R7-2-401. Special Education Standards for Public Agencies Providing Educational Services
R7-2-402. Standards for Approval of Special Education Programs in Private Schools
R7-2-404. Special Education Voucher Program Policies and Procedures
R7-2-405. Due Process Standards Relating to Special Education
R7-2-406. Gifted Education Programs and Services
R7-2-407. Special Education Standards and Assistance for Providing Educational Services and Materials for Visually Impaired Students
R7-2-408. Extended School Year Programs for Children with Disabilities
A. For the purposes of this Article, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997 (IDEA), 20 USC 1400 et seq. as reauthorized on June 4, 1997, and the IDEA 1997 regulations, 34 CFR 300.4 through 300.756 effective March 1999, are incorporated herein by reference. Copies of the incorporated material can be obtained from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 37195-7954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250 or the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services, 1535 West Jefferson, Phoenix, Arizona 85007. This Article does not include any later amendments or additions to IDEA or IDEA regulations.
B. Definitions. All terms defined in the regulations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 1997 Amendments (34 CFR 300.4 through 300.30, and 300.504) and A.R.S. § 15-761 are applicable, with the following additions:
1. 'Accommodations' means the provisions made to allow a student to access and demonstrate learning. Accommodations do not substantially change the instructional level, the content or the performance criteria, but are made in order to provide a student equal access to learning and equal opportunity to demonstrate what is known. Accommodations shall not alter the content of the curriculum or a test, or provide inappropriate assistance to the student within the context of the test.
2. 'Adaptations' means changes made to the environment, curriculum, and instruction or assessment practices in order for a student to be a successful learner. Adaptations include accommodations and modifications. Adaptations are based on an individual student's strengths and needs.
3. 'Administrator' means the chief administrative official or designee (responsible for special education services) of a public education agency.
4. 'Audiologist' means a person who specializes in the identification and prevention of hearing problems and in the non-medical rehabilitation of those who have hearing impairments and who is licensed to practice audiology according to A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 17, Article 4.
5. 'Boundaries of responsibility' means for:
a. A school district, the geographical area within the legally designated boundaries.
b. A public agency other than a school district, the population of students enrolled in a charter school or receiving educational services from a public agency.
6. 'Certified school psychologist' means a person holding a certificate from the Arizona State Board of Education issued pursuant to 7 A.A.C. 2, Article 6, in the area of school psychology.
7. 'Certified speech/language therapist' means a person holding a certificate from the Arizona State Board of Education issued pursuant to 7 A.A.C. 2, Article 6, and a license from the Arizona Department of Health Services as a speech/language pathologist in accordance with A.R.S. Title 36, Chapter 17, Article 4.
8. 'Department' means the Arizona Department of Education.
9. 'Doctor of medicine' means a person holding a license to practice medicine pursuant to Chapter 13 (medical doctor) or Chapter 17 (doctor of osteopathy) of Title 32, Arizona Revised Statutes.
10. 'Exceptional Student Services Division' or 'ESS' means the Exceptional Student Services Division of the Arizona Department of Education.
11. 'Evaluator' means a qualified person in a field relevant to the child's disability who administers specific and individualized assessment for the purpose of special education evaluation and placement.
12. 'Full and individual evaluation' means procedures used in accordance with the IDEA to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child needs. This evaluation includes:
a. A review of existing information about the child; and
b. A decision regarding the need for additional information; and
c. If necessary, the collection of additional information; and
d. A review of all information about the child and a determination of eligibility for special education services and needs of the child.
13. 'Independent educational evaluation' means an evaluation conducted by a qualified evaluator who is not employed by the public education agency responsible for the education of the child in question.
14. 'Interpreter' means a person trained to translate orally or in sign language in matters pertaining to special education identification, evaluation, placement, the provision of FAPE, or assurance of procedural safeguards for parents and students who converse in a language other than spoken English. Each student's IEP team determines the level of interpreter skill necessary for the provision of FAPE.
15. 'Language in which the student is proficient' means all languages including sign language systems.
16. 'Licensed psychologist' means a person holding a license from the state of Arizona Board of Psychologist examiners in accordance with A.R.S. Title 32, Chapter 19.1, Article 2.
17. 'Modifications' means substantial changes in what a student is expected to learn and to demonstrate. Changes may be made in the instructional level, the content or the performance criteria. Such changes are made to provide a student with meaningful and productive learning experiences, environments, and assessments based on individual needs and abilities.
18. 'Paraeducator' means a person employed to assist with the education of students but who is not certified to teach by the Arizona Department of Education. Alternate terms may include paraprofessional, teacher aide, instructional assistant or other similar titles.
19. 'Private school' means any nonpublic educational institution where academic instruction is provided, including nonsectarian and parochial schools, that are not under the jurisdiction of the state or a public education agency.
20. 'Private special education school' means a private school that is established to serve primarily students with disabilities. The school may also serve students without disabilities.
21. 'Psychiatrist' means a doctor of medicine who specializes in the study, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mental disorders.
22. 'Public education agency' or 'PEA' means a school district, charter school, accommodation school, state supported institution, or other political subdivision of the state that is responsible for providing education to children with disabilities.
23. 'Screening' means an informal or formal process of determining the status of a child with respect to appropriate developmental and academic norms. Screening may include observations, family interviews, review of medical, developmental, or education records, or the administration of specific instruments identified by the test publisher as appropriate for use as screening tools.
24. 'Special education teacher' means a teacher holding a special education certificate from the Arizona Department of Education.
25. 'Suspension' means a disciplinary removal from a child's current placement that results in a failure to provide services to the extent necessary to enable the child to progress appropriately in the general curriculum and advance toward achieving the goals set out in the child's IEP. The term does not include disciplinary actions or changes in placement through the IEP process if the child continues to receive the services described above. The term does include actions such as 'in-school' and 'going home for the rest of the day' removals if the child does not receive the services described above.
