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Reminder - Comment Period Open for Part C Application for Federal Funds under IDEA

Source: Pam Schroeder, Assistant Director, First Steps Compliance

Intended Audience: Stakeholders interested in Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Date: February 27, 2015

The draft application for IDEA Part C funds is available for review on the Office of Special Education webpage at http://dese.mo.gov/special-education/compliance/part-c-annual-state-application or in the Office of Special Education, 4th floor, Jefferson Building, 205 Jefferson Street, Jefferson City, MO 65102.

Written public comments on the draft Part C application may be submitted beginning today, February 27, 2015, until the close of business on March 30, 2015.  Comments may be sent to the attention of Pam Schroeder, Assistant Director of First Steps Compliance, Office of Special Education, P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480, or by email to [email protected] or by fax to 573-526-4404. 


Summer Educational Opportunities for Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired Summer Explorations

Source: Missouri School for the Blind, St. Louis

Intended Audience: Special education teachers and administrators, students in grades 3-12

Date: February 26, 2015

Missouri School for the Blind is pleased to offer Missouri students who are blind or visually impaired five (5) summer sessions focused on developing students' abilities to access Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Performing Arts or Activities of Daily Living with increased independence.  Through Summer Explorations, MSB seeks to provide a non-traditional, high-quality, academic, and functional program designed to supplement the student's regular educational experience with an emphasis on the Expanded Core Curriculum for the Blind and Visually Impaired.     

STEM Session 1:  Explorations in STEM:  Engineering Amusement - provides an engaging program for students in grades 7-12 to learn STEM concepts utilizing MSB's state-of-the-art computer and science laboratories which are designed to increase access and independence for students who are blind or visually impaired.  During this session, students will explore the STEM behind the exciting world of amusement parks.  Students will design their own thrill rides, learn how engineers optimize traffic flow, and even concoct their own amusement park confections.  One entire day will also be spent exploring Six Flags-St. Louis.   

STEM Session 2:  Explorations in STEM:  CSI Summer - Students enrolled in this session will use the tools of STEM to investigate mysteries and solve simulated cases just like the professionals.  Participants will use adaptive laboratory equipment and the newest computer and assistive technologies developed specifically for the blind and visually impaired to help them gather, analyze, and apply information to solve cases.  CSI Summer participants will visit community-based STEM venues, meet professionals in the field, and have the opportunity to expand their social circle.

PA Session 1 and Session 2:  Explorations in Performing Arts:  Live on Stage I and II - Explorations in Performing Arts are 2-week immersion programs designed to introduce students to a variety of performing arts skills and concepts, culminating in a stage and variety/talent show.  Students will work on independent performance skills as well as performing as a group.  Session 1 is designed to accommodate students in grades 3-8; Session 2 will accommodate students in grades 7-12.  During Explorations in Performing Arts, students will learn performance skills by experiencing and participating in a variety of lessons and activities.  Students will attend live performances at the Muny, tour a professional theatre, and have the opportunity to discuss careers in the theatre with professionals in the field. 

Independent Living:  Explorations in Independent Living is a 4-week immersion program designed to introduce students age 16 to 21 who are blind or visually impaired to the skills and concepts necessary to live, work, and play independently in the community in a supported, simulated 24-hour a day program.  Explorations in Independent Living participants will live in the MSB Suites or LIFE Apartment, develop job skills, and work or volunteer either on-campus or in the community, and participate in community-based leisure activities.  During Explorations in Independent Living students will be introduced to VI friendly methods to plan and prepare their own meals, shop for groceries on a set budget, maintain their own clothing and living space, under the direction of and limited supervision from MSB staff.  Daily, students participate in four structured, supported sessions including: Applied Academic Skills, Applied Activities of Daily Living, Employment Skills Development, and Leisure Recreation Skills.

Visit http://www.msb.dese.mo.gov/ for more information, including a schedule of events and the registration form.  Parents may also contact Joy Waddell, Assistant Superintendent, at 314-776-4320 (ext. 1140) or [email protected].

