Members: Roxanne Botz, Judy Swett, Nancy Jost, Jessica Mattson, Mary Ann Marchel, Andrea Bejarano-Robinson, Jill Johnson, Joy Birr, Dr. James Moore, Karen Adamson, Lisa Backer, Tim Finn, Maya Nishikawa, Barb Dalbec, Cathy Nelson-Messer
Staff: Kara Hall Tempel
Guests: Shawn Holmes, Kim Jirik, Becky Tennis-Hanson, Becky Crane, Judy Kelly, Kerri Miller
October Agenda approval
Revisions to the agenda were needed due to ICC members’ schedules and a desire to participate in specific discussions. Andrea made a motion to revise and approve.
July minutes approval
A motion was made by Barb Dalbec (BD) to revise the minutes regarding the Follow Along Program (FAP) discussion. Members of the committee commented that it was important to note that the minutes reflected the conversation but suggested that perhaps the handout that was shared by Shawn Holmes (SH) be attached at the end of the section.
Roxanne Botz (RB) moved to approve the minutes as written. Andrea Bejarano-Robinson (ABR) seconded and the minutes were approved.
Kara Tempel reviewed the reasons for the rule changes and the process to date. View the rule language. Some of the language from the old rule was stricken and replaced with language to reference the federal regulations. There was discussion held around this and it was asked if this was common practice and if we can link directly to the federal regulations. Kerstin Forsythe replied that it is not possible to do a hyperlink but there is a link to the federal regulations on the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) website. Another member asked if it was possible to provide a link within the Part C section of the website? The language in Subpart 4 was removed because it was not accurate. When we reference the regulations, it keeps our Minnesota rules current and we do not need to request rule making authority every time something changes within the federal regulations. There is no reference to categorical eligibility within Part C federal regulations. It is in state statute where states establish their own eligibility criteria. There are two ways to determine a child eligible for Part C:
There are three ways to establish developmental delay:
Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) programs can now be rated through an accelerated process and the applications rolled out last week. Jessica Mattson (JM) provided some additional Parent Aware and scholarship updates.
ECSE may be able to draw down funding from the scholarships in the future. We need to figure out fund braiding. CNM commented that there should be language about intention and assurances that services could be inclusive of other programs that provide those services. Collaboration is critical.
When a program is listed in Parent Aware, it is for child care, not special education services. Programs are rated. For child care, the sites get rated. ECSE is rated at the district level or the most granular level of parent choice.
The accelerated pathway is for Head Start and school-based programs, which streamlines the process for those programs. They are automatically four-star rated; the other pathway is for building quality.
There was a discussion about how this impacts open enrollment. Open enrollment is available to kids with disabilities too and there is greater protection for them under the school of parent choice statute. The limitation of school of parent choice is that it is limited to Head Start and child care. Responsibility for transportation if a child is open enrolled is the most complicated factor and it depends on who made the decision. Kelly Wosika at MDE can assist with matters related to transportation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-582-8855.
The IEICs were asked to discuss their work plans for the current year and how they reaching out to diverse communities.
Region 6 is exploring hiring a trainer to go around the region to work with the medical and mental health community to increase public awareness. Referrals are way down within the medical community. They are also talking about how to reach out to families who are homeless and foster homes. Regions 10 and 11 have done some work in that area.
Region 10 has compiled a list of all primary referral sources. They are going to develop a tracking tool and will contact referral sources personally at least once every three years. They are also talking about targeting food shelves and shelters in the other communities to reach those populations. All districts in the region are reporting their numbers of referrals for birth to three along with the referral sources to help guide their child find and awareness activities. They feel this will help focus their marketing resources and funds. It is harder to get into the family, friend and neighbor child care providers. They have bags and bibs and cold packs that they can give to people who work with young kids. They have a universal form that they respond to electronically that includes the number of referrals, age of child and referral source.
Region 3 wrote a goal to target homelessness in their region – shelters, food banks. They have a communication goal around who does what and how what they learn influences what they do for public awareness; they want to be clear on their tracking and in their communication. They have the large committee as well as subcommittees.
