NY STATE TASK FORCE ON PRESCHOOL SPECIAL EDUCATION
FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS FOR STATES

(Word Format for Printing)

Funding and Services

State Response

FL

GA

OH

PA

CA

1. Medicaid

a. What system do you have for collecting reimbursement for Medicaid expenditures:

i. In Early Intervention?

ii. In Preschool?

 

The Medicaid Certified School Match Program (MVMP) allows school districts to become Medicaid providers, for Part B. The schools do not collect reimbursement- they bill for reimbursement, for school district non-federal expenditures. This cost mechanism does not differentiate for preschool.

Note:  Part C Program in Florida is administered by the Department of Health and is called Early Steps. No information was obtained on use of Medicaid by Part C.

Different entities collect reimbursement. Some larger local or state service providers collect themselves (they are Medicaid providers), while others go through Peach Care, a program funded for families that don’t qualified for Medicaid, which is set up to collect reimbursements. Medicaid specialist in the state is Sherri Collins 404.463.6096.

EI: Dept. of Human Resources
Preschool: State Ed. Supports LEAs, but LEAs have the responsibility.

The state is currently in a compliance agreement with OSEP through 2009.

EI and Preschool:
Systems for service provision, billing and reimbursement are being developed.

 

EI:
Bills at the provider level

Public School:
Mutually agreed upon system- contracts with the Leader Services, a national system.

These questions are best answered by state staff who are more familiar with Medicaid. (Please note person did not return calls.)

b. What percentages of EI and/or preschool costs are covered by Medicaid?

 

There is no cost reporting mechanism that captures this data.

This is tracked by each community’s health people—not tracked state wide.

State does not keep this data.

EI:
30%

 

c. Which services are deemed Medicaid eligible in each program?

 

 

EI:
No information; EI called Early Steps Program

Preschool:
Eligible MCMP reimbursable services include: OT, PT, SP, nursing, behavioral, augmentative, alternative communication, and transportation services.

EI:
Not sure.
Preschool:
Primary services: OT, PT, speech

Department of ED doesn’t deal with Part B—LEAs handle this.

Part C handled by State Department of Health and Human Services/Public Health
Part C is being threatened

 

EI and Public School:
All major therapies for both groups. Service coordination for medical assistance is allowable in EI.

 

d. Is Medicaid claiming being impacted by the recent Federal guidance on consent requirements?

 

 

YES
Anecdotal evidence suggests that it is. Some school districts have suspended billing until the district has a parental consent process in place that they feel meets IDEA guidelines. There is no quantifying data available to support this.

YES
Some impact because the law has been misinterpreted—a one time consent is all that is needed. It falls on the shoulders of the service providers to secure parents’ consent.

 

NO

 

e. Who makes the claim for reimbursement and how are the funds distributed?

 

 

 

The school district submits claims either directly through Medicaid Tracking System or via a private consultant whom they pay to do their billing for them. It is totally up to each school district to distribute or spend the funds as they wish.

The school district or the provider. The provider keeps the funds. Peach Care assists—it is a partnership between the Department of Community Health and three health care plans.

EI:
Providers bill directly.

B-3:
They bill directly.

Public School:
OMAP (Office of Medial Assistance Programs)

Preschool:
LEAs (school districts or county offices of education) bill Medicaid.

2. Has your state made any effort to access private health insurance for services provided either within EI or preschool special education? If yes, is there any guidance to LEAs or EI administrators that you can share on how you have made this work?

EI: No information

Preschool: NO

 

YES
But this is done on a case by case basis at the service level. It is the responsibility of the director at the local level and the parent must be cooperative in the process.

EI: YES

Preschool: NO

 

EI:
3rd party billing is always pursued but typically denied.

Preschool:
NO third party billing.

NO

a. Is there any other form of cost sharing with families in your state (e.g., a sliding scale fee)?

 

Preschool: NO
They must comply with the federal requirement of FAPE, meaning no cost to families.

