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General Supervision and Monitoring System

The General Supervision and Monitoring System (GSMS) is the Vermont Agency of Education’s (AOE) approach for monitoring, documenting, and enforcing accountability of the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The GSMS ensures continuous improvement, resulting in improved educational and functional outcomes for all children with disabilities ages 3 through 21, and that each Local Education Agency (LEA) responsible for educating children with disabilities meets IDEA program requirements.  

Section List 

Special Education Program Monitoring  

The State of Vermont Agency of Education holds that coordinated efforts across the education system are necessary to achieve a positive effect on the school and life trajectory of students with disabilities. The goal for Vermont’s differentiated monitoring process for students with disabilities (age 3-21) is to determine areas of an LEA’s special education program which require strengthening, adjustment, and/or correction in fiscal and program management, and to ensure that students in each LEA receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).    

To learn more about Special Education Program Monitoring, please see the Special Education Program Monitoring System Guide

Monitoring Cohorts and LEA Status by Year 

The Special Education Program Monitoring Team reviews submissions from LEAs over a three-year rotational cycle. Special education program monitoring activities are described in detail in their respective monitoring protocol(s) found in the section below titled Technical Assistance and Support. AOE reviews are conducted February through June with LEA notifications/close-outs disseminated during the summer months.  

On-Site Monitoring Reports 

Long Standing Non-Compliance 

According to OSEP QA 23-01, a state educational agency (SEA) ensures that Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) correct each case of non-compliance, unless the child is no longer within the jurisdiction of the LEA. If non-compliance is observed, regardless of the level, the SEA notifies the LEA, in writing, of both the non-compliance and of the requirement to correct it as soon as possible, in no case later than one year from the initial finding(s).

LEA Special Education Determinations (LSED) 

LEA Special Education Determinations (LSEDs) occur separately and in parallel to Cyclic, Selective, and Targeted Monitoring. To learn more about the differences and similarities, please see the respective sections in the Special Education Program Monitoring System Guide, including the comparison chart found in Appendix A. 

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) requires states to make annual determinations on the performance of each LEA in implementing the requirements and purposes of IDEA, with regard to the provision of special education and related services. Determinations are a way of designating the status of LEAs into one of four categories as outlined in federal regulations. These categories are: 

  • Meets Requirements 
  • Needs Assistance 
  • Needs Intervention 
  • Needs Substantial Intervention 

Determination levels for LEAs are based on total points awarded with the determination levels guiding the type and intensity of the technical assistance provided to LEAs. Based upon the LSED status, LEAs can expect a variety of monitoring activities. 

Determinations for school years 2005-2017 may be obtained by completing a data request form

Technical Assistance and Support 

The Special Education Program Monitoring Team employs a flipped classroom approach to ensure all LEAs receive the most effective, efficient, and individualized support possible. This approach is successful when LEAs build their foundational knowledge by utilizing the online resources we have developed, so we can then use our time meeting together to answer any questions not already covered. We thank Vermont’s LEAs for joining us in this learning opportunity. 

The Student Support Services division of the Agency of Education is available to provide individualized support differentiated by topic: 

Additionally, the Student Support Services Division’s Technical Assistance and Professional Development Team provides an extensive library of resources and contact information for technical assistance

Globalscape EFT 

Cyclic, Selective, and Targeted Monitoring Resources 

Initial Evaluations, Annual Date Reviews, and Triennial Evaluations Resources 

For questions pertaining to Indicator 11 (initial evaluations), Annual Date Reviews, Triennial Reevaluations, please contact Cassie Santo at your earliest convenience. 

Transition Plans and Summaries of Performance Resources 

For questions pertaining to Indicator 13 (transition plans) and Summaries of Performance, please contact John Spinney at your earliest convenience. 

Special Education, Special Education Evaluation, and Discipline Policy Resources 

Guidance Documents 

Vermont General Supervision System for Special Education 

The GSMS for students ages 3 through 21 focuses on: 

  1.  A coherent system for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) which seamlessly integrates LEA Special Education Determinations with monitoring and support activities used to make those determinations. 
  2. A strong focus on results (in addition to compliance) as a source of support and technical assistance for LEAs. 
  3. Coordination with existing agency structures, processes and protocols to avoid adding new or additional structures, and where possible to reduce burden and duplication at the state and local level. 
  4. Vermont’s GSMS is aligned with the five (5) domains outlined in the Vermont State Plan and utilizes data sets produced from multiple state initiatives to provide differentiated support and technical assistance to ensure that each and every Vermont student is receiving a free and appropriate education (FAPE) as defined in IDEA. 

Components of GSMS 

The 8 components of GSMS are: 

  1. The State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR) which measures state/local progress on 17 specific indicators. This serves as the primary accountability mechanism for states and LEAs. 
  2. Policies, procedures, and effective implementation that are aligned and supportive of the implementation of IDEA. 
  3. Data processes and results that are used for decision making about program management and continuous improvement efforts. 
  4. Targeted technical assistance and professional development are directly connected to the SPP/APR and can vary from minimal to substantial intervention. All technical assistance and improvement activities are based on SEA priorities, i.e., State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). 
  5. Effective dispute resolution integrated to inform monitoring activities, and to determine stakeholder understanding/barriers to improving student outcomes. 
  6. Integrated monitoring activities selected to ensure continuous examination of performance for compliance and results. 
  7. Improvement, correction, incentives and sanctions are intended to improve educational results and functional outcomes for each and every Vermont child/student with a disability. 
  8. Fiscal management and accountability for each and every student (ages 3 through 21) includes a review of fiscal resources to ensure funds are being used in accordance with federal and state requirements. 

Annual Performance Report Indicators 

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) require states to use the indicator targets established in the State Performance Plan (SPP)/Annual Performance Report (APR) under 34 CFR §300.601 and the priority areas described in 34 CFR §300.600(d) to analyze the performance of each LEA. The annual targets for state improvement are set periodically by stakeholder groups and the IDEA B State Advisory Panel. The indicators used in the SPP/APR measure both compliance and results in the areas of graduation and dropout rates, statewide assessment (participation and proficiency), suspension/expulsion, least restrictive environment/placement, parent involvement, child find (including disproportionate representation by race/ethnicity that is the result of inappropriate identification), early childhood environments and outcomes, transition services (Part C to B, Post-secondary, and secondary), dispute resolution, as well as Vermont’s progress towards improving outcomes for students through the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). 

Contact the Vermont Special Education Program Monitoring Team 

Tristan McNamara, MA, Ed.D., Program Manager  
Simona Kragh, MA, MA, Ph.D., Monitoring Coordinator  

Any emails pertaining to Special Education Program Monitoring must be addressed to, so we may provide accurate and timely support. Emails sent to individual team members may encounter a delay in response. ​​