C. Public Awareness.
1. Each public education agency shall inform the general public and all parents, within the public education agency's boundaries of responsibility, of the availability of special education services for students aged three through 21 years and how to access those services. This includes information regarding early intervention services for children aged birth through 2 years.
2. Each public education agency is responsible for public awareness within their enrolled population (including the families of enrolled students).
3. School districts are responsible for public awareness in private schools located within their geographical boundaries.
D. Child Identification and Referral.
1. Each public education agency shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its school-based personnel and all parents, within the public education agency boundaries of responsibility, written procedures for the identification and referral of all children with disabilities, aged birth through 21, including children with disabilities attending private schools and home schools, regardless of the severity of their disability.
2. Each public education agency will require all school-based staff to review the written procedures related to child identification and referral on an annual basis. The public education agency shall maintain documentation of staff review.
3. Procedures for child identification and referral shall meet the requirements of the IDEA and regulations, Title 15, Chapter 7, Article 4 and these rules.
4. The public education agency responsible for child identification activities is the school district in which the parents reside unless:
a. The student is enrolled in a charter school or public education agency that is not a school district. In that event, the charter school or public education agency is responsible for child identification activities;
b. The student is enrolled in a private school. In that event, the school district within whose boundaries the private school is located is responsible for child identification activities.
5. Identification (screening for possible disabilities) shall be completed within 45 calendar days after:
a. Entry of each preschool or kindergarten student and any student enrolling without appropriate records of screening, evaluation, and progress in school; or
b. Notification to the public education agency by parents of concerns regarding developmental or educational progress by their child aged 3 years through 21 years.
6. Screening procedures shall include vision and hearing status and consideration of the following areas: cognitive or academic, communication, motor, social or behavioral, and adaptive development. Screening does not include detailed individualized comprehensive evaluation procedures.
7. For a student transferring into a school; the public education agency shall review enrollment data and educational performance in the prior school. If there is a history of special education for a student not currently eligible for special education, or poor progress, the name of the student shall be submitted to the administrator for consideration of the need for a referral for a full and individual evaluation or other services.
8. If a concern about a student is identified through screening procedures or through review of records, the public education agency shall notify the parents of the student of the concern within 10 school days and inform them of the public education agency procedures to follow-up on the student's needs.
9. Each public education agency shall maintain documentation of the identification procedures utilized, the dates of entry into school or notification by parents made pursuant to subsection (D)(5), and the dates of screening. The results shall be maintained in the student's permanent records in a location designated by the administrator. In the case of a student not enrolled, the results shall be maintained in a location designated by the administrator.
10. If the identification process indicates a possible disability, the name of the student shall be submitted to the administrator for consideration of the need for a referral for a full and individual evaluation or other services. A parent or a student may request an evaluation of the student. If the parent of an identified student enrolled in a private school does not reside within the school district boundaries, the parent, with the assistance of the school district, shall notify the district in which the parents reside of the needs of the student and the residence school district will assume responsibility for follow-up.
11. If, after consultation with the parent, the responsible public education agency determines that a full and individual evaluation is not warranted, the public education agency shall provide prior written notice and procedural safeguards notice to the parent in a timely manner.
1. Each public education agency shall establish, implement, disseminate to its school-based personnel, and make available to parents within its boundaries of responsibility, written procedures for the initial full and individual evaluation of students suspected of having a disability, and for the re-evaluation of students previously identified as being eligible for special education.
2. Procedures for the initial full and individual evaluation of children suspected of having a disability and for the re-evaluation of students with disabilities shall meet the requirements of IDEA and regulations, and state statutes and State Board of Education rules.
3. The initial evaluation of a child being considered for special education, or the re-evaluation per a parental request of a student already receiving special education services, shall be completed as soon as possible, but shall not exceed 60 calendar days from receipt of informed written consent. If the public education agency initiates the evaluation, the 60-day period shall commence with the date of receipt of informed written consent and shall conclude with the date of the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team (MET) determination of eligibility. If the parent requests the evaluation and the MET concurs, the 60-day period shall commence with the date that the written parental request was received by the public education agency and shall conclude with the date of the MET determination of eligibility.
4. The 60-day evaluation period may be extended for an additional 30 days, provided it is in the best interest of the child, and the parents and PEA agree in writing to such an extension. Neither the 60-day evaluation period nor any extension shall cause a re-evaluation to exceed the timelines for a re-evaluation within three years of the previous evaluation.
5. The public education agency may accept current information about the student from another state, public agency, public education agency, or independent evaluator. In such instances, the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team shall be responsible for reviewing and approving or supplementing an evaluation to meet the requirements identified in subsections (E)(1) through (7).
6. For the following disabilities, the full and individual initial evaluation shall include:
a. Emotional disability: verification of a disorder by a psychiatrist, licensed psychologist, or a certified school psychologist.
b. Hearing impairment:
i. An audiological evaluation by an audiologist; and
ii. An evaluation of communication/language proficiency.
c. Other health impairment: verification of a health impairment by a doctor of medicine.
d. Specific learning disability: a determination of whether the discrepancy between achievement and ability meet the public education agency criteria.
e. Orthopedic impairment: verification of the physical disability by a doctor of medicine.
f. Speech/language impairment: an evaluation by a certified speech/language therapist.
g. For students whose speech impairments appear to be limited to articulation, voice, or fluency problems, the written evaluation may be limited to:
i. An audiometric screening within the past calendar year;
ii. A review of academic history and classroom functioning;
iii. An assessment of the speech problem by a speech therapist; or
iv. An assessment of the student's functional communication skills.
h. Traumatic brain injury: verification of the injury by a doctor of medicine.
i. Visual impairment: verification of a visual impairment by an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
7. The Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team shall determine, in accordance with the IDEA and regulations, whether the requirements of subsections (E)(6)(a) through (i) are required for a student's re-evaluation.
