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Special Education Resources for Special Educators and Administrators

Our resources are intended to help educators and administrators in Vermont understand and navigate legal expectations, access best practices and tips, and become more informed on current topics and issues in special education.

Technical Assistance and Professional Development

The Agency offers extensive Technical Assistance and Professional Development for Special Educators.

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

Act 173 also 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.

Adverse Effect

Historically determining whether a disability has an adverse effect on the child’s educational performance has been inconsistent and confusing to special education staff throughout the state. Criteria were developed through a collaboration of stakeholders, and the Agency of Education has developed training materials to represent those guidelines.

Agency of Education Co-teaching Application

An approved plan is necessary in order to comply with Vermont state special education rules and regulations to receive special education reimbursement for a co-teaching arrangement. Please direct inquiries to

Alternate Assessments

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.

The BEST Project

Building Effective Supports for Teaching (BEST) has provided training, coaching and technical assistance to supervisory unions and supervisory districts for several decades. The project provides support for educators to offer better support to students experiencing emotional or behavioral challenges. BEST provides support to schools based on a strategic plan and annual training calendar, with a goal to build statewide, regional and local capacity.

Determination of Eligibility: Specific Learning Disability

Essential Special Education Resources 

The Essential Special Education Resources document is designed to provide a basic suite of resources: laws, processes in the form of webinars, and documents in the Special Education Process.

Forms for Special Education

Programs that opt to use Vermont's special education forms will be evaluating children age three through 21 years of age to determine their eligibility for special education services. Users will also use the individualized education program (IEP) form to develop a document of appropriate services, if the child is eligible.

Functional Skills

Case Study - Wesley

Grant Funded Statewide Agencies 

Updates and News

Independent Schools Serving Special Education Students

Learn about independent schools serving special education students, including an application and a list of approved schools.

Indicator 11 Webinar


Levels of Evidence and Research Based Practices

The Levels of Evidence and Research-Based Practices guidance document is to support teams in considering the strength of evidence for particular practices being used in instruction and intervention, and to clarify the expectations related to research-based practices and special education eligibility.

Multilingual Learners

Case Study - Mateo

Restraint and Seclusion (Rule 4500)

The use of restraint and seclusion in schools is governed by Vermont State Board of Education Rule 4500. The purpose of State Board Rule 4500 is to create and maintain a positive and safe learning environment in schools, promote positive behavioral interventions and supports in schools, and ensure that students are not subjected to inapprporiate use of restraint or seclusion. The Agency of Education provides Rule 4500 guidance, reporting forms and Q&A.

Secondary Transition

  • Transition Goals Training (October 19, 2021): This training covers postsecondary goals, annual IEP transition goals, and transition services. Each of these three different aspects of an IEP transition plan are defined and examples are given for each so the participant can make distinctions between these three items.


  • Graduation Readiness Tool: The Vermont Graduation Readiness Tool is designed to address a long standing challenge for IEP teams in VT, which is, how to determine the graduation date for students with disabilities particularly students with developmental disabilities.

  • Implementing Transition Services During Remote Learning is a resource document which provides recommendations for the local-level provision of transition services during remote learning, with the goal of ensuring continued quality implementation of special education.
  • Indicator 13: Secondary Transition Training (Video): This training is a recording of the Indicator 13 training that VT AOE provided on October 20, 2020. This training provides a complete overview of Vermont's new IEP Post-Secondary Transition Plan Form and the suite of new tools designed to help Special Educators be in compliance with Indicator 13.
  • Secondary Transition Best Practices Self-Assessment - This video reviews a new tool available to LEAs. The tool helps LEAs self assess their own internal systems as they relate to the secondary transition. The tool lets LEAs see what areas they can address to improve their secondary transition systems.
  • Secondary Transition Best Practices Self Assessment Tool

Parent Resources

Severe Learning Discrepancy

The Severe Learning Discrepancy (SLD) software is to be used by Evaluation Planning Teams to determine whether the cognitive and achievement test scores for students suspected of having a specific learning disability meet the regulatory requirement of a 1.5 standard deviation gap between expected achievement levels and actual achievement levels. 

Please note: The Agency of Education is no longer supporting or updating this software.

Special Education Acronyms/Initialisms List

This is a list of acronyms of technical terms.

Vermont Alternate Assessment Selection Process and the Learner Characteristic Inventory

This training is designed as a high-level introduction on accessing the Learner Characteristic Inventory (LCI) and the test selection process. The LCI is the registration tool, and first step educators must take, in order to assign the VTAA to their student. This brief training is not intended to replace the comprehensive Alternate Test Administrator (ATA) certification course found on the Vermont Common Assessment Portal. All educators will need to complete the TA Certification Course to access the LCI and the ATA Certification Course to launch the VTAA.

Vermont Family Engagement Toolkit and Self-Assessment

The Vermont Family Engagement Toolkit and Self-Assessment was designed to be an easy-to-use, practical guide for educators seeking to develop and maintain growth of school, district, Supervisory Union (SU), or Supervisory District (SD) family engagement work, including for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). The Toolkit provides researched-based information, proven strategies, a Self-Assessment to reflect on your own practice, and links to additional tools that can be customized to SU, district and school needs.

Family Engagement for Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team Members: Ensuring Meaningful Participation by Families: This resource provides strategies for Individualized Education Program Team members to consider to develop a more comprehensive approach to family engagement for families of children with disabilities. These strategies may also support school or district family engagement efforts. The strategies are organized by Family Engagement Core Principles and align with the Family Engagement Toolkit and Self-Assessment.

Waiver: Special Education/Independent School Waiver Request

LEA-placed students in independent schools MUST be approved for ALL disability categories in which the student has been identified. The Secretary may permit, in exceptional circumstances, a special education placement in an independent school that is not approved for ALL of a student’s disabilities. The LEA is required to complete the Special Education/Independent School Waiver Request for the Secretary consider approving a waiver request. A team of four (representing legal, interagency, independent schools and special education) review the waiver requests and provide recommendations to the Secretary of Education. Any approved waiver is only good for the current school year. 

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