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Administration and Finance

Circuit Breaker Best Practices Guidelines

(Updated 05-23-2023)

All Students:

  • Maintain a separate file for each Circuit Breaker student.

  • All information within each student file should be in chronological order by fiscal year.

  • Within each student file:

    • Include all signed, rejected and partially rejected Individual Education Plans (IEPs) and Amendments.

    • Identify any rejected IEPs with a notation on the 1st page of the rejected IEP.

    • Highlight any important Service Delivery changes.

    • Account for any gaps between the IEP Service Dates and the date IEP is signed/accepted by student's parents/guardians.

    • Consider using a summary sheet at the front of the file to outline the IEPs and Amendments created throughout the year. The outline should include the IEP service dates, signature dates, date received and any other pertinent information necessary for the claiming process.

    • Retain copies of all Settlement Agreements (DESE will request copies during summer reviews).

    • Retain copies of all invoices for out of district students.

    • Retain a copy of any LEA Assignment Letters for abandoned students.

In District Students:

  • Document the Service Hours delivered and claimed on the Service Delivery Grid. Note any Service Delivery date changes within the IEP. Account for any Days in Cycle conversions.

  • Review and highlight important Service Delivery language contained in the Additional Information and Schedule Modification sections of the IEP.

  • If a service claimed is not on the Service Delivery Grid, verify that it is supported elsewhere within the IEP, in clear language and quantified, to be acceptable upon audit.

  • Retain a copy of the credentials of high-cost service providers claimed, e.g., Specialty Consultation (Doctorate) and BCBA, in student file.

  • Retain a copy of In District ESY program information for students claimed.

  • Retain a copy of In District school calendars and school hours.

  • Highlight any specialized equipment purchased for the student in the IEP:

    • Retain a copy of the invoice, purchase order and related requisition documents.

    • The student must be referenced somewhere in the requisition process to meet the audit requirement (e.g., SASID # or initials).

Out of District Students:

  • Maintain a spreadsheet, or other verification system, evidencing payments of tuition, one to one services and transportation.

  • Purchase orders should not be used to record your claim; claims must be based on actual payments.

  • Retain copies of all tuition (day, residential, etc.) and one to one services invoices from private schools, LEAs and collaboratives in chronological order by fiscal year for each student claimed.

  • Retain copies of all transportation invoices and support documents for parents' transportation reimbursement in chronological order by fiscal year for each student claimed. For more information, see this memo on transportation invoice elements on the DESE website.

  • Retain copies of all agreements with private schools, LEAs and collaboratives.

  • Retain copies of any Cost Sharing Agreements and highlight any important provisions (i.e., cost sharing %, name of LEA/DCF).

  • Retain copies of Operational Services Division (OSD) Authorizations for Individual Student Programs (ISP) and Individual Price Authorizations (IPA).

  • Retain copies of self-authorized IPAs submitted for services with hourly rates of $20 or less.

Last Updated: May 24, 2023

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