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Special Education Recent Guidance, News and Events

What’s New? Please refer to this webpage for new guidance, news and events from the Special Education Team concerning Vermont special education.

Special Education Technical Assistance is available through the general email ( and voicemail system (802-828-1256). Communications are monitored regularly during business hours and a response is generally provided within 24-48 hours.

Please fill out this Special Education Professional Development Request Form to make a request for professional development from the special education team. Requests will be forwarded to the program manager for review. Our goal is to provide targeted support statewide and submitting a request form will help the team prioritize topics, mediums and locations for professional learning. Please note that the team may not be able to fulfill all requests.

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Recent Guidance



Special Education Archive

Quick Links to Other Special Education Webpages

Recent Guidance

Vermont Special Education Guidance

This section contains information and guidance specific to Vermont schools and Supervisory Unions/Supervisory Districts (SU/SDs).

Special Education – Rule Changes

Act 173 required a revision to the Special Education Rules scheduled to take effect in July of 2022. For a calendar of events, guidance, tools, and other supports for the implementation of the rule changes please visit the Special Education Rule Changes page.

Below are State Board Rules as downloaded from the official versions posted by the Secretary of State on Lexis-Nexis. These documents were reformatted in a standard PDF format.

Act 173

Act 173 of 2018 is an act relating to enhancing the effectiveness, availability and equity of services provided to students who require additional support. The Agency of Education is integrating procedures and processes in order to support the field to adapt and adopt the systemic changes necessary to respond to the act. Learn more on the Agency of Education Act 173 webpage

Educational Support Teams in School District Systems: Act 173 Technical Guidance (10/23/2019)

Act 173 Technical Guidance: Developing Systems to Support the Success of All Students (8/26/2019)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Vermont’s State Performance Plan and Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) (Video) (10/2020)

IDEA 101 Subgrantee Programmatic Consideration (Video) 

This video covers considerations for IDEA Subgrantee Applications, specifically programmatic activities, work plans, and requirements concerning IDEA Basic/PreK Budgets, Proportionate Share, Coordinated Early Intervention Services, and Comprehensive Coordinated Early Intervention Services. Presentation Slides


Memo: Accounting for Certain Special Education Expenses (11/1/2019)

Archive: TA Tuesdays

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)


Return to School Roadmap: Development and Implementation of the IEP in the LRE (9/30/21)

Return to School Roadmap: Child Find (8/24/21)

Long COVID under Section 504 and the IDEA (7/21)

New Questions and Answers on NIMAS/NIMAC requirements

IDEA Part B ARP Fact Sheet

The National Center on Intensive Intervention (NCII) in partnership with the PROGRESS Center has launched a learning module library that houses self-paced learning modules intended to build knowledge around intensive intervention. NCII has released and revised three modules that provide an introduction to intensive intervention, define the five steps of the DBI process, and provide an overview of the Taxonomy of Intervention Intensity. In addition to the module, users can find related resources and earn a course completion certificate.

Choosing and Creating Accessible Grade-Level Texts for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities in Inclusive Classrooms

The TIES Center has published two new TIPs to assist general and special educators in choosing and creating accessible grade-level texts for use in inclusive classrooms. The two TIPs include:

Special Education State of the State Reports

Vermont’s Special Education State Director reports out state and federal requirement and updates, deadlines, upcoming and ongoing progress in special education in Vermont.

Special Education Nuggets Monthly Newsletter (Communication from SEA to LEA)

Alternate Assessment

All publicly funded students with significant disabilities (SWSD) enrolled in grades 3 through 9 are required to participate in a statewide assessment for reading and math. All publicly funded students in grades 5, 8, and 11 are assessed in science. Students who cannot participate in the general assessment with accommodations may be eligible to take an alternate assessment.

Alternate Assessment DA (ADA) – Cannot edit student demographic information. Please work together to make sure all are trained and ready to administer the assessments in the spring.

Smarter Balanced, Alternate Assessments (VTAA), Science Assessment (VTSA) and the English Language Proficiency (ELP) Testing will return to pre-COVID status. Testing will go on “as normal” for 2022. No COVID codes to report in 2022.

