This concept of general supervision, including focused monitoring, is the primary method for federal and state monitoring of the implementation of IDEA. There are two primary mechanisms states use to report data to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) about the implementation of Part C of IDEA. The first is the "Annual Child Count" or "618" data which includes submission of tables on: the number of all eligible children with IFSPs on October 1st of each year; the types of services and settings in which children receive services; exiting data on children who have transitioned out of Early Intervention; and the number of full-time equivalents for a variety of personnel delivering services.
The second mechanism for reporting required data each year is the State Performance Plan (SPP) and Annual Performance Report (APR). This report addresses five targeted areas including Early Intervention Services in natural environments, child find and public awareness, family centered services, effective transition, and a general supervision system including monitoring, complaints, and hearings.
Similarly programs within Massachusetts are required to submit an annual report/self assessment based on federal indicators that have been selected as target areas of the State Performance Plan. The DPH utilizes information from the Early Intervention Information System (EIIS), Annual Report/Self Assessment, and the Complaint Management System as criteria in making Local Program Determinations. Each local program will receive a determination of "meets requirements", "needs assistance", "needs intervention" or "needs substantial intervention" based on compliance with Part C of IDEA.
The Focused Monitoring process continues to evolve in the Massachusetts EI System. The DPH will use the process and components of Focused Monitoring to gather information about program practices that will help guide the DPH in making policy decisions. Priority Areas of focus may change from year to year.