Peach Care handles this area.

Preschool: NO

NO

 

3. Transportation:

a. How do most preschool students with disabilities who are not educated in the home get transported to their special education services?

 

 

 

Fiscal information not available during the interview to determine transportation costs that are attributable to the preschool disability population.  Transportation services are available for preschool children with disabilities. If parents need transportation for their child to access services, it is decided at the IEP Team meeting.  Specialized transportation needs would be documented on the child’s IEP.  There is a state-level budget for transportation.

If they are in a school system program the system provides the transportation. If the child is served by a community program, the community program transports and is not reimbursed by the School Department or state. In community programs the special service is brought to the child—speech therapy, OT, etc. for it is usually provided onsite at the community program.

Transportation is written into IEP; availability is uneven among districts.

School districts are responsible for transportation. (501 school districts)

Parents typically transport children in private child care settings.

20% of services are provided in the home.

Transportation is written into the IEP; LEA is responsible.

b. How are parents encouraged to provide transportation if they are able?

 

 

Such decisions are made on an individual basis. Services may be offered at the community early education and care program that the child attends.  For example, the school district may provide itinerant speech therapy services to children attending a Head Start program, thus reducing need for transportation.

Schools are encouraging parents to transport for it is more cost effective. The amount parents are paid for transporting their child varies from 28 to 44 cents per mile.

Reimbursement to parents for mileage.

Local programs issue taxi vouchers to parents using state funding.

Not an issue. They provide services in typical settings. Reimbursement rates include transportation.

Reimbursement to parents for mileage; taxi vouchers.

c. Are there any best practices you have used to reduce transportation expenses?

 

 

 

Do not know of any specific strategies.

Having the parent transport; serving the child in an integrated community setting where the program transports.

Continue to look for options to reduce costs.

Since most preschool services are provided in LREs, (58%) transportation costs are not an issue.

Service providers are reimbursed for travel expenses as part of the reimbursement rate.

 


0-5 Seamless Transition

State Response

FL

GA

OH

PA

CA

1. What steps are taken to ensure smooth transition between programs?

 

 

Strong collaboration at state level between EI and preschool. Part C staff members are included on the FDOE SPP indicator 12 team; one DOE staff member serves as a liaison to the Part C program and Part C dollars are used to support this position in FDOE. 
There is a state-level transition interagency group that supports transition from home into EI, from EI into preschool, or from EI into community preschools or Head Start. Preschool to Kindergarten transition is not a primary focus of this group. Additionally, the FDOE supports a technical assistance and training system through a discretionary project to a university. 
This project provides support to school districts in several focus areas, one of which is transition.   

There are written collaborative agreements between programs that specify the steps in the transition process. Programs report on these efforts and they are tracked. Last year was the first year that programs had to report on such data and the state tracked it. The steps are specific and contain timelines, e.g. 6 months prior to K-entrance a meeting.

Tremendous amount of effort devoted to improving transition between EI and preschool. Funds available to districts to overcome barriers: TA, summer programming. Template for interagency agreements available as a resource. 8 of the largest school districts have transition coordinators.

91% of children are being transitioned in a timely manner.

State reorganization in Dec. 05 created the Office of Child Development and Early Learning. OCDEL oversees both EI and preschool programs. There are a number of initiatives underway to create seamless systems.

EI is administered by the Dept. of Developmental Services (DDS); preschool by Dept. of Education (CDE). Currently taking steps to collaboratively improve systems for transition and data sharing. Monthly update/planning meetings occur between the two agencies.

a. Do the same service providers participate in EI and preschool? If so, how are differences in applicable regulations and rates addressed?

 

NO
These are different delivery systems. Public schools are in charge of the preschool providers. EI has individual providers. They do have a state level transition interagency group.

NO
EI has a restricted fees—preschool does not. They are two different systems. Sometimes the child may have the same PT, OT, etc. that serves them in EI as well as in preschool—this is often the case when the service is being provided by specialists outside the individual programs.

