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Special Education What's New?

  • Department of Public Instruction (department) and Department of Health Services (DHS) Joint Guidance for Behavioral Treatment for School-Age Youth
In conjunction with the DHS, the department has developed joint guidance on providing behavioral treatment for school-age children, covering such issues as school absences and treatment in the school setting. This guidance document clarifies the responsibilities under both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and federal Medicaid law, and highlights important considerations for both school districts and behavioral treatment providers. The joint guidance may be found here 
  • Annual Leadership Conference Registration
The 34th Annual State Superintendent’s Conference on Special Education and Pupil Services Leadership Issues will be held on October 9-10, 2018, at the Glacier Canyon Lodge at the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. Conference, registration and lodging information is available here. The registration fee is $100. Registration will close on September 22, 2018. On-site registration is $150 and is limited. No refunds are issued, though substitutions are accepted. Please note the discounted hotel rate ends September 7, 2018. Please contact Lee Sippola at or (608) 267-9175 with any questions.
  • Updated Collaborative Special Education Support Email List

A group of consultants on the special education team are consolidating their individual email lists so that they can provide monthly comprehensive updates on a variety of special education topics (e.g. transition, early childhood, social and emotional learning, literacy, assessment, and many more topics). The new email list called “collabsesupportlist” will be automatically sent to anyone already signed up on the SLD, Autism-EBD, Early Childhood Special Education, and ID email lists. Those on the speech and language email list will also receive this new monthly communication. The content of this list will include selected items from Barb Van Haren’s weekly email along with additional content specifically for those that teach or support students who receive special education through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with a focus on information and resources for those that mentor, coach, and provide professional learning to educators at a school, district, CESA, institution of higher education, family support, or affiliated organization. This list will also include information on webinars and regional and statewide collaborative support meetings specific to various content areas.

Please feel free to encourage your staff to sign up to this new email list if they are not already signed up on any of the previous lists above. Anyone may sign up to this email list. Direction on how to sign up can be found on the DPI email lists web page: The first email to this updated list will be sent later this month.

  • OT and PT Wisconsin Evaluation System

The 2018-2019 OT and PT Wisconsin Evaluation System webpage has been updated for the 2018-19 school year. The Evaluation Rubric and Rating Scale are now streamlined for user efficiency, and the Google forms have also been revised. The User Guide will be available and on the webpage in September. Please forward this message to all OTs and PTs working in your district and CESAs.

A special thank you to the following for their dedication, time and expertise in building and revising the evaluation rubric: Kellie Collins Middleton-Cross Plains; Stacy Wickershiem Appleton; Michelle Huber Edgerton; Kelly Norton Wauwatosa; Sue Haegele Howard-Suamico; and Tom Nebel Sheboygan. Shout out to Appleton Area School District for allowing our group to use their evaluation rubric as a guide for the WI OT and PT Evaluation Rubric.

Please forward any questions or comments to the Special Education Team at (608) 266-1781 and
  • High Cost Special Education Aid Claims Due December 7, 2018

This program provides additional special education aid to Wisconsin school districts, independent (2r/2x) charter schools, CESAs or CCDEBs. An LEA providing FAPE is eligible for aid when a student with disabilities has actual, additional, non-administrative costs of special education and related services in excess of $30,000, after certain reimbursements are excluded. Information and access to the High Cost Special Education web portal is available at

Contact Roselynn Bittorf at or 608-267-9212 with questions.

  • LEA Determinations Update

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires DPI to determine if each local educational agency (LEA) meets the requirements of Part B of the federal requirements, including both compliance and results indicators. Typically, LEA determinations are issued this time of year. DPI is focused on aligning federal requirements to ease the workload faced by districts and to more meaningfully help districts implement practices focused on equitable opportunities for all students. Beginning this year in an effort to align special education and Title I requirements, a single joint notification of findings under ESSA and IDEA will be issued to districts, including LEA determinations, disproportionality and the identification of schools for comprehensive and targeted support and intervention. We anticipate part one of the joint notification to be released late fall/early winter. DPI is currently reviewing the criteria used to make LEA determinations and will provide updates as they become available.

  • AWSA Article on the Role of LEA Representatives in IEP Team Meetings: Supporting CCR IEPs

As part of the DPI Special Education Team collaboration with the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators (AWSA), an article was published on the role of the LEA representative in IEP meetings. The article was written for principals who often serve as LEA representatives and provides information on the critical role school principals take in supporting the CCR IEP Five Step process. Click here to access this article.

  • New Month by Month Special Education Calendar

The Special Education Team is excited to share a brand new resource – introducing our month-by-month Special Education Calendar. While not exhaustive, this calendar will highlight many important due dates. Important dates covered include items related to fiscal management, annual as well as cyclical indicators, statewide assessments, and important professional development opportunities.

For questions about this information, contact DPI Sped Team (608) 266-1781