F. Individualized Education Program (IEP).
1. Each public education agency shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its school-based personnel, and make available to parents, written procedures for the development, implementation, review, and revision of IEPs.
2. Procedures for IEPs shall meet the requirements of the IDEA and regulations, and state statutes and State Board of Education rules.
3. Procedures shall include the incorporation of Arizona Academic Standards into the development of each IEP. IEP goals aligned with the Arizona Academic Standards shall identify the specific level within the Standard that is being addressed.
4. Each IEP of a student with a disability shall stipulate the provision of instructional or support services by a special education teacher, certified speech/language therapist, and/or ancillary service provider(s), as appropriate.
5. Each student with a disability shall participate in the Arizona Student Assessment Program. The level at which a student will be assessed shall be documented on the student's IEP and shall be at least at the student's instructional level. The IEP shall also document instructional and assessment adaptations required by the student.
6. A meeting shall be conducted to review and revise each student's IEP at least annually, or more frequently if the student's progress substantially deviates from what was anticipated. The public education agency shall provide written notice of the meeting to the parents of the student to ensure that parents have the opportunity to participate in the meeting.
7. A parent or public education agency may request in writing a review of the IEP. Such review shall take place within 15 school days of the receipt of the request or at a mutually agreed upon time but not to exceed 30 school days.
G. Least Restrictive Environment.
1. Each public education agency shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its school-based personnel, and make available to parents, written procedures to ensure the delivery of special education services in the least restrictive environment as identified by IDEA and regulations, and state statutes and State Board of Education rules.
2. A continuum of services and supports for students with disabilities shall be available through each public education agency.
H. Procedural Safeguards.
1. Each public education agency shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its school-based personnel and parents of students with disabilities written procedures to ensure children with disabilities and their parents are afforded the procedural safeguards required by federal statute and regulation and state statute. These procedures shall include dissemination to parents information about the public education agency's and state's dispute resolution options.
2. In accordance with the prior written notice requirements of IDEA, prior written notice must be issued in a timely manner following a decision by a PEA to propose to initiate or change, or refuse to initiate or change, the identification, evaluation, educational placement or the provision of FAPE to the child.
1. Each public education agency shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its personnel, and make available to parents, written policies and procedures to ensure the confidentiality of records and information in accordance with the IDEA, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and regulations, and state statutes.
2. Parents shall be fully informed about the requirements of IDEA 300.127, including an annual notice of the policies and procedures that the PEA must follow regarding storage, disclosure to a third party, retention, and destruction of personally identifiable information.
3. Upon receiving a written request, each public education agency shall forward special education records to any other public education agency in which a student is attempting to enroll. Records shall be forwarded within the time-frame specified in A.R.S. § 15-828(F). The public education agency shall also forward records to any other person or agency for which the parents have given signed consent.
J. Preschool Programs. Each public education agency responsible for serving preschool children with disabilities shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its personnel, and make available to parents, written procedures for:
1. The operation of the preschool program in accordance with federal statute and regulation, and state statute;
2. The smooth and effective transition from the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) to a public school preschool program in accordance with the agreement between the Department of Economic Security and the Department; and
3. The provision of a minimum of 360 minutes of instruction in a program that operates at least three days a week.
K. Children in Private Schools.
Each public education agency shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its personnel, and make available to parents, written procedures regarding the access to special education services to students enrolled in private schools as identified by the IDEA and regulations, and state statutes and State Board of Education rules.
L. State Education Agency Responsible for General Supervision and Obligations Related to and Methods of Ensuring Services.
1. The Department is responsible for the general supervision of services to children with disabilities aged 3 through 21 served through a public education agency.
2. The Department shall ensure through fund allocation, monitoring, dispute resolution, and technical assistance that all eligible students receive a free appropriate public education in conformance with the IDEA regulations, A.R.S. Title 15, Chapter 7, Article 4, and these rules.
M. Procedural Requirements Relating to Public Education Agency Eligibility.
1. Each public education agency shall establish eligibility for funding with the Arizona Department in accordance with the IDEA and regulations, and state statutes and with schedule and method prescribed by the Department.
2. In the event the Department determines that a public education agency does not meet eligibility for funding requirements, the public education agency has a right to a hearing before such funding is withheld.
3. The Department may temporarily interrupt payments during any time period when a public education agency has not corrected deficiencies in eligibility for federal funds as a result of fiscal requirements of monitoring, auditing, complaint and due process findings.
4. Each public education agency shall, on an annual basis, determine the number of children within each disability category who have been identified, located, evaluated, and/or receiving special education services. This includes children residing within the boundaries of responsibility of the public education agency who have been placed by their parents in private schools or who are home schooled.
N. Public Participation.
1. Each public education agency shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its personnel, and make available to parents, written procedures to ensure that, prior to the adoption of any policies and procedures needed to comply with federal and state statutes and regulations, there are:
a. Public hearings,
b. Notice of the hearings, and
c. An opportunity for comment available to the general public, including individuals with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities.
2. This requirement does not pertain to day-to-day operating procedures.
O. Suspension and Expulsion.
1. Each public education agency shall establish, implement, and disseminate to its personnel, and make available to parents, written procedures for the suspension and expulsion of students with disabilities.
2. Each public education agency shall require all school-based staff involved in the disciplinary process to review the policies and procedures related to suspension and expulsion on an annual basis. The public education agency shall maintain documentation of staff review.
3. Procedures for such suspensions and expulsions shall meet the requirements of the IDEA and regulations, and state statutes.
