Massachusetts Special Education Regulations
603 CMR 28.00, In effect January, 2001
- By law, once a request for special education evaluation (core evaluation) has been made, the school has 5 school days to send you notice requesting your consent to test your child.
Initial evaluation, Re-evaluation:
603 CMR 28.04(1) Referral for Initial Evaluation. A student may be referred for an evaluation by a parent or any person in a caregiving or professional position concerned with the student's development.
(a) When a student is referred for an evaluation to determine eligibility for special education, the school district shall send written notice to the child's parent(s) within 5 school days of receipt of the referral.
- Once the school receives consent to be able to test your child, the school must complete the evaluation on your child within 30 school days.
603 CMR 28.05(1) . . . The evaluation assessments shall be completed within thirty (30) school working days after receipt of parental consent for evaluation. Summaries of such assessments shall be completed so as to ensure their availability to parents at least two (2) days prior to the Team meeting.
For evaluations being done close to the end of the school year:
603 CMR 28.05(1) . . . If consent is received within thirty (30) to forty-five (45) school working days before the end of the school year, the school district shall ensure that a Team meeting is scheduled so as to allow for the provision of a proposed IEP or written notice of the finding that the student is not eligible no later than fourteen (14) days after the end of the school year.
- Every 3 years or sooner if necessary, the school district shall, with parental consent, conduct a full three-year re-evaluation consistent with the requirement of federal law.
603 CMR 28.04(3) Annual reviews and three-year re-evaluations. The school district shall review the IEPs and the progress of each eligible student at least annually. Additionally, every three years, or sooner if necessary, the school district shall, with parental consent, conduct a full three-year re-evaluation consistent with the requirements of federal law.
- Evaluation Reports to be received before your Team meeting:
Call the school and ask for your child's evaluation written reports. By state regulation, summaries of the school evaluations must be available to parents AT LEAST, 2 days prior (48 hours) to your Team meeting.
- 603 CMR 28.05(1): . . . Summaries of such assessments shall be completed so as to ensure their availability to parents AT LEAST two (2) days prior to the Team meeting.
- IEP :
- From the time the school completes their evaluations to time you receive a copy of IEP, by law must be within 45 school days.
- Within the 45 school days, of parent's permission, an IEP meeting is to be held to determine eligibility and create the IEP (including specific placement).
- 603 CMR 28.05(1) Convening the Team. Within forty-five (45) school working days after receipt of the parent's written consent to an initial evaluation or reevaluation, the school district shall: provide an evaluation; convene a Team meeting to review the evaluation data, determine whether the student requires special education and, if required, develop an IEP in accordance with state and federal laws; and provide the parents with two (2) copies of the proposed IEP and proposed placement, except that the proposal of placement may be delayed according to the provisions of 603 CMR 28.06(2)(e);
Time factors Diagrams:
- Your child's IEP should be available immediately at the conclusion of the team meeting.
- Sped regulation 603 CMR 28.05(7) Parent response to proposed IEP and proposed placement. Immediately following the development of the IEP, and within 45 school working days after receipt of the parent's written consent to an initial evaluation or reevaluation, the district shall provide the parent with two (2) copies of the proposed IEP and proposed placement along with the required notice, except that the proposal of placement may be delayed according to the provisions of 603 CMR 28.06(2)(e) in a limited number of cases.
- The lastest memorandum reguarding timeline for IEP was issued from the Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE),by Marcia Mittnacht, State Director of Special Education, dated December 1, 2006, titled:
Guidance: Currently, most districts have the technology or resources that make it possible to present at least the key service components of an IEP to the parents as they leave the IEP development Team meeting. This is referred to as a "summary." At a minimum, this summary of the decisions and agreements reached during the Team meeting must include:
- (a) a completed IEP service delivery grid describing the types and amounts of special education and/or related services proposed by the district, and
- (b) a statement of the major goal areas associated with these services.
