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Special Education

Significant Disproportionality Update - Review the ongoing support to districts at-risk of future identification and districts currently identified with significant disproportionality in special education.

DESE is dedicated to providing ongoing support to districts at-risk of future identification and districts currently identified with significant disproportionality in special education. We are currently adapting DESE technical assistance to provide you remote technical assistance and support opportunities in the following ways:

Significant Disproportionality Convening

The June 9th face-to-face convening in Devens, MA has been put on hold. We are in the midst of planning a replacement event that can be held virtually either in June or during the summer, recognizing that participation during the summer may be difficult for some.

District Leadership Team Professional Learning Community (PLC)

We originally planned two calls in April and May to continue the PLC activities, but due to changing circumstances we have revised that scheduled and will be "convening" through an online call on Wednesday, May 27th. During this call, districts will have an opportunity to share with one another their work and learning in the area of significant disproportionality improvement. We will facilitate discussion about the planning districts have conducted to date, explore challenges and breakthroughs, and share current thinking about next steps. We have reserved time to have "district alike" connections on May 27th to support collaboration and support from leaders in similar districts. The scheduled is as follows:

  • 12:30PM: Program Schools (Charter Schools and CCTE Schools)
  • 1:30PM: Urban Districts
  • 2:30PM: Suburban Districts
  • 3:30PM: Small Districts

District leaders should decide which group and time best meets your needs. Please register your leadership team for the online PLC call here: Please make sure to register by noon on May 25th, 2020.

Planning Support and Coaching

DESE has contracted with Lori Likis to provide tiered technical assistance for districts.

Identified Districts: Customized TA is available for identified districts. This can include phone calls, online conversations and other methods to meet your districts' needs as you use Planning for Success and work through your planning for CCEIS. Contact Lori to make arrangements for the customized TA you would like to receive.

At-Risk Districts: Open office hours are available for districts at-risk with identification in future school years to seek guidance in using Planning for Success and thinking of ways to support students in their district. Lori has made herself available on May 21st and June 2nd. Register for a timeslot.

At this time all TA and activities with Lori and the Department will occur in a remote environment given the current school building closures and pause on in-person activities.

Training for Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CCEIS) and Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)

DESE is collaborating with the IDEA Data Center (IDC), a federal funded technical assistance center, to provide a training on CCEIS and CEIS. This training is highly recommended for districts identified with significant disproportionality as it will explain CCEIS expectations and review data collection requirements. Any district that might be considering using voluntary CEIS funding to support its work is also encouraged to participate in this training. Please keep an eye out for an email about this training. It is likely to occur during the summer.

We also want to remind identified districts that we are in close contact with the US Department of Education, and if there are any updates or changes to the status of significant disproportionality requirement, we will be sure to make you aware of them without delay.

Last Updated: May 21, 2020

Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
75 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA 02148-4906

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370


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