Educational Surrogate Parent Program (VESPP)

The federal law Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) and the Vermont state Special Education Rules and Regulations ensure that the educational rights of infants, toddlers and students are represented in the special education process. Parental involvement in planning a child’s special education program is required by both federal and state regulations. Surrogate parent volunteers fill the parental role in the special education process and represent students who are in state custody or whose parents are not known or cannot be located or unaccompanied homeless youth.

VESPP Regions

Barre   Bennington   Middlebury
Brattleboro   Burlington   Morrisville
Springfield   Hartford   Rutland
St Johnsbury   Newport   St Albans

VESPP Intake Form

This intake form is completed and faxed to VT-AOE when a student is in the custody of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) AND is eligible for special education (or in need of a special education evaluation) for children and youth ages Birth-21. This form is most often completed by DCF social workers. Staff from Children's Integrated Services (CIS) and school district/supervisory union staff may also complete this form.

Students Placed at Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center

The department and the Agency of Human Services/Department of Families and Children are working to improve the delivery of special education services to students who have been placed at Woodside Juvenile Rehabilitation Center (Woodside). Many students placed at Woodside are eligible for special education services or 504 accommodations and they must be afforded all of their rights under the law. Students with IEPs or 504 Plans who stay at Woodside for more than 10 days are entitled to receive appropriate special education services and/or accommodations and modifications. For questions, contact Ernest Wheeler.

Vermont Educational Surrogate Parent Program (VESPP) Brochure

This brochure provides a description of VESPP’s services and regional coordinator contact information needed to make a referral on behalf of a student who requires a surrogate parent.

Vermont State Board of Education Rules Related to Surrogate Parents

View pertinent sections of special education rule 2369.


Ernest Wheeler, Education Consultant, at or (802) 479-1252

Page Last Updated on June 9, 2016