SSPS:Articulation Procedures

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Articulation Procedures

Purpose

Articulation procedures promote an organized and efficient exchange of information between sending and receiving schools for students in exceptional student education (ESE), whom are articulating to elementary, middle, high schools, and transition settings. The procedures include: assignment of a primary contact person (i.e., designee) for each school, coordination and transfer of documentation, and special considerations.

2016-2017 Due Dates / Timeline for Articulation

  • Designation of articulation designee due to SSPS: Friday, March 10th
  • Student Articulation Forms due to receiving school: Friday, March 31st
  • Change of Placement Plans due to receiving school: Friday, March 31st
  • Update anniversary IEPs expiring before October 13, 2017: Friday, May 26th
  • Complete re-evaluations due prior to October 13, 2017: Friday, May 26th

Procedures

Selection of Designee

Administrators for sending and receiving schools shall select a Designee and send the designee’s name and email address to the Office for Student Support Programs and Services by completing the Articulation Designee Form. All schools will need both receiving and sending designees.

Sending School Responsibilities

The sending school must:

  • Verify the school zone (by addresses) for articulating students with data entry personnel. New schools, school boundaries and program feeder patterns may impact zoning.
  • Complete the Student Articulation Form listing articulating students for each receiving school, including recommendations for course delivery models. In cases where placement at a given school or program may be questionable, a school administrator from the sending school should initiate communication with the receiving school administrator to arrange for classroom observations and/or participation in IEP planning.
  • If the articulation includes a change to the student's Least Restrictive Environment, or if the student will be receiving a significant change in service delivery (e.g., a regular standards Social Behavior Communication Program to an Access Social Behavior Communication Program), schools must also complete a Change of Placement packet and follow the Change of Placement procedures. Those procedures are available on the OSSPS Change of Placement Procedures Wiki.
  • Provide School Nurse Input Form, if health care needs are identified.
  • Collect, organize, and send working/program folders for each student by the end of the school year to the receiving school designee.
  • For students with assistive technology (AT) needs, develop a plan in collaboration with the receiving school to ensure transfer or ordering of any AT devices or materials.
  • For students with indivdiually designed materials (e.g., picture schedules, social stories, visual communication materials) develop a plan in collaboration with the receiving school to ensure transfer or development of these materials.
  • For students with behavioral concerns, review and revise, if needed, the Functional Behavior Assessment/Behavior Intervention Plan (FBA/BIP) in collaboration with the receiving school.
  • Consider the need for special transportation to/from the new school and complete Special Needs Transportation Form (MIS #768)

Receiving School Responsibilities

The receiving school shall:

  • Distribute information to the case managers including a copy of the IEP, recommended delivery models, and any additional information sent from the sending school.

As a reminder, each student is assigned to an ESE case manager that is responsible for coordinating and monitoring students’ services, including:

  • Having access or developing documentation for IEP goals and accommodations
  • Having a thorough understanding of how each of the students on his/her assigned caseload is progressing and responding to instruction and support levels
  • Identifying essential information that directly impacts learning and developing methods for ongoing dialog with teachers and parents
  • Engaging in proactive planning that enhances student engagement in instruction
  • Building relationships with colleagues at feeder pattern schools as needed

General Considerations

Reflecting Differences in IEP Services

Transitioning between levels can present challenges when ESE service delivery models are structured differently. This is especially evident in the pre-k to kindergarten and 5th grade to 6th grade transitions. School teams are encouraged to create avenues for ongoing dialog between sending and receiving schools so that IEPs can reflect the team’s intentions and parents have a clear understanding of why the service model may change. For example, in some cases, the services page may have to reflect two sets of services (e.g. the current year in a self-contained prekindergarten and the following year in a general education kindergarten with ESE supports). If IEP teams are not sure of how to proceed, please contact the program supervisor for assistance. While the majority of students stay in feeder pattern groups, new students transferring into the county and student mobility may not provide opportunity for preparation. Teachers and case managers should have well documented data on student academic progress, IEP goals, observations, conference summaries, and other relevant information available for any student transferring in or out of county.