Definition of homeless seems to be different depending on who they ask. There is a definition through Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), based on a bulletin about infants and toddlers in foster care from the Department of Human Services (DHS).
The definition of homelessness in the McKinney Vento Act is on the MDE website in the MARSS manual. A child in temporary foster care is considered homeless but the definition for temporary foster care deals with legal action and is based on the court.
The homeless liaison in the district should be the “go to” person for these questions. Every district has one. The intent of McKinney Vento is to increase educational stability for kids to ensure that they can participate in school. Check within your own district to find out who can make the determination that a child is homeless. There is a list of all the liaisons on the MDE website.
Does the McKinney Vento act apply to children from birth on up or is it just for kids enrolled in the education system? It is also the same definition that Head Start uses – income does not apply when a kid is in foster care.
CNM asked if there a way to share things that are created by IEICs to share throughout the state. Kelly works with the IEICs. There is a retreat and there are also conference calls held for chairs throughout the year. Let Kelly know if you want to be a part of the monthly IEIC calls or if you want to participate in the October IEIC retreat. The IEIC retreat is scheduled for October 30, 2013. Kelly can facilitate the sharing of documents but we are challenged with accessibility issues. Region 10 has already been very successful and they have used things from region 11.
There was a suggestion to have a task force to address the FAP – there are a lot of groups meeting about this and there are also discussions about National Help Me Grow. Due to this, it may not make sense to form a separate task force. Lisa Backer will write up the contents of this discussion and send it to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for guidance. The issue centers on the permissible use of Part C funds. We need the input of those other groups and when we get the information from OSEP we can continue the discussion, hopefully at our next meeting. CNM had asked a question about what other funds are being using to support FAP and what is the overall cost of the program?
SH/BD – From the 2012 survey of FAP, the top source of funding was Title V block grant but that is flexible funding across Maternal Child Health (MCH) programs. IEIC funding was the second most used. Property tax levy funds and foundation grants also supported the FAP. Title V is the same as MCH block grants. They do not have information about total cost of the FAP. Some at the local level were functioning at a couple of thousand dollars. It is usually $10,000-$15,000 except for the metro area. At the state level, including personnel, it was about one million dollars. This was the desired funding level and included active follow up for kids and what it would take to do the job well.
Tim Finn (TF) – $1800.00 per county across the state from Part C funds ($150,000). It is a moot point if OSEP says we cannot do it. What would be the ramification if we told the IEICs they could use their funds for FAP now?
LB stated that any clarification given would be for the future forward.
Other states are using Part C funds for similar activities through blended efforts.
TF clarified the reasons why we told the IEICs they should not use their funds for FAP. OSEP is clear that we cannot sub grant. MDE has intergovernmental agreements with fiscal hosts for the allowable activities.
The local level can contract with the regional IEICs but the contract needs to match the original purposes of the IEIC. Is there a need for a stop gap between now and an ICC recommendation to the state? In IEIC budgets, it is the carry forward funds that are most in question. They all have approved budgets.
JS stated that we are not certain that funds cannot be used, but asked if they have carry over could they use it? LB clarified there are components that could be funded with Part C, but not all of the functions. Discussion about funding continued but LB stated that the IEICs would need to go through a budget amendment process since budgets have been approved.
SH clarified that IEICs will still be told to not allocate their funding to the FAP.
LB stated that the prior written notice requirement for screening is the biggest concern if the FAP screening is in response to a developmental concern. KA asked for clarification around what is required.
SH asked how the information from OSEP will be communicated? The next step will be for it to come back through the ICC.
BD stated that the FAP conducts a lot of outreach around developmental milestones. The outreach is a huge cost.
TF clarified that we are not proposing funding the FAP completely out of Part C.
LB stated that it is easier to flow money out at the state level
BD stated there may be some monitoring activities occurring since counties cannot continue due to the decrease of funds to the IEICs from $600,000 to $150,000.
LB made a suggestion to shape the program to create efficiencies. Part C funds can be used to support kids who were not found eligible for Part C services.
SH confirmed the message from the ICC.