SOMETIMES
In some cases through the Education Services Centers – regional centers for the LEAs. This model has a positive impact on services especially transition.

SOMETIMES
In the process of combining state and federal guidelines for EI and preschool, including combined IEP and IFSP forms. This is being piloted at this time.

SOMETIMES
MOU exists between DDS and CDE to provide some EI services in LEA.

b. How are data and information about the child shared between and among programs and the LEA?

i. Are there documents that guide data sharing and/or child transition between/among programs? (e.g., sample guidance, MOUs, etc.)

 

Through an interagency agreement between the Department of Education and the Department of Health (Part C Lead Agency) data is exchanged at periodic intervals. 
This data is used to determine the % of children exiting Part C that have an IEP by the third birthday.  In recognition that there are issues with this data, the Bureau is in the process of establishing a verification process with districts to improve the accuracy of the transition data. 
The state-level interagency transition work group is in the process of revising a guide for interagency agreements.  The development of written agreements between school districts and Local Early Steps programs is strongly encouraged and supported.  Staff members from the preschool technical assistance and training system serve in a facilitative role in the development of local interagency agreements.

The new database we have established helps with the sharing of data—programs submit pre and post data on each child. Even local programs contribute data to the system. Having a Universal PreK program also helps—we have good communication with them and PreK sets higher standards.
Regarding written guidance: some information is on the website.

As part of the compliance agreement, systems are being developed to improve information-sharing and transition. In the process of creating a common state identifier that will follow the child from EI to LEA.

Protocol for data sharing is in place. Work is progressing on combining the IFSP and IEP into one common from used by all.

Currently working on improving systems. There is a state-wide student identifier system for K-12; in Fall 07, this will extend to preschool. Efforts are being made to extend to EI; no date for implementation.

CDE developed a transition handbook (EI to preschool and preschool to K). Available for download from CDE’s website.

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages to having a different or the same agency responsible for EI versus preschool services?

Advantage:
Infants and toddlers with disabilities are typically first identified through health/medical systems; therefore, having the lead agency at the Department of Health is a more natural and typical linkage.

Disadvantage:
It would be easier to collaborate within one system, rather than multiple systems. Part C is very complex and heterogeneous; whereas DOE has 67 school districts.  This facilitates understanding how to access resources.

Disadvantage:
No direct jurisdiction over EI or even the community preK programs, therefore oversight is a challenge.

EI and preschool are different systems. DPH administers EI; DOE administers preschool special education. Structures, lines of accountability and models for service delivery differ. EI uses a medical model; preschool uses an education model.

Disadvantage:
Barriers to transition and collaboration.

Advantage:
Having the same agency has greatly improved transition and coordination of services. It also makes the system easier to manage for families.

Disadvantage:
Challenges to moving to seamless systems are the amount of work involved and training staff on new systems.

Disadvantage:
Philosophy and service delivery are very different. DSS is more focused on the family whereas CDE focuses on child’s educational needs. Difficult for families to adjust to the differences when moving from EI to preschool.

3-21 Seamless Transition

State Response                                                                                                           

FL

GA

OH

PA

CA

1. Is the system for evaluation, IEP development, service delivery, and payment for 3-4 year olds different from the system for school age students with disabilities? (e.g., IEP team membership, students served in home schools)

SIMILAR
More similar than different; payment for funding the system is the same; service delivery will vary from school district to district. Some districts have preschool evaluation teams; almost all districts use the IEP (as opposed to an IFSP), starting at 3.

SIMILAR
The only difference is in regard to payment—the rest is fairly consistent.

SIMILAR
Systems for evaluation and IEP development are similar. Service delivery and payment systems differ.

SIMILAR
Moving to a seamless system. IFSP and IEP form will reflect 3-21 system.

