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Special Education Monitoring, Compliance, and Reports

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Part B Monitoring and Compliance

To support students with disabilities in the District of Columbia, Office of the Superintendent of Education (OSSE) monitors local education agencies (LEAs) and their special education policies, practices and procedures to ensure they are following state and federal guidelines pertaining to special education. As the state education agency, OSSE conducts annual monitoring activities of LEAs’ implementation of Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under IDEA. Monitoring may include a variety of activities including student record reviews, database reviews and onsite visits and may result in the issuance of findings of noncompliance. OSSE provides universal and targeted technical assistance to support correction of noncompliance, address areas of systemic noncompliance, and support capacity building with individual LEAs.

OSSE has authority under both federal and local law to establish, operate and maintain an administrative process to ensure compliance with IDEA. Under IDEA, all states are responsible for the implementation of a General Supervision System for the District which includes monitoring the implementation of the IDEA Part B and its accompanying regulations.

Early Childhood Special Education: IDEA Part B - Student Ages 3-to-5 Years Old

Child Find

Child Find is a set of policies, procedures and public awareness activities designed to locate, identify and evaluate children who may require special education and related services.

Also referred to as DL Subclass 1

For additional information:

Initial Evaluation Timeliness

Consistent with the consent requirements, either a parent of a child, school staff, public agency or medical provider may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability. LEAs must make reasonable efforts to obtain parental consent within 30 calendar days of referral. The individualized education program (IEP) team must make an eligibility determination within 60 calendar days of receipt of parental consent.

LEAs that serve students ages 3-5 in the District are responsible for the following for initial evaluation timeliness:

  • Documenting a referral in the Special Education Data System (SEDS)
  • Beginning reasonable efforts to obtain consent to evaluate within 10 days of receipt of referral
  • Completing reasonable efforts to obtain consent to evaluate within 30 days of referral
  • Completing initial eligibility determination within 60 days after consent to evaluate is obtained

Also referred to as DL Subclass 3

For additional information:

C to B Transition Timeliness

Under the IDEA, LEAs shall ensure a smooth and effective transition of children from IDEA Part C early intervention services to IDEA Part B preschool special education and related services.

LEAs that serve students ages 3-5 in the District are responsible for the following for C to B Transition Timeliness:

  • Participating in transition planning conferences, as appropriate
  • Finalizing an IEP by a child’s third birthday
  • Providing all related services within 14 days of IEP completion
  • Providing and tracking initial provision of specialized instruction on the child’s third birthday

Also referred to as: SPP/APR Indicator 12, DL Subclass 4

For additional information:

Child Outcomes Summary (COS)

The Child Outcomes Summary (COS) is a process used to measure the overall effectiveness of special education programs and services for pre-school age children, as determined by OSSE and the US Department of Education, Office of Specialized Educational Programs (OSEP). Child outcomes measured include: 1) positive social-emotional skills, 2) acquisition and use of knowledge and skills, and 3) use of appropriate behaviors to meet their needs.

LEAs that serve students ages 3-5 in the District are responsible for the following for Child Outcomes Summary (COS):

  • Collecting data on a child’s functional skills at the beginning and the end of the child’s preschool special education programming.
  • Monitoring progress of child’s functional skills throughout their preschool special education programming.
  • Assembling a team familiar with the child to discuss and determine progress made.
  • Recording entry and exit scores in data system in accordance with required timelines.

Also referred to as: SPP/APR Indicator 7

For additional information:

Equity Requirements under IDEA

Aimed at promoting equity by targeting disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities, equity regulations address a number of issues related to LEAs policies, procedures and practices in the area of identification, placement and discipline.

Also referred to as:

Significant Disproportionality, Disproportionate Representation, and Significant Discrepancy

For additional information:

Risk-Based Monitoring

Consolidated Risk-Based Monitoring is the process OSSE uses to assess the implementation of federal and local grant requirements by subrecipients. OSSE’s goal for the K-12 monitoring reviews is to ensure that subrecipients meet the requirements of federal and local laws and regulations.