Supports/Services Needed to Transition

Receiving schools should consider supports that will need to be in place at the beginning of the next school year. In some cases, resources may have to be adjusted to assist students more frequently at the start of the school year. For example, the support facilitation level may need to be more frequent at the beginning of the school year until the student is acclimated to the new environment and routines.

Additionally, receiving schools must ensure that data entry revision forms are completed at the beginning of the school year to reflect changes in time with non-disabled peers or other differences in schedules.

Change of Placement

Change of Placement Plan forms are typically utilized for considering significant changes in educational environment (e.g., student transitioning from basic education into an ESE class placement or transitioning between ESE class placements e.g. Florida Standards to Access Points settings).

  • IEP teams may consider change of placement options at any time during the school year, however, to assist schools in planning for the following school year, IEP teams are encouraged to consider change of settings as early as possible.
  • To best coordinate effective communication, the Change of Placement Plan, should be submitted to the proposed ESE class placement by the established due date (see above) for students who wish to be considered for these programs at the beginning of the following school year.
  • The following forms can be accessed on the OSSPS Change of Placement Procedures Wiki
  • Request for ESE Support Form
  • Observation Summary Form
  • Change of Educational Environment Process
  • Change of Placement Plan

Pre-kindergarten Students Transitioning to Kindergarten

The BDI-2 exit assessments must be completed within the established test window (March 1st through April 29th). The assessment information will be helpful to IEP teams in determining supports needed for kindergarten.

For pre-k students who will be entering a general education classroom, the IEP team should set up a transition meeting with the parents/guardians and child's zoned school to ensure the IEP sufficiently captures the student's present level of performance, appropriate goals and level of special education and related services. The intent of this process is that all students leaving pre-k settings have a smooth transition from pre-k to kindergarten.

For pre-k students who are recommended for a self-contained setting for kindergarten, supporting data including Teaching Strategies GOLD and the BDI-2 assessment will be important. When scheduling with the receiving schools, be sure that they are scheduled after the BDI-2 assessments are completed. If multiple placements are being considered, the pre-k IEP team should begin holding meetings with potential schools in April to ensure that kindergarten placement decisions have been made prior to the end of the current school year.

The transition from pre-k to kindergarten can present additional challenges for students with behavioral needs or the need for high levels of adult supervision and support. These students should be carefully considered by the sending and receiving schools to determine the most appropriate placement. These students may need continued placement in an ESE setting. For students transitioning to an inclusive setting, behavior intervention plans and supervision plans must be reviewed and adapted to the new setting before the start of kindergarten.

Pre-k students who are articulating to kindergarten do not require a Change of Placement packet; however, the receiving schools should be part of the IEP process and a prior written notice must be provided to the parents describing the proposed change (e.g., pre-k VE to support facilitation, developmental pre-k to Access Curriculum Program, etc.).

For students in pre-k ESE programs, it is not a recommended practice to maintain kindergarten-age students in pre-k ESE classroom settings. If the school team feels there are extenuating circumstances to warrannt consideration for an extension in a pre-k ESE classroom, please contact Kelli Boles (ext. 42672 or kboles@pasco.k12.fl.us) for procedures.

Therapy Services

It is important for IEP teams to take into consideration the scheduling structure of the receiving school when making recommendations regarding the intensity of services to be provided at the next school level. For example, elementary schools will commonly recommend 60 minutes of speech-language therapy, whereas secondary schools will commonly recommend 50 minutes of therapy. The IEP team should consider the student’s progress and whether the service area(s) continue to be a priority educational need. Consider whether a difference of reducing 10 minutes of therapy outweighs the impact on missed core academic instruction. This occurs because students scheduled for 60 minutes would miss instruction from two classes each week, as opposed to missing just one class if scheduled for 50 minutes.

Transition Education

In addition to sending student information to the receiving transiton teacher, for students who will be graduating with a special diploma, information regarding appropriate transtion programs shall be provided to students and their parents and arrangements made for a visit and/or meeting.

