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Special Education

Special Education Policy Memo SY 2023-2024 — 2

Update on Data Collection Activities for the Massachusetts State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR)

To:Administrators of Special Education
From:Jamie Camacho, Director, Office of Special Education Planning and Policy Development
Vandana Rastogi-Kelly, Director, Office of Public School Monitoring
Date:September 8, 2023


The purpose of this memo is to provide districts collecting State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) Indicator data with an update on the data collection timelines for all Indicators. This memo replaces a previously released memo on August 19, 2019, regarding data collection activities.


The Office of Special Education Planning and Policy Development (SEPP) submits a report, the SPP/APR, to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) each year that details the status of Special Education in the Commonwealth. The SPP/APR includes 17 Indicators of Special Education that measure both performance and compliance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Indicator data is gathered through different methods throughout the year. Much of the Indicator data that is submitted to the Department by local education agencies (LEAs) is reported through the state required reporting system. However, there are some Indicators that require LEAs to provide the Department with data that is collected through other sources. Detailed below are other ways that the Department collects Indicator data.

Data Reporting Through Tiered Focus Monitoring (TFM) and Timelines

Beginning in 2017, the Department began incorporating certain SPP/APR Indicator data collection activities for LEAs into the TFM review process. This includes Indicators 11 (Child Find/Initial Evaluation), 12 (Part C to B Transition), and 13 (Secondary Transition), which are integrated into the TFM Process that is conducted by the Department's Office of Public School Monitoring (PSM). Data collection for compliance Indicators 11, 12, and 13 occur every six years. Additionally, Indicator 8 (Parent Involvement) is included in PSM's Special Education Parent Survey and is completed every three years. All LEAs follow this cycle, with the exception of any LEA that maintains a daily average enrollment of 50,000 or more students, which is consistent with OSEP's requirement for monitoring. Any LEAs that meet this enrollment requirement, will be monitored on a yearly basis.

The process for all LEAs going through a TFM review is as follows:

  • During their Group A review, LEAs submit data for Indicators 11, 12, and 13 a year prior to their onsite visit. This process is explained during a training that occurs each winter.
  • Indicator 8 survey questions are incorporated into the parent survey that PSM uses as part of its TFM process and is provided to families prior to the onsite monitoring visit for each LEA.

Data Collected Through State Created Databases and Surveys

Beginning in 2023, the Department ended the Cohort model for data collection for Indicator 7 (Preschool Outcomes) and Indicator 14 (Post-School Outcomes). Therefore, Indicators 7 and 14 are collected on an annual basis by all LEAs.

The process for all LEAs collecting Indicators 7 and 14 will be as follows:

  • LEAs will enter Indicator 7 data into the Early Childhood Outcomes Survey (ECOS) database. This data must be submitted by July 31 each year. For more information about Indicator 7, please visit the Indicator 7 website, or contact .
  • LEAs will collect their Indicator 14 data by surveying their exiters one year after exiting the district. The online survey link is sent by the Department to all LEAs each spring and the data collection period ends in September of each year. For more information about Indicator 14, please visit the Indicator 14 website, or contact .

Data Collected Through Submissions

Data for all other indicators (see below) is submitted to the Department through other submission systems. You can find more information about the Reporting Schedules and Documentation on the Data Collection website.

  • Indicator 1 (Graduation)
  • Indicator 2 (Drop Out)
  • Indicator 3 (Assessment)
  • Indicator 4A/B (Suspension and Expulsion)
  • Indicator 5 (Educational Environments)
  • Indicator 6 (Preschool Environments)
  • Indicator 9 and 10 (Disproportionate Representation/Specific Disability Categories)


For questions about the SPP/APR or data collection for Indicators 7 and 14, please contact the Office of Special Education Planning and Policy Development at or 781-338-3375.

For questions about Indicators 11, 12, and 13, please contact Liza Ahern at or 781-338-3729 or review the TFM Review Schedule.

Last Updated: September 12, 2023

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Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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