The Vermont Special Education Rules are currently open for comment.  Vermont Family Network is gathering information regarding proposed changes. This is an opportunity for you to share valuable feedback regarding your experience with your child's Individualized Education Program (IEP). Your feedback will be aggregated and shared with the State Board of Education and could influence the final changes to the rules.  This survey is short and should only take a few minutes to complete.  Thank you for your time! It does make a difference! If you have any questions, please contact VFN Family Support at 802-876-5315 or info@vtfn.org

Question Title

* 1. For the purpose of public comment please share your first and last name.

Question Title

* 2. For the purpose of public comment please share what Vermont town you live in.

Question Title

* 3. Parental Consent: Proposed change would require a parent to sign the Individualized Education Program (IEP)  to indicate agreement or partial agreement. Currently there is no requirement in Vermont for parents to sign to indicate whether or not they agree with the IEP.

Question Title

* 4. Comments about Q3 - Parental Consent

Question Title

* 5. Special education eligibility change:  Eligibility for Children Ages Six Years through Twenty-One. Proposed removal of  the second "gate" (Adverse Effect) which includes the requirement that the child’s disability “results in an adverse effect on the child’s educational performance in one or more (academic) basic skill areas…” Currently Vermont’s eligibility criteria is much more restrictive than federal law. The proposed change is asking that Vermont adopt the federal eligibility criteria by eliminating the Adverse Effect rule. The current Vermont rule has the effect of  excluding children with specific functional deficits from being eligible for special education services. The children affected most often are those with mental health diagnoses and those diagnosed with high-functioning autism.

Question Title

* 6. Comments about Q5 - Special Education Eligibility Change

Question Title

* 7. Basic Skill areas. To make consistent with federal law and to align with state standards, the proposed change  adds “functional skills” and “transferable skills” to the list of basic skills used to determine eligibility for special education services. Functional performance is defined in the rules as "the acquisition of essential and critical skills needed for children with disabilities to learn specific daily living, personal, social and employment skills, or the skills needed to increase performance and independence at work, in school, in the home, in the community, for leisure time, and for postsecondary and other lifelong opportunities.”  Examples of "transferable skills" include, "clear and effective communication", "critical and practical problem solving", and "informed and innovative thinking"-  as outlined by the Vermont Agency of Education's proficiency based graduation requirements. 

Question Title

* 8. Comments about Q7 - Basic Skill Areas

Question Title

* 9. Evaluation Process: Require the school to provide parents with copies of each examiner’s evaluation and assessment report(s) at least five days prior to the meeting at which the evaluation and assessment report(s) will be discussed. Currently in Vermont there is no requirement to provide parents with this information before the meeting to discuss the results. 

Access to evaluation reports and assessments in advance of the meeting supports parents being full members of the team, with time to review and process the report, formulate questions, and understand the material adequately to be equal team members. Providing evaluations ahead of meetings increases compliance with the federal and state requirement for parent participation as equal members by giving all teams members the same information in advance. Finally, it increases efficiency for Evaluation and Planning Team and IEP team meetings because members do not waste precious meeting time on reviewing documents; instead they come prepared with questions and concerns and move through the agenda of the meeting effectively.

Question Title

* 10. Comments about Q9 - Evaluation Process

Question Title

* 11. Re-evaluation timeline: Re-evaluations should not take longer than initial evaluations; under this rule change, they will follow at maximum the same time frame as initial evaluations (60 days). Currently this timeline does not exist in the Vermont rules and this has resulted in reevaluations being  quite delayed in many cases.

Question Title

* 12. Comments about Q11 - Re-Evaluation Timeline

Question Title

* 13. Age for transition planning to begin: Currently in Vermont IEP teams are required to begin planning for the transition to adulthood, which includes accessing transition-related goals and services, at age 16 or sooner.  At age 16 the transition plan is supposed to be in place. The proposed change would move the age of transition to age 14.  Age 14 is closer to when most students enter high school and choices made at 14 can impact coursework, potentially limiting post secondary options by the time they are 16.  Age 14 also aligns the work of Vocational Rehabilitation towards career and postsecondary activities thus strengthening the transition plan.

Question Title

* 14. Comments about Q13 - Age of Transition Planning

Question Title

* 15. Other Comments

Question Title

* 16. My role (check all that apply)

Question Title

* 17. VFN Family Support education helpline staff are here to help you with any questions or concerns. If you would like us to contact you, please give us your phone number and/or email and we'll be in touch.

Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey!
0 of 17 answered
 

T