Children Who Qualify for “676” Services (the option to remain with CDS for an additional year)
ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: 43
POLICY CODE: GCA
TO: CDS Board Chairs, CDS Directors, Superintendents of Schools, Special Education Directors, MADSEC, and Maine Parent Federation
FROM: Susan A. Gendron
DATE: March 27, 2009
RE: Children Who Qualify for “676” Services (the option to remain with CDS for an additional year)
Maine Unified Special Education Regulation 05-071 Chapter 101 states the following:
MUSER § VIII.1 – 4
“Notwithstanding Section II.35 of this rule, parents of children whose fifth birthday falls between July 1st and October 15th and who are already receiving free appropriate public education (FAPE) services through Child Development Services (CDS) have the right to choose not to enroll their children in kindergarten until the start of the following school year and to have their child continue to receive FAPE services from CDS in the interim. A child is considered to have been already receiving FAPE services through CDS if they were counted in the prior year’s December 1st Child Count. [20-A MRSA §7001 (2-A)]
- Parental Choice:
The parents of an eligible five-year-old child have the right to choose whether to enroll their child in kindergarten or continue to receive FAPE services through CDS.
- Regional CDS sites are responsible for notifying parents of eligible children in writing of this right to choose on or before January 1st of the year the child is eligible for kindergarten.
- Parents must inform their regional CDS site of their decision, in writing, on or before May 1st of the year their child becomes school age eligible.
- The parents must provide informed consent to their regional CDS site. That consent must include an explanation of the option for their child to either remain in the CDS System or the option to enroll in kindergarten and the specific free, appropriate public education that are available in kindergarten.
- Joint IEP Team Meeting
CDS regional sites shall convene a joint IEP Team meeting with the receiving SAU on or before April 15th for each child whose fifth birthday falls between July 1st and October 15th and who is already receiving FAPE services through CDS, in order to discuss and document the programs being offered by both the CDS regional site and the SAU. The joint IEP Team meeting is not required if the parent has already the CDS site of their decision in writing; however, each CDS regional site remains responsible for ensuring that a transition IEP Team meeting occurs with the receiving SAU for all children who will be attending the SAU in the fall.
- Fiscal Process
- The regional CDS site will submit to the CDS State Office a copy of the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) consistent with 20 USC 1436(a)(3)(b-c) or Individualized Education Program (IEP) for each eligible child whose parents elect to receive services pursuant to this section.
- On a monthly basis, the regional CDS site will submit invoices to the CDS State Office for payment to the site for the services actually rendered to the child in the prior month.
- Request for Consideration
- If a parent has been unable to inform their regional CDS site of their choice by May 1st, they can submit a request for consideration to the CDS State Office by June 15th.”
To provide clarification and consistency is providing the children and families who qualify for parent choice under this rule, Child Development Services and the Department of Education is providing the following administrative guidance.
Parents of children who turn five between July 1 and October 15th and who have an active IEP prior to December 1st of the previous year are allowed the option to make an informed decision on whether to transition their child to public school or to have their child’s education continue to be provided by Child Development Services for an additional year.
Child Development Services sites must notify the parents of the children that qualify for this parental choice as well as the school district in which the child will be attending in writing prior to January 1st.
All parties (CDS Staff, School Staff, and Providers) must keep information objective and allow the parents to make their own decision based on the information provided by CDS and the school. The information regarding the program is critical if parents are truly to make an informed decision.
To ensure that parents are provided information regarding the provision of FAPE to their child, a joint meeting will occur between the parent, the receiving school and CDS. Documentation of this meeting will ensure that the recommendations from both the school and CDS are available and will support the development of an IEP focused on each child’s individual goals. Parents may waive, in writing, their right to be part of the team, indicating their choice not to be involved. This meeting must occur by April 15th with the parent notifying both parties of their decision by May 1st. If a child falls in this category, their transition IEP meeting must occur between April 1 and April 15.
For any child whose parents choose to have their child remain in CDS, the regional site must submit a copy of the child’s IEP to the CDS State IEU. This should be done no later than May 15th.
Requests for consideration will be accepted at the CDS State Office up to June 15th by parents if they did not provide their regional CDS site with their decision by May 1st. These requests MUST be received at the State Office by June 15th for consideration. Any requests submitted after that date will not be considered.
Guidance Documents can be found at: http://www.maine.gov/education/speced/cds/adminltrs/other/676.html
- Q and A
- Parent Informational Letter
- Letter of Notification to Special Education Administrators from CDS
- Timeline of Regulations
For any questions please contact Debra Hannigan at Debra.Hannigan@maine.gov or Janna Gregory at Janna.Gregory@maine.gov .