Amended effective December 11, 1974. Amended effective July 14, 1975 (Supp. 75-1). Amended effective July 1, 1977 (Supp. 77-4). Amended effective April 26, 1978 (Supp. 78-2). Former Section R7-2-401 repealed, new Section R7-2-401 adopted effective December 4, 1978 (Supp. 78-6). Amended by adding subsection (H) as an emergency effective July 20, 1984, pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1003, valid for only 90 days (Supp. 84-4). Emergency expired. Amended (D)(11), (E)(5)(b) and added (H) effective December 14, 1984 (Supp. 84-6). Amended as an emergency effective June 18, 1985, pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1003, valid for only 90 days (Supp. 85-3). Emergency expired. Amended subsection (D) by adding subsection (12) effective March 13, 1986 (Supp. 86-2). Amended subsection (G) effective July 8, 1986 (Supp. 86-4). Amended subsections (D) and (H) and added subsection (I) effective June 22, 1987 (Supp. 87-2). Amended effective August 2, 1988 (Supp. 88-3). Amended effective December 6, 1995 (Supp. 95-4). Amended by final rulemaking at 7 A.A.R. 1541, effective March 19, 2001 (Supp. 01-1). Amended to correct a manifest typographical error in subsection (D)(1) (Supp. 01-3). Subsections (D)(9), (E)(4), and (E)(6) amended under A.R.S. § 41-1011 to correct subsection cross-references (Supp. 02-2). Amended by final rulemaking at 9 A.A.R. 4633, effective December 8, 2003 (Supp. 03-4).
A. Definitions. All terms defined in the regulations for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 1997 Amendments (34 CFR 300.4 through 300.30), A.R.S. § 15-761, and State Board of Education rule R7-2-401 are applicable.
B. No student may be placed by a public education agency in a private school special education school program unless the facility has been approved as meeting the standards as outlined in this rule, and the public education agency is unable to provide satisfactory education and services through its own facilities and personnel.
C. In order for a private special education school to be approved by the Department for the purpose of contracting with a public education agency, the private facility shall:
1. Provide special education instructional programs for students with disabilities that are at least comparable to those provided by the public schools of Arizona and meet the requirements of IDEA.
2. Provide the following documentation:
a. Policies and procedures based on IDEA and state statues;
b. Curriculum that is aligned with the Arizona Academic Standards;
c. A completed application;
d. Copies of all teacher and related service personnel certifications and licenses; and
e. If applicable, a copy of North Central Accreditation.
3. Provide certificated special education teachers in each classroom to implement the IEPs of those students assigned to that classroom.
4. Provide related services to meet the needs of the students as indicated on their IEPs.
5. Provide administration personnel such as head teacher, principal, or other administrator certificated in an administrative area or experienced and certificated in the appropriate area of special education.
6. Provide an education that meets the standards that apply to education provided by the public education agency.
7. Maintain student records in accordance with the statutory requirements.
8. Accept all responsibilities concerning instructional programs to the disabled student and parent or guardian that are required of the public schools of Arizona. Ultimate responsibility for any student under contract in a private special education school rests with the public education agency contracting for the students' education.
9. Administer all required statewide assessments to those students placed in the private facility by a PEA or through the educational voucher system.
10. Maintain adequate liability insurance.
11. Maintain an accounting system and budget which includes the costs of operation, maintenance, transportation, and capital outlay, and which is open to review upon request.
12. Maintain an attendance reporting system that provides public education agencies and the Department with required information.
13. Provide notification to contracting public education agencies and the Department of any changes in staff or deletion of programs within 10 school days of the change or deletion.
14. Provide notification to the contracting PEA of any intent to discontinue, suspend, or terminate services to a student for longer than 10 days. Services to the student must be continued by the private school until an IEP meeting with the PEA is convened to determine an appropriate alternative placement. The PEA must be given up to 10 school days to arrange for the transition of the student after the IEP determination.
15. Permit onsite evaluation of the program by the Department or its designees, and the representatives of the public education agencies.
16. Request approval to contract with public education agencies from the Department in accordance with the prescribed procedures.
Former Section R7-2-402 repealed, new Section R7-2-402 adopted effective December 4, 1978 (Supp. 78-6). Amended by final rulemaking at 7 A.A.R. 1541, effective March 19, 2001 (Supp. 01-1). Amended by final rulemaking at 9 A.A.R. 4633, effective December 8, 2003 (Supp. 03-4).
Adopted effective December 4, 1978 (Supp. 78-6). Amended as an emergency effective September 26, 1979, pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1003, valid for only 90 days (Supp. 79-5). Former emergency adoption now adopted effective December 4, 1979 (Supp. 79-6). Section repealed by final rulemaking at 9 A.A.R. 4633, effective December 8, 2003 (Supp. 03-4).
A. Institutional vouchers. Students residing and attending special education programs at the Arizona Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB) or the Arizona State Hospital (ASH) or students attending special education day programs provided by ASDB may be eligible for special education institutional voucher funding.
1. Eligibility criteria.
a. Student shall be between the ages of 3 and 22 years.
b. Student shall have a recognized disability as documented by a current educational evaluation. Evaluations shall be completed by the institution or the student's home school district (HSD), as determined by a multidisciplinary evaluation team (MET).
c. Student shall have a current individualized education program (IEP) identifying the placement as the most appropriate and least restrictive educational environment.
2. Institutional voucher application/approval.
a. Applications for special education institutional vouchers shall be completed by the institution and submitted to the Exceptional Student Services Division of the Department of Education. The institution shall provide all student information requested on the institutional voucher application.
b. Institutions shall sign a Statement of Assurance guaranteeing their maintenance of and ability to produce all supporting documentation for each application.
c. Institutional voucher applications shall be reviewed and approved or disapproved by the voucher unit manager. Applications that are disapproved may be corrected and resubmitted. Institutional voucher payments will not be made for student attendance prior to voucher approval date.
d. Voucher identification numbers shall be assigned for each new student approval, and shall be used by the institution to complete claims for payment and the special education census form.
e. Institutional vouchers are approved for the current year only; therefore the application process shall be repeated each school year for each student.
f. Institutions shall report any changes in student status, including withdrawals, transfers, current evaluation dates and changes in disability categories to the Exceptional Student Services Division of the Department of Education. Changes shall be submitted within ten days of the occurrence.
