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Dyslexia Task Force Update

Missouri SEAL

School Certification and Licensure

Eligibility Criteria for Sound System Disorders in Missouri Public Schools

Substitute SLPs & Missed Therapy Sessions

MSHA Request to DESE for Recognition
of CCCs

Position Statement: Missed Sessions in Missouri Public Schools

Early Childhood News

School Affairs News

Frequently Asked Questions


Student Services Certificate Update

School Services

Vice President for School Services,
Patricia Jones MS, CCC-SLP

Welcome to the School Services News!!! This portion of the MSHA website is designed to provide information related to practice of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology in Missouri public schools and in Early Childhood Special Education settings. MSHA members’ suggestions for additions or changes in the format of the Schools News section are appreciated. You can comment by emailing Pat at msha@showmemsha.org


Dyslexia Task Force Update

Update 3/31/2017

The third meeting of Task Force on Dyslexia was held on February 10, 2017, in Jefferson City for the purpose of hearing public testimony focused on classroom instruction, intervention, and implementation of evidence-based reading and instructional programs  with general discussion of testimony following. A meeting will be scheduled for March and/or April 2017 in Jefferson City for additional testimony relative to preservice and inservice professional development for dyslexia.

Update 2/1/2017

The Missouri House of Representatives has issued a House Committee Hearing Notice for the Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia.  The Hearing will occur on Friday, February 10, 2017, at 9:00 a.m. in House Hearing Room 7 at the Capital Building (lower level) in Jefferson City.  The Hearing is held for the purpose of testimony relating to effective dyslexia intervention programs that address dyslexia or characteristics of dyslexia. Witnesses will be limited to licensed or certified professionals working in the area of dyslexia.  If time allows, additional testimony will be permitted.  

Update 1/19/2017

In June 2016, Governor Jay Nixon signed two pieces of legislation relating to dyslexia: House Bill 2379 and Senate Bill 638. The statutes address screening, professional development, classroom supports and evidence-based reading instruction for dyslexia in all public and charter schools in Missouri. Implementation is to begin in 2018-2019 and continue in subsequent school years. In accordance with the statutes, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education created the role of Director-Dyslexia Specialist and Kim Stuckey has been employed in the position. In addition, the legislation created a Legislative Task Force on Dyslexia (Task Force).

The Task Force is comprised of twenty-one members described in RSMo 633.420.1. The description of Task Force members includes a speech-language pathologist with training and experience in early literacy development and effective research-based intervention techniques for dyslexia recommended by the Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association (MSHA). MSHA recommended Eva Trumbower, M.S., CCC-SLP to the legislature and she has been appointed to serve on the Task Force.

Learn more about the Dyslexia Task Force and recent activities.

Missouri Has Seals?
State Education Advocacy Leaders (SEALs) are appointed by ASHA-recognized Speech-Language-Hearing Associations to act as advocates on issues related to education. The State Education Advocacy Leaders were established in 1999 under ASHA's Priorities. The mission of the SEALs network is to “enhance and perpetuate the advocacy, leadership, and clinical management skills of school-based ASHA members at the state and local levels to influence administrative and public policy decisions that affect the delivery of speech-language pathology and audiology services in school settings.” (www.asha.org). Missouri’s SEAL is Elizabeth McKerlie, MS, CCC-SLP, beth.mckerlie@nkcschools.org

School Certification and Licensure
Important: The Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association is NOT a licensing agent. MSHA supports ASHA, the State Board of Healing Arts, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the agencies which license or credential professionals.

Senate Bill (SB) 107 passed in the 2015 Missouri legislative session and became law on August 28, 2015. As of August 28, 2015, the Board of Healing Arts (BHA) no longer require applicants for licensure to complete a 9 month clinical fellowship period to apply for full licensure. Individuals with a Master’s degree in SLP who have passed the Praxis exam will get a full license from the Board of Healing Arts. With this full “unencumbered” license, they will be able to get initial SLP Student Services Certification from DESE. With a full license these individuals will be able to bill Medicaid.

Effective January 1, 2016, all individuals applying for a DESE SLP Student Services Certificate for the first time must hold a Board Of Healing Arts (BHA) license and they must keep that license current. This does not impact individuals who already hold a DESE SLP credential without a BHA license – they may continue to practice in Missouri public schools with just their DESE certificate.

Important Websites:

SB 107 made important changes to SLP-A registration. The new law clarifies that the practical hour requirement for SLP-A registration may be done separate from the bachelor’s degree coursework.

