Summer Clean Up

Congratulations! You successfully navigated an unprecedented school year.  We hope you have been able to take some time this summer for rest and renewal.  


We want to welcome our new districts:  Brooklyn Center Community Schools, ISD 197 – West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools, St. Cloud Area School District and Prescott (WI).


As your mind turns to the ’21-’22 school year we have some suggestions for “summer clean up” and preparation for the new school year.


Administrative Tasks: 


  • Ensure your profile is up-to-date.
  • Update your educator list by adding new staff and modifying or disabling staff that no longer work for your district.
  • Consider turning on SpEd Forms 2.0 so staff can try it out.
  • Update your district calendar.
  • Make sure you add the Thursday’s at Three link to your calendar.
  • Plan to attend our Thursday’s at Three discussion on August 19th as we review a variety of back to school items.
  • Make sure your staff is aware of these Thursday’s at Three Discussions:

               *  August 26th – New teacher training for SpEd Forms 1.0

               *  September 9th – New teacher training for SpEd Forms 2.0

  • Visit our YouTube site by clicking here to view a variety of training videos.


Teacher/User Tasks:


  • Ensure your profile is up-to-date.
  • Exit students that have graduated, moved, or no longer receive special education service.
  • Update team member list.
  • Review educator student list for accuracy.
  • Update parent name(s) and address(es) if not using nightly import.
  • Make sure you add the Thursday’s at Three link to your calendar.  
  • Bookmark in order to see our news, support, training, etc.


The SpEd Forms Team wishes you all the best as you start a new school year!


Email 08/05/2020: WI August Update

On Saturday, August 8th 2020, an update will be posted to all Wisconsin SpEd Forms sites. The update will include the changes listed below:

1. The Mathematics goals sub-category of communication has been removed.
(Source: Gary Lewis, SpEd Forms DE-582)
2. The Goal category of Word Analysis has been removed and goals moved into the Reading category.
(Source: Gary Lewis, SpEd Forms DE-581)

Evaluation Report
1. The following tests have been added to the SpEd Forms test bank: Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamental Preschool-3, Khan-Lewis Phonological Analysis – 3rd Edition, Beck Youth Inventories – 2nd Edition, Raven’s 2 Progressive Matrices, Clinical Edition, Kaufman Tests of Educational Achievement – 3rd Edition” and “Kaufman Tests of Educational Achievement – 3rd Edition w/ Supplemental Composites.
(Source: Gary Lewis, SpEd Forms #44200/44215)

1. The 2020-2021 quick reports have been added:
Communication Logs 2020-21, COSF Outcome Data 2020-21, Evaluation Summary 2020-21
EXITed Students w/Last Service Date in 2020-21, Materials and Procedures 2020-21, Progress Report Results for 2020-21, Referral Review and Assmt Determination 2020-21, Restrictive Procedures 2020-21, Students turning 21 in 2020-21, Unfinalized Physical Holds 2020-21 Unfinalized Seclusions 2020-21
(Source: Mark Oehrlein, SpEd Forms DE-610)
2. A new quick report, Login Tracking, has been created. This will list all login attempts in the last 60 days.
(Source: Michael Buswell, SpEd Forms DE-572)

1. Administrators with educator access can generate a multi-factor code to give to an educator for SpEd Forms access.
(Source: Michael Buswell, SpEd Forms DE-633)

A Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) security feature was added as a preference last month. This feature is off by default, and requires users to have a valid email address entered into their Educator Setup.
We have created a MFA guide that can be viewed here:

COVID-19 Contingency Learning Plan form to be added to SpEd Forms

Good news for educators planning for the upcoming year: SpEd Forms has been working to create a COVID-19 Contingency Learning Plan form to be used in the 2020-2021 school year. To make sure the form is useful and accurate, we’ve been working with our Advisory Committee, special education directors from across the state, and with attorneys Christian Shafer and Laura Tubbs Booth from Ratwik Roszak & Maloney, P.A.

The plan will describe how services would be delivered to each child under the three possible scenarios mandated by the Minnesota Department of Education and the Governor of Minnesota.  

The COVID-19 Contingency Learning Plan form will auto-populate the following fields (allowing for a description of changes if needed): 

  • annual goals 
  • how progress toward the annual goals will be measured 
  • program modifications, supports and adaptations in general and special education

However, these additional fields will need to be completed by case managers: 

  • special education and related services
  • service delivery methods
  • child-specific paraprofessional support information
  • least restrictive environment explanation

You can anticipate the COVID-19 Contingency Learning Plan form to be available with the SpEd Forms August update.

We greatly appreciate the knowledge, expertise, and time spent working on the development of this form provided by Jamie Nord, Melissa Hanson, Michelle Cuka, Nicole Woodward, Sara Mittlestadt, the SpEd Forms Advisory Team, Christian Shafer, and Laura Tubbs Booth. Thank you for your invaluable assistance!

