With the distribution of the new SEIT rate methodology, during October 2015, the New York State Education Department issued a Special Education Field Advisory to provide comprehensive policy guidance relating to SEIT services. The following summarizes this advisory.
SEIT services must be provided at the child care location identified by the parent, which is documented as the “location” for the provision of SEIT services in the IEP. SEIT services may be provided at an approved or licensed prekindergarten or Head Start program, a hospital, a State facility, or a child care location selected by the parent. If the CPSE determines that the documented medical or special needs of the preschool child indicate that the child cannot travel to another site, the child may be entitled to receive SEIT services in the preschool child’s home. Except for student specific extenuating health and safety reasons, SEIT services may not be provided as individual or group instruction at the site of the approved vendor, unless the location for services on the IEP is an early childhood program run by the SEIT provider.
Each SEIT provider establishes a calendar of operations for not less than 180 days each school year and 30 days for the summer. Because SEIT services are to be delivered at the site outlined on the child’s IEP, the calendar of the regular early childhood program (e.g. Head Start program) where SEIT services will be provided to the student will directly impact the delivery of services and related make-ups that can be performed. The IEP of the student should indicate the projected enrollment start date, taking into consideration the calendar of the regular early childhood program.
Substitute teachers must be available to provide SEIT services in the event of a teacher’s absence.
SEIT providers must maintain the following records to substantiate the delivery of SEIT services:
- Attendance registers
- Support for the provision of service, consistent with the IEP
- Documentation of communications with CPSE’s when students have excessive, frequent, and/or regular absences that impact a child’s receipt of services mandated by the IEP, including the reason for the absences and the steps the provider has taken to address such absences
- Documentation of make-up sessions
- Records that include non-direct time (e.g. time spent on coordination, preparation for and attendance at CPSE meetings, travel, etc.)
- Billing information
Each approved SEIT provider must have a plan for supervision of staff that describes the manner and method of supervision, as well as the staff that each supervisor/administrator is responsible for.
SEIT providers must perform make-up sessions when the missed session is attributable to a teacher absence or an excused student absence, provided that the make-up is appropriate to the individual student’s needs. Providers may, but are not required to, make-up sessions for unexcused student absences. SEIT providers must have a policy and plan for make-ups that must address:
- How the provider will ensure that students with disabilities are provided make-up sessions for teacher absences when the provider cannot provide a substitute teacher
- How substitute teachers are informed (e.g., lesson plans, IEP recommendations) to provide SEIT services in accordance with the individual needs of the student
- How the provider will ensure that make-ups are performed within a timely manner
- Procedures for documenting and reporting excess student absenteeism
Make-up sessions should be delivered as close in proximity as possible to the missed session, with make-ups being performed, unless there is a documented child-specific reason (e.g. extended illness of the child, natural disaster), within 30 days of the missed session. SEIT session cannot be pre-delivered in anticipation of future missed sessions. Make-ups must be delivered in the same location as the originally scheduled session, as outlined on the child’s IEP.
If you would like to read the entire 15 page document, it can be found on our website here.
Kenneth R. Cerini, CPA, CFP, FABFA
Ken is the Managing Partner of Cerini & Associates, LLP and is the executive responsible for the administration of our not-for-profit and educational provider practice groups. In addition to his extensive audit experience, Ken has been directly involved in providing consulting services for nonprofits and educational facilities of all sizes throughout New York State in such areas as cost reporting, financial analysis, Medicaid compliance, government audit representation, rate maximization, board training, budgeting and forecasting, and more.