for whom the check is paying.  Registration will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 23.  Opening session begins at 12:00 p.m. (noon).

Registrants will be responsible for their lodging costs and all other expenses.  Lunch will be provided on Tuesday, June 24, 2014.  Registrants will be responsible for all other meals during the Institute.  There will be a list of area restaurants in your packets for your convenience.  The room rate for this event is $64.20 per night with one and two bed rooms available.  You must contact the hotel directly to reserve rooms. Reservations can be made by calling the Holiday Inn Executive Center at 573-445-8531, toll free at 888-465-4329, or online at http://goo.gl/6qJTHA (whether calling in or reserving online, use Event Code "UMM" to receive the discounted rate).

The agenda will be uploaded by May 15, 2014.

If you have questions or need additional information, contact John Stains at John.Stains@dese.mo.gov (573-751-0225) or Barb Gilpin at Barb.Gilpin@dese.mo.gov


Special Education New Director Academy, Summer 2014

Source: Pam Williams, Coordinator, Special Education Services 
Intended Audience: Superintendents, Special Education Directors, Process Coordinators, Special Education Teachers, and LEAs anticipating hiring a new Director of Special Education for the 2014‐2015 school year 
Date: April 30, 2014 
 
The Office of Special Education is again hosting a New Director of Special Education Academy to be held in July in Jefferson City.  
 
Who should attend this academy?*** 
This year, the Office of Special Education is inviting new (1st year) directors, as well as inviting back the directors from last year's academy as follows:  
 
***New Directors: July 23, 24, and 25 
This academy will focus on core activities new directors must complete during their initial months of employment that will assist them in the management of special education procedures and practices that promote positive outcomes for students with disabilities while ensuring the rights of students with disabilities and their parents are protected. Topics to be covered are: Special Education Compliance, Funds Management, Data Collection and Reporting, Effective Instructional Practices, Special Education State Performance Plan, Special Education Program Evaluation, General Supervision/Monitoring of Special Education Programs, and Program Improvement Planning.  A "new" director is defined as a person who will be assuming the position/duties of a Director of Special Education for the first time during the 2014‐2015 school year.  Districts planning to hire an individual who has never been a Director of Special Education in any Missouri school district or an individual who will be assuming such a position during the coming school year are encouraged to reserve these dates and submit a registration to the Office of Special Education as soon as possible. 
 
***Second Year Returning Directors: July 24 and 25 
Some information from last year will be repeated as well as more in‐depth conversation on topics described above. 
 
 
If you need further information, please contact Tiffani Muessig, Supervisor, Effective Practices at tiffani.muessig@dese.mo.gov or 573‐751‐0185.

Guidance from the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services on LEA Maintenance of Effort

Source: Dr. Stephen Barr, Assistant Commissioner
Intended Audience: Superintendents, Administrators, Special Education Directors, and Special Education Finance
Date:  April 2, 2014

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) with the U.S. Department of Education has published a letter to inform districts about a provision in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 related to the Part B requirement that local educational agencies (LEAs) maintain the level of local, or state and local, expenditures to the education of children with disabilities, known as maintenance of effort (MOE).  The letter analyzes both the compliance and the eligibility aspects of MOE.  Tables are included to clarify how MOE should be computed.  Districts should review the letter in preparing budgets for the 2014-2015 school year.

The letter can be found at http://dese.mo.gov​/sites/default/files/se-osep-ltr-ccso-lea-moe031314.pdf