Letter of Instruction

The following is the letter that is sent to Maine Special Purpose Private School directors participating in the 2013-14 monitoring process, instructing them with regard to the materials to be submitted as part of that process.

Dear Program Director:

The Maine DOE is required under federal law to monitor special education programs and services for students with disabilities as described under Section 616 of the 2004 Amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The purpose of this letter is to outline the components of the General Supervision System (GSS) review which will be conducted during your Special Purpose Private School (SPPS) monitoring cycle.


SPPS monitoring will provide the information necessary to enable the Maine DOE to determine your program’s continued approval status. The SPPS monitoring team will be reviewing documents and other materials requested from your program. The documents described below must be received by the SPPS monitoring team by Oct. 30, 2013.


Approval Element


Admission requirements and general description of program

Admission requirements and general description of program, mission of program, disability groups served and/or grade levels served.


Qualification of staff added to the program after submission of school approval application.

List of all special education staff added since the most recent school approval application was sent to the Department. Use the Personnel Certification form to provide social security numbers, position held and applicable licensure of these staff members.


Professional supervision

Qualifications of personnel in supervisory positions, including certification (Administrator certificate 030 or 035, or Special Educator certificate 282 or 286 with additional supervision) plus master’s degree in special education or related field and one year administrative experience.


Plan of instruction

Copy of curriculum in alignment with the proficiency standards of the system of Maine learning results, description of assessments, access to general curriculum and access to extracurricular activities.


Adequacy of supportive services

Grid of related service hours required and provided to all students enrolled. List all related service providers, hours employed, social security numbers and applicable licensure.


Teacher/Student ratio

Documentation of appropriate teacher/student ratios and caseloads.


Continuum of special education services

List types/ranges of special education services providing evidence of supporting movement on the educational continuum.


Graduation credit agreement

Copies of signed graduation credit agreements with sending schools/ schools of residence.


Policy regarding physical restraint and seclusion

Policy regarding use of physical restraint and seclusion in alignment with Maine DOE Rule Chapter 33, approved by Board of Directors.


Mandatory Reporting Policy

Policy for immediate notification and reporting of serious events including serious injury or death of a child, criminal activity on the part of a child or staff member, or other serious incident affecting the well-being of any child, to include Maine DOE.


Educational environment

Description of the capacity to provide a safe, healthy and appropriate educational environment.



In addition, please use the electronic Student Record form to review and report on 20 percent of student files (minimum of 10 files) with representation across ethnic groups, disabilities, grades and State Agency Client or State Ward status (to the extent possible). If the school population is 10 or less, all student files shall be reviewed. On-site visits will be scheduled with each SPPS, at which time the Maine DOE will select and review another 10 percent of student files.


The Maine DOE will review the requested documents and materials from your program prior to the on-site visit. Following the visit, any findings affecting SPPS’ continued approval status will be set forth in Letters of Finding, to be issued on May 1, 2014. Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) will be generated for SPPSs receiving a Letter of Finding. All CAP activities are to be completed and documentation of successful completion sent to the Maine DOE by Oct. 30, 2014.


For further information, please contact me at jonathan.braff@maine.gov.


Please send all appropriately labeled documents and material to the attention of Sheryl Banden, Office of Special Services, Maine Department of Education, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0023 or sheryl.banden@maine.gov.




Jonathan Braff, Esq.
Coordinator for Special Purpose Private Schools