Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM)

Parent Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Public School Monitoring

Public School Monitoring (PSM) is an office within the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE); monitoring teams from PSM work with school districts, charter schools, vocational schools, and virtual schools to ensure state and federal laws and regulations for special education and civil rights are being followed. This is accomplished through a process called Tiered Focused Monitoring (TFM).

There are four PSM monitoring teams, with each team focused on one region of the state: Western, Central, Southeast, and Metro/Northeast.

PSM Contact Page

MA Map

Tiered Focused Monitoring

Tiered Focused Monitoring (TFM) is the review of select policies, procedures, student records, and building facilities to see if schools and districts are in compliance with, or following, the state and federal laws and regulations for special education and civil rights. PSM reviews all school districts, charter schools, vocational schools, and virtual schools across the state every three years. The TFM review includes:

  • District self-assessment
  • Parent survey
  • PSM on-site visit
    • Record reviews
    • Document
    • Interviews
    • Facility observations
  • Analysis and report
  • Corrective action implementation and support

The Parent Orientations provide additional information on the review process.

Group A and Group B TFM Reviews

Tiered Focused Monitoring Reviews are broken into two groups, Group A and Group B. Each group has a different monitoring focus and different review activities.

Group A and Group B TFM Reviews

Role of Parents/Guardians in the Tiered Focused Monitoring Review

Parent involvement is an important part of the review process. There are several ways parents can become involved:

  • Parent Orientation
    A member of PSM conducts a Parent Orientation, providing a general overview of the Tiered Focused Monitoring Review process. Typically PSM conducts the parent orientation in conjunction with the SEPAC, at a time and location that works for parents.

  • Parent Surveys
    PSM sends two anonymous electronic surveys. Surveys are available by email in English, Spanish, and Portuguese and in 14 other languages by mail. Surveys are sent before a PSM team visits a district or school.
    • Special Education Parent Survey
      This survey is sent to all parents with a student receiving special education in the district or school. It focuses on the special education process.

  • Parent Telephone Interview
    Parents may request a telephone interview. The school or district publishes a press release to notify parents and the public when a PSM team will be in the school or district to carry out monitoring activities. Contact information (email and direct telephone) for a PSM member is included in the press release.

  • Interview with the SEPAC chairperson

Tiered Focused Monitoring Report

At the conclusion of the Tiered Focused Monitoring Review, PSM develops a report. The report identifies any areas that require corrective action and PSM supports districts in implementing the corrective action. The report is available to the public through the PSM webpage.

General Resources

The Office of Public School Monitoring is committed to ensuring that parents have the information they need about the Tiered Focused Monitoring Review process. If you have questions, please contact us at Publicschoolmonitoring@mass.gov .

You can also call the supervisors of each region:

Jesee Kihiko, Southeast Region, 781-338-3745

Amy Krukonis, Central Region, 781-338-3725

Andrew MacKenzie, Northeast Region, 781-338-3761

Michelle Poulin, Western Region, 413-314-6710

The Problem Resolution System (PRS) is the Department's process for addressing complaints from the public about students' educational rights and the legal requirements for education. PRS staff are available by phone and email between 8:45 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. every business day to discuss your issues, answer your questions, and if needed, to help you to file a complaint with the Department.

Website: http://www.doe.mass.edu/prs/

Main Telephone: 781-338-3700
TTY: N.E.T. Relay: 1-800-439-2370
Fax: 781-338-3710
Compliance Email: compliance@doe.mass.edu

Last Updated: February 24, 2022

 
Contact Us

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

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

Directions

Disclaimer: A reference in this website to any specific commercial products, processes, or services, or the use of any trade, firm, or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public and does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.