If you have any questions regarding these hot topics, please contact the ESS Webmaster.

Arizona’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) Website

Multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) is a coherent continuum of system-wide, data-based problem solving practices supporting a rapid response to the academic and behavioral needs for all students. This comprehensive system of supports includes assessments (universal screening, diagnostic, progress monitoring, formative, and summative), research-based instruction, and interventions. This instruction/intervention is delivered across multiple tiers dependent on the individual student needs identified by student outcome data.

For more information about Arizona’s MTSS, see the ADE MTSS/RTI webpage:



Migration to BREAZ Accounting System

The State of Arizona is migrating to a new accounting system at the end of the fiscal year.  In order to transition to the new system, all payments must be processed in the legacy accounting system by the end of June. To facilitate this transition, please submit all reimbursement requests by June 15th.  Approval of reimbursement requests submitted after June 15th will be delayed until the new accounting system goes live on July 7th.  We will keep you informed of any changes in these dates. 

If you should have any questions, please contact the Grants Management hotline at 602-542-3901 or GrantsManagementGroup@azed.gov.

Public Notice Regarding Application for Federal Funds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)

The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) is applying for federal funding under IDEA ‘04 for the period of July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.  The eligibility document serves as the basis for the operation and administration of activities to carry out the requirements of Part B of the IDEA.  In accordance with 34 C.F.R. §§ 300.165 and 441 (b)(7), the federal regulations that implement the General Education Provisions Act (GEPA) ((20 U.S.C. §1232d(b)(7)(B)), this application is posted for public participation and comment.

The Application document sets forth policies and procedures that Arizona will undertake:

  • to ensure that all eligible children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that includes special education and related services to meet their unique needs;
  • to ensure that the rights of children with disabilities and their parents are protected;
  • to assist public education agencies in providing for the education of all children with disabilities; and
  • to assess and ensure the effectiveness of efforts to educate those children.

The Part B State Application and Interactive Spreadsheet are available to parents, educators, and members of the general public for review and comment at the Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services, 3300 N. Central Avenue, 24th floor, Phoenix, Arizona 85004, or on the ADE website at www.azed.gov/special-education.  


Comments may be submitted in writing until May 4, 2015 to:

Angela M. Denning, M.Ed
Deputy Associate Superintendent
Exceptional Student Services
Arizona Department of Education
1535 West Jefferson Street, Bin #24
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Email: angela.denning@azed.gov

2015 IDEA Basic Entitlement Allocations for Arizona Public Schools – NEW POSTING

The Arizona Department of Education/Exceptional Student Services Funding and Finance Unit have re-posted the 2015 IDEA Basic Entitlement allocations for Arizona public schools. The new posting is due to new calculations for district-sponsored charter schools. All other allocations remain the same. The allocation list can be accessed at http://www.azed.gov/special-education/funding/.

The 2015 IDEA application is currently being developed in the ADEConnect grants management system (GME). The ESS Funding and Finance Unit will notify grantees, via the ESS listserv and Director’s Corner, when the grant application is available. The grants management system will have information on the status of the application posted on the GME homepage as well.

Arizona Department of Education
Exceptional Student Services
Funding and Finance Unit

Alternate Assessment Newsletter for Special Educators Includes Accountability Tips

To keep special educators (and directors) up on alternate assessment news, our monthly newsletter, Tidbits, addresses topics of interest and important dates for pilot testing and assessments. This month’s newsletter focuses on increasing performance expectations and Results Driven Accountability. To access the newsletter, go to http://www.azed.gov/assessment/aims-a/ and click on Newsletters.

The Use of Seclusion and Restraint: A Guidance Document on Best Practices

This guidance document categorizes and compares current best practices in the use of seclusion and restraint from the United States Department of Education, the Council for Exceptional Children, the Arizona Task Force on Best Practices in Special Education and Behavior Management, and Senate Bill 1459. A list of references is provided at the end of the document.

Seclusion and Restraint

Move On When Reading Monitoring Alert

There have been many questions pertaining to how the Move on When Reading statute affects students with disabilities. ADE has provided clarification in the Monitoring Alert.

Information Regarding Replacement of “Mental Retardation” with “Intellectual Disability”

Please note the update taken from School Finance –  May 29, 2013. The original post for this topic can be found here.

On October 5, 2010, President Obama signed legislation requiring the federal government to replace the term “mental retardation” with “intellectual disability” in many areas of government. This measure, known as Rosa’s Law, strips the terms “mental retardation” and “mentally retarded” from federal health, education, and labor policy. “Intellectual disability” or “individual with an intellectual disability” are being inserted in place of these outdated terms. The rights of individuals with disabilities remain the same.

ADE is in the conversion process required by this legislation. References to “mental retardation” are being changed to “intellectual disability” and the acronym “MR” is being replaced with the acronym “ID.” The current acronyms for the disability categories of MIMR, MOMR, and SMR are being changed to MIID, MOID, and SID within SAIS. Additionally, references to a “mentally retarded individual” are being changed to an “individual with an intellectual disability” in resource documents, memos, and other supporting documentation throughout ADE.

ADE’s conversion from “MR” to “ID” in SAIS will be introduced in July 2013. However, not all ADE data collection application and resource material conversions will occur immediately after June 30, 2013. The conversion process for other online applications and resource materials is expected to be finalized no later than December 2013.

SAIS business rules were created identifying the areas within SAIS to be modified to accommodate this change. The rules can be found here within the “Business Rules” section of the webpage under fiscal year “2014.”