Special Education

The agency's special education consultants provide technical assistance to schools and other organizations to help ensure that schools understand and comply with federal and state laws and regulations related to providing special education services. In addition, the special education division offers a due process procedure to parents who have concerns about the services offered to their children.

Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, Vermont is required to identify and evaluate students who have disabilities and to offer them individualized education programs (IEP) for special education and related services. Decisions regarding the services that are included in an IEP are made by a team using a process specified in the law. An IEP team includes a student's classroom teacher, special educator, parent(s) and a representative of the school district who is empowered to commit resources such as staff time or funding. By law, schools are required to carry out provisions outlined in a student's IEP.

Links To Currently Available Information

Newly Adopted Special Education Rules of 2013 

OSEP Maintenance of Effort Requirements for FY 2014-2015

Vermont Council of Special Education Administrators 2014 Awards Nominations

Educational Support Services (ESS) Survey – SY 2012 2013

US Department of Education: Equitable Services Implementation Plan

MEMO: Admissions and Enrollment Processes for Students with Disabilities

The purpose of this memo is to clarify the role of Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams for students who are eligible for special education and related services ("special education") under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Parents' Rights in Special Education: Procedural Safeguards Notice

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide parents of a child with a disability with a notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under the IDEA and Vermont Agency of Education Special Education regulations. This information is provided in the following languages:

Special Education Field Memo #10-01: Changes for Students Receiving Special Education Services in the High School Completion Program (HSCP) (Act 44 of 2009)

Act 44 of 2009 changed enrollment requirements for students who participate in the HSCP. Prior to this legislation, only students who were no longer enrolled in high school were eligible to participate. As a result of Act 44, students can be dually enrolled in their local high school and the HSCP. This change has raised questions about how this will affect students receiving special education. This document contains guidance on the process to follow when students eligible for special education are considering participation in the HSCP.

Report Card for Special Education Students in DCF Custody

The department needs assistance in support of Vermont DCF Family Services Policy 151 (Educational Issues for Children in Custody) which states: "To assist in ensuring the stability of educational services for children in DCF custody, DCF workers are now required to obtain report cards and attendance information for all children in DCF custody." The Agency of Education requests that schools provide copies of the final report card for each student in custody who is either in special education or being evaluated for special education as soon as possible after the current school year.

Vermont Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (VTPBiS)

VTPBiS can best be described as a systems approach to academic achievement and social competence for all children. VTPBiS is not a model, but a compilation of research based practices, interventions and systems integrated to improve the educational experience of all students, including those with disabilities.

Governing Councils

These federally mandated councils advise the Department of health and Agency of Education to ensure that the needs of children (birth through 21) with disabilities are met.

Vermont Higher Education Collaborative for Education Workforce Development (VT-HEC)

The VT-HEC was formed in 2000 as part of Act 117. It is the joint work of the Vermont Agency of Education, the Vermont State Colleges and the University of Vermont. The VT-HEC, along with Vermont school districts and other education related organizations, are working together in new ways to make quality preparation, development and support programs accessible to educators and educators-to-be in all parts of Vermont.

Contact Information

Inquiries About Services for a Specific Child
Questions about a specific child who is receiving special education services are best directed to the Special Education Assistance Line. On this line, a caller may leave a voice mail message for a return call from a special education consultant; calls are usually returned within one business day. Reach the TA line at (802) 479-1255.

To ensure confidentiality, special education consultants do not correspond via e-mail about specific children who are receiving special education services.

Page Last Updated on December 15, 2014