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.

The U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) has received multiple requests from a diverse group of stakeholders for updated and consolidated guidance interpreting the general supervision requirements of States under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). While the Federal government provides grants to States under IDEA to administer the law, the responsibility of implementing IDEA begins with States.

Dear Colleague Letter on General Supervision Responsibilities – July 24, 2023

The guidance accompanying this letter is intended to provide States with accessible and actionable information necessary to exercise their general supervision responsibilities to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living; and that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected. Likewise, this guidance provides States with information to support the implementation of a Statewide, comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary, interagency system of early intervention services for infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families.

Decorative Purposes Only - Image links directly to the State General Supervision Responsibilities under Parts B and C of IDEA document

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

Join us this fall for the 2024 Nebraska MTSS Summit in Kearney! The two-day event, hosted by the Nebraska Department of Education’s Office of Special Education, will feature engaging presentations and interactive breakout sessions around the theme of “Super Systems for Success.”

Participants may register to attend the summit in person at the Younes Conference Center North or participate in sessions virtually.

Registration is $125 and opens April 15, 2024

About the theme
The summit will feature keynote and breakout sessions focused on four key strands — school safety, behavior, multi-tiered systems of support, and foundational literacy — 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.

The summit will serve as an introduction and expansion of work educators are starting or have already begun with NeMTSS workshops and implementation support.

Registration will open on April 15, 2024, and is expected to close on August 15, 2024, unless capacity is reached before that date. Registration for virtual or in-person attendance is $125. More details, including how to register and reserve lodging, will be available later this spring.

Call for Proposals
Individuals and groups may submit proposals for breakout sessions via Google Forms – HERE!  We are currently looking for proposals for 60-minute presentations that align with the four key strands and are of interest to Nebraska educators.

Breakout sessions will be categorized into four strands to help participants personalize their summit experience. The four strands include school safety, behavior, multi-tiered systems of support, and foundational literacy.

When submitting a breakout proposal, you’ll be asked to determine which strand matches your presentation best.

  • School safety presentations will relate to providing guidance and support to schools to prevent, prepare, respond, and recover from incidents that impact the safety and security of students and staff. More information can be found on the Nebraska School Safety Office’s website.
  • Behavior presentations will relate to strategies to teach, promote, and reinforce positive behavior within a multi-tiered system of support.
  • Multi-tiered systems of support presentations will relate to systems development, including infrastructure and shared leadership, collaboration and communication, a layered continuum of supports, and data-based decision-making.
  • Foundational literacy presentations will relate to high-quality foundational literacy instruction anchored in the most current research that supports the achievement of literacy proficiency for ALL students, as well as support for, and implementation of, evidence-based literacy instruction across a multi-tiered system, including the use of a data-based, problem-solving process.

The NeMTSS Framework may also be referenced to help tailor your proposed presentation to the audience. Proposals must be submitted via this Google Form – HERE! For full consideration, please submit your proposal by April 1, 2024.

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 February 23, 2024 1:10pm