If you have worked with IEP’s, you have probably seen this before: the Service Delivery Grid of the IEP might list “Sped Staff” as the provider of services. Massachusetts PQA (Program Quality Assurance) recently investigated a complaint alleging that the Hudson School District’s use of “Sped Staff” as the provider was insufficient, and a violation of Massachusetts special education law. PQA agreed with the complainant, and required the following of the school district “The District must send a memo to its IEP Team Chairpersons responsible for the development of the IEP stating that the use of term ‘SPED Staff’ on the IEP service delivery grid is not acceptable, and that each IEP should identify the type of service providers, e.g., special education teacher, paraprofessional, Occupational Therapist, etc.”
More specifically, PQA determined that the generic use of the term “Sped Staff” was a violation of Massachusetts regulation 603 CMR 28.06(2)(a), which requires IEP Teams to consider the type of service providers. According to the PQA report, “In the same manner which the IEP Team must distinguish between the types of related services necessary for the student (for example, “speech Therapy” or “Physical Therapy”) in making its placement decision, the regulation requires the same sort of consideration for distinguishing the student’s service providers.”
Click here to view the complete PQA “Letter of Finding.”
Thank you to Education Advocate Lucie Chansky and SpedWatch for bringing this PQA decision to my attention.
The Law Office of James M. Baron represents students and parents in special education and other school-related legal matters. Please visit http://www.lawbaron.com, or call 781-209-1166 for more information.
I can’t say that I’ve seen “sped staff” on any recent IEP. However, I see “speech staff” written quite often. This is usually done when a therapist works with an assistant. How the services between the therapist and assistant split is usually dependent on need and scheduling. Do you think based on the info you have “speech staff” is acceptable?