DIFFERENT
Systems for evaluation and IEP development differ.

a. If not different, is there a general continuity of LEA staff that evaluate students and develop IEPs as students move from preschool to school age?

The continuity of staff conducting evaluations at entry to preschool may differ depending on structure of school district including the size and resources of district.

Within the public school there is continuity—the community programs remain hit or miss.

 

 

 

b. If different, which components are different and how do they differ from school age?

i. Evaluation

ii. IEP Development

iii. Service Delivery

iv. Payment

i. Most potential to differ

ii. Generally no difference in the process

iii. Preschool age children are more likely to be served in programs that are part-day or on an itinerant basis.

iv. No difference

Only in regard to payment: the k-12 children diagnosed with disabilities are subject to the school/state formula for reimbursement. Preschool children are not part of the formula. It’s advantageous financially to be covered by the school/state formula.

Eligibility standards for preschool are collapsed into two main categories. Payment for preschool services is per staffing unit. For school age, there is a base fee per child ($6000) plus additional dollar amounts for categories. Districts contribute local share based on the economic level of the district.

 

Evaluation and IEP development for school-age occurs mostly at school sites and involves the school psychologist, school nurse and special education teacher. Assessment and development of the initial IEP in preschool is done by a different team.

2. Do you have eligibility standards for particular preschool special education services? (e.g., itinerant services versus specific class)

a. How are IEP teams trained on these standards?

 

NO
The decision reflects individual needs and is decided at the Team meeting.

There is no state-established standard.

3-9 year old children can be classified as non-categorical; although other categories are still offered. The only one not available is LD. There are criteria for each eligibility and these mirror OSEP’s.

Documents regarding this question are posted on our website.

Training filters down from the state to regions to schools.

NO
Offer a continuum of services (itinerant, center based, direct, indirect). No eligibility standards for the type of service – decision made by the IEP team.

YES
Criteria for placement is determined by IEP team.

YES
Criteria for placement is determined by IEP team.

b. Do you believe that standards are applied consistently from LEA to LEA?

 

NO
There are no state-wide criteria, other than the universal requirement to make decisions that reflect individual needs of the child, as expressed on the IEP.

YES
It is fairly standard.  There may be some variation.

 

 

NO
There are variations related to a number of factors including availability of resources.

c. Do standards differ for school age services?

 

 

 

SAME
There are no state-wide criteria, other than the universal requirement to make decisions that reflect individual needs of the child, as expressed on the IEP.

SAME
The only difference is not for standards, but for the above 9 age group regarding non-categorical. Also documentation is required about prior intervention for this age category.

 

 

 


Standards and Oversight Systems

State Response

FL

GA

OH

PA

CA

1. Do general early childhood education programs in your state have consistent standards across programs and agencies? (e.g., child care, Head Start, universal preK)

 

NO
There are two sources of standards for state operated preschool programs.  The Agency for Work Force Innovation operates the states subsidized child care program.  The applicable standards are referred to as the “School Readiness Standards” and apply to programs serving eligible children birth through five.  In addition, Florida has a voluntary universal pre-kindergarten education program (VPK) for four-year-old children the year prior to kindergarten.  The legislation for this program also requires standards.  The school readiness standards are currently being revised.  Alignment issues between School Readiness and VPK standards are under consideration. This is the 3rd year of implementation of VPK in Florida. About 50% of eligible children are accessing the program.

NO
They vary from program type to program type. Our Universal PreK program has helped and we are working on adoption of those standards in non-preK programs.

 

YES
There are state Early Learning Content Standards for preschool that align with the K-12 standards. There are also Early Learning Program Guidelines that set standards for program operation.

YES
There are standards for infants/toddlers, preschool and K.

YES
There are standards for preschool and infant/toddler; aligned with the K-12 standards called Preschool Foundations. Draft available on CDE website.

Early learning content standards are currently in draft and expected to be rolled out by Jan. 08.

 

a. If yes, how was agreement reached?