JS asked for a motion about the specific action of the ICC to put things on hold until we get confirmation from OSEP and then relook at it with the current information from a variety of sources.
JM suggested that people who want to be involved should come together as a stakeholder group and this could include people from the outside.
BD suggested making sure there is ICC representation of the various committees. JS asked how the ICC could be involved in all of those other committees. BD commented that the Great Start Steering Committee is the committee for the Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (ECCS) grant.
JM commented that as the state gets information from OSEP and other sources, she would like the communication to be formalized as we move forward.
JS stated that it would be good for people to come together to have a conversation based on other things they participate in or hear to pull everything together.
LB recommended having an agenda item to get updates from the members who sit on those committees that are also discussing these issues. JS suggested that we do this between our two meetings.
CNM stated that it is just as important that we use the agenda to bring back information or bring in folks who are not on our committee to share information. A task force is not necessary.
NJ attends Great Start which serves as the advisory committee for the ECCS grant. She does not see it as having the same Part C focus as the ICC. The Great Start focus is broader.
RB asked how many groups are meeting about these issues. Some are National Help Me Grow (HMG), online screening, ECCS and CAPTA. BD commented that hopefully all of these will be coordinated somehow.
Karen Adamson (KA) asked if we decide to allow regions to fund FAP, are we going to say that we will apologize or are we saying we will wait? JS stated that the budgets are in and approved and do not include funding for FAP. If the guidance changes to allow the use of regional funds for the FAP, budgets need to be amended if the change is over 10% of their budget. TF asked if we should not ask for forgiveness and get the opinion first. He is trying to gauge the risk around our decisions. LB stated that it creates conflict at the level of the IEIC and they are really functioning well. Leaving it up to them introduces the opportunity for conflict and she does not think they are in a position to handle it now. CNM stated that it would send mixed messages and confuse people. LB commented that funding the FAP has been off the table since July and they have dealt with that. She does not want to open it up and then retract it later.
NJ stated that she feels there is still conflict at the regional level in the absence of the FAP topic.
BD stated that budgets are put in with good intentions and then you have to adjust. Are we limiting their public outreach efforts by not letting them adjust their budgets?
ABR made a motion that we table further discussion until we hear back from OSEP about what we can use the funds for related to FAP. CNM seconded. No discussion. Motion carries. Barb D abstained from voting.
Melvin gave a brief recap of the activities of the OEL.
JS asked for more information about this. Does it affect our birth to five responsibilities? Maryann Marchel (MM) read from a four page document that NJ brought. Focus of the grant changed from the Minnesota Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems (MECCS) grant. KA will send me some information to get out to the group. BD clarified that the ECCS grant is a small part of the bigger picture and it could be an agenda item for a future meeting.
Scholarship and Parent Aware
These are two separate things. Special Education programs will not receive scholarships but will be impacted by them since the kids in high quality programs will be screened (approximately 7000 children) who may be referred to Part C and Preschool Special Education. That is for 3-5 year olds. Infants can receive scholarships if they are siblings or children of teen parents. All other programs receiving scholarships can say they are full; ECSE cannot. There is a concern about statewide capacity to serve. We want to make sure we catch those kids but it also creates workforce and other issues. MM stated that there are also barriers for college students – not the same funding, enrollment is down. It is a “macro” problem, not just early childhood. LB stated that there is loan forgiveness for teaching in some schools. KA commented that we do need to be thinking about the scholarships. They will not cover a year of childcare and not sure what will happen. She has concerns about how the scholarships are set up.
This is now up on the MDE website.
Kelly Monson gave a brief update.
Social Service Information System (SSIS)/child welfare
Kara gave updates on the SSIS enhancement activities with DHS. NJ asked how the Parent Support Outreach Program (PSOP) cases work. RB stated that they do not go through child protection.
Action Item: Follow up with DHS about how these PSOP kids are handled.
