Special Education News

Ohio Department of Education Topic News


July 2016 Early Learning Newsletter

A new edition of the Early Learning Program Updates, posted here, provides important information for data managers, program & school leaders, test coordinators, special education, preschool and kindergarten teachers. 



Ohio Receives 2016 Special Education Determination

Ohio is one of 34 states receiving a 2016 determination of Needs Assistance.


REMINDER! Nominations for the Kathe Shelby Award Due June 30, 2016

Each year the Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children (OEC), honors a current outstanding special education leader from nominations submitted by school districts, higher education institutions, educational organizations, individuals and groups from across Ohio. This award is named in memory of Dr. Kathe Shelby who served as OEC’s Director from 2008-2011. Kathe’s selfless ability to serve all of Ohio’s children with grace, passion, perseverance and courage was second to none. She led by example and had the courage to do the right thing even when it was not popular. She saw each problem as a challenge, each appropriate solution as a goal accomplished and celebrated victories with passion and humor along the way. As a leader, she was a true advocate for all children with disabilities. 

Nominations for the Kathe Shelby Leadership Award will close at 5pm next Thursday, June 30, 2016.  The nomination package outlines the criteria and the process for nominations and submission. The external selection committee looks forward to receiving a rich pool of deserving nominees again this year.



Over the past few weeks, ODE has received multiple questions about the use of the NIEP code. Analysis confirmed that in a substantial number of programs, NIEP codes have been submitted to EMIS and no additional reviews or revisions of the Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) have been reported.  This suggests large-scale misapplication or misunderstanding of this code. The NIEP is an EMIS code indicating that a required review has not yet occurred, but services are being provided.  It was created to ensure that a student is counted in state special education funding calculations during the process of revising and reviewing an existing IEP. Click here for additional information related to the NIEP code.


Universal Special Education Forms Project

The Ohio Department of Education, Office for Exceptional Children is currently exploring the feasibility of creating a universal system for electronic special education forms in Ohio. The universal system would be designed so that appropriate staff members in districts would have immediate availability of special education records for students transferring in to their districts, while also minimizing the burden of sharing documents to receiving districts when students transfer out. The first phase of this initiative is to determine the cost effectiveness, risks, technical constraints and needs both at the district and state levels related to implementation of a universal special education forms solution.  

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