SpEd Forms v 2.0 Updated Interface Now Live

Twenty years was a good run! Since 2000, the user interface of SpEd Forms has remained much the same. Recently, however, this “old” user interface has started to constrain the ability of our programmers to adapt the program to meet changing needs.

That’s why we’re developing a fresh new interface, “SpEd Forms v 2.0,” that fits with the current needs of our users. It’s mainly a design change: the organization of SpEd Forms v 2.0 is the same as the original SpEd Forms but the pages now look more contemporary. 

Activity log in SpEd Forms v 2.0 on desktop and mobile phone view

SpEd Forms v 2.0 is now available as an option for users to enable in “Educator Setup” under “Profile.” However, we don’t recommend that everyone switches over just yet. Here’s who should use SpEd Forms v 2.0 starting now: 

  • Power users should use SpEd Forms v 2.0 so they can help their district decide when the right time is to switch versions.
  • MA Forms providers should start using SpEd Forms v 2.0 now because the new activity log interface is much easier to use and is formatted to work on small mobile devices.  

Enabling SpEd Forms v 2.0

Tech stuff: The new SpEd Forms v 2.0 user interface replaces our legacy hybrid CSS framework with Bootstrap, the most popular open-source CSS framework used throughout the world today. The new feature end users will notice the most is “responsiveness”, the ability of SpEd Forms 2020 to adapt seamlessly to tablets and mobile phones. 

We’ve also improved our content according to Web Accessibility Content Guidelines so that users with disabilities can better access the program. 

If you have any feedback about how the new version is working for you, we’d love to hear it! Please reach out to us with questions/comments through the support request system.

Please note: You don’t need to do anything immediately if you would prefer to continue using the old interface. We anticipate SpEd Forms v 1.0 to remain available for several years so that our users can slowly make the adjustment.

12/4/2020: This post has been updated to reflect the name change from SpEd Forms 2020 to SpEd Forms v 2.0.

Email 07/09/2020: MN July Update

On Saturday, July 11th 2020, an update will be posted to all Minnesota SpEd Forms sites. The update will include the changes listed below:

1. The Federal Settings flowchart has been updated.
(Source: Diane McCarron, SpEd Forms DE-530)

1. The Notice of Proposed Initial Assessment: Part C and the Notice of Proposed Eval/Reevaluation: Part C have both been updated to meet compliance.
(Source: ECSE Advisory Group, SpEd Forms #DE-513/DE-526)

1. A “Students turning 21 in 2020-21” quick report is now available.
(Source: Kris Jurgensen, Goodhue County Education District #44011)
2. “Encounters by District 2019-20” has been created under MA quick reporting.
(Source: Dellynne Monson, SWWC Service Cooperatives #44005)
3. The following quick reports have also been added for use: “PWN Part B Eval-ReEval Finalization Dates”, “PWN Part C Eval-ReEval Finalization Dates”, “PWN Part C Initial Finalization Dates”, “PWN Part C ECSE Finalization Dates”, “PWN Part B Finalization Dates” and “PWN Notice of Proposed Eval Part B Finalization Dates”.
(Source: Lynae Anderson, Warroad Public Schools #43965)

Educator Student List
1. A quick link to the IDLP Menu has been added.
(Source: Michelle Thoemke, Richfield Public Schools #43672)

1. An admin preference to hide the Emergency Health/Transportation Information form has been added.
(Source: Sally Wulf, Westonka Public Schools #43811)

A new security feature is available. Multi-factor Authentication via email will be available as a Super Administrator preference. This feature is off by default, and requires users to have a valid email address entered into their Educator Setup.

Email 07/09/2020: WI July Update

On Saturday, July 11th 2020, an update will be posted to all Wisconsin SpEd Forms sites. The update will include the changes listed below:

1. The Educational Environment flowchart has been updated.
(Source: Gary Lewis, SpEd Forms DE-537)
2. An editable drop down has been added to “Notice of Changes to IEP Without an IEP Team Meeting I-10”, 184: Other Options Considered.
(Source: Gary Lewis, SpEd Forms DE-542)

Evaluation Templates
1. An editable drop has been added to “Notice of Agreement to Extend Time Limit to Complete Evaluation for Transfer Student M-2” and “Notice of Agreement to Extend Time Limit to Complete the Evaluation of a Child Suspected of Having a Specific Learning Disability M-3”. 181: Other Options Considered.
(Source: Gary Lewis, SpEd Forms DE-538)
2. An editable drop down has been added to “Notice of Reevaluation RE-1”, “Notice to Conduct a Reevaluation More Than Once a Year RE-2”, and “Notice of Receipt of Referral and Start of Initial Evaluation IE-1”, 182: Other Options Considered.
(Source: Gary Lewis, SpEd Forms DE-539)
3. An editable drop down has been added to “Notice of IEP Team Findings That Child is Not a Child With a Disability ER-4”, 183: Other Options Considered.
(Source: Gary Lewis, SpEd Forms DE-541)

1. A new quick report for Administrators and Educators has been added, “Reassessment Due Dates”.
(Source: Gary Lewis, SpEd Forms DE-536)

A new security feature is available. Multi-factor Authentication via email will be available as a Super Administrator preference. This feature is off by default, and requires users to have a valid email address entered into their Educator Setup.

