On behalf of the Arizona Graduation Workgroup, ADE/ESS is pleased to present two guidance documents related to graduation for students with disabilities: Graduation and Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Public Education Agencies and Graduation and Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Parents. These documents are attached to this email, but are also available on a newly developed ADE/ESS graduation website: http://www.azed.gov/special-education/graduation.
In order to better understand the perspectives of students, families, schools, and agencies involved in graduation planning, the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services (ADE/ESS), solicited volunteers from the field to compose a graduation workgroup. This workgroup includes representatives from all relevant stakeholder groups, and its purpose is a continuing one—to discuss and develop guidance to assist public education agencies (PEAs) and individualized education program (IEP) teams in making informed decisions about graduation for students with disabilities.
These documents are intended to clarify Arizona’s graduation requirements, their interplay with the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and how graduation requirements impact students with disabilities. They represent the first communication from the graduation workgroup and are not intended to be “one size fits all” guides for all graduation issues nor will they address all questions related to graduation. ADE/ESS, through the advisement of the graduation workgroup, ADE/Legal Department, and other ADE program areas, will continue to generate helpful documents, resources, and web links and to disseminate them to the field on a regular basis. Additional related topics will be addressed in future communications and presentations related to this guidance will be provided at the Directors Institute (August 2013) and Arizona’s Thirteenth Annual Transition Conference (September/October 2013).