SSPS:Matrix of Services
The Matrix of Services is the document developed by the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Bureau of Exceptional Education, and Student Services (BEESS) that is used to determine the cost factor for selected exceptional education students. In the matrix, five domains are used to group the types of services. Within those five domains, five levels are used to describe the nature and intensity of specific services. The total number of points that are determined by adding together the scores for each domain and applicable special considerations points, results in a rating of Support Level 1 (251), Support Level 2 (252), Support Level 3 (253), Support Level 4 (254) or Support Level 5 (255). Section 1011.62(1)(e), F.S., states “In order to generate funds using one of the two weighted cost factors, a matrix of services must be completed at the time of the student’s initial placement into an exceptional student education program and at least once every 3 years by personnel who have received approved training.”
Students Who Require a Matrix
A Matrix of Services is completed using information found in the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) by an individual or group of individuals familiar with the student. It should reflect the special services to be provided to the student as documented by the IEP team. For all exceptional education students at Support Levels 4 and 5 (254–255), a new matrix must be completed at initial placement and at least once every three years thereafter. Additionally, districts must ensure that matrixes reflect current services. If services change as a result of an IEP team decision, a new matrix must be completed.
In addition to students at Support Levels 4 and 5, matrixes must also be completed by compliance staff for students receiving a McKay Scholarship.
IEP Drives Matrix Ratings
The matrix is completed based upon the decisions made by the IEP team. Federal and State regulations require that the special educational services provided to exceptional students be determined by the IEP team. Because the IEP team determines the services a student will receive, the services checked on the matrix must be based on information contained in a student’s IEP. There is no requirement that the full IEP team be present for completion of the matrix. The services identified on the IEP and subsequently checked on the matrix must be based on individual needs resulting from a student’s disability and may not simply reflect services offered to all students in a particular class or program. The services checked on the matrix must be based on the special education and related services identified on the IEP. Services cannot be checked on the matrix that have not been documented on the IEP. Documentation to support the special education and related services identified on the IEP means that the student’s need for those services is identified through various components of the IEP.