Memorandum of Agreement Between
Panhandle Community Services Head Start/Early Head Start
Early Development Network/Planning Region #13
(Scotts Bluff and Banner Counties)
Local Education Agency
School Years 2003 - 2004
Panhandle MOA April 2004.doc Page 1 of 4
Memorandum of Agreement
The intent of this interagency agreement is to eliminate duplication of services, promote the
most efficient use of resources, and to clarify agency roles and responsibilities, thereby assuring
continuous, well coordinated services for young children and their families. Recognizing that
every family is unique, honoring the diversity of families, acknowledging that the family is the
expert on the child and the constant in the child’s life and that families are equal team members.
The purpose of this document is to establish the framework in which special education and
related services are provided to children with disabilities in our area. The children provided for
in this agreement are in the age range of zero to five.
The agencies currently involved in providing these special education and related services
through the interagency understanding are the Local Education Agencies, Panhandle
Community Services (PCS) Head Start/Early Head Start/Migrant and Seasonal Head Start, and
Planning Region #13.
In this agreement, when Head Start is stated, it refers to all Panhandle Community Services
Child Development programs, which includes Head Start/Early Head Start/Migrant and
Seasonal Head Start.
All parties to this agreement follow requirements set forth by Nebraska Department of Education
Rule 51 Regulations and Standards for Special Education and Head Start Performance
a. Head Start, the Early Development Network, and the School Districts through Planning
Region #13 have agreed to use a collaboratively agreed upon screening tool for birth
through 5 years of age.
b. Local Education Agency (LEA or school district) through their own or their contracted
speech language pathologist will complete articulation and hearing screening of Head
c. Regulations require that Head Start/Early Head Start screenings will be completed within
45 days of the date of enrollment into Head Start/Early Head Start.
d. If further testing is needed for a child, that child will be referred to the Early Development
Network (infants and toddlers to age three) or to the local education agency, with
a. Referrals are developed through the screening process and on-going assessment and
b. Coordination will be done between Head Start, School Districts, the Early Development
Network, and other involved agencies to provide comprehensive evaluations of all
referred children enrolled at Head Start.
Panhandle MOA April 2004.doc Page 2 of 4
A. Identification (Continued)
III. Comprehensive Evaluations
a. A comprehensive evaluation will be completed in accordance with the Local Education
Agency evaluation procedures.
b. The Multidisciplinary Team (MDT) meeting will include all individuals whose
responsibility is to evaluate the abilities and needs of a child referred for evaluation and
who can provide input concerning the child being evaluated, to determine whether or not
the child meets the eligibility criteria in Section 006 of Rule 51.
Desired Outcome: To increase collaboration during the screening and identification
process to reduce duplication of efforts by involved agencies.
B. Individual Program Planning
I. IEP/IFSP Development
a. The active involvement of parents in their child’s development will be encouraged.
Parents will be treated as an equal team member in deciding the appropriate placement
for their child. This placement will be determined on an individual basis.
b. The LEA will work in collaboration with Head Start and the Early Development Network
to develop an IEP/IFSP for each child that qualifies for Special Education services
according to Rule 51 requirements.
Placement means the special education and related services specified in a child’s current
Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) or Individual Education Program (IEP) and the setting
in which these services are provided. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as
amended by Public Law 99-457, requires procedures to assure that, to the maximum extent
possible, children with disabilities are served in natural environments with children who are not
disabled. Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from
normal peer settings within the school and community should occur only when the nature or
severity of the disability is such that full inclusion with the use of supplementary aids and
services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
a. Head Start will provide an inclusive environment for children with disabilities who are
enrolled in Head Start/ Early Head Start/ Migrant and Seasonal Head Start and meet
Head Start eligibility requirements.
b. LEA will provide special education and related services based on the IEP/IFSP goals
and objectives in the least restrictive environment to children who meet the eligibility
c. According to program standards, Head Start must have 10% of their children identified
with a disability. Head Start may accept 10% of their children to be over income.
d. Special Education and related services provided by the school district may be provided
for the child in the Head Start setting and/or consideration of dual placement. The
delivery of services should be in keeping with developmentally appropriate practices.
Panhandle MOA April 2004.doc Page 3 of 4
B. Individual Program Planning (Continued)
An on-going process of information sharing will be implemented between the staff of all
agencies involved with the children/family to insure smooth transitions within the parameters of
Rule 51 and Head Start Performance Standards.
Desired Outcome: To increase collaboration in providing appropriate services for
identified children which best meets the individual needs of the child and family.
Each school district, Head Start programs, and Planning Region 13 are required to provide on
going training for staff to increase their knowledge and ability to provide quality services to
children with disabilities. Head Start programs, school districts, the Early Development
Network, and social services are encouraged to coordinate and attend trainings.
Desired Outcome: To increase collaboration between agencies by sharing resources
available in staff development for the benefit of children and families.
Head Start Representative Date
Scottsbluff Public School Administrator Date
Gering Public Schools Administrator Date
Minatare Public Schools Administrator Date
Mitchell Public Schools Administrator Date
Morrill Public Schools Administrator Date
Banner County Public Schools Administrator Date
EDN Representative Date
Panhandle MOA April 2004.doc Page 4 of 4