Common Issues for Reporting on School Age Students with Disabilities

  1. Minimum time necessary for classification purposes
    • 20% to 59% category - Special Education services of not less than 5 hours per week at the elementary level and not less than 5.5 hours per week at the secondary level.
    • 60%+ category - Special education services a minimum of 3 hours of each school day of each school week at the elementary level and a minimum of 3.5 hours of each school day of each school week at the secondary level.
  2. “180-minute/5-period-per-week” rule for 20% - 59% Reporting Grades 7 - 12:
    • The statute reads in pertinent part “... the equivalent of five periods per week, but not less than the equivalent of one hundred eighty minutes...”.  Both criteria must be met. As an example, if the class period for the high school is 40 minutes, a minimum of 200 minutes of special education services would need to be provided within the week to qualify for the 20% classification.
  3. “180-minute/5-period-per-week” exception for Grades 4 – 6:
    • The “5-hour-per-week” rule applies to grades 4-6, unless the grade is in a “middle school operating on a period basis”.  This is intended to distinguish traditional common branch classrooms with children leaving for specials from a departmentalized program in which students move from class to class in core subjects. The “180-minute/5 period per-week” rule described in a) only applies to one or more of these grades (4 – 6) when the grade is in a middle school and the students change classes much like in a high school setting.
  4. “5-hour-per-week” rule for Grades K – 3 for 20 – 59% Category
    • The “180-minute/5-period per week” exception never applies to Grades K–3. Students in these grade levels must meet the minimum 5 hours per week of special education services to be classified in the 20% to 59% weighting category.
  5. Regents Exam Days
    • Districts may include as instructional days, Regents Exam days for students in the grade levels in which Regents Exams are given and also for students not in those grades but who share the same school building, if necessary to provide staff or space for the exams.
  6. Home and Hospital Instruction
    • To qualify for the 60%+ weighting, which is the only category that applies for home and hospital instruction, the student must have an IEP which requires special education services for a minimum of 5 hours per week at the elementary level and a minimum of 10 hours per week at the secondary level.  These minimum service levels must be necessary for more than 60 days.
Last Updated: April 21, 2022