 

 

NO
Different standards- there is a real effort for consistency of standards; work is being done at this time on the standards.

The state is working on this issue—there are now child learning standards that are applicable to all programs, but these are voluntary, not required in child care and Head Start.

 

 

Early Learning Initiative—intensive effort over the past five years to create consistent standards to improve quality and in child care, Head Start and public preschool programs.

Each set of standards was developed by committees meeting over a two-year span.

 

b. If no, who determines standards for different agencies? How does this impact program collaboration and integration?

i. Are any efforts underway to align standards and oversight across Early Childhood programs/systems?

VPK: Legislatively required to have standards. PreK disabilities teachers must know how to use standards, including any adaptations needed.

There are activities underway to revise/align these standards.  Head Start Standards are developed at the federal level. However, they are referenced in the School Readiness Standards.

 

Head Start follows federal standards; child care state—Georgia Department of Human Resources.

PreK is under the Office of School Readiness. PreK is set by the Office of School Readiness.

i. YES
But others in the state have more details on these statewide efforts

 

 

 

2. What is the system for oversight?

 

 

 

 

Child Care:
State child care licensing

Head Start:
Federal monitoring by a team from the federal department

State PreK:
Monitored by the state office

All of these programs may also be licensed by child care

Consultants in Office of Early Learning and School Readiness assess 2x year using ELLCO; collect data on teacher credentials and child health/ developmental screenings; monitor requirement that programs adopt a curriculum that aligns with the standards.

State employs a rating system for child care quality—Keystone STARS program. Common system and tool for on-site monitoring for birth—3 and preschool programs.

The Desired Results system is an accountability initiative of the CDE developed to determine the effectiveness of its child development and early childhood special education services and programs. The system is intended to ensure that children enrolled in state-funded preschool programs are benefiting from those programs.

3. What promising practices promote quality in standards and oversight systems?

 

 

 

 

From DOE:
Much training and offering of on-line training programs, such as early literacy

(see links)

Not sure—ask someone else in the state

Well-developed plan for professional development includes training sessions, conferences, and on-site consultation to individual programs quarterly.

Work with Regional Keys and PA Keys; Keystone STARS program is licensed, certified- has STAR 1,2,3,4 steps. Money is assigned based on which step program qualifies for. Combined data base to help make determination of performance.

On-site mentoring of all programs; 2-year cycle; will pilot this in January ’08.

Can’t identify any at this time.


Progress Tracking and Professional Development

State Response

FL

GA

OH

PA

CA

1. In your state, is the percentage of preschool children with disabilities higher/lower than the percentage of children in early primary grades? To what can this difference be attributed?

 

LOWER
Pre-K- 6%
K-3- 29%

Why:
Often special needs are not identified during pre-school years. As academics become more demanding, need for supports becomes more evident.

LOWER
Not sure about the actual numbers, but preschool-age children percentages are lower than school-level.

Why:
Not sure why.

Approximately 5% for both groups.

LOWER
Preschool percentage is lower.

Why:
Attributed to difficulties in discerning a diagnosis until the child is older.

LOWER
Percentages are lower in preschool.

Why:
Partially attributed to the fact that mandatory school enrollment begins in Grade 1. Child Find efforts are in place but do not reach all preschool children.

2. Is each child’s progress tracked from EI to preschool to primary?

 

 

YES
Florida is building a measurement system for children birth –to-5 across the Part C and Part B preschool program. Data will be obtained at 3 data points—upon entry into EI; EI to preschool; preschool to Kindergarten.

YES
Progress is tracked with the new database with 2 data points—entrance and exit data. The LEAs are responsible for  entering data. Head Starts, child care, and GA preK do not enter data directly—it is the responsibility of the LEA.

 

YES
New web-based system of tracking child progress operational in July 07. Tracks all children – not only those receiving special services. Data is reviewed at 6 months and annually. System will be a source for exit data.

YES
Just beginning to track children’s progress through a number of new initiatives.

a. What are the data showing?

