Updates to the Restraint & Seclusion Data Collection System

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is updating the Restraint & Seclusion (R/S) Data Collection system for the 2019-20 school year. You may review the July 12, 2019, memorandum related to this important information at Memorandum-Updates to Restraint and Seclusion July 12, 2019.



8-Day Training Series on Planning and Placement Team (PPT) Practices for Improved Student Outcomes

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), Bureau of Special Education (BSE), in partnership with the State Education Resource Center (SERC), announces the launch of an innovative in-district training series targeted for all educators involved in the PPT process. This training, differentiated into three levels, is designed to address the various needs of participants and build district level capacity to ensure compliance and successful outcomes for students with disabilities.  For the 2019-20, there will be a limited number of school districts selected for implementation of this training series.

Please take a moment to review the one-page flyer about this training opportunity for school districts: 8 Day Training Series – PPT Practices

Individualized Education Program Document Revision Process

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) is currently in the process of revising the State’s individualized education program (IEP) document. An essential component to the provision of a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities, the IEP document is the official record of a planning and placement team’s decisions regarding a student’s special education eligibility identification and program. As federal and state requirements have changed over the years, the document currently in use in the state has required multiple updates since its origination. As a result, the Bureau of Special Education (BSE) has determined that a more holistic revision of the IEP document is warranted. Our goal is to design an IEP document that is less complicated for practitioners to use and easier for parents and students to understand.

Since July 2018, the BSE has undertaken several activities related to this important work. In addition to establishing an internal team to lead the revision process, the main focus of the BSE has been to seek stakeholder input regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the current IEP document. Opportunities for feedback included a survey of special education directors, regional meetings for parents and educators, an electronic survey accessible on the CSDE website, input from students and the State Advisory Council for Special Education. The feedback received has informed the development of a draft revised IEP document. The BSE internal team also completed a review of statutory and regulatory requirements and conducted reviews of IEP documents used in other states.

In addition to the activities listed above, the BSE formed an external advisory stakeholder group consisting of 22 individuals representing various perspectives. This group met regularly throughout the year to provide comment on the current document and feedback on a draft revised IEP document. The input from this group was critical in the development of a new IEP document.

In the upcoming weeks, the BSE is prepared to post the Draft IEP document revision on the CSDE website for public comment. Following the public comment period, we will continue to engage with stakeholders to design an implementation plan.

It is important to note that the current IEP document will remain in use across the state for the entirety of the 2019-2020 school year.

Summer 2019 LifeCourse Planning Tools Professional Learning Sessions

The Bureau of Special Education, together with the RESC Alliance, is conducting two sessions for Charting the LifeCourse, a universally-designed person-centered planning framework, to assist individuals and families of all abilities and ages to develop a vision of a good life.

To learn more about the sessions for this important tool as well as how to register, visit Summer 2019 LifeCourse Planning Tools Professional Learning Sessions flyer  .


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) LEA Requirements

Special Education Leaders and Transition Contact Persons,

The Bureau of Special Education is engaged in a partnership with the Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) and the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to assist in supporting students who will be transitioning to adult supports and services.

In these bulleted links you will find:

No later than Monday, June 17, 2019, LEAs must:

  1. Complete the Section 511 LEA Documentation of Completed Transition Services form and attach the student’s most recent IEP.
  2. Submit the completed form and the student’s IEP to Andre Pope, Secretary, DORS, via mail or fax – confidential student information may not be submitted by email unless it is encrypted.
  3. Provide the parent or guardian of the student with a copy of the submitted form and IEP.

If you have questions, please contact Alycia M. Trakas at 860-713-6932 or Alycia.trakas@ct.gov.

Opportunity for Special Education Leaders Who are Concluding Their First Year in the Position

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and the State Education Resource Center (SERC) invite first-year special education leaders (Assistant Superintendents of Pupil Services, Pupil Services Directors, Special Education Directors, Special Education Supervisors) to participate in a two-day training series.

For more detail and registration information, please see this flyer

Special Education Leadership Year 1 Reflection 2019


Parent Symposium – Spread the Word!

Special Education Leaders!

As you know, in collaboration with the RESC Alliance, CPAC, and ConnCASE the BSE engaged in a series of parent forums this year to hear directly from parents regarding their experiences with the special education process.  Based upon the themes that were captured, we are providing the parents with a training opportunity (Parent Symposium) which will be held on May 13, 2019.

The training originally was targeted for parents who attended the forum. However, we are now opening up the training to all parents.

We have a wonderful session planned including:

  • A keynote address from Doug Little
  • A panel discussion/showcase related to positive parent/district partnerships (Bristol, Simsbury, Madison)
  • Afternoon breakout sessions including the following topics:
    • Secondary Transition,
    • Assistive Technology,
    • Dispute Resolution, and
    • PPT Preparation.

Please feel free to share this flyer ( Parent Symposium Flyer ) with your parent networks and encourage parents to register.

Thank you for your time in advance and thanks for all you do for our students.

Bryan Klimkiewicz, Division Director

Bureau of Special Education

Parent Symposium Flyer


If You Would Like to Provide Input on the State’s Current IEP Document Please Review This Posting

On Thursday, March 25, 2019, a memorandum to the field was issued from the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Special Education Division Director, Bryan Klimkiewicz, regarding the Bureau of Special Education’s individualized education program (IEP) document revision process. The Bureau is seeking your input on the current IEP document. If you would like to provide input, please review the attached memorandum to the field and complete the directions for accessing the IEP document survey.

Memorandum Regarding the IEP Document Revision Process 3-25-2019

The Bureau of Special Education Welcomes Sean Cronin and Alycia Trakas.

In October, the Bureau of Special Education welcomed two new members of the team.  

Sean Cronin joined the Bureau of Special Education on October 12, 2018 as an Associate Education Consultant within the Due Process Unit.  Sean is providing technical assistance, complaint resolution and general special education support for school districts and parents.

Sean comes to the Bureau with past knowledge and experience from his previous role as an Assistant Child Advocate at the Office of the Child Advocate (OCA).  Prior to his work at OCA, he was the program manager for the Intensive Outpatient / Partial Hospitalization Programs at UCONN Health as well as the program manager for continuing care at Western CT Mental Health Authority in Waterbury (DMHAS).  Sean has been working with children and adults with disabilities for over 20 years. 

Alycia Trakas began her work at the Bureau on October 26, 2018 as an Education Consultant within the Program Improvement Unit.  In addition to general special education support for school districts and parents, her primary responsibilities include Specific Learning Disabilities/Dyslexia; Secondary Transition, Post-School Outcomes, and Graduation and Dropout.

Alycia comes to the Bureau with a wealth of knowledge and experience from her previous role as a School Principal and Assistant Superintendent of Schools and as an Interventionist/Teacher.  She has worked in the field of education for almost 15 years. 

Please join the Bureau in welcoming Sean and Alycia!