COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Department of Education
December 4, 2009
TO: Division Superintendents
FROM: Patricia I. Wright, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Under the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004), its federal implementing regulations, and the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia (effective July 7, 2009), local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to submit an Annual Plan for providing special education and related services to children with disabilities. The 2010-2011 Special Education Annual Plan serves as the formal agreement between a local school board and the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) for implementing federal and state laws and regulations governing these services. Accordingly, the disbursement of state and federal funds appropriated for the education of children with disabilities is contingent upon the approval of this plan and each of its components.
Each school division, state-operated program (SOP), and the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton (VSDB) shall maintain current policies and procedures and supporting documentation to demonstrate compliance with federal and state regulations governing the provision of special education and related services, licensure, and accreditation. In addition, completion of the “Certification” and “Policy Statement” sections of the Annual Plan will verify adherence to the requirements of IDEA 2004, its federal implementing regulations, and the Virginia special education regulations.
In addition to the “Certification” and “Policy Statement” sections, the Annual Plan includes the following components:
Prior to submitting its Annual Plan to the Virginia Department of Education, each school division shall review its Annual Plan with its local special education advisory committee and submit its Annual Plan to the local school board for approval. State-operated programs (SOPs) and the Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind at Staunton (VSDB) are required to submit their Annual Plans to the State Special Education Advisory Committee for review prior to submitting it to VDOE for approval.
School divisions, SOPs, and the VSDB must return the original and one complete copy of all Annual Plan documents by May 24, 2010. The Annual Plan should be sent to Melissa C. P. Smith, coordinator of administrative services, Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services, Virginia Department of Education, P.O. Box 2120, Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120.
School divisions, SOPs, and the VSDB will also be required to submit the “Annual Plan Financial Information Attachment” (financial attachment), an Excel document, via the Online Management of Education Grant Awards (OMEGA) System. The financial attachment includes the “Proposed Grant Budget” forms for Sections 611 and 619 funding. These forms will be submitted as part of the application for federal funds, but must also be submitted electronically via OMEGA. However, before the financial attachment may be submitted in OMEGA, an “OMEGA User Permission Form OP1,” (OP1 form) must be on file with the Department of Education’s Accounting Department to establish user access. Instructions for completing the OP1 form and online training opportunities are available at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/school_finance/budget/grants_acct_reporting/omega/index.shtml. Unless previously completed, please mail a completed OP1 form for each individual in the LEA’s approval queue to the following address no later than April 15, 2010:
Department of Education
Attn: Accounting Department
P.O. Box 2120
Richmond, Virginia 23218-2120
All required Annual Plan documents, including the application for federal funds, and instructional information are available electronically in Word and Portable Document Format (PDF), in the Annual Plan section of the Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services’ website, at http://www.doe.virginia.gov/special_ed/reports_plans_stats/index.shtml.
The Code of Virginia stipulates that the Department of Education assures a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible children with disabilities from age two (by September 30 of the school year) to 21, inclusive. Federal clarification has indicated that IDEA Part C (Early Intervention for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities) regulations do not apply to any child with a disability who is receiving FAPE under Part B Section 619. This provision applies whether the services are fully or partially funded under Section 619.
Questions regarding the Annual Plan process should be directed to Melissa C. P. Smith, Melissa.Smith@doe.virginia.gov, coordinator of administrative services, at (804) 371-0524, or Dr. Judy Douglas, Judy.Douglas@doe.virginia.gov, director, Office of Dispute Resolution and Administrative Services, at (804) 225-2771.
Questions regarding state-operated programs should be directed to Merilee Fox, Merilee.Fox@doe.virginia.gov, program specialist for state-operated programs, at (804) 225-3161.
Questions regarding the application for Section 611 flow-through funding, as well as the “General Assurances and Compliance” section of Part III, should be addressed to Sherry Hubbard, Sherry.Hubbard@doe.virginia.gov, financial specialist, at (804) 225-2339.
Questions regarding the application for Section 619 preschool funding should be addressed to Phyllis Mondak, Phyllis.Mondak@doe.virginia.gov, special education specialist, at (804) 225-2675.
Questions regarding entering data via OMEGA should be addressed to Omega Support, at email@example.com.