 

 

Status at entry is the only data currently available.  The states APR for February 2008 will reflect some progress data.

Because the database was recently instituted, the analysis has not yet been done. By this coming October there should be comparative data.

 

No data available yet.

No data available yet.

b. What assessment tools are used?

 

 

Tools: Battelle Developmental Inventory – 2 System is in the early phase of implementation.
No measure of the return on investment.

Each school district decides what tools to use.

 

Tools: Creative Curriculum  and OUNCE Intervention Scale

Desired Results System has created assessment instruments that measure children’s progress called Desired Results Developmental Profiles (DRDP). Tools can be viewed on CDE’s website.

3. Is there a state-wide mechanism for assisting providers of early childhood services in non-LEA programs in meeting the needs of students with disabilities? NO
School district has this responsibility.
Supports to non-LEA programs may be provided through the public school.  The Agency for Work Force Innovation has inclusion specialists that provide support, to child care centers related to children with special needs.

YES
Some training provided—a State train-the-trainers model. State will train teams from districts and they are responsible for training others in the LEAs. State Depts come together to do the training—much cooperation among departments.

State encourages that all therapies be done in the classroom and with teachers and parents present, so that follow up can occur and consistency is promoted.

YES
Training sessions and annual conference open to all providers at no cost. Abundance of published resources widely disseminated (Example: Disabilities services manual explaining the state system for children birth – 6 yrs.)
  YES
CA Preschool Instructional Network is a state-funded training and technical assistance program. Each region (11 total) has access to a team of specialists: early childhood education, special education and English language learning. Staff in Head Start, child care and preK programs participate.

Continuum of Service and Criteria for Recommendations

State Response

FL

GA

OH

PA

CA

1. Is a recommendation for “related services only” accepted as an EI and/or preschool special education service? If not, is there another mechanism for EI and preschool age students who only need speech or OT or PT to receive these services?

EI: Not relevant.

Preschool: YES
Speech is considered to be both a program and a related service. Child must be receiving special-education services to be eligible for related services, such as OT/PT.

EI and Preschool: NO
No, the child must have a primary disability.

EI: YES
Eligibility categories are very broad; traditionally service children with mild speech delays. The criteria for Part B is more defined, making transition difficult. EI is moving to 25% or 1½ standard deviation from the norm.

Preschool: NO
Not at this time. Discussions currently underway to change this.

EI: NO

Preschool: YES
Accepted by preschool only.

EI and Preschool: YES
Accepted by both EI and preschool.

2. What are your state’s criteria for eligibility for 12 month preschool services?

 

Services in the summer are documented on the IEP- it is an individual decision of the Team.

(Extended school year services are likely not to be 12 months of service.)

This need is determined by the IEP team.

 

 

Use a “stretch” calendar. Breaks in service cannot be longer than 3 weeks.

This need is determined by the IEP team. Usually children with more severe disabilities. Children enrolled in Head Start and childcare programs stay in that placement. LEAs operate 6-8 week summer programs in designated school sites.

a. What percentage of EI students receives 12 month services?

ALL
Service delivery model is based on ongoing services provided year round.

Not sure.

ALL

ALL

ALL

b. What percentage of preschool students receives 12 month services?

 

Data not available on day of interview regarding % of preschool children receiving extended school year services. 

Less than 1% of preschool children receive 12 month services.

Small percentage. Most IEPs designate part-year services due to lack of resources. A goal is to increase the availability of 12 month services through placement in existing full year child care programs. Quality improvement efforts (through the Early Learning Initiative) contribute to attaining this goal.

Unsure.

Unsure. That data is tracked at the local level, not state-wide.

3. Do you offer Family Education as an EI and/or preschool special education service? (e.g., family training, counseling, home visits, parent support group)

What does it entail? How is it funded at the EI and preschool level?

 

NO
For specific service with specific criterion and funding.

