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Abbreviated School Day Notice and Acknowledgement

Abbreviated School Day Program Placements

The Oregon Department of Education has developed Abbreviated School Day Programs: Considerations for IEP Teams as guidance designed to support schools, districts, and programs in meeting their responsibilities under the IDEA and ORS 343.161. Please note that these guidelines are not legal advice and should not be relied on as legal advice. If you require legal advice regarding the issues discussed in these guidelines, please consult an attorney.

Overview of Abbreviated School Day Programs

An abbreviated school day program, as established by ORS 343.161, means any school day during which a student receives instruction or educational services for fewer hours than other students who are in the same grade within the same school for more than 10 school days per school year. Abbreviated school day programs should be used rarely, only when no full school day placement within a school district’s continuum of alternative placements can meet a student’s individual needs.

In general, a school day for a student who experiences disability should be the same length as for students who do not experience disabilities. A disability should not typically result in a student receiving a longer or shorter school day than their peers. However, a student’s IEP team may determine that a student needs a longer or shorter school day in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) due to the unique needs that arise from the nature of their disability. In those cases, appropriate modifications should be incorporated into the IEP by the student’s IEP team to ensure that the student continues to receive FAPE. Any modifications to the length of a student’s school day must be based on the unique needs of the student and only under the conditions identified in ORS 343.161. Placement on an abbreviated school day program must also conform to the LRE provisions in the IDEA.

Requirements Related to the Use of Abbreviated School Day Programs

In addition to adhering to the LRE provisions of the IDEA when making abbreviated school day program placements, Oregon Revised Statutes (i.e., ORS 343.161) establish specific requirements that must be met in order to place a student on an abbreviated school day program. A school district may provide an abbreviated school day program to a student with an IEP only if the student’s IEP team does the following:

  • Provides the student’s parents/guardians with an opportunity to meaningfully participate in a meeting to discuss placement.
  • Considers, and documents consideration of, at least one option that includes appropriate supports for the student and that could enable the student to access the same number of hours of instruction or educational services that are provided to students who are in the same grade within the same school.
  • Determines that an abbreviated school day program is the student’s appropriate LRE based on the student’s individualized needs, and documents why option(s) that could enable the student to access the same number of hours of instruction or educational services that are provided to students who are in the same grade within the same school were rejected as inappropriate to meet the student’s individualized needs.
  • Documents in the IEP the reasons why the student was placed on an abbreviated school day program.
  • Provides the student’s parents with a statutorily-compliant abbreviated school day program notice and acknowledgement form at least once per term. Sample forms for this notice and acknowledgement requirement are available below:

In addition to the above required actions, there are further requirements that apply specifically to IEP teams considering an abbreviated school day program for students in foster care. Prior to initiating a placement on an abbreviated school day program for a student in foster care, the IEP team must:

  • Provide the opportunity for the student’s foster parent to meaningfully participate in a meeting to discuss the placement, including the reasonable opportunity to physically attend the meeting at which the abbreviated school day program is discussed.
  • Provide written notification to the foster parent that includes:
    • A statement informing the foster parent of the student’s presumptive right to receive the same number of hours of instruction or educational services as other students who are in the same grade within the same school and the foster parent’s right to request, at any time, a meeting of the IEP team to determine whether the student should no longer be placed on an abbreviated school day program;
    • A statement that a school district may not unilaterally place a student on an abbreviated school day program, and;
    • A statement summarizing the documentation that the team used to consider at least one placement option for the student that included appropriate supports and could enable the student to access the same number of hours of instruction or educational services that are provided to students who are in the same grade within the same school.

Training Resources

ODE is working on finalizing training materials that school districts and programs can use to support implementation of this guidance. When available, those materials will be posted here.