Chapter 766
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Changes to Chapter 766

Law "Trumps"
State law over-rides or "trumps"
State Department of Education regulations,IEP forms or policies which violates the law.
School district form policies,practices or procedures which violate the law.


PRE-REFERRAL
The principal must ensure instructional support and pre-referral services are provided including:

Modifying:
the regular education program
the curriculum
teaching strategies
reading instruction
environments
materials
Remedial instruction
Support services
Consultative services
Building-based student and teacher support and assisstance teams
Appropriate services for linguistic minority students

Pre-referral efforts must be documented and included in the child's record.
This documentation must be provided to TEAM when reviewing eligibility.
Pre-referral can not be used to limit or condition the right to refer a child for testing.

Curriculum Accommodation Plan (CAP)
Each district must adopt and implement a Curriculum Accommodation Plan to assist principals with pre-referral
efforts.
The CAP must be designed to assist regular classroom teachers in:
analyzing and accommodating diverse learning styles off all children
providing appropriate services and support within the regular education progra.
The Curriculum Accommodation Plan must:
encourage parental involvement
School councils must make recommendations to the principal for the development, implementation, and
assessment of the curriculum accommodation plan


REFERRAL AND EVALUATION 

Who may refer: 
A parent
Any person in a caregiving position
Any person in a professional position

SPED Timeline
Notice to parent after referral
The school district must send written notice within 5 school days of receipt of referral:
seeking consent of the parent for the evaluation
meet notice requirements of federal and state law
provide parents opportunity to provide information or express concerns

School district must provide notice and consult parents about:
content of evaluation
evaluators being used

REQUIRED ASSESSMENTS
An educational assessment by a representative of the school district
An assessment in all areas related to the suspected disability
A psychological assessment, health assessment or home assessment if requested by parent or recommended
by district(note:for children whose behavior impeded learning,consider functional behavior assessments)

ASSESSMENT REPORTS
Summarize in writing the procedures employed,the results, and the diagnostic impression
Define in detail and in educationally relevant and common terms,the student's needs,offering explicit means of
meeting them
Summaries of assessment available to parents upon request 2 days prior to TEAM meeting

NOTE:State Regulations Inconsistent with State Statute
The assessor may recommend appropriate types of placements, but shall not recommend specific
classrooms or schools

THREE YEAR RE-EVALUATIONS
Re-evaluation every three years, consistent with requirements of federal law(or sooner if needed)
1)Conduct re-evaluation if IEP team determines tests necessary to determine:
continuing eligibility
present levels of performance and educational needs
continuing need for special education and related services
whether changes to special education related services are necessary to meet IEP goals and progress in the
general curriculum
OR
2)Conduct re-evaluation if requested by parent or teacher
school district must notify parent of right to request assessment


IEP MEETING

IEP Team Members
The parent(s)
At least 1 regular education teacher
At least 1 special education teacher provider
A school official(who can commit resources)
A professional qualified to interpret evaluation results
Other individuals at discretion of parent or school district
The student if between ages 14-22
Representative of any other agency likely to be responsible for transition services

All communications and meetings with parents must be:
In English and primary language at home
communications in simple and commonly understood words
communications shall be oral if parents are unable to read any language
communications shall be made in Braille,sign language,via TDD or in writing(whichever is appropriate) for
parents who are blind or deaf

A parent can cancel a meeting if school official who can commit to services is not present until they are
available.
Also for the IEP meeting, bring a report from child's psychiatrist about the child and progress child is
making.Request report ahead of time not at the last moment.

IEP ELIGIBILITY
Step 1-Determine Eligibility
The TEAM examines the results of the evaluation and information provided by the parent to determine:
1.Does the student have a disability
2.Is the student unable to progress effectively in regular education as a result of the disability?
3.Does the student require:
specially designed instruction(to make effective progress)
and/or
related services(to access the general curriculum)

#1 Does the student have a disability?

Disability means one or more of the following impairments:
autism
developmental delay
intellectual impairment
sensory impairment---hearing,vision,deaf-blind
neurological impairment
emotional impairment
communication impairment
physical impairment
health impairment
specific learning impairments

#2 Is the student unable to progress effectively in regular education as a result of the disability?
Progress effectively means:
making documented growth in the acquisition of knowledge and skills, including social emotional
development in the general education program according to:
chronological age and developmental expectations
the individual educational potential of the child
the learning standards in the curriculum frameworks
Regular education program includes:
preschool and early childhood program
academic activities
nonacademic activities
vocational programs and activities