For additional information:

IDEA Part B (Students ages 6-22)

Initial Evaluation Timeliness

Consistent with the consent requirements under IDEA, either a parent of a child, school staff, public agency or medical provider may initiate a request for an initial evaluation to determine if the child is a child with a disability. LEAs must make reasonable efforts to obtain parental consent within 30 calendar days of referral. The IEP team must make an eligibility determination within 60 calendar days of receipt of parental consent.

LEAs that serve students ages 6-22 in the District are responsible for the following for initial evaluation timeliness:

  • Documenting a referral in SEDS.
  • Beginning reasonable efforts to obtain consent to evaluate within 10 days of receipt of referral.
  • Completing reasonable efforts to obtain consent to evaluate within 30 days of referral.
  • Completing initial eligibility determination within 60 days after consent to evaluate is obtained.

Also referred to as: SPP/APR Indicator 11

For additional Information:

Equity Requirements under IDEA

Aimed at promoting equity by targeting disparities in the treatment of students of color with disabilities, equity regulations address a number of issues related to LEAs policies, procedures and practices in the area of identification, placement and discipline.

Also referred to as:

Significant Disproportionality, Significant Discrepancy (SPP/APR Indicator4), Disproportionate Representation (SPP/APR indicator 9 and 10)

For additional information:

Reevaluation Timeliness

Defined as an evaluation conducted after the initial evaluation, reevaluation must occur at least once every three years, and may occur more frequently if conditions warrant or if the child’s parent or teacher requests a reevaluation.

LEAs that serve students ages 6-22 in the District are responsible for the following for reevaluation timeliness requirements:

  • Completing reasonable efforts to obtain consent to evaluate.
  • Holding a reevaluation meeting within three years of the date the previous initial evaluation or reevaluation was completed.

Also Referred to: Triennial Eligibility Review

For additional information:

Secondary Transition Requirements

Transition services are a coordinated set of activities designed to facilitate a student’s movement from school to post-school activities and are based on the student’s needs, strengths, preferences and interests.

LEAs that serve students ages 6 22 in the District are responsible for the following for secondary transition requirements:

  • Ensuring all students, by their 14th birthday have a current transition plan in effect.

Also referred to as: APR Indicator 13

For additional information:

Local and Federal Monitoring and Reporting Requirements

District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR)

Local regulations governing the provision of special education and related services to children with disabilities is found in Title 5 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations. Regulations governing services provided in District of Columbia Public Schools and charter schools are found in Subtitle E, Title 5, Chapter 30 (5 DCMR §E-3000-3033), Special Education Policy DCMR Title 5, Chapter 30, Section 3000 – 3033

For additional information:

D.L. v. District of Columbia Reporting

Originally initiated in 2005, D.L. v. District of Columbia relates to the alleged failure of the District to identify and serve 3 to 5-year-old children with disabilities, including children transitioning from early intervention services provided in accordance with Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to special education and related services in accordance with IDEA Part B.

For additional information:

Specific Conditions Reporting

On July 1, 2021, OSEP issued a letter informing OSSE that the US Department of Education has designated the District of Columbia as a “high risk” grantee and has imposed Special Conditions on DC’s federal fiscal year 2020 (FFY20) grant awards under IDEA. OSEP imposed Specific Conditions based on the District of Columbia’s continued noncompliance in the following areas: timely reevaluations and secondary transition requirements.

For additional information:

State Performance Plan/Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR)

The Department of Education requires each state to submit and annually report on a State Performance Plan (SPP). Annual Performance Report (APR) evaluates the District’s efforts to implement the requirements and purposes of IDEA.

Databases and Resources

District of Columbia Corrective Action Tracking System (DC CATS)

District of Columbia Corrective Action Tracking System (DC CATS) is a web-based tracking system used to support the IDEA compliance monitoring for LEAs. LEAs and nonpublic schools are required to log into DC CATS to receive and review compliance reports and to document all corrections of noncompliance.

For additional information:

Additional Resources

For any questions related to IDEA part B monitoring and compliance, please contact Karen Morgan-Donaldson at [email protected].