Special Education

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Office of Special Education - Our Purpose

To lead the improvement of outcomes for preparing all children and students with disabilities and their families for learning, earning, and living through effective use of data, collaboration, communication, and a framework of differentiated support.

Journey to Inclusion (PEaK) Grant Applications

The application window closed May 1, 2024

Nebraska Department of Education’s (NDE) Office of Special Education is accepting applications for project funding available annually to advance Nebraska’s Journey to Inclusion through Continuous Improvement and the implementation of districts’ Targeted Improvement Plans (TIPs).

As part of Nebraska’s Results Driven Accountability (RDA) System, all school districts must participate in an ongoing review of their special education program utilizing the Improving Learning for Children with Disabilities (ILCD) process. The process includes an analysis of district data to study relevant data, district infrastructure, and other pertinent findings to identify target areas for improvement. This is followed by identifying measurable results (goals) and coherent improvement strategies that will be the focus of the improvement activities in the TIP. Next, the district reviews the current infrastructure and capacity to implement, scale up, and sustain evidence-based practice. Finally, based upon strengths and challenges, a comprehensive, multi-year TIP detailing coherent improvement strategies focused on improving results for children with disabilities is created.

The NDE recognizes Inclusive Education as a framework to implement many of the evidence-based practices identified in districts’ TIPs. Inclusive Education offers a model for providing high-quality equitable educational programming that improves access and opportunities for all learners. Districts and ESUs that choose to Improve Reading as their General Focus for Improvement and that choose to leverage Inclusive Education in the implementation of their TIPs are eligible to apply for the Journey to Inclusion Grant.

This grant opportunity will advance Nebraska’s Journey to Inclusion through Continuous Improvement and the implementation of districts’ Targeted Improvement Plans (TIPs).

NE JTI – Revisions to the PEaK Grant (YouTube Video)

PEaK Allocation Listing – Updated 3.28.2024

2024/2025 JTI PEaK Grant Application Scoring Rubric

You may use the following documents to “Make a Copy” and draft your application.
SAMPLE – Blank District Application
SAMPLE – Blank ESU/Consortium Application

Nebraska finished off #InclusiveSchoolsWeek strong with a highlight video of the work happening in one of the pilot schools. Watch our video and stay tuned as our Journey has just begun!!

As part of Nebraska’s “Journey to Inclusion,” we are excited to work with our partners at Hanover Research to develop meaningful and easy-to-use resources to inform stakeholders about how to support inclusive efforts. This published infographic “Best Practices in Special Education NDE” highlights instructional strategies that not only support students with special needs but all students in the classroom.  These high-impact instructional strategies are also aligned with selections found in the Targeted Improvement Plan (TIP) that schools submit to portray continuous improvement efforts within Special Education programs.

In December 2023, this infographic was reviewed by Nebraska’s Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) and we are excited to share it widely.  Stayed tuned for the next publication, “Benchmarking Co-Teaching Policies & Practices.”

Covid-19 & American Rescue Plan Resources

IDEA Guidance/Parent Resources/Educational Resources



Recent SPED Updates

2023-24 Split Funding Memo

2023-24 Split Funding Memo

Clarification on guidance for 92 NAC 51 – 009.04 and IDEA 60-Day Timeline for School-Age Children

45 school day vs 60-day guidance (PDF)

Guidance on Special Education Certification – April 2019

Guidance on Special Education Certification – Reimbursable under IDEA (PDF)

Upcoming SPED Events

Decorative Purposes Only - Save the Date for 2024 NeMTSS Summit - All information in the photo is shared in writing below the photo

2024 Nebraska MTSS Summit – Hybrid
“Super Systems for Success”

September 26-27, 2024
Younes Conference Center North
Kearney, Nebraska

“Super Systems for Success” is the theme of this year’s hybrid event, hosted by the Nebraska Department of Education’s Office of Special Education and Office of Coordinated Student Support Services.

Participants may attend in person at the Younes Conference Center North or participate virtually.

Registration is $125


The summit will feature keynote and breakout sessions focused on four key strands — school safety, behavior, foundational literacy, and MTSS — recognizing the synergy that arises when these individual strands form connections within a strong school system.

Sessions will provide educators with opportunities to develop their individual “superpowers” to systematically promote inclusive practices and support staff in improving outcomes for all students.

More details are available on the summit website, including registering and reserving lodging. Consider bookmarking our summit blog and following us on Twitter and Facebook to receive updates.

Eligibility Guidelines

Eligibility Guidelines by Topic

Policies & Procedures Guidance Documents

Policies & Procedures by Topic

Technical Assistance/Guidance Documents

Developing Local Policies & Procedures Required for Implementation of Special Education Part B Regulations in Nebraska’s Public Schools

Eligibility Guidelines

Equity Guidance – Nebraska – CEIS

Equity Guidance – Nebraska

Extended School Year (ESY) Guidance Document – Aug 2018

External District Monitoring Protocol

GMS Flex Funding Application Preschool and School-Age District Procedures Guidance Document

Guidance on Serving Homeschool, Exempt Students with Disabilities

IEP Facilitation Guide 2020

IEP Special Education Services

Improving Learning for Children with Disabilities (ILCD) Guidance Document – Navigating the T.I.P.

Kindergarten Age Eligible (5-year-old) Preschool IEP and LRE Guidance (Dec. 2021)

Language Assessment Guidance Document

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Guidance Document – Aug 2018

Medicaid in Public Schools (MIPS) Guidance Document

NETA B Preschool Guidance Document

Nebraska Accommodations Guidelines – How to Select, Administer, and Evaluate Accommodations for Instruction of Students with Disabilities (2022)

Nebraska’s Journey to Inclusion – Equity for All Learners Inclusion at Every-Level Guidance Document

Non-Public Services to Children with Disabilities Enrolled by Their Parents in Non-Public Schools

Paraeducator Guidance Document

Part C Levels of Determination Technical Assistance Guide

Part C Procedural Safeguards – Aug 2018

Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities Guide – January 2020

Policies and Procedures Guidance Documents by Topic

Prior Written Notice Guidance Document

Promoting Supports for Students with Disabilities Specific to Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Shortened Days Guidance Document

State Complaint Guideline

Supporting the Behavioral Needs of Children with Disabilities Guidance Document

Results Matter TA Document

Teaching Students with Specific Learning Disabilities Math

Tips for Working with a Licensed Sign Language Interpreter
 *Webinar with captioning to support the TA Doc on Guidelines for Educational Interpreters.

Transition Planning Guidance Document – May 2022

Questions and Answers on Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), Evaluations, and Reevaluations – OSEP 2010

Department Information

Public Reporting and Determination Guides

Public Reporting
Part B Levels of Determination 2017

Early Childhood Inter-Agency Coordinating Council

ECICC Biennial Report to the Governor

Guidance from the U.S. Dept. of Education – Office for Civil Rights

Colleague Letter – Resource Guide on Students with ADHD
Know Your Rights – Students with ADHD

Maintenance of Effort

Federal Proposed Regulations on Significant Disproportionality
Federal Study and State Analysis of Disproportionality

Updated May 22, 2024 3:50pm