A special education case manager is responsible for ensuring services and supports are in place and provided as determined by the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), and may act as a liaison between the student’s teachers and parents. It is important to note that the duties and responsibilities of a case manager may vary at the local level. For example, the case manager may be:
- Providing instruction as the teacher of record for the student in a self-contained or departmentalized special education classroom, or they may be the educator responsible for providing pull-out or push-in support services such as Resource Specialist Program (RSP).
- Coordinating services as the individual overseeing the IEP for the student.
Case Manager Providing Instruction
If the case manager for the student is providing instruction in a self-contained or departmentalized special education setting then they must hold a credential with a specialty area that addresses the student’s primary disability category. The same would be true if the case manager is providing support service— the case manager would need to hold the appropriate credential for those support services. In an alternative placement, if students with low incidence disability categories also have a secondary disability category, and the IEP identifies that an alternate placement under that secondary disability is appropriate under IDEA/Least Restrictive Environment, then the student’s needs related to the secondary disability category impact the placement which would be with a teacher in the appropriate specialty area. However, the student’s needs related to the primary disability category will still need to be addressed by the appropriate related service providers in accordance with the IEP.
Case Manager Serving as Coordinator Only
A case manager who is serving in the coordination role only without providing instruction or serving as the teacher of record for the student falls outside the purview of the Commission. While the Commission understands that many factors are considered when selecting a Case Manager at the local level, we have provided the below guidance as a best practice for different scenarios. The following are examples of best practice placements of case managers in various scenarios:
- Student who is only receiving speech therapy: Speech Language Pathologist
- Student who is receiving speech therapy and RSP: RSP Teacher
- Student who is receiving physical therapy and Special Day Class (SDC): SDC Teacher
- RSP student who is fully included in a General Education classroom: RSP Teacher