* STEM summer sessions are provided free of charge for qualifying students. 

* Transportation and supervised residential housing are provided for students outside the St. Louis metro area during the week.  Students return home on weekends. 


School District Administrative Claiming (SDAC) Program Changes

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Financial Staff, Special Education Staff, Administrators

Date: February 26, 2015

The administration of the School District Administrative Claiming (SDAC) program has recently changed to Fairbanks LLC.  Due to this change, districts must sign a new interagency agreement with the Department of Social Services, MO HealthNet Division by February 27, 2015.  Please see the memo posted at: http://dss.mo.gov/mhd/providers/pdf/bulletin37-12_2015feb25.pdf for more information.  We apologize for the limited notice but DESE just learned of this new requirement and deadline.   


Registration Open for The Impact of the OMNI Circular

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Subgrantees/Recipients of Department Administered Federal Programs (includes school districts, charter schools, institutions of higher education, and community-based organizations)

Date: February 23, 2015

The Division of Financial and Administrative Services, within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, will co-sponsor a Federal Grants Managements Workshop.  One workshop will be held on March 17, 2015, in St. Louis and the other on March 18, 2015, in Kansas City.  LEAs will need to begin implementing the new guidance in the 2015-2016 school year, therefore, LEAs need to send at least one staff person (administrative personnel, accounting personnel, and/or program personnel) to attend one of these workshops.

The agenda and registration information for the workshops can be found at http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/federal-grants-management-workshops-omni


Additional Opportunity to Submit High Need Fund (HNF) Application

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Financial Administrators

Date: February 18, 2015

Due to unusual circumstances associated with the current fiscal year, districts that did not get their High Need Fund (HNF) application submitted before the November 30th deadline (for services provided in 2013-14) will be allowed to submit their application for consideration. All applications must be emailed to [email protected] and received by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, February 27, 2015.  This allowance should not be anticipated in future years.

The application and additional information about the HNF can be accessed at: http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/other-available-funding.

Please contact the Special Education Finance Section if you have any questions at (573) 751-0622 or by email at [email protected]


FY15 Payment for High Need Fund (HNF)

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Financial Administrators

Date: February 17, 2015

The FY15 High Need Fund (HNF) payment for services provided during the 2013-14 school year will be made in two installments.  The first installment of approximately 58% will be made in the February 2015 payment transmittal.  This payment will include only state funding and will be listed under revenue code 5381 in the payment transmittal.  The Department will pay the remaining amount (approximately 42%) in April. The April High Need Fund payment will also only include state funding.

Districts may view the FY15 HNF payment amounts at: http://dese.mo.gov/financial-admin-services/special-education-finance/other-available-funding.  Please note that applications for services provided during the current 2014-15 school year will be available in September 2015 and are due November 30, 2015. 

Please contact the Special Education Finance Section if you have any questions at (573) 751-0622 or by email at [email protected]


REMINDER: Public Comment Period for Part B Application for Federal Funds under IDEA

Source: Pam Williams, Coordinator, Special Education Services

Intended Audience: System stakeholders in Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Date: February 10, 2015

Public Comment Period for Part B Application Opened February 9, 2015 The draft application for IDEA Part B funds is available for review and comment on the Office of Special Education webpage at http://dese.mo.gov/special-education/compliance/part-b-annual-state-application or in the Office of Special Education, 4th floor, Jefferson Building, 205 Jefferson Street, Jefferson City, MO 65102. Written public comment opened yesterday, February 9 and will remain open until the close of business on March 10, 2015. Written public comments may be submitted to the attention of Pam Williams, Coordinator of Services, Office of Special Education, at [email protected] or P.O. Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480 or by fax 573-526-4404.


