Q&A from the Using the Percentage Aide Box to request Reimbursement for Student-Specific Education Aides Webinar, Jan. 14, 2021

The presentation slides can be found below:

The following tables provide the questions with answers that were asked by participants during the Using the Percentage Aide Box to request Reimbursement for Student-Specific Education Aides Webinar held on January 14, 2021.

Question Answers
1. The webinar stated that 1:1 aide state reimbursement is based on student enrollment, not fee-for-service. Can you elaborate? State reimbursement for Individualized Education Program (IEP) student-specific aide services is authorized for the time period when schools are open and the student is legally enrolled, including days when the student is legally absent, and days when the 1:1 aide is absent and no substitute can be found.

There is no state reimbursement for time periods when no student-specific aide services are being provided because of school closure due to the pandemic, or time periods when the student is receiving remote education services, but no virtual student-specific aide service is provided. State reimbursement may not be claimed for days that student-specific aides did not provide support services to students because the aide was laid off, furloughed, or did not otherwise provide support services to students consistent with the IEP requirements, except for legal student absences and aide absences when school is open and no substitute can be found.
2. Can the Aide Percentage box be used for all school years? The Aide Percentage box should be used for all open (available for STAC claiming) school years.
3. Should the 1:1 Aide guidance be utilized for the entire 2019-20 school year or just for the time during the shutdown? The Aide Percentage process applies to the entire school year. Information used in the Aide Percentage calculation is enrollment based (see Q&A #1), consistent with the student’s IEP, with the exception of school closings due to the pandemic and remote learning with no student-specific aide. The Aide Percentage formula accounts for these two exceptions.
4. What if a claim for reimbursement was verified prior to this new guidance? If the EFRT record does not accurately reflect the student's placement, the record should be updated and reverified.
5. Should a value be entered in the Aide Percentage box if the student's education program has an enhanced tuition rate? The Aide Percentage box is only required when a school district or county is seeking state reimbursement for the cost of IEP student-specific aide services that are not included in a program’s tuition rate. The Aide Percentage box can be left blank otherwise.
6. If the student is educated by an SED-approved private provider, does the county/school district need to verify with the provider that 1:1 aide services were provided during remote instruction periods? In order for the Aide Percentage to be calculated correctly, districts/counties must obtain from the SED-approved provider the information necessary to complete the Student-Specific Aide Calculation WorksheetPDF Document: specifically Hours/Day Aide Scheduled; Avg Days/Week Aide Scheduled; Program Days with Aide; and Number of Students Sharing the Aide.
7. Can you clarify the statement that student-specific aide services are educational and behavior services consistent with the aide’s job function? Would that include assisting a student with a severe disability with daily living support such as personal hygiene skills? The IEP may recommend a 1:1 aide to assist with personal hygiene, a specific support consideration pursuant 8 NYCRR 200.4(d)(3)(vii).
8. Should the Aide Percentage box be utilized for student-specific aides who do not provide direct educational support, but instead help the student with toileting and class transitions? Yes, the Aide Percentage box may be used for all 1:1 aide services.
9. How should aide percentages be reported by counties and school districts that submit their claims in large batches via text files uploaded to the SED File Transfer Manager (FTM)? School districts/counties that submit claim information in large batches via the SED File Transfer Manager should use the updated file layout for SERV files. Please reference the Electronic Submittal of STAC-1s section on the STAC website for more information.
10. Should the same student-specific aide reimbursement process be utilized for student-specific teaching assistants? The Aide Percentage box applies to IEP recommended student-specific teaching assistants as well as IEP recommended student-specific aides.
11. Who determines when students will be educated remotely? The student’s program provider (school district, Board of Cooperative Educational Services, approved program serving school-age or preschool students with disabilities) will determine the manner of delivery based on the health and safety criteria per their Reopening Plan.
12. Who determines if the student should receive one-to-one aide services while the student is being educated remotely? The Committee on Special Education (CSE) or Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) will determine all recommended programs and services, including 1:1 aide services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the special education and related services included in a child’s IEP may need to be provided in a different manner (e.g., in-person, remotely, or hybrid); however, all children with disabilities must continue to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). If a school or program is not providing in-person learning, it is expected that programs and services will be provided remotely unless otherwise specified on the student’s IEP or contingency plan developed by the CSE/CPSE.
13. Does the IEP need to be modified if there are changes in the manner of delivery of the 1:1 aide services (e.g., from in person to remote)? NYSED has provided guidance in conformance with OSEP that IEPs do not need to be amended if the manner of delivery changes (e.g., from in-person to remote) to enable the continued provision of FAPE in accordance with IEPs.
14. What happened to aides that were already claimed using the prior full-time and half-time aide checkboxes? Claims for state reimbursement that were originally submitted in EFRT with the full-time or half-time aide box checked were automatically updated with an Aide Percentage of “100” or “50” respectively.
15. Does the Student-Specific Aide Calculation Worksheet need to be submitted to the STAC/Medicaid Unit? No, the worksheet is a tool for school districts/counties to use to assist in accurate and uniform reporting. The worksheet’s calculated aide percentage is entered by the school district/county on the appropriate service approval screen in EFRT.
16. Is there an electronic form for the Student-Specific Aide Percentage Calculation Worksheet? The form is available on the Forms page of the STAC website and can be downloaded directly herePDF Document.