By providing parents with this summary at the conclusion of the Team meeting, in the Department's opinion the district has complied with the requirement to provide the parent with the key decisions and agreements immediately. The district may then take no more than two calendar weeks (this reflects the former ten (10) school working days standard) to prepare the complete IEP for the parent's signature and for the student's records (both home and school).
The role of the parent: The parent is under no obligation to wait to receive the complete IEP to begin considering whether to consent to the proposed IEP services and goals. We urge parents to begin their consideration while developing the IEP in the Team meeting, and to respond to the district's request for consent as soon as they are ready to do so. The district's delivery of a summary at the IEP meeting, and any additional time needed to deliver the complete IEP, does not delay the parent's right and opportunity to respond promptly to the proposed IEP.
(The original memorandum issued by Massachusetts Department of Education (DOE), Program Quality Assurance (PQA) department, on Timelines for Issuing IEPs, dated July 25, 2002
Stated: If you did not receive your child's IEP immediately after your team meeting, and for good reason, the IEP must be given to the parents within three (3) calendar days, (five (5) calendar days, if a weekend intervenes). In this case, as a placeholder, the parents must be given "a written summary of the decisions and agreements reached during the Team meeting" at the conclusion of the meeting.)
The IEP arrives:
- Once you have received you child's IEP in the mail (keep the envelope, that has the date stamped on it).
- You have 30 days to response to the school (30 days, even during the summer months and vacations).
603 CMR 28.05(7)
(a) No later than thirty (30) days after receipt of the proposed IEP and proposed placement, the parent shall:
1. Accept or reject the IEP in whole or in part;
(b) Upon parental response to the proposed IEP and proposed placement, the school district shall implement all accepted elements of the IEP without delay.
request a meeting to discuss the rejected portions of the IEP or the overall adequacy of the IEP;
or if mutually agreed upon, accept an amended proposal; and
2. Accept or reject the proposed placement.
- It is in your best interest to review the IEP and contact the team chair about any issues that you understood differently from the team meeting (refer to your notes, tape recording, or other team members).
- Changes can be made to the IEP as long as your response within the 30 days.
- After you receive the revised IEP you need to keep track of how many days it has been since you signed the consent for the initial evaluation or reevaluation. You now have up to the 45 school days since that date. This progress stops when the school district is not willing to make any more changes.
- When signing the IEP you can: accept, reject in part, reject OR postpone a decision until the completion of an independent evaluation (IEE). (This last option is no longer not printed on the IEP, but can be written in by you).
- If you reject in part or reject the whole IEP, it is suggested that you write on the "see attach Parent Addendum page" and attach a "Parent Addendum page" with your issues stated. (This is from The Complete IEP Guide : How to Advocate for Your Special Ed. Child book by L. Siegel, M. Stewart (1999), and also is suggested by Wrightslaws.
- It is best to write down all your concerns, make sure they are added to the IEP.
- If you sign and reject the IEP in part or reject the whole IEP, and you have a pervious IEP, then the last signed IEP is in effect (stayput).
603 CMR 28.05(7): Parent response to proposed IEP and proposed placement. Immediately following the development of the IEP, and within 45 school working days after receipt of the parent's written consent to an initial evaluation or reevaluation, the district shall provide the parent with two (2) copies of the proposed IEP and proposed placement along with the required notice, except that the proposal of placement may be delayed according to the provisions of 603 CMR 28.06(2)(e) in a limited number of cases.
- 603 CMR 28.04(5)(f): Within 10 ten school days (1-10 school days) from the time the school district receives the report of the independent evaluation, the Team must reconvene and consider the independent evaluation and whether a new or amended IEP is appropriate.
In the mean time:
Link to our law webpage, Massachusetts Special Education Regulations and Federal law - IDEA
- While your waiting for the date of your Team meeting:
- Gather samples of your child's school work, in your area of concern.
- Organize any outside letters and make summaries of your any reports you may have from outside professionals.
- Find someone who will come and take notes at your Team meeting.
- You are allowed to bring any number of people, that know your child to your team meeting.
- If you are bringing a lawyer the school does need to be notified prior to the meeting.