The ECSE team came up with a framework for operationalizing ECSE in Minnesota that looks at quality and not just compliance. Recapped from what they saw in July. The framework is aligned with professional development initiatives. It is based on implementation science, which will revolutionize our work. It is in draft form, we are not posting it yet and it is not ready to be shared. We are looking for up to 20 districts to do usability testing. In 2015, this will be part of Statewide Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) that is required by OSEP. A self-assessment for districts is included within it and it is related to OSEP’s Results Driven Accountability (RDA). Members were encouraged to look at the Active Implementation Hub on the NIRN website.
BD shared that the Federal shutdown is impacting Women, Infants and Children (WIC) services. Layoff notices have gone to WIC and compliance and monitoring staff at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH); local clinics and technical assistance shutdown statewide on November 1. Navigator, promotion and enrollment components will continue through the shutdown. Medical Assistance (MA) is separate from MNSure so children on TEFRA will continue to receive coverage. DHS can have expanded MA eligibility.
June ICC Retreat
Reviewed the activities of the June retreat, where the discussion was to serve to guide our work for the year. We looked at the most at risk populations and discussed child find, service delivery and interagency collaboration. JS reviewed notes charts.
What are some next action steps to take forward as a council to address some of these issues? We took one step this morning with the FAP. National HMG could address some of the triage piece and families being able to get in the door, electronic screening could provide more universal access to families. JM raised the issue of homelessness in general and what that means, what the definition is and as a council if we want to think about how to help the system and our views on it. How would you pull it all together to be impactful? JS stated that to keep the council engaged, members need to come and do more than hear information. We need to take action to get invested in Minnesota. As far as child find is going there is a lot going on and we seem to be doing well with our referrals. The bigger concern is about service delivery and local capacity is a huge issue.
JS asked about how we will serve the kids who may be referred through scholarships. IEICs are charged with child find. How do we reach those hard to reach families? Region 11 hired three multicultural liaisons to reach out to those populations in the twin cities. When we do start reaching them, how do we serve them? MDE is hearing from stakeholders from other cultures that we are not reaching out in the right way. BD commented that there are misconceptions about what the services are supposed to do and therefore there is dissatisfaction. JS mentioned that St. Paul schools held a special education training for their families. How are community partners tying in? PACER has cultural advocates. Are they working with districts too? PACER has contracts with some districts around these issues. BD commented that it is not just about translating materials.
JS commented that the role of the ICC is to advise and assist MDE. They also provide direction to the IEICs. Mental health seems to be a big piece under interagency collaboration.
NJ stated that not all kids can be in Part C. There are children with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), homeless, and involved in child welfare - what is our role in that?
CNM commented that people may not be aware of what other resources are available for these populations.
ICC has made a recommendation to pursue the National HMG model, which is broader than Part C. Service coordination in Part C is charged with helping eligible families connect.
There is also an issue with capacity for service coordination. Wraparound services may provide some opportunities. It becomes a group supporting a family with all of their needs.
Part C is supposed to be interagency where if other needs were identified within the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)/Individual Education Program (IEP), a county worker could come to a meeting.
Goals – map/diagram of services and supports available to support families. Some places have already done some groundwork on that. JS would like a map of all of the initiatives that are going on at the state to serve children and their families. They intersect but how much collaboration is going on? They are grant funded so they have separate work and things to report. Not just silos of funding but there are also silos within agencies in terms of activities and initiatives. JB suggested listing out acronyms. Jill Johnson (DHS) gave the idea of a chart to identify which groups are responsible and what their charge is. MnSIC just did this with advisory groups for kids with disabilities. JS stated that we need to build time in our agenda for sharing other initiatives we are working with if it pertains to the work of the ICC. MinneMinds doing prenatal to three and the children’s cabinet has a prenatal-to-three group too. MinneMinds is based on policy and the MDH one is more community engagement. NJ is on both prenatal-to-three groups.
JS asked if we need a workgroup to get this accomplished or can we do it at the next meeting?
Action Item: Get the electronic copy of what MNSIC has done. At the next meeting bring what you know to see if it fits. State level folks should bring what they have.
Action Item: Take action and move forward on the FAP based on OSEP and other conversations.
Action Item: Put a map together for what is all out there to help us deal with the interagency collaboration issue from the retreat. IEICs are working on outreach and child find.