3. Institutional voucher claim for payment.
a. The special education institutional voucher claim for payment form shall be completed by the institution at the end of each calendar month. The claim shall be submitted in accordance with procedures established by the School Finance Division of the Department of Education.
b. Claims for payment shall be submitted to the School Finance Division of the Department of Education.
4. Special education census.
All institutional voucher students shall be reported on the special education census in accordance with procedures established by the School Finance Division of the Department of Education.
5. Review of placement.
a. It is the responsibility of the HSD to review student progress at least once a semester.
b. The IEP may be completed by the institution but is ultimately the responsibility of the student's HSD to ensure that it is reviewed and revised annually.
c. It is the responsibility of the HSD to ensure that re-evaluations are conducted on a tri-annual basis or more frequently as needed.
B. Residential vouchers: Students placed in private residential treatment facilities (PRF) may be eligible for residential voucher funding for the educational portion of the placement.
1. Eligibility Criteria.
a. Students shall be enrolled in and eligible for educational services from a Public Education Agency (PEA).
b. Placement shall be made by one of the State Placing Agencies. They are the Department of Economic Security (DES), the Department of Health Services (DHS), the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), or the Department of Juvenile Corrections (ADJC).
c. Residential facilities shall be licensed by the Department of Health Services or Department of Economic Security and approved by the Department of Education for the specific educational needs of each student placed there.
d. The following conditions invalidate eligibility.
i. Placement by any agency other than those noted in subsection (B)(1)(b).
ii. Placement in facilities not appropriately licensed by DHS or DES or approved by the Department of Education.
iii. Student attendance at a PEA while residing in a residential facility.
e. Eligible students are divided into three categories.
i. Non-special education (NSE): Students not eligible for special education services who are placed by a State Placing Agency for their care, safety, or treatment.
ii. Care special education (CSE): Students eligible for special education services who are placed by a State Placing Agency for their care, safety, or treatment.
iii. Residential special education (RSE): Students requiring residential placement to benefit from educational programming who are placed by an IEP team.
2. Voucher application/approval process. The process differs depending on category.
a. NSE and CSE options:
i. When a placement decision is reached, the State Placing Agency (SPA) shall complete a SPA Application for Voucher Funding, and forward a copy to the student's Home School District (HSD) for appropriate signatures within five days of placement.
ii. Upon placement, copies of the completed voucher shall be provided to the PRF and the Exceptional Student Services of the Department of Education (ESS).
iii. Upon receipt and review of the application and verification of facility approval, the SPA application will be approved for the initial 60 days of placement. An approval memo is sent to the PRF and the HSD. The Exceptional Student Services shall assign a student identification number to each approved voucher student. This number shall be used by the private facility when completing the special education census form and the claim for payment form.
iv. The HSD shall submit the HSD Application for Education Voucher Funding packet and submit it to the Exceptional Student Services of the Department of Education. Appropriate documentation of eligibility for special education and provision of services, if applicable, shall be included.
v. The HSD voucher application packet shall be reviewed and approved or disapproved by the voucher unit manager. Applications that are disapproved may be corrected and resubmitted. Approvals are granted from the date of receipt through the end of the school year. An approval memo is sent to the PRF and the HSD.
vi. If the HSD cannot complete the requirements for the HSD application packet within the initial 60-day approval period, they shall submit an Application For Extension Of Education Voucher Funding.
b. RSE option.
The HSD shall follow statutory requirements and procedures agreed upon by the ADE, DHS, and DES when considering placement in a PRF for educational reasons. If a need for such a placement is determined, the HSD shall complete and submit the HSD Application for Education Voucher Funding packet to the ESS. Documentation of the necessity for PRF placement, measurable exit criteria, and a reintegration plan shall be required.
3. Changes in placement/Discharge.
a. If a student is discharged or is absent without leave for more than ten days from the PRF, the facility shall notify the State Placing Agency, Home School District and the Exceptional Student Services Division of the Department of Education in writing within five days.
b. Students returning to a facility after a discharge or students transferred from one facility to another require a new SPA voucher application.
c. Students placed under the RSE option shall not be discharged without the consent of the IEP team.
4. Voucher claim for payment.
a. A special education voucher claim for payment shall be submitted in accordance with procedures established by the School Finance Division of the Department of Education.
b. Claim for payment shall be submitted to the School Finance Division of the Department of Education.
5. Special education census.
A special education census form shall be completed for all voucher students in accordance with procedures established by the School Finance Division of the Department of Education.
6. Review and continuation of placement.
a. The Home School District (HSD) shall regularly monitor the progress of students, ensure the annual review and revision of IEPs, and complete three-year re-evaluations as applicable.
b. Voucher approval is for one school year only. Students remaining in an PRF from the end of one school year to the beginning of the next year require new voucher applications. Prior to the beginning of the new school year, the PRF shall submit an Application for Continuing Voucher funding, signed by both the SPA and the HSD. For a student who is eligible for special education services, a current IEP shall accompany the continuing application if the IEP has been reviewed or revised after the original voucher was approved.
Adopted effective December 4, 1978 (Supp. 78-6). Amended by final rulemaking at 9 A.A.R. 4633, effective December 8, 2003 (Supp. 03-4).
Editor's Note: The following Section was erroneously published in Supp. 04-2 with amendments that were not approved by the Attorney General's Office. It is republished with the text in effect before Supp. 04-2. The correct notice was published at 10 A.A.R. 3274 (Supp. 04-3).
A. Definitions. The following definitions are applicable to this rule:
1. 'Impartial hearing officer' or 'hearing officer' means a person or tribunal assigned to preside at a due process hearing whose duty it is to assure that proper procedures are followed and that rights of the parties are protected.