Listing of Transition Resources for Students who are Visually Impaired/Blind including those with Multiple Disabilities and Deafblindness

Source: Missouri School for the Blind, Outreach Services

Intended Audience: Teams Serving Students with Vision Impairment/Blindness including those with Multiple Disabilities and Deafblindness, Students and Parents of Students with Vision Impairments

Date: February 9, 2015

Infants, children, and youth with visual impairment/blindness including those with multiple disabilities and deafblindness experience numerous challenges and transitional stages as they develop and learn. There is a new online listing of transition resources available on the website of the Missouri School for the Blind. This listing includes links to articles by students and families; information on assessment; early intervention to early childhood, middle school, and post-secondary transitions; state and national resources; planning calendars; and, videos and webcasts. The transition to post-secondary activities is particularly timely for students about to graduate. To access this listing, go to: http://msb.dese.mo.gov/educators/documents/TransitionResourcesforBTF-Website.pdf. For additional information, contact [email protected]


Part C Extension/First Steps Summer Third Birthdays - Frequently Asked Questions

Source: Pam Thomas, Coordinator, First Steps

Intended Audience: First Steps Service Coordinators, System Point of Entry Directors, Directors of Special Education, Early Childhood Special Education Teachers and Administrators

Date: February 9, 2015

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Part C Extension/First Steps Summer Third Birthdays are available on the Department's website under "About This Webinar - Frequently Asked Questions" at: http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/summer-third-birthday-services. The FAQ includes information about timelines, parent options for services over age three, and obtaining parent consent. Additionally, materials related to Transition from First Steps to Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) are available on the First Steps website at: http://dese.mo.gov/special-education/first-steps/transition-first-steps-early-childhood-special.


REMINDER: 2014-15 Proportionate Share Carryover Release Request Due March 1, 2015

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Superintendents, Financial Administrators

Date: February 5, 2015

Proportionate share funds are the amount of IDEA Part B funds a district must reserve and spend on either a private/parochial or home school student in the district's boundaries. If a district has not expended all of the proportionate share of its Part B funds by the end of the first year, the district must obligate the remaining funds for special education and related services to students with disabilities placed by their parents in private or home schools during a carryover period of one additional year. If a district cannot completely spend the carryover funds during the second year having met all proportionate share requirements, the district may request a release of the unspent funds to spend on allowable Part B expenditures for public students with disabilities within the district. However, proportionate share carryover funds may ONLY be released when the district has more carryover funds than anticipated current year proportionate share expenditures. For example, if the carryover amount is $50,000 and the anticipated expenditures are $20,000, then the district may release $30,000 because the carryover amount is more than the anticipated expenditures. If the anticipated expenditures are $60,000, then the district cannot release any carryover funds because the carryover funds are not more than the anticipated expenditures. In order to release these funds, the district must complete and submit the Proportionate Share Carryover Release Request under Part B in ePeGS by March 1, 2015. If the district chooses not to release the proportionate share carryover funds and does not spend them in their entirety, they will be forfeited. Once the Proportionate Share Carryover Release Request is approved by DESE staff, the district will need to revise the 2014-15 Part B Budget Application to re-budget the anticipated amount of released funds into any function code other than 1224 by April 30, 2015. A webinar was provided on December 17, 2014, that described the process of releasing unexpended proportionate share carryover funds. The recorded webinar can be found at http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/december-special-education-finance-updates. Contact the Special Education Finance Section with any questions at 573-751-0622 or [email protected]


February Special Education Finance Updates Webinar

Source: Special Education Finance

Intended Audience: Directors of Special Education

Date: February 3, 2015

Please join the Special Education Finance Section for a webinar on February 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. which will include information regarding important Special Education Finance dates (upcoming and past due) and Maintenance of Effort (MOE). While the webinar is aimed towards new directors, anyone is welcome to attend. During the webinar, there will be a PowerPoint presentation followed by a live Q&A about topics discussed in the presentation. To participate in this webinar, go to http://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar. Once on this page, click on the webinar title, "February Special Education Finance Updates", select the "log in" link, and type in your name to enter the room as a guest. The webinar will be recorded and posted under the Webinars - Recorded button at https://dese.mo.gov/communications/webinar/webinar-recorded. Please allow a week after the webinar for the recording to be posted. 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.