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Special Education Monitoring and Legislation

Tiered Focused Monitoring (TFM):

Every three years, The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) evaluates schools and districts through the Tiered Focused Monitoring (TFM) process in one of two related universal standards groupings. The TFM process is one of the ways that DESE holds schools and districts accountable for the work they do. It’s also an excellent way to highlight the many areas that districts, such as Lynn Public Schools, are successfully supporting students, in addition to areas that may benefit from targeted focus.

According to DESE, TFM reviews emphasize “elements most tied to student outcomes, and alternates the focus of each review on either Group A Universal Standards or Group B Universal Standards.” Following is an overview of each group of universal standards as noted by DESE. Although divided into two areas that alternate every three years, the universal standards are related and impact students in both general education and special education settings.

Group A Universal Standards:

- Student identification
- IEP development
- Programming and support services
- Equal opportunity

Group B Universal Standards Address:

- Licensure and professional development
- Parent/student/community engagement
- Facilities and classroom observations
- Oversight
- Time and learning
- Equal access

District TFM reports, including those for Lynn Public Schools, are accessible via the following link.

Additionally, caregivers can review comprehensive information regarding the TFM process by visiting the related section on DESE’s website using the following link.

Special Education Legislation

Special education in Massachusetts is guided by both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and the state’s special education law (MGL c. 71B). In addition to these laws, there are other regulations and cases within Massachusetts that impact the delivery of special education services and supports. 

Please visit the following links for more information. 

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

MA General Laws Chapter 71B: Chapter 71B

MA Special Education Laws: Massachusetts Law About Special Education (