Early Childhood Privacy and Confidentiality


The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) released a guidance document on Early Childhood Privacy and Confidentiality to assist early childhood programs under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) address privacy and confidentiality issues.  The document was produced and disseminated in response to requests for clarification of the privacy and confidentiality provisions of the IDEA for young children. This document is intended to provide responses to frequently asked questions to facilitate and enhance States’ implementation of IDEA privacy and confidentiality provisions and can be used in conjunction with the 2014 side-by-side guide of the IDEA and FERPA Confidentiality Provisions. The document can be accessed by the following link: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/speced/guid/idea/memosdcltrs/idea-confidentiality-requirements-faq.pdf.

Use of Electronic Mail to Provide IEPs and Related Documents

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued a policy letter in response to a state inquiry regarding school district use of electronic mail to provide parents with their child’s individualized education program (IEP) and  related documents, including progress reports.  The OSEP policy letter, dated March 20, 2014, was issued by Melody Musgrove, Director of OSEP, in response to an inquiry from the Maine Department of Education.

You may view a complete copy of this policy letter at the following link:

Use of Electronic Mail to Provide IEPs and Related Documents -OSEP Guidance

OSEP Memorandum: High-Quality Education for Highly Mobile Students

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued a letter to state directors on July 19, 2013, specific to the application of the IDEA requirements to “highly mobile children.”    The definition of highly mobile children includes children who experience frequent family moves; military-connected children; migrant children; children in foster care; and children who are homeless.  The purpose of the letter is to address the unique needs of highly mobile children under the IDEA to ensure the educational stability of and post-school outcomes for these students.

The letter specifically addresses timely and expedited evaluations and eligibility determinations, including when a response to intervention (RtI) framework is used as well as comparable services, including extended school year (ESY) services, for these students.  There is also a list of available federal resources and other helpful resources.

To review the full document, please visit the link below.

OSEP Memorandum Regarding Educating Highly Mobile Children

OSEP Memorandum: Dispute Resolution under IDEA Part B

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued a memorandum to Chief State School Officers and State Directors of Special Education on July 22, 2013, regarding the Dispute Resolution Procedures under the IDEA Part B.  The purpose of the memorandum was to introduce and disseminate an updated question and answer document related to IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution Procedures.  The accompanying question and answer document consists of five sections: mediations; State complaint procedures; due process complaints and due process hearing procedures; resolution process; and expedited due process hearings.  The memorandum and attached question and answer document is available at http://idea.ed.gov or:

To review the memorandum and Q&A documents, please visit the links below.

OSEP Memorandum on Dispute Resolution Procedures under Part B of the IDEA

OSEP Question and Answer Document on Dispute Resolution Procedures under Part B of the IDEA)

Are Virtual Schools and Online Education Effective for Students with Disabilities?

Information Release: National Association of State Directors of Special Education, Inc. (NASDSE), September 24, 2012 – Bill East, Executive Director

Across the country, virtual schools and online education are gaining popularity at a rapid rate, yet little research exists on whether such methods are effective for students with disabilities.  To learn more about this, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in the U.S. Department of Education funded the Center on Online Learning and Students with Disabilities in January of 2012.  The five-year grant project is a partnership involving the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning (KUCRL), the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST), and the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE).  Together, these organizations will conduct research on how K-12 online learning impacts the access, participation, and progress of students with disabilities.  Research outcomes are expected to inform the design, selection, and implementation of online digital curriculum materials, the systems that deliver and support them, and the instructional practices associated with their use, in order to increase their efficacy for students with disabilities and other elementary and secondary learners.  Updates on the Center’s progress along with original research can be found at centerononlinelearning.org.  For daily updates, follow the Center on Twitter @onlinecenter1

You Can Search Topics from Past Bureau Bulletins, Bureau Blogs and Bureau Updates!

The Bureau of Special Education currently offers several resources to assist you in searching for topics discussed in past Bureau Bulletin articles, Bureau Blogs and Bureau Updates.

For topics appearing in articles from Fall 2011 through the present, please use the search feature located at the top of the current Bureau Bulletin home page: https://ctspecialednews.org/

For topics appearing in articles from Spring 2010 through Fall 2011, please use the following directory which will bring you to the edition of the bulletin in which an article with your topic appears: Bureau Bulletin Article Directory Spring 2010-Fall 2011

For topics in articles from Summer 2008 through Spring 2010, please use the following directory which, again, will bring you to the edition of the bulletin in which an article with your topic appears: Bureau Bulletin Article Directory Summer 2008-Spring 2010

You may also access past editions of Bureau Blogs and Bureau Updates from September 1996 up to Summer 2008 through the Bureau of Special Education Web page: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2678&q=320720

It is our hope to bring each of these resources together under one easily searchable index in the future. In the meantime, we hope these resources will assist you in your research. For questions related to this article, please contact Jay Brown at 860-713-6918 or jay.brown@ct.gov.