#3Does the student require either specially designed instruction or related services?
Specially designed instruction means adapting, as appropriate to the needs of the child
content of instruction
methodology of instruction
delivery of instruction
In order to:
address the unique needs of the child
ensure the child's access to the general curriculum so that he/she can meet state standards
(Curriculum Frameworks and MCAS)

Related Services shall have the meaning set forth in federal special education law (IDEA)
Related Services as Defined in IDEA
speech therapy and audiology services
psychological services
physical therapy
occupational therapy
recreation, including therapeutic recreation
counsling services,including rehabilitation counseling
orientation and mobility services
medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes
school health services
social work services in school
parent counseling and training
early identification and assessment of disabilities in children
transportation

Does the student require related services in order to access the general curriculum?
General ecucation program includes--
preschool and early childhood program
academic activities
nonacademic activities
vocational programs and activities

If the TEAM determines that the student is not eligible:
TEAM chairperson record reasons for finding of ineligibility
list the meeting participants
provide written notice to parents within 10 school days of TEAM meeting.

Children who do not qualify for special education may receive services through the Curriculum Accommodation
Plan(CAP) or section 504.


DEVELOP THE IEP, INCLUDING SPECIFIC PLACEMENT DETERMINATION

IEP Contents
Parent and/or student concerns
Students strengths and key evaluation results summary
Vision statement for the student
Presents Level of Educational Performance
How does the students disability affect progree in other areas?
Adapted PE
Communication
Braille needs
Extra curriculum activities
Nonacademic activities
Social emotional needs
Vocational education
Assisstive tech devices services
Behavior
Communication (deaf,hard of hearing)
Travel training
Language needs (all students)
NOTE: Age specific considerations

Goals and Objectives/ Benchmarks
Current Performance Level
Measurable Annual Goal
Benchmarks/Objectives

Service Delivery Grid
Special education, related services and supplementary aids and services(including parent training) 
And
Statement of the program modifications or supports(including positive behavorial supports) for school
personnal that will be provided for the child
To assure maximum possible development in the least restrictive environment(until 1/02)
To advance appropriately toward attaining annual goals
To progress in the general curriculum
To participate in extracurricular and nonacademic activities
To be educated and participate with other children with disabilities and nondisabled children

Least Restrictive Environment
All children with disabilities must be educated with children who are non-disabled to the maximum extent
appropriate.
Removal of children with disabilities from the regular educationalenvironment occurs only if the nature or
severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and
services cannot be achieved satisfactorily
Nonparticipation Justification

Extended Day
An IEP should contain an extended day where the TEAM feels it is necessary for the child to recieve a Free
Appropriate Education
The daily duration of the students program shall be equal to that of the regular school day unless the TEAM
states that a different duration is neccessary to provide a free appropriate education to the student

Transportation
Transportations safety requirements retained including:
Child shall not remain in vehicle for more than 1 hr(except with IEP TEAM approval)
Drivers and attendants must receive in-service training
Attendants must be provided when recommended by TEAM
Children who use wheelchairs must have accessible vehicles available

MCAS
1.All students with disabilities must participate in MCAS
2.The IEP TEAM(or 504 TEAM) determines how a student will participate in MCAS
MCAS under routine conditions
MCAS with accomodations as determined by IEP TEAM
MCAS Alternative Assessment
3.IEP TEAM(or 504TEAM)have final authority to determine how students with disabilities will participate in
MCAS
NOTE:MCAS requirements are only in Massachusetts

Transition Requirements for students 14-22
Age 14-Statement of transition service needs--focuses on course of study(i.e. AP courses,voc.ed program)
Age 16-Statement of transition service needs--Statement of interagency responsibilities or needed linkages
Age 17--Statement that student has been informed that rights will transfer to student at age 18
2 years before graduation or 22--discuss and document need for referral to human service agency or
Bureau of Transition planning


Specific Placement
The board of education shall continue in effect and enforce...regulations:
Requiring the IEP TEAM to decide the specific placement necessary to meet the unique needs of a child
with a disability

Contents of the IEP--Upon determining that the student requires special education and based upon the
evaluative data,the TEAM shall write an IEP for the student and decide the student's placement.

Parent Response
Parent can still request independent evaluation
Legal authority of parent transfers to student when 18 years old
Student signs IEP(and grants consent)unless student has a court appointed guardian or other legal action
Notification one year prior to 18th birthday
Parent continues to receive copies of written notices

Independent Evaluations
Parents may request an independent evaluation if the disagree with the school's evaluation(or re-evaluation)
Parents choose whether to request school paymeny for independent evaluation under either:
Requirements of federal law(regardless of family income)
Requirements of Massachusetts sliding fee scale(based on family income)



 

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