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Special Education Listserv

Subject: ECSE/Part C to Part B Transition/IEP in Place Age 3

Source: Jackie Bruner, Director, Compliance

Intended Audience: Special Education Directors, Superintendents, Part C Staff

Date: July 6, 2010


As you know, school districts receiving referrals for students from our First Steps Program (Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) are required to determine if an evaluation for Early Childhood Special Education is needed, conduct that evaluation as appropriate and, if the child is  found eligible for special education under Part B of IDEA, develop an Individualized Education Program (IEP) by the child's third birthday.  The only exceptions to this requirement


*A late referral of the child to First Steps (less than 90 days prior to the third birthday).

*Lack of parental consent to evaluate the child, which delays an evaluation by the school district and subsequent development of an IEP.

In the past, some districts have delayed having an IEP in place by the child's third birthday for school breaks, parent delay of meetings, waiting for outside evaluation information, etc.  We were recently put on notice by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) that these reasons will no longer be acceptable.  Districts will be found out of compliance for not developing the IEP by the child's third birthday for any reason other than the two mentioned above.  OSEP has specifically identified this item in communicating with Missouri as part of the annual determinations category notification.