Graduation Deferment

Graduation deferment requires careful coordination between schools. Students may defer graduation to participate in accelerated college credit instruction, industry certification courses that lead to college credit collegiate high school program, courses necessary to satisfy the Scholar designation requirements, or structured work-study, internship, or preapprenticeship program.

The IEP team would review the student’s qualifications to participate in the identified program and agree that the student needs this continuation of ESE services to transition to post-school outcomes. In cases where students are considering programs at other high schools or education centers, the IEP meeting must include representiatives from both the potential receiving school and sending school as well as a district representative. A plan including courses to be completed, time student will be on campus, and any additional logistical support should be developed if graduation deferment is recommended.

If a student is considering deferment, the school should contact their regional Compliance Specialist.

Off Campus Option Students

Schools should follow the same articulation procedures for H/HB students that they do for all ESE students, but it is extremely important to do this properly for H/HB students because they may not be visible on campus. Unless a sending school properly notifies the receiving school that the student is articulating, the receiving school may not even be aware that the student is H/HB, and may withdraw them for non-attendance when they do not show up on site in the fall. To ensure that there is no break in services, the student’s current administrator and case manager must work together to collaborate with the receiving school to make sure that the transition is smooth so that the student is set up for success.


It is the responsibility of the sending school’s administrator to contact the administrator at the receiving zoned or program school by the district articulation date for all students. Because service delivery for H/HB students differs between elementary, middle and high school depending on the student’s schedule, which directly correlates with the minutes of service provided in the home, it is imperative that a IEP meeting be held prior to the end of the school year. The administrator or designee of the sending school will contact the receiving school to invite them and any potential services providers to the IEP meeting, and provide the following information to prepare for the meeting:

  • Student name and contact information
  • Date of expiration of current medical report
  • Student course selection for the upcoming school year
  • Current schedule, service delivery model and actual minutes served
  • Current related services provided
  • Any other pertinent information regarding the family and student

The sending school nurse is responsible for mailing home a medical update and parent/student agreement if the current medical expires before August 30th of the upcoming school year. The contact information on the forms should include the receiving school nurse contact information.

If the student plans to reenter school because he/she will not continue to meet eligibility for H/HB, or his/her confinement level has changed, a reentry plan should be developed to ensure that the proper accommodations are provided and that all restrictions and limitations have discussed and shared with the new teachers and staff.

Transportation

A Special Needs Transportation Form (MIS #768) should be completed for each student who will need transportation for the upcoming school year. Sending schools must send completed forms to Transportation.

School Choice and Charter Schools

For students requesting School Choice to another public school in the district, proceed with the articulation process as if the student will be attending his/her zoned receiving school, unless the school choice request has been approved.

Children in pre-k ESE programs who wish to remain in the current school for kindergarten placement must re-apply for School Choice, if not at zoned school.

If a parent indicates that a student may attend a charter school, the IEP should still be developed because the IEP team remains accountable to develop a IEP as long as the student is enrolled in Pasco County Schools. If parents choose not to attend the IEP meeting, the team should still meet to develop the IEP so the charter school can determine whether it can be implemented.

Private Schools

If a parent indicates a student may attend a private school, proceed with the articulation process as if the student will be attending his/her zoned receiving school. The IEP team is still accountable to develop a IEP as long as the student is enrolled in Pasco County Schools. If the parent wants their child(ren) to receive ESE services whole enrolled at the private school, they must contact Glennda McCallister in the Office for Student Support Programs and Services at 813-794-2609. Once the request is made, a determination will be made for eligibility for services and a service plan will be developed according to district procedures.

Reevaluations

All formal reevaluations due through October FTE need to be completed prior to the end of this school year and sent to the receiving school as soon as possible. This includes students identified as Developmentally Delayed (DD) who will be turning six years of age. Every effort should be made to complete formal reevaluations before the articulation process begins. Special attention should be provided to students articulating to middle and high school levels who have not been formally reevaluated for several years. All reevaluation paperwork must be placed in the ESE Cumulative folder (red folder) for the receiving school.

Gifted Students

A separate memo was issued through the Office of Teaching and Learning for students enrolled in the gifted program.