Vermont PE Assessment (VTPEA) will not be administered for safety and close contact reasons. Instruction should go on as normal. Please contact your PE or Adaptive PE educators on site for more information.

Medical exemptions will be managed by Linda Moreno this year. Submission link remains the same.

As part of the Peer Review Process and required documentation, the page of the IEP that contains testing accommodations may need to be submitted to the AOE for review. This request will come in the spring as we begin to go into the field to observe testing. Collection is limited, so not everyone will be required to submit.

Please register to receive the assessment newsletter to stay up to date on changes in policy and procedures throughout the year. ANYONE, regardless of job title, can sign up to receive the newsletter directly. It is not a controlled listserv, but rather an opt-in means of communication.

Requests for Data

Periodically, members of the public may find that they have additional needs for state education data that are not met by the existing reports (see above). We have provided two mechanisms by which the public may apply for accessing such data. Data Request Form should be used to make simple, non-research data requests. (Examples: media story, simple fact-checking.). Research Request Application should be used to make research data requests. The completed application is necessary in order for AOE to review the purpose of the research, specific data involved, and level of AOE staff time and effort needed to complete the request. It is also necessary to determine whether the research request is in line with the AOE’s analytic priorities. All research requests require pending or received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval before they can be reviewed.

COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Schools

COVID-19 Information for Vermont Schools

Vermonters can find the most up-to-date and complete information on state and nationwide COVID-19 response, including information direct from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on the Vermont Department of Health's COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 Federal Emergency Funding Overview for Special Education Directors (Video) (3/10/2021), Presentation Slides

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American Rescue Plan (ARP) Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

On July 1, 2021 the U.S. Department of Education released more than $3 billion in American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to states to support infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities through a separate supplement to Part B and Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Target Setting for the State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) requires each state to have in place a State Performance Plan (SPP). This plan describes and evaluates the state’s efforts to implement the requirements of the IDEA Part B. The SPP includes annual targets for 17 indicators identified by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). The SPP/APRs include indicators that measure child and family outcomes and other indicators that measure compliance with the requirements of the IDEA. A state is required to submit a state performance plan (SPP) at least every six years. Each year, states must report against the targets in its SPP in an annual performance report (APR).

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Agency of Education Calendar of Events

Upcoming Special Education Advisory Panel Committee Meetings

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that each state establish and maintain an advisory panel for the purpose of advising the State special education staff regarding the education of eligible children with disabilities.

Vermont PBIS

Vermont Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (VTPBIS) is a state-wide effort designed to help school teams form a proactive, school-wide, systems approach to improving social and academic competence for all students.

Public Comment

From time to time the Agency seeks comment from the public on documents, plans and reports on special education in Vermont. Such documents will be available on the webpage and comments can be submitted to

View past items whose public comment period has closed.

Special Education Archive

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) (8/24/2021)

News, Events and Updates from the Office of the Assistant Secretary: New Guidance Reaffirms Importance of Full Implementation of IDEA Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) sent a letter to its state and local partners reiterating its commitment to ensuring children with disabilities and their families have successful early intervention and educational experiences in the 2021–2022 school year.

This letter outlines a series of question and answers (Q&As) as children and students return to in-person learning. The Q&As focus on topics to help ensure that - regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic or the mode of instruction - children with disabilities receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and that infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families receive early intervention services.  

The Q&As document on Child Find Under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is the first Q&A in the series and reaffirms the importance of appropriate implementation of IDEA’s child find obligations, which requires the identification, location and evaluation, of all children with disabilities in the states. An effective child find system is an ongoing part of each state’s responsibility to ensure that FAPE is made available to all eligible children with disabilities.

Quick Links to Other Special Education Webpages

Early Childhood Special Education Services


General Supervision and Monitoring System

Resources for Families

Resources for Special Educators and Administrators

Special Education Advisory Panel

Special Education Data and Reporting

Special Education Forms

State and Federal Laws and Requirements

State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP)

Technical Assistance Requests and Professional Development

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