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Licensing Requirements Related to Educating Children in RCCs

Department of Children and Families (DCF) Residential Care Center (RCC) Reviews

DCF licensing specialists conduct onsite reviews of facility compliance with Residential Care Centers (RCC) requirements, including the following requirements relating to educating children with disabilities:

  • As part of the admission process for children with disabilities, the RCC requests an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting to determine the educational services appropriate for the child while the child resides in the RCC. DCF 52.41(1)(b)7.
  • The RCC refers residents to the public schools when not part of an ongoing RCC education program. DCF 52.41(1)(b)1.
  • When requested by the responsible LEAs, RCC staff participate in children's IEP team evaluations or reevaluations. DCF 52.41(1)(b)7.
  • When requested by responsible LEAs, RCC staff participate in IEP team meetings to develop children's IEPs and to determine children's educational placements. DCF 52.41(1)(b)7.
  • The RCC maintains a copy of each child's current IEP. DCF 52.41(1)(b)7.
    Note: Each child's IEP must be accessible to each teacher and service provider responsible for the services required by the child's IEP.
  • If the RCC does not have a current IEP for a child, the RCC requests a copy.
    DCF 52.41(1)(b)7.
  • The RCC ensures that when RCC staff reasonably believe a child not identified as a child with a disability to be a child with a disability, the child is referred to the responsible LEA for an IEP team evaluation. DCF 52.41(1)(b)7.
    Note: The referral must be in writing and include the name of the child and why the child is suspected to be a child with a disability. Before submitting the referral, the RCC staff must ensure the child's parents are informed that a referral will be made.
  • The RCC provides specially designed instruction and related services, e.g., physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, required by residents' IEPs. DCF 52.41(1)(b)7.
  • The RCC education program provides at least 875 hours of instruction each school year. DCF 52.41(1)(b)7.
    Note: Lunch is not included in calculating hours of instruction. "School year" means the time beginning with July 1 and ending with the next succeeding June 30. Wis. Stat.115.001(13). This would result in at least 3 hours and twenty-two minutes of instruction per school day if the RCC operates a 12 month education program.
  • Education is provided by teachers and aides holding appropriate DPI licenses. DCF 52.12(2)(g).
    Note: The DPI has a webpage for looking up staff licenses.
  • RCC staff communicate with responsible local educational agency staff to plan for a smooth transition back to public school prior to a child leaving the RCC.
    DCF 52.41(1)(b) 4.
  • The RCC provides the Department of Public Instruction with information necessary to enable it to carry out its duties under Subchapter V, Chapter 115, Stats., and applicable federal law. DCF 52.41(1)(b)7.
    Note: The DCF licensing specialist will be contacted if the DPI has not received needed information from an RCC.