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Special Education

Program Plan for Special Education (SEPPS)

To:
Superintendents of Schools, Charter School Leaders, Innovation School Leaders, and Virtual School Leaders
From:
Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education
Date:
August 14, 2015

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The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) requires the Special Education Program Plan Statement (SEPPS) to be updated every four years in order to ensure that regular renewal of assurances and information is easy and straightforward. The SEPPS review process also allows district officials such as the superintendent and school committee or board of trustees to understand some of the complexities of special education laws and regulations. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) paperwork reduction elements allow districts to meet requirements for submission of local policies and procedures through verifying their awareness of the requirements and assuring the ESE that all local actions and procedures are completely consistent with these requirements.

Massachusetts has aligned the submission of SEPPSs to the cohort model associated with the data collection activities for the State Performance Plans indicators. The SEPPS submission is not tied to the Program Quality Assurance Coordinated Program Review process.

Districts in Cohort One and new charter schools, innovation schools, and virtual schools must submit a completed SEPPS by Thursday, October 1, 2015.

The SEPPS continues to be structured in such a way that each district (the term district, used throughout the SEPPS, should be read to be inclusive of charter schools, innovation schools, and virtual schools unless explicitly noted otherwise) must individually consider each required element and state that the district is in compliance with that element. If a district's local policies or procedures differ from the requirements detailed in the Program Plan, then the district must submit the local procedures for review and approval. It is the expectation of the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education however; that the need for such submissions of local procedures will be minimal because each of the elements and the procedures associated with the elements is required by law. Procedures at the local level that reinterpret the law to allow alternative activities must be submitted for review and approval prior to implementation.

The timely submission of this updated Special Education Program Plan Statement is required for initial or continued receipt of any federal special education funds. Failure to submit this signed statement and any additional required documentation by October 1, 2015 will jeopardize the timely release of federal funds for your district.

Completed original copies of the SEPPS should be mailed to:

Tracy Collins
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Special Education Planning and Policy Development Office
75 Pleasant Street
Malden, MA 02148

For questions regarding the Program Plan for Special Education, please contact Tracy Collins at 781-338-3375 or tcollins@doe.mass.edu

Download MS WORD Document
Download Program Plan Statement
View HTML Page
An updated Data Collection Schedule for the Massachusetts State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report
View HTML Page
An updated District Cohort Assignments for the Massachusetts State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report


Last Updated: August 17, 2015
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