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Divisions
Divisions > Special Education and Early Intervention
Overview
  

Division of Special Education/
Early Intervention Services
 

The Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services provides leadership, support and accountability for results to local school systems, public agencies and stakeholders through a seamless, comprehensive system of coordinated services to children and students with disabilities, birth through 21, and their families.

The Division has the major Department responsibilities for programs and services related to infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and youth with disabilities and their families. These programs include: early intervention, preschool special education, and special education (birth through 21), nonpublic schools, the Infant Hearing Aid Loan Program, Medical Assistance for school-health related services, Maryland's Autism Waiver and related autism programs and interagency mental health initiatives. In addition, the Division is the lead for the Interagency Rate Setting Committee for group home rate setting, the lead for the Children's Cabinet and serves as the fiscal agent for the Children's Cabinet Interagency Fund and Home Visiting Programs.

Office of the Assistant State Superintendent
The Assistant State Superintendent provides overall leadership, support and accountability for results to local school systems, public agencies and stakeholders through a seamless, comprehensive system of coordinated services to children and students with disabilities, birth through 21, and their families, including general oversight and supervision, data management, legislative activities, special projects and fiscal accountability in accordance with State and federal statutes and regulations.

Policy and Accountability Branch
The Policy and Accountability Branch assists local lead agencies, local school systems, and public agencies in the development, revision, and implementation of policies, procedures, and practices for the provision of early intervention services and special education and related services, as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR). The Branch fulfills the role of federal liaison to the Office Of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for Part C and Part B of the IDEA.  It is the Branch’s responsibility to lead the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program (MITP), to manage the Part C and Part B database systems, and to develop Statewide resource documents, guidelines, and technical assistance materials.  The Branch coordinates cross-divisional teams, the State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC), the Special Education State Advisory Committee (SESAC),and other stakeholders to develop and submit federal Part C and Part B 618 data, and the Part C and the Part B State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR) to the OSEP.  The Branch is charged with aligning Part C and Part B general supervision and oversight responsibilities by developing and implementing a data-informed, differentiated, birth through 21 monitoring system focused on results driven accountability.

Family Support and Dispute Resolution Branch
The Family Support and Dispute Resolution Branch fosters family engagement and positive family/system partnerships through the provision of technical assistance and support to a statewide network of family support specialists serving families of children with disabilities. The Branch facilitates informal dispute resolution by responding to parent inquiries, assisting parents with navigating Maryland's early intervention and special education systems, and connecting parents with community resources and local personnel who can assist with concerns. Additionally, the Branch ensures the dispute resolution processes under the IDEA are available and conducted in accordance with all requirements. Staff investigate and resolve formal State complaints filed by individuals and organizations that allege violations of State and federal requirements regarding the education of students with disabilities and maintains data and reports on the dispute resolution processes, including complaint investigations, mediations, and due process hearings.

Interagency Collaboration Branch
The Interagency Collaboration Branch coordinates multiple service initiatives for children and students, ages birth through 21, in collaboration with Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Department of Disabilities, Department of Human Resources/Department of Social Services, and Department of Juvenile Services. The Branch implements and manages the Medicaid Autism Waiver for 1000 children receiving services in their home and community. Staff provide monitoring of reimbursement for Medicaid school-based services and technical assistance to local school systems, local infants and toddlers programs, special education nonpublic schools and other agencies providing school based services to children with disabilities. The Branch is the lead for state interagency rate setting for residential child care.

Programmatic Support and Technical Assistance Branch
The Programmatic Support and Technical Assistance Branch focuses on building the capacity of local school systems, public agencies, and institutions of higher education, to narrow the performance gap and enable all students with disabilities to exit education career and college ready. The Branch works collaboratively with other Divisions within the Maryland State Department of Education to improve performance on statewide accountability measures and achievement of the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum Standards. Differentiated program support and technical assistance is provided based on State and local needs related to implementing a high quality, seamless, evidence-based early childhood intervention and special education system of services, birth through 21. The Branch facilitates data informed systematic planning, implementation, and evaluation of evidenced-based professional development to enhance the quality of instructional practices including assessment, instruction, interventions, accommodations, modifications, and family engagement.

Resource Management and Monitoring Branch
The Resource Management and Monitoring Branch ensures effective procurement, use, and oversight of Division resources. The Branch also provides for the effective, compliant monitoring of all recipients of federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) grant funds throughout Maryland, including Local School Systems, Public Agencies, and Institutions of Higher Education. Through grants management staff, the Branch also ensures fiscal accountability in accordance with federal and State regulations for federal and State funds administered by the Maryland State Department of Education for the benefit of children with disabilities, ages birth through 21. The Branch assists Local School Systems, Public Agencies, and other subrecipients of federal and State funds in the application, reporting, and fiscal management of those funds. The Resource Management and Monitoring Branch also provides technical assistance regarding fiscal matters to all school systems and grant subrecipient agencies, and monitors subrecipient compliance with State and federal grant regulations including, the Code of Federal Regulations, IDEA, Education Department General Administrative Regulations, General Education Provisions Act, Office of Management and Budget Circulars and COMAR. The Branch additionally provides data and information to the Division leadership in support of programmatic interventions and to facilitate funding determinations and resource allocations. The Branch is additionally responsible to manage major Special Education State Aid grants and to act as the Fiscal Agent for the Children’s Cabinet Interagency Fund. The Branch includes the Nonpublic Special Education Section, which manages nonpublic rate setting, the nonpublic tuition assistance program, public-private partnerships, related parent and professional publications, and statewide technical assistance to Local School Systems.

In Focus
Transitioning Youth Website for Students with Disabilities
The Maryland Transitioning Youth Website provides information and resources on transition planning for youth with disabilities and their families, including transition planning, higher education, employment preparation and support, health care, transportation, housing, and much more.


Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services:

________________________________________

Contact Information

Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Lisa Sparr, Executive Associate

Lsparr@msde.state.md.us

 Branches
Policy And Accountability Branch
Family Support and Dispute Resolution
Interagency Collaboration Branch
Programmatic Support and Technical Assistance
Resource Management and Monitoring Branch
 Resources
Birth through 5 Resources
Publications/Information
Family Support Services
Division Policy Guidance
Interagency Rates Committee
Parental Rights-Maryland Procedural Safeguards Notice, Updated July 2013
PUBLICATIONS AND WEB RESOURCES - A Compilation of Resource Titles Available from the Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services
 Items of Interest
Bullet Commission on Special Education Access and Equity
Bullet "Together We're Better" Inclusive Schools Awareness Campaign and Contest "Celebrating Diversity: Stop Bullying and Show Respect"
Fact Sheets
A Route for Every Learner: Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a Framework for Supporting Learning and Improving Achievement for All Learners in Maryland, Prekindergarten Through Higher Education
A Tiered Instructional Approach to Support Achievement for All Students, June 2008
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004
Become a Special Education Teacher (Alternative Certification) Certification and Accreditation
 Related Sites/Links
Maryland Early Childhood Gateway
Transitioning Youth Website for Students with Disabilities
Maryland Learning Links: Log on. GET LINKED!
 Advisory Councils
State Interagency Coordinating Council (SICC)
Special Education State Advisory Committee (SESAC)
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