Parent Support and involving families in the program are encouraged.

YES
Family Ed. is offered in the schools.  It is funded through federal and state dollars; half of the school systems have family educators. There are monthly meetings, home visits, general support, and referrals. Program is called Parent-to-Parent.
GA also has Parent Navigation Teams to help parents “navigate” the systems. Not sure how Family Ed. is offered in community-based preschool programs. Head Start does some. In child care the CCR&Rs support the programs who have questions about serving children with disabilities. Ultimately the LEA is responsible for supporting the community programs who are serving children with disabilities.

YES
Family support and home visits are required in EI. Many programs use the Parents as Teachers curriculum. Most programs have social workers on staff.

EI: YES
Family training is integral part of EI. Demonstration instruction is used.

Preschool:
Less in preschool

EI: YES

Preschool:
Not written specifically in IEPs for preschool but usually provided under other programs.


Innovations in Service Delivery

State Response

FL

GA

OH

PA

CA

1. What innovative practices (e.g., distance learning, technology, agency collaborations) contribute to improved outcomes for preschool children with disabilities?

 

 

On-line professional development opportunities; funds are available for “Weekends with the Experts,” for staff serving low incidence populations;  statewide network of services for individuals with autism and related disorders; funding of project to provide technical assistance and training to preschool program for children with disabilities.

New database is innovative.
Agency collaboration efforts.
Parent mentoring program—Parent-to-Parent—similar to Ohio’s model.
Collaborative training offered to LEAs—the various state agencies come together to plan and offer the training.

 

Webinars, web-based training, videoconferencing, web-based tools for writing IEPs.

 

2. Is indirect service (e.g., consultation between the general and special education teacher or between a related service provider and general or special education teacher) as compared to direct services to a child an allowable program recommendation on the IEP? If so, has this been an effective model? Has it reduced the need for direct services?

YES
But, there is no data at this time.

 

VARIES
This varies depending on school. The state wants to reduce “pull-out” of the child for therapy.

This is a more effective model of delivering the service.

YES
Indirect service is allowable. Use of a consultative model in addition to direct services is recommended but not required. Significant training has been provided to early childhood coordinators and itinerant teachers on the model.

No data available on effectiveness.

YES
Indirect services – collaborative approach is state’s approach to EI.

YES
Consultative services are allowable. Anecdotal evidence points to the effectiveness of this model.

No data available on cost-effectiveness.

3. Are there innovative practices emerging that support community programs (preK, Head Start, and child care programs) to more effectively serve children with disabilities?

 

 

Exciting work in the area of promoting social-emotional competency, positive behavior supports, and early literacy; there is a technical assistance and training system funded by the FDOE as a discretionary project.   Project staff are trained in the above-mentioned topics and then provide TA within their region.

An emerging practice nationally that holds much promise for change is Recognition and Response. This is the “preschool extension” of Response to Intervention.  There is one pilot site in Florida that is working with University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center to articulate a model for Recognition and Response.

The state PreK program has helped quite a bit—quality seems more even across programs. These programs have buy in with the state standards. They have come together to serve on various committees that have developed the standards. There are standards for the 0-3 population—Early Learning Standards and standards for the 3-5 age group—Content Standards.
 

Number of state initiatives in addition to the Early Learning Initiative: DOE School Readiness Solutions Group produced recommendations for quality improvement; Early Childhood Cabinet recently established by the governor’s office – representation by wide range of state agencies.

Creation of OCDEL has improved service delivery, administration, assessment, program monitoring, and assessment.

CA has a number of professional development initiatives involving collaboration and cost-sharing between CDE and DSS:

  • Desired Results access Project
  • CA Preschool Instructional Network
  • SEEDS – Supporting Early Education Delivery Systems (model sites, TA)
  • SEECAP – Special Education Early Childhood Administrators Project (training for administrators)

 

State

Notes/Comments

Florida
Contact: Cathy Bishop, Section Administrator
Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services
Florida Department of Education
Phone: (850) 245-0478
Email: cathy.bishop@fldoe.org

Florida shared much information regarding accessing Medicaid in their Preschool system.

