Director's Corner


What's New?

Guidance regarding the placement of BCBA services on the IEP 12.06.2019

Thank you for all of your reflection and feedback on the topic of how to accurately write behavioral services in the IEP. We appreciate the care you put into making sure students are provided with quality educational programming.

This communication is provided to clarify the placement of BCBA services on the IEP.

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst  (BCBA) services or consultation must be listed in the related services grid under "Other.

These services must go on the related service grid, and are not considered accommodations.

Further communication is regard to billing MaineCare for day treatment services and appropriate documentation practices will be forthcoming. This information will be jointly provided by the Maine Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services. If you have further questions, please contact or 624-6713


Procedural Manual Update 10.25.2019

The Procedural Manual with the updated 4 pages related to the Alternate Assessment section of the IEP has been posted on the Forms page of the Office of Special Services. There are no other changes in the manual. The IEP committee approved the changes at their meeting on 10.25.2019. If Districts have already printed the manual they will be able to print the 4 pages (28-31) separately. 


Physical education requirements for children with disabilities- 09.24.2019

Under Maine’s system of learning results, each student is required to study and achieve the content standards of the parameters of essential instruction in the eight content areas including physical education. 

Specially designed physical education is known as adapted physical education (APE). APE is a direct service and must be evaluated and provided by a certified APE specialist.  Physical and occupational therapy, which are related services, may not be a substitute for physical education or APE. When there is a concern regarding a child’s physical education program, the IEP team must include the APE and/or general physical education teacher, and a determination must be made as to whether the child requires APE or an APE evaluation. When the team determines that an APE evaluation should be conducted, it must be conducted by a certified APE specialist and will include recommendations as to the child’s APE needs and appropriate physical education placement. The IEP team will consider the results of this evaluation along with information collected from physical and occupational therapy assessments to make its determinations regarding the student’s physical education needs.

In addition to State requirements, federal regulations for implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) require that states follow the guidelines set forth in sections 34 CFR 300.39 and 300.108.

The State must ensure that public agencies comply with the following federal laws:

300.39 Special Education

(a) General. Special education means specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including

(i) Instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and

(ii) Instruction in physical education;

300.108 Physical Education

(a) General. Physical education services, specially designed if necessary, must be made available to every child with a disability receiving Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) unless the public agency enrolls children without disabilities and does not provide physical education to children without disabilities in the same grades.

(b) Regular physical education. Each child with a disability must be afforded the opportunity to participate in the regular physical education program available to nondisabled children unless:

(1) The child is enrolled full time in a separate facility; or

(2) The child needs specially designed physical education, as prescribed in the child’s IEP.

(c) Special physical education. If specially designed physical education is prescribed in a child’s IEP, the public agency responsible for the education of that child must provide the services directly or make arrangements for those services to be provided through other public or private programs.

(d) Education in separate facilities. The public agency responsible for the education of a child with a disability who is enrolled in a separate facility must ensure that the child receives appropriate physical education services in compliance with this section.

For SAUs that do not currently have a certified APE teacher, the Office of Special Services recommends that one or more individuals from that district work towards APE certification over the next several years. For more information on the APE endorsement, please contact the Department’s Office of Certification at 624-6603. If you have questions about these requirements, please contact Maine DOE’s Physical Education consultant, Jean Zimmerman.

FY 20 Local Entitlement Application Training

The Maine Department of Education- Office of Special Services will be holding training on the FY20 Application for Local Entitlement funds, Monday, May 13th at 9:00 a.m.  The training will be in a webinar format and will be recorded for future viewing, The recording will be posted on the Listen and Learn page once complete.  If you have questions, please e-mail or call Colene O’Neill (624-6713) or,  Roberta Lucas (624-6621) or Barbara McGowen (624-6645)

Annual State Application Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act as Amended in 2004 for Federal Fiscal Year 2019

Application 2019 (Doc ,49.7 KB)

Interactive Spreadsheet  (XLXS, 109KB)

Comments sought on Maine’s IDEA Part B application

The Maine DOE is seeking comments from the public on its annual application for federal funds under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which covers services to children with disabilities, ages 3-20.

     The application, which covers Maine fiscal year 2020 (starting July 1, 2019) is posted on the Maine DOE’s webpage at The Part B budget is projected on the basis of Maine’s award for the current State fiscal year (2019), pending the State’s receipt of the finalized federal award for the coming year. Both documents will be posted from February 22, 2019, through May 10, 2019.

Written comments will be accepted from March 1, 2019, until 4 p.m. on Friday, April 12, 2019. Please send comments to Ann Belanger at or 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME. 04333.

Annual state application under Part C of the individuals with disabilities education act as amended in 2004 federal fiscal year (ffy) 2019

Application 2019

Maine is seeking input on its federal grant application for the Part C (birth through two) early intervention program under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, known as IDEA. The Part C budget included in the application is for State Fiscal year 2020.

The public, including superintendents, special education directors, and Child Development Services Regional Site Directors are encouraged to review the application, which can be found at

Written comments will be accepted through April 4, 2019, and can be submitted to Roy Fowler, CDS State Director: 146 State House Station; Augusta, ME 04333 or via email at

Frequently Asked Questions in response to inquiries for clarification of

new IEP format. 

As per the dispatch dated September 26, 2018, the implementation of the new IEP form that incorporates Behavioral Health Day Treatment was delayed until January 1, 2019, to allow time to provide answers to questions received from the field.  Here are the questions and answers regarding this form change: (updated 12/19/2018) The new IEP format is now being used effective January 1, 2019.

The Department has compiled the following Frequently Asked Questions, in response to inquiries from the field for clarification regarding the new requirements for Individualized Education Programs (IEP) outlined in Administrative Letter # 17. The new requirements for IEPs outlined in Administrative Letter # 17 are based on a collaboration between the DOE Special Services Team and the Office of MaineCare Services Policy Division to ensure regulatory compliance for both agencies. For further information and guidance, refer to the Maine State Required Forms Procedural Manual. Please contact 624-6713 or email for additional questions.


Implementation of New IEP Form Effective January 1, 2019

Administrative Letter #17 announced an implementation date of October 1, 2018, for Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) designed to meet requirements for documenting certain services that are both educationally and medically necessary in accordance with both IDEA and Section 65 and Section 28 of the Maine Care Benefits Manual.

The Department of Education has continued to receive a number of questions from the field regarding this change. We are committed to giving the best answers possible and need time to continue the development of answers that are correct and timely. As a result, we will postpone the requirements of Administrative Letters #13 and #17 concerning IEP development to ensure that the field receives adequate support.

In our continuing goals of being responsive to the field, providing technical assistance, and generally supporting the development of quality IEPs regardless of pay sources, we have postponed the implementation of the new IEP form.

Answers to the questions will be published before implementation. The start date is January 1, 2019.

For further questions, contact the Maine Department of Education Office of Special Services at (207) 624-6713.

Find a Special Education Director