For best results, the worksheet should be used in Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat rather than directly in a web browser.
17. How should aide percentages be rounded? The Student-Specific Aide Percentage Worksheet will automatically round the calculated Aide Percentage. School districts/counties enter the rounded value from the worksheet in the Aide Percentage box on the appropriate service approval screen in EFRT.
18. Why are the number of hours per day for education aides capped at five hours? Student-specific aides providing services to a student for five hours or more during SED-approved education program hours are reimbursed at the full daily 1:1 aide rate.
19. Should 5 be used as the denominator in the Hours per Day calculation if the program runs less than five hours per day? The denominator in the Hours per Day calculation should not exceed 5. If the program runs less than five hours per day, the actual number of hours the program runs should be used as the denominator.
20. Should days be included when an aide was scheduled to work with the student, and the aide was available for the service, but the student was absent? Yes. If the student-specific aide service was not delivered due to a legal student absence or aide absence, state reimbursement is still available to the school district/county since state reimbursement is enrollment-based (except during school closures, or transition to remote learning with no student-specific aide service) (see Q&A #1).

If an aide is absent, a provider is expected to work to substitute another aide to ensure compliance with the IEP.
21. When accounting for adjustments due to unexpected closures or transitions to remote learning without aide services, should specific days be counted or should it be based on PROCALC weeks? Specific days should be counted when calculating the numerator (program days with an aide, inclusive of legal student absences). The denominator would be the total number of days the program was scheduled to operate: For 10-month placements, the denominator is usually 180. For extended school year placements, the denominator is usually 30.
22. If a student moves into a school district or county after the start of the program or leaves prior to the end of the program, does that affect the Aide Percentage calculation? A student’s FTE does not affect the Aide Percentage calculation unless there was an adjustment due to transition to remote learning or unexpected closures that impacted delivery of student-specific aide services.