There is a strong collaboration on the state level between their Part C and Part B systems. Plus, they have some “Promising Practices” and “Innovations ins Service Delivery” to check out, including sharing a link to that information.

They are building a measurement system for tracking Part C to Preschool to Primary. Data from that system will be available starting in February, 2008.

Georgia
Contact: Harry Repsher, Consultant
Georgia Department of Education, Exceptional Students
Phone: 404-657-9968
Email: hrepsher@doe.k12.ga.us

Jan Stevenson
619 Coordinator
Department of Education
Phone: 1.404.657.9965
JStevens@doe.k.12.ga.us

Georgia is quite proud of their collaborative efforts across state departments. They are seeing new cooperation between state agencies and a willingness to work together. While their database that collects entry and exit data is new, they see it as important progress. Another example of cooperation is their transition efforts—to ease transitions a roster has been developed that lists the names of children and their parents, community, and contract information. This effort is done monthly and is shared with providers, thus helping to ensure that children are being served. All individuals interviewed noted the level of cooperation.

The early learning standards can be found on the state’s website-- /www.decal.state.ga.us/ Documents/PreK/ContentStandards

Ohio
Contact: Kim Carlson, Assistant Director
Office of Early Learning and School Readiness
Ohio Department of Education
Phone: (330) 220-6410
Email: kim.carlson@ode.state.oh.us

Contact: Barbara Weinberg, Education Consultant
Office of Early Learning and School Readiness
Ohio Department of Education
Phone: (614) 466-0224
Email: barbara.weinberg@ode.state.oh.us

Contact: Debbie Cheatham, Program Administrator
Bureau of Early Intervention Services
Ohio Department of Health
Phone: (614) 644-8389
Email: debbie.cheatham@odh.ohio.gov

OH’s Early Learning Initiative (DOE) is dedicated to raising the quality of preschool services across the state. Parts of the initiative include development of early learning content standards and program guidelines; implementation of assessment and oversight systems; and a multi-faceted approach to professional development.

OH’s Medicaid reimbursement system is in flux. The state is in a compliance agreement with OSEP and is undergoing significant development of new systems.

There is a concerted effort to improve the quality of transition from Part C to Part B. Transition and data sharing from preschool to LEA is somewhat inconsistent – Head Start and public preK programs have stronger systems than child care. Systems vary among districts, for example, some districts will accept child assessment data from preschool programs while others will re-evaluate all children.

Debbie Cheatham recommended the State of Illinois as a model for promising practices in Medicaid funding.

We have requested a copy of the disabilities manual for providers produced by Office of Early Learning and School Readiness.

Pennsylvania
Contact: Maureen Cronin, Director
Bureau of Early Intervention Services
Office of Child Development and Early Learning Department of Public Welfare
Phone: (717) 783-7213
Email: mcronin@state.pa.us

Contact: Frank Miller, Division Chief
Bureau of Early Intervention Services
Office of Child Development and Early Learning Department of Public Welfare
Phone: (717) 346-0374
Email: fmiller@state.pa.us

PA is in the midst of a major re-organization in an effort to create quality, seamless service delivery systems from birth-21.  A Powerpoint presentation describing various elements of the new system was shared and forwarded to Becky Cort. Many parts of the system are either still in development or have been piloted just recently, thus there is no data available yet on effectiveness. Technology is used widely in these systems.

California
Contact: Meredith Cathcart, Special Education Consultant
Special Education Division
California Department of Education
Phone: (916) 327-3702
Email: mcathcart@cde.ca.gov 
 

Resources available on these websites:
Transition Handbook  http://www.cde.ca.gov/re/pn/rc
Early Learning Content Standards (draft)  http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd
Desired Results access Project  http://www.draccess.org