Montgomery County Public Schools Compliance Manual

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is the largest and most diverse public school system in the State of Maryland serving more than 160,000 students in 209 schools with the support and dedicated work of nearly 25,000 employees. More than 20,000 students enrolled in MCPS are eligible for special education services. MCPS serves students with disabilities in a multitude of programs including in their home schools and in programs designed for the specific needs of various students. MCPS provides a quality education in schools with diverse learners to ensure that students with disabilities are able to access appropriate educational programs in each student's least restrictive environment for learning to prepare them to thrive in their future endeavors. MCPS OSE supports this work by implementing MCPS's core values of learning, relationships, respect, excellence, and equity on a daily basis.

This 2022 Special Education Compliance Manual has been developed to inform parents and other community stakeholders and to guide Montgomery County Public Schools Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams to ensure the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA) and Maryland Special Education Statutes and Regulations are implemented in compliance with the law. This manual reflects the commitment of the Montgomery County Board of Education (BOE) set forth in Policy IOB, Education of Students with Disabilities and the mission and mandates of the MCPS Office of Special Education (OSE).

This manual will provide specific legal requirements and MCPS procedures for the full implementation of IDEA. Readers may use this manual to find explanations of key IDEA requirements or to search for specific answers to questions that may arise for individual students. While this manual provides guidance on special education law and requirements, it is not intended to be a replacement for legal advice for any parent or community member for whom such advice is being sought. For specific information or guidance on a current or former MCPS student, please contact the school of attendance or the Resolution and Compliance Unit (RACU).

Reader Notes

  • Throughout this manual, the terms "parent" or "parent/guardian" shall be used to mean any person who has legal rights to make decisions on behalf of a student with a disability.

  • References to COMAR shall mean the Code of Maryland Regulations.

  • References to Md. Education Article shall mean Maryland Education statutes/laws.

  • IDEA shall refer to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004.