2. 'Parent' has the meaning found in A.R.S. Title 15, Chapter 7, Article 4, and includes a surrogate parent. Appointment of a surrogate parent shall be made only by a court of competent jurisdiction.
3. 'Public agency' means the school district, charter school, or state or county agency responsible for providing educational service to a child.
4. 'State Education Agency' ('SEA') means the Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services Section.
B. The due process procedures specified in this rule apply to all public agencies dealing with the identification, evaluation, special education placement of, and the provision of a free appropriate public education ('FAPE') for children with disabilities.
C. The SEA shall establish procedures concerning:
1. Impartial due process hearings; and
2. Confidentiality and access to student records.
D. An impartial hearing officer shall be:
1. Unbiased - not prejudiced for or against any party in the hearing;
2. Disinterested - not having any personal or professional interest that would conflict with objectivity in the hearing;
3. Independent - may not be an officer, employee, or agent of a public agency involved in the education or care of the child or the SEA. A person who otherwise qualifies to conduct a hearing is not an employee of the public agency or the SEA solely because the person is paid by the public agency to serve as a hearing officer;
4. Trained and evaluated by the SEA as to the state and federal laws pertaining to the identification, evaluation, placement of, and the provision of FAPE for children with disabilities.
E. Hearing officer qualifications and training.
1. All hearing officers shall participate in all required training and evaluation conducted by the SEA as to the state and federal laws pertaining to the identification, evaluation, placement of, and the provision of FAPE for children with disabilities.
2. All hearing officers shall demonstrate competency by achieving a minimum score of 80% on a criterion-referenced test selected by the SEA.
3. A hearing officer shall be an attorney licensed to practice law in the United States, or an attorney on inactive status whose withdrawal from active practice is not premised upon adverse disciplinary action from any state or federal bar association. A hearing officer shall not have represented a parent in a special education matter during the preceding calendar year and shall not have represented a school district in any matter during the preceding calendar year.
4. An individual shall be removed from the list of eligible hearing officers if, at any time, the individual no longer meets the requirements specified in subsections (D)(1) through (4) and subsections (E)(1) through (3).
F. Selection of hearing officers.
1. The SEA shall prepare and maintain a list of individuals who meet the qualifications specified in subsection (E) to serve as hearing officers.
2. Three hearing officers shall be selected randomly by the SEA and shall be screened to determine availability and possible bias. Once the SEA has selected three hearing officers who are available and show no evidence of bias, the three names shall be provided to the public agency and the parent. The public agency and the parent will each have the opportunity to strike one name from the list provided. The remaining individual shall be named as the hearing officer unless either party objects for cause and provides such reason in writing to the SEA. Objections for cause shall require specific evidence that the individual does not meet the criteria specified in subsections (D) and (E)(1) through (3). The SEA shall review the evidence submitted and determine the qualifications of the individual. If the SEA determines that the individual is not qualified to serve as the hearing officer, the SEA shall repeat the process and select three additional hearing officers to be provided to the parties.
G. A parent shall submit a written request for a due process hearing to the public agency. The SEA shall provide a model form that a parent may use in requesting a due process hearing. Upon receipt of a written request, there shall be no change in the educational placement of the child until the hearing officer renders a decision, unless the public agency and parent agree. If a parent requests a due process hearing, the public agency shall advise the parents of any free or low-cost legal services available. All correspondence to the parent shall be provided in English and the primary language of the home. If the written request involves an application for initial admission, the child, with the consent of the parent, shall be placed in a program for which the child is eligible until the completion of all proceedings.
H. An impartial due process hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the following procedures:
1. The hearing officer shall hold a preconference meeting to ensure that all matters are clearly defined, to establish the proceedings that will be used for the hearing, and to set the time and dates for the hearing.
2. The hearing officer shall preside at the hearing and shall conduct the proceedings in a fair and impartial manner to the end that all parties involved have an opportunity to:
a. Present their evidence and confront, cross-examine, and compel the attendance of witnesses;
b. Object to the introduction of any evidence at the hearing that has not been disclosed to all parties at least five business days before the hearing;
c. Produce outside expert witnesses;
d. Be represented by legal counsel or by individuals with special knowledge or training with respect to the problems of children with disabilities.
3. The parent involved in the hearing shall be given the right to:
a. Have the child who is the subject of the hearing present;
b. Have the hearing conducted in public;
c. Have an interpreter provided by the public agency.
4. The hearing officer shall review all relevant facts concerning the identification, evaluation, the educational placement, and the provision of FAPE. This shall include any Independent Education Evaluation secured by the parent.
a. The hearing officer shall determine whether the public agency has met all requirements of federal and state law, rules, and regulations.
b. The hearing officer shall render findings of fact and a decision, which shall be binding on all parties unless appealed pursuant to this rule, as to whether:
i. The evaluation procedures utilized in determining the child's needs have been appropriate in nature and degree;
ii. The diagnostic profile of the child on which the placement was based is substantially verified;
iii. The child's rights have been fully observed;
iv. The placement has been determined to be appropriate to the needs of the child;
v. The placement of the child in the special education program is with the written consent of the parent.
5. The hearing officer's findings of fact and decision shall be in writing and shall be provided to the parent, the public agency, the SEA, and their respective representatives. The parent may choose to receive an electronic verbatim record of the hearing and electronic findings of fact and decision relative to the hearing in addition to the written findings of fact and decision. The hearing officer's findings of fact and decision shall be delivered by certified mail or by hand within 45 calendar days after the receipt of the request for the hearing. The notification of the hearing officer's decision shall include a statement that either party may appeal the decision to the Office of Administrative Hearings and that such appeal must be filed within 35 calendar days after receipt of the decision.
6. The SEA, after deleting any personally identifiable information, shall make such written findings of fact and decision available to the public.
