The Howard County Public School System acknowledges and supports the rights of all students to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that will enable them to develop their unique talents and abilities, thus preparing them to participate in and serve their community with dignity and pride. We offer a continuum of services and programs to meet the needs of students with disabilities.
Special Education Handbook
Note: This handbook is currently being updated as part of the department’s new strategic plan. We thank you for your patience as we work to revise and reformat the handbook so that the information is current and accessible.
MSDE Technical Assistance Bulletins
The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) Division of Special Education/Early Intervention Services develops and disseminates Technical Assistance Bulletins to provide guidance to local school systems. The Bulletins include a range of topics that the HCPSS Department of Special Education uses to support, refine, and monitor our system practices for students receiving special education services from Birth through age 21. Staff and parents will find information contained within these publications helpful for participating in the IEP team process.
Extended School Year (ESY)
The following are descriptions of Extended School Year options available in HCPSS:
- Academic Intervention – Elementary School Programs
- Academic Intervention – Middle School Programs
- ALS Regional – Elementary School Programs
- Cedar Lane School Program
- Academic – ED Regional Elementary School
- Academic – ED Regional Middle School
- High School ESY
- SOAR Elementary
- SOAR Middle
- Work Study
- Primary Learner
- RECC – ESY
In addition to the programs identified above, when the IEP team determines, based on data, that a student requires additional services beyond those provided during the typical ESY time period, a recommendation for customized options to supplement other summer services may be made by the team. These customized options are referred to as [bridge] services, as they “bridge” the time period between the end of our structured ESY summer options and the beginning of the school year (July 24 – August 18). The IEP team determines which goal(s) /objective(s) need to be addressed for these [bridge] services. Service hours are based on the unique, individualized needs of the student.
Learn more: ESY Parent Presentation
Department of Special Education Strategic Action Plan
The Department of Special Education Strategic Action Plan is a document developed by the department based on input from various stakeholder groups including teachers, administrators, parents, and related service providers.
This plan will be updated to reflect the strategic plan development process in the weeks ahead. These updates will be reflected in the first several pages of the plan. Additional updates will be made to clarify measures and baseline as needed.
Would you like to participate in implementing the Special Education Strategic Plan?
We would like to know your preferences for volunteering your time to be involved in the implementation of the Special Education Strategic Plan.
The DSE is forming multiple groups to work on various initiatives from the strategic plan. The documents below share information about the charge for each group, participants, meeting information and recommendations. The recommendations reflect stakeholder input and offer ideas for consideration. The DSE values all perspectives and embraces continuous improvement.
Special Education Citizen’s Advisory Committee (SECAC) Executive Board
- Stephanie Carr – Co-Chair
- Mai Hall – Co-Chair
- Wendy Balda – Vice Chair
- Elizabeth Stolte – Secretary
- Camille Cranson – Member at Large
- Lori Scott – Past Chair
SECAC Chair e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information and Resources
- U.S. Department of Education – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Resources
- Inclusive Happenings
- College and Career Readiness for Students with Disabilities
- Parent Newsletter – Stepping Stones – Spring 2015
Project SEARCH Application
- Project SEARCH Candidate Application – 2019-20
- Online Application
District Management Council (DMC)
- DMC documents posted on May 9, 2017:
- HCPSS Letter to the Community on the Special Education Report
- Acting Superintendent Martirano Request for Original Report
- HCPSS Parent Questions – DMC Responses
- Special Education Opportunities Review – Spring Highlights 2015
- Special Education Opportunities Review – Preliminary Results
- Special Education Opportunities Review – DMC Project (13.7 MB)
- Program Details
- Identification, Assessment and Evaluation
- Parent Involvement
- Staff Contacts
- Early Intervention Services for Young Children
- Spread the Word to End the Word Campaign
Howard County Transition Council
Understanding the Evaluation, Eligibility and IEP Process in Maryland – A Guide for Parents of Students with Disabilities
Parental Rights – Maryland Procedural Safeguards Notice