Important Websites for SLP-A’s:

Federal law requires each state to establish criteria for qualifying children ages 0-21 as eligible to receive Special Education and Related services. DESE’s criteria for each category of disability are summarized in the State Plan for Special Education.

Please refer to the Missouri State Plan for Special Education Revised February 2016

Substitute SLPs & Missed Therapy Sessions
The question of how to handle missed therapy sessions in the public schools comes up frequently. On 11/2/06, ASHA requested clarification from the federal Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) as to interpretation based on the IDEA Amendments of 2004. On 3/8/07, OSEP responded by addressing ASHA’s question about the need to use substitutes and to schedule make up sessions when speech/language sessions are missed as a result of either the child’s absences, the SLP’s absences, or other causes such as school activities. OSEP stated that these issues are not addressed in the federal law or the federal regulations. According to OSEP, it is up to each state to ensure a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Therefore, each school entity needs to consider the effect of absences (child’s or SLP’s) or other causes of missed sessions on the child’s progress toward IEP goals. If the goals are not likely to be met, missed sessions may be a denial of FAPE.

In an attempt to receive written clarification from DESE as to the state policy and ask them to consider the OSEP opinion, the MSHA Executive Board developed a Position Statement about missed sessions and presented a draft to Heidi Atkins Lieberman, assistant commissioner of education, on May 19, 2008.

Click here for a copy of the Position Statement.

DESE responded quickly and on 5/23/08, the following message was sent to school administrators via the DESE SELS List: ”The U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) issued a policy letter in March 2007 (Letter to Clarke). That letter included several issues; one of those issues was compensatory services. In the letter, OSEP changed its mid-1990's position on compensatory services by noting that IDEA really does not provide for compensatory services, that the issue boils down to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and that whether a child is in need of compensatory services is an individualized issue. It "encouraged" schools to convene IEP teams to address compensatory services when there has been a failure to implement due to things like provider absences.
After careful consideration and discussion, we have reached the conclusion that our long-standing position that provider absences requires either full make-up services OR an IEP team meeting and decision on the extent, if any, of compensatory services needed, is without authority. However, we strongly recommend that responsible public agencies consider continuing to address provider absences by either full make-up of services OR convening the IEP team to address the need for compensatory services. This is one way to ensure FAPE has been addressed. We also encourage you to discuss this with your school district lawyer.”

Early Childhood News

Click here for DESE’s FAQ Re: First Steps

School Affairs News

Check back soon for updates.



Missouri State Board for the Healing Arts

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education

Parents as Teachers National Office

Project ACCESS

Missouri Council for Administrators of Special Education

SLP/Audiology Job Site

Eligibility Criteria for Sound System Disorders in Missouri Public Schools
Following is information to assist SLPs determine eligibility for diagnosis of children with Sound System Disorders (SSD) in Missouri public schools.

  1. DESE System for SSD with Single Error Sound
    The first item is the chart accepted by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) in September, 2007 for initial diagnosis of a single sound disorder. Click here for the chart.

    For further information about initial determination of eligibility for Sound System Disorder, go to http://dese.mo.gov/se/compliance/documents/se-cc-statenormativedata.pdf  for a Q&A on the DESE website.

  2. System for Guiding Professional Judgment for SSD with Multiple Sound Errors
    A procedure for using professional judgment in determining eligibility when sound system disorders involve more than a single sound was developed by Dr. Julie Masterson and Sarah Basye (Missouri State University) with input from a team of clinicians working in Missouri Schools, including Susan Borgmeyer, Elaine Kempker, and Brenda Martien. The system is based on current research on typical phonological development in children. A "Quick Start" for Recommendations for Using Professional Judgment can be obtained by clicking here. For the accompanying research base, click here.

  3. DESE-MSHA 2001 Chart for Developmental/Non-Developmental Errors
    This chart was developed by a task force including DESE and MSHA representatives in 2001 that is based on studies by Shriberg, 1993. School districts that were using this chart prior to the publication of the DESE chart in 2007 may continue to use it when considering initial eligibility for SSD on the condition that there is more than a single sound error present.
When determining initial eligibility for children with phonological processing errors, districts may choose to use either the Masterson/Basye system or the Shriberg chart or may use other normative data. It is strongly recommended by MSHA that the evaluation report state which data was used.

Remember that when determining initial eligibility for a child with a single sound error, the DESE chart must be used in Missouri public schools.

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