BSE Releases Compliance Monitoring Memo to LEAs (July 19, 2021)

On July 19, 2021, 2021-22 PA Bureau of Special Education Director Carole L. Clancy sent an email to local educational agencies (LEAs) titled Special Education Compliance Monitoring Schedule. According to the memo, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has the responsibility to ensure that all LEAs providing services, whether directly or by contractual arrangements, administer special education services and programs that are compliant with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. In order to fulfill this responsibility, PDE has established administrative procedures for monitoring program implementation, including evaluating the appropriateness, effectiveness, and accountability of special education services and programs.

The memo goes on the say that PDE has developed the schedule for compliance monitoring for the 2021-22 school year in which 116 school districts and charter schools of varying size across the commonwealth will be monitored. Additional monitoring reviews, if deemed appropriate, may be designated as the school year progresses.  

For the 2021-22 school year, the Cyclical Monitoring for Continuous Improvement (CMCI) process will be a hybrid of virtual and onsite reviews. Verification activities include digital and onsite review of student documents; studies of service delivery; and analysis of policies, procedures, and outcomes. This hybrid CMCI process will include:

  • Virtual Reviews
  • Facilitated Self-Assessment submitted by the LEA, and verification of the information reported in the Facilitated Self-Assessment.
  • Administrative and Exit Interviews
  • Parent and Teacher Interviews
  • On-Site Reviews
  • Student Sample File Review
  • Classroom Observations

Personnel from school districts, charter schools, and intermediate units who will be monitored are required to participate in the web-based monitoring training modules to familiarize themselves with the monitoring instrument and web-based process. District superintendents, charter school chief executive officers, special education directors, and additional appropriate personnel should view the web-based monitoring training. This training will review the virtual monitoring process; Facilitated Self-Assessment submission; documents to be submitted; and provide resources to assist LEA personnel to prepare for the monitoring process. 

The web-based training modules will be available on the PaTTAN website and Leader Services website in July. LEAs must complete the trainings by September 10, 2021, and report to the chairperson the date all relevant personnel completed the training. 

Questions regarding the federally-mandated 2021-22 monitoring should go to Kelli Franklin at kfranklin@pa.gov.