If there weren’t any adjustments, the same value should be entered for both “Program Days with Aide*” and “Scheduled Program Days × Student FTE”. The cost of the aide will be prorated by the FTE on the service approval screen within EFRT.
23. Can the cost of paraprofessionals that work with all of the special education students in the class be included? No. The Aide Percentage box should not be used for classroom paraprofessionals who work with all special education students. The cost of those paraprofessionals is incorporated into the tuition rate for the special class program.
24. Can aide services that were provided virtually during school closures and remote learning periods be included? Virtual student-specific aide services that were provided, or not provided due to a legal student absence, should be included in the Aide Percentage calculation.
25. If an aide did not provide services to a student during a school closure but the school district or county continued to pay for the aide, can those costs be included? If the school district provided at least 180 days of instruction, and the student received aide services on all days of instruction, the aide cost does not need to be prorated.
26. If the initial STAC was entered prior to the pandemic, should the record be updated if the delivery of services was subsequently impacted? The Aide Percentage box in EFRT should be updated if/when delivery of services is impacted.
27. Does the record need to be updated if the student received 100 percent of the recommended aide support? If the Aide Percentage box on the service approval record reflects “100”, and the student received 100 percent of the recommended aide support, the record does not need to be updated.
28. How should school districts and counties track when aides are working with students during school closures and periods of remote instruction? School districts/counties need to obtain the necessary information from providers in order to calculate the Aide Percentage, and should work with providers to develop the best way for such information to be reported.
29. If in-person instruction is being provided in a modified form with fewer than five days per week, should the aide costs only be claimed for the in-person days? With the exception of school closures and periods of remote instruction with no student-specific aide service, only days where the aide is scheduled to provide IEP services to the student should be included, including legal student absences. If the aide is only working with the student during in-person (classroom) days, only the in-person days should be included. If the aide is working with the student virtually during remote instruction days, those days should be included as well.
30. If schools were closed for a period of time as a result of the pandemic but those days were made up by providing instruction on days originally scheduled for a school break, does the aide cost still need to be prorated? Days when the student-specific aide was providing services to a student during school break should be included in the Aide Percentage calculation.
31. Do school districts and counties need to account for how much time the aide actually worked with the student during remote learning? Per the Aide Percentage Calculation WorksheetPDF Document, school districts and counties would need to account for the hours per day the aide is scheduled with a student, the average days per week the aide is scheduled to be with a student, and the number of days the student received aide services (which would not include days where school was closed and no remote 1:1 aide services were provided).
32. Why doesn't the DSPUB service approval screen have an Aide Percentage box? The Aide Percentage box is only applicable for service types where costs are calculated using a certified tuition rate. For 10-month public placements, school districts report service costs in EFRT and therefore do not need to complete the Aide Percentage box.
33. Will the Student-Specific Aide Percentage Calculation Worksheet be used for 10-month public placements? No. State reimbursement for 10-month public placements is calculated based on reported costs rather than certified tuition rates. The costs of student-specific support personnel are prorated in Section III of the DCPUB or DCPOD online high-cost worksheet based on when services were provided to the student.
34. Will the BOCES year-end final cost reporting reflect the guidance regarding when aides are eligible for reimbursement? For 10-month public placements, BOCES were provided State guidance as to when student-specific aides are and are not eligible for state reimbursement during school closures and remote learning periods resulting from the pandemic. However, it is the school district's responsibility to ensure its claims accurately reflect the guidance provided.
35. If a student received a small amount of nursing services each day for medication does the school district need to submit a student-specific aide request form? To receive state reimbursement for nursing services, those services must be recommended on the student's IEP. A distinction must be made between a student-specific nurse and intermittent (periodic) nursing services.

For 10-month private placements and all summer placements, a request form must be submitted to the STAC/Medicaid unit for all student-specific nurses.

For 10-month public placements, student-specific nurses should be claimed in Section III of the DCPUB or DCPOD while intermittent nursing services should be claimed in Section IV of the DCPUB or DCPOD as a related service.
36. What is a maintenance aide? A maintenance aide is an aide that works with a student outside of education hours, if that student has been placed residentially at an SED-approved education provider.
37. Can the Aide Percentage box be utilized for out-of-state placements? The STAC/Medicaid unit will utilize the Aide Percentage box when processing aide requests for out-of-state placements. School districts cannot add or update out-of-state records directly on EFRT. In order to claim state reimbursement for out-of-state aides, the student-specific aide request formPDF Document must be submitted to the STAC/Medicaid unit by the school district.
38. If a student's IEP indicates a shared aide but no other student requires the services of a shared aide, should the Aide Percentage be reported as 100 or 50? For shared aides, the Aide Percentage should be divided by the number of students sharing the aide. If the number of students sharing the aide is 1, then 1 should be the divisor.
39. Due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the services actually provided to students don't always exactly align with the services recommended on the IEPs. How should this be handled for STAC claiming? Reimbursement for 1:1 aides should be based on the Aide Percentage box per the Student-Specific Aide Percentage Calculation Worksheet. Days when schools were closed and, days when schools provided remote instruction but 1:1 aide services were not provided remotely are not eligible for 1:1 state reimbursement.
40. State reimbursement is available for student-specific aide services (in-person or remote) consistent with IEP requirements or consistent with the student’s IEP. Can you explain what the IEP requirements are? The CSE/CPSE will determine recommended programs and services and state reimbursement will reflect those programs and services. For example, scheduled hours, weeks, or days for 1:1 aide services that are in excess of the frequency or duration on the IEP would not be eligible for reimbursement as it would not be consistent with the IEP recommended service. Furthermore, if 1:1 aide staff who were reassigned to perform other functions (e.g., driving a school bus), and did not perform their duties pertaining to 1:1 aide support services to the student, and the 1:1 aide services were not delivered by other eligible staff, then there would be no 1:1 aide reimbursement.
Last Updated: March 30, 2021