I. Expedited hearing.
1. An expedited hearing may be requested concerning long-term suspension or expulsion:
a. By the parent if the parent disagrees with the determination that the child's behavior was not a manifestation of the child's disability; or
b. By the parent if the parent disagrees with any decision regarding placement; or
c. By the public agency if the public agency maintains that it is dangerous for the child to be in the current placement during the pendency of the due process proceedings.
2. Hearing officers for an expedited hearing shall be assigned by the SEA after review to determine that the hearing officer meets the standards specified in subsections (D)(1) through (4). The strike provisions specified in subsection (F) are not applicable.
3. The expedited hearing shall be conducted and the findings of fact and decision shall be issued within 10 calendar days.
J. Administrative appeal.
1. A final administrative appeal may be obtained through the Office of Administrative Hearings. Requests for appeal shall be submitted in writing through the SEA.
a. Such an appeal shall be accepted only if it is initiated within 35 days after the decision of the hearing officer has been received by the party appealing.
b. The official conducting the review shall:
i. Examine the entire hearing record;
ii. Ensure that the procedures at the hearing were consistent with the requirements of due process;
iii. Seek additional evidence if necessary;
iv. Afford the parties an opportunity for oral or written argument, or both, at the discretion of the reviewing official;
v. Make findings of fact and a decision on completion of the review;
vi. Give a copy of the written findings of fact and the decision to the parties.
2. The findings of fact and decision of the administrative law judge shall be delivered by certified mail or by hand to all parties within 30 calendar days of the receipt of the request for appeal. The SEA, after deleting any personally identifiable information, shall make such written findings of fact and decision available to the public.
3. The findings of fact and decision of the administrative law judge shall be final at the administrative level. The notification of the findings of fact and decision shall contain notice to the parties that they have a right to judicial review.
Adopted effective December 4, 1978 (Supp. 78-6). Amended subsection (V) effective May 1, 1987 (Supp. 87-2). Amended effective July 20, 1990 (Supp. 90-3). Emergency amendment adopted effective November 21, 1990, pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1026, valid for only 90 days (Supp. 90-4). Emergency expired. Emergency amendment readopted effective March 21, 1991, pursuant to A.R.S. § 41-1026, valid for only 90 days (Supp. 91-1). Amended effective May 2, 1991 (Supp. 91-2). Amended effective November 17, 1994 (Supp. 94-4). Amended effective December 6, 1995 (Supp. 95-4). Amended by final rulemaking at 5 A.A.R. 3211, effective August 24, 1999 (Supp. 99-4). Amended by final rulemaking at 10 A.A.R. 2399, effective July 23, 2004 (Supp. 04-2). Supp. 04-2 Historical Note entry is in error. R7-2-405 was erroneously included in Supp. 04-2 with amendments that were not approved by the Attorney General's Office. It is republished with the text in effect before Supp. 04-2. The correct notice was published at 10 A.A.R. 3274 (Supp. 04-3).
A. Governing boards shall adopt policies for the education of gifted students which shall include:
1. Procedures for identification and placement of students to be placed in gifted programs.
a. Students shall be served who score at or above the 97th percentile on national norms in any one of three areas - verbal, nonverbal, or quantitative reasoning - on any test from the State Board-approved list. Students who score below the 97th percentile also may be served.
b. Local educational agencies (LEAs) shall accept, as valid for placement, scores at or above the 97th percentile on any State Board-approved test submitted by other LEAs or by qualified professionals.
c. LEAs shall place transfer students as soon as they have verified eligibility.
2. Curriculum, differentiated instruction, and supplemental services for gifted students.
a. Expanded academic course offerings may include, for example, one or more of the following: acceleration, enrichment, flexible pacing, interdisciplinary curriculum, and seminars.
b. Differentiated instruction, which emphasizes the development of higher order thinking, may include critical thinking, creative thinking, and problem solving skills.
c. Supplemental services, which may be offered to meet the individual needs of each gifted student, may include, for example, guidance and counseling, mentorships, independent study, correspondence courses, and concurrent enrollment.
3. Parent involvement.
a. Each LEA shall provide the following information to all parents or legal guardians:
i. Definition of a gifted child;
ii. Services mandated for gifted students by the state of Arizona;
iii. Services available from the LEA:
iv. Written criteria of the LEA for referral, screening, selection and placement.
b. Each LEA shall develop policies and procedures which ensure that parents or legal guardians are:
i. Given the opportunity to have their children tested;
ii. Given advance notice of the week that their children are to be tested;
iii. Given the opportunity to withhold permission for testing;
c. Each LEA shall:
i. Make testing available for students K-12 on a periodic basis but not less than three times per year;
ii. Inform parents or legal guardians of the results of the district-administered test within 30 school days of determining the test results;
iii. Upon request, explain test results to parents or legal guardians.
4. The scope and sequence shall be a written program description which demonstrates articulation across all grades and schools to ensure opportunities for continuous progress and shall include:
a. Statement of purpose;
b. General population description;
c. Identification process and placement criteria including provisions for special populations;
d. Goals and objectives;
e. Curriculum, differentiated instruction, and supplemental services;
f. Program models;
g. Time allocations for services;
h. Procedures and criteria for evaluation of student and program outcomes.
B. The Arizona Department of Education shall develop and make available model policies for the development, implementation, and evaluation of services for gifted students.
Adopted effective December 12, 1990 (Supp. 90-4)
A. All requirements in this Section are in addition to the general special education standards in R7-2-401 for public education agencies providing special education.
B. For the purposes of this rule, the following definitions apply:
1. 'Accessible Electronic File' means, until the effective date of a nationally adopted file format, a digital file in a mutually agreed upon electronic file format that has been prepared using a markup language that maintains the structural integrity of the information and can be processed by Braille conversion software. Upon the effective date of a nationally adopted file format, such as the Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (IMAS), 'Accessible Electronic File' shall mean an electronic file conforming to the specifications of the nationally adopted file format, including future technical revisions and versions of this nationally adopted file format.
