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Program Planning

Classroom with teacher.

Program Planning

Intermediate school districts (ISDs) and their member districts are responsible for providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) through their special education programs and services.

Intermediate School District Plans

ISDs must submit a plan to the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) Office of Special Education (OSE) that documents how special education services will be provided to students within the ISD and its member districts.

ISD Plans


Section 380.1281 of the Revised School Code allows for waivers from certain rules in the Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE). The state superintendent may grant a waiver to local educational agencies (LEAs), ISDs, or public school academies (PSAs) if the district is able to address the intent of the rule in a more effective, efficient, or economical manner or the waiver is necessary to stimulate improved pupil performance. Waivers may be granted for up to three years and may be renewed.

Waiver applications will no longer be accepted in paper form by mail, email or fax. Applications must be submitted through the Catamaran system.

The following waiver applications are not available in the Catamaran system and must be submitted directly to the Office of Special Education:

Administrative Rule Waiver Application for School Social Worker Requirement Under Rule 340.1799f (PDF)
Waiver application to request MDE approval to address the school social worker (SSW) shortage with a Master's level social worker who enrolls in an approved SSW program, without having to complete the program before employment.

Renewal Application: Administrative Rule Waiver for School Social Worker Requirements Under Rule 340.1799f (PDF)
Renewal application to request MDE approval to fill a SSW position for one school year with the same Master's level social worker who worked under an approved waiver during the preceding school year.

Resource for the completion of waiver applications: 

Waivers Webinar Presentation (external PowerPoint)


The MARSE allow for deviations from certain rules under specific circumstances outlined in R 340.1734. The MDE OSE may grant a deviation to LEAs, ISDs, or PSAs for a period not to extend beyond the current school year.

Applications for deviations must be submitted by the district through the Catamaran system

Deviations Webinar Presentation (external PowerPoint)