Upcoming Additions

Happy Summer from all of us at SpEd Forms!

We wanted to keep you in the loop by letting you know that SpEd Forms is currently working to create a standalone Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) with related drop down statements for the associated Prior Written Notice.

We are also working with a team of Directors to develop a way to most efficiently document how student services would be provided under the three different scenarios (Distance, Hybrid, and In-Person Learning) that will be possible during the 20-21 school year.

You can look forward to the additions before the start of the school year. Changes will be announced via our mailing list. If this email was forwarded to you and you would like to receive announcements directly, look for the blue subscribe button on our Blog page here:

Sign up here!

How to update your MARSS HK Instructional Setting

Hello Everyone! Yesterday we were reminded that by July 1st, 2020, all districts need to have made changes in the MARSS Instructional Setting for each of their kindergarten students who are age 5 with an IEP. We have put together some step-by-step directions we hope will make this process as efficient as possible. Go here to view the Google Doc:

Efficient way to make MARSS instructional setting changes for all your Kindergarten students

Have a wonderful, restful summer, SpEd Forms educators!

The MA Financial Roller Coaster

No State Fair, no problem! The MA financial roller coaster has more than enough ups and downs to make a school business manager a bit lightheaded. To help out, we’re sharing a few updates to keep in mind during your year-end reporting:

For many districts, a large percentage of their Medicaid revenue comes from personal care assistance and special transportation services. Unfortunately, these were the services that were eliminated due to COVID-19 restrictions. To help alleviate the effects of this reduction, the federal participation percentage (FPP) has been increased from 50% to 56.2%. The increase will be effective starting with the first remittance payment for 2020 and ending when the federal government deems that the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

On May 8th, you will have received a message from the DHS in the Private Letter folder of your MN-ITS mailbox. The letter notifies you that the DHS’s review of suspended claims for 2017-2018 is complete. If you had claims that were denied due to eligibility reasons, DHS reviewed them to ensure there were no other Medicaid numbers for the recipient. Out of the 322,786 total claims reviewed, approximately 7% were paid out. Your district does not need to take any further action regarding these claims.

In addition, on May 27th the DHS emailed all school districts and charters a memo regarding the Annual Data Reporting Form, which is due by July 5th, 2020. This form is used to report time and encounter data for all services billed for the 2018-2019 school year. If this is not completed, your final rate will be re-calculated to zero. Any revenue paid to your district for 2018-2019 services would be recouped from future payments. This is a simple form to run in MA Forms, but if you have any questions, our team is here to help!

Lastly, if you have had a change in billing staff, we would encourage you to email to ensure that your district has access to all the updated information from DHS, especially required forms or reports that would impact enrollment or rates. 

If you have any questions about year-end reporting or processes, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to support you!

Changes Coming Soon to SpEd Forms Team

The SpEd Forms office will be seeing some changes this month, with two retirements and two promotions. 

First, Gary Lewis will be retiring from his position as our Director of WI Services. Gary has been with SpEd Forms since its early days and co-authored the original FileMaker Pro version of SpEd Forms way back in 1993. After a decades-long career in education and administration, he has decided to retire with his last day being June 30th. However, he’ll stay on as our new goal and test bank consultant. This means he will update and write goals and assessments for users to access when writing an Evaluation Report.

Gary tells us, “I feel blessed that I can continue to have a connection with the special education community, to the product I am proud to have helped create, and to a group of people who are much, much more than just co-workers – the SpEd Forms family.” He also looks forward to riding his new e-bike and getting back into photography in his new spare time. He plans to travel the world with his wife as soon as the pandemic crisis has subsided. Bon Voyage and best wishes, Gary! 

To fill in the gap, Diane McCarron will step in as our new Director of Services on June 1st. She will be responsible for both Minnesota and Wisconsin— a promotion from her previous job as Director of MN Services. Diane has 40 years of experience in special education. We look forward to continuing to work with her! 

Also being promoted is our (now former) Information Analyst, Mark Oehrlein, who will now be our Data and Security Manager. Mark will oversee data storage and delivery and act as our HIPAA Security, Privacy, and Compliance Officer. 

Finally, on June 30th, our current goal bank consultant Mary Ruprecht will also be retiring. She has been a member of the SpEd Forms leadership team since 2008 and led the team that developed the original SpEd Forms Goal Bank. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

Plus— we’ll be announcing a new Assistant Director of Services in the near future! Keep your eyes on this blog or our social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) for updates.