2. 'Individualized Braille literacy assessment' means the Learning Media Assessment or other standardized or individualized assessments that pertain to the child's reading medium.
3. 'Non-printed instructional materials' means non-printed textbooks and related core materials, including those that require the availability of electronic equipment in order to be used as a learning resource, that are written and published primarily for use in elementary school and secondary school instruction and are required by a state educational agency or a local educational agency for use by pupils in the classroom. These materials shall be available to the extent technologically available, and may include software programs, CD-ROMs and internet-based materials.
4. 'Printed instructional materials' means textbooks and related printed core materials, that are written and published primarily for use in elementary school and secondary school instruction and are required by a state educational agency or a local educational agency for use by pupils in the classroom. This may include workbooks, practice tests, and tests.
5. 'Publisher' means an individual, firm, partnership or corporation that publishes or manufactures printed instructional materials for students attending public schools in Arizona, including an on-line service, a software developer, or a distributor of an electronic textbook.
6. 'Specialized format' means Braille, audio or digital text which is exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities.
7. 'Structural integrity' means the structure of all parts of the printed instructional material will be kept intact to the extent feasible and as mutually agreed upon by the publisher and the local educational agency. This may include appropriate representation of graphic illustrations.
C. Upon determination of a student having a visual impairment as assessed by a full and initial evaluation defined in R7-2-401(E)(6)(i), a visually impaired student who is determined to be blind as defined by A.R.S. § 15-214(B) shall receive an individualized Braille literacy assessment.
D. Individualized Education Programs (IEP) for blind students. In addition to the requirements for establishing and implementing an IEP consistent with R7-2-401(F) for a student determined to have a disability, each IEP for a student determined to be 'blind' as assessed by R7-2-401(E)(6)(i) and defined by A.R.S. § 15-214(B), shall presume that proficiency in Braille is essential in achieving academic success unless otherwise determined by the IEP team established consistent with the regulations for the most recent reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and in the manner provided by the most recent reauthorization of the IDEA Act for developing an IEP. An IEP developed under this Section for a student determined to be blind shall include all required provisions of A.R.S. § 15-214(A)(3), including the following:
1. The results of the individualized Braille literacy assessment.
2. The date on which Braille instruction will begin, the methods to be used and the frequency and duration of the Braille instruction.
3. The level of competency expected to be achieved within specified time-frames and the objective measures to be used for evaluation.
4. The Braille materials and equipment necessary to achieve the stated expected competency gains, including ordering instructional materials to achieve the IEP-stated goals.
5. The rationale for not providing Braille instruction if Braille is not determined to be an appropriate medium by the IEP team and is not included in the IEP.
E. The Arizona Department of Education shall designate a central repository for publishers to, upon request, provide accessible electronic files for instructional materials used by public schools in Arizona as defined in subsection (B)(1). The central repository shall be responsible for maintaining a complete list of available accessible electronic files for instructional materials and instructional materials in specialized formats, processing requests from PEAs for instructional materials in specialized formats and providing access to these materials in specialized formats to schools throughout Arizona that are providing services to blind or other students with disabilities.
1. Upon receipt of a written request certifying to the requirements set forth in subsections (E)(1)(a) through (c) publishers shall deliver to the repository, at no additional cost and consistent with the time-frame for providing materials for students without disabilities, accessible electronic files for printed instructional materials and non-printed instructional materials. Certification shall include all of the following:
a. The PEA purchased a copy of the printed instructional material or non-printed instructional material for use by a student who is blind or has a visual impairment in a course that the student is attending or registered to attend;
b. The student who will utilize the instructional materials in a specialized format has an IEP stating that such materials and/or equipment are necessary for the student to achieve stated expected competency gains; and
c. The instructional materials are for use by the student in connection with a course in which he or she is enrolled, as verified by the person overseeing the education of students who are blind or visually impaired.
2. A PEA may access the materials maintained by the central repository, upon written request, for instructional use with a student with a visual impairment, as identified by R7-2-401(E)(6)(i), who requires the use of instructional materials in a specialized format pursuant to the student's IEP.
3. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to prohibit the central repository from assisting a student with a disability by using the electronic format version of instructional material provided pursuant to this Section solely to transcribe or arrange for the transcription of the printed instructional material into Braille or large print. In the event a Braille transcription is made, the central repository has the right to share the Braille copy of the printed instructional material with other eligible students with disabilities. The PEA will be required to return the specialized format version of the instructional material to the central repository when the student no longer needs the instructional material. The central repository may share the copies of the specialized format of the instructional material with other PEAs who have met the requirements of subsections (B) and (D) of this Section to provide services to students who require such services pursuant to R7-2-401(F)(5).
New Section made by final rulemaking at 10 A.A.R. 2399, effective July 23, 2004 (Supp. 04-2).
A. 'Extended school year' (ESY) shall be as defined in A.R.S. § 15-881.
B. Eligibility. Eligibility shall be determined by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team. Criteria for determining eligibility in an extended school year program shall be as defined in A.R.S. § 15-881.
C. For a student with a disability currently enrolled in special education, eligibility for ESY services shall be determined no later than 45 calendar days prior to the last day of the school year.
D. The availability of an extended school year program is required for all students for whom the IEP team has determined that it is necessary in order to ensure a free appropriate public education. Student participation in an ESY program is not compulsory. ESY services are not required for all students with a disability.
E. Factors that are inappropriate for consideration. Eligibility for participation shall not be based on need or desire for any of the following:
1. A day care or respite care service for students with a disability;
2. A program to maximize the academic potential of a student with a disability; and
3. A summer recreation program for students with a disability.
New Section adopted by final rulemaking at 5 A.A.R. 3211, effective August 24, 1999 (Supp. 99-4). Amended by final rulemaking at 9 A.A.R. 4633, effective December 8, 2003 (Supp. 03-4).