PRESS RELEASE - October 1, 2003
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786

Ruth Williams
Public Outreach Director
(505) 476-0393

SDE Invites Comments on Proposed Amendments To State Special Education Regulations

(Santa Fe, NM)--The New Mexico State Department of Education (SDE) will hold two public hearings in October on proposed amendments to the special education regulations pertaining to gifted students. The amendments will provide clarification.

The hearings will be held on Tuesday, October 14, 2003 in Las Cruces, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at the Las Cruces Public Schools Administration Office Board Room located at 505 South Main, Suite 249 Loretto Centre, and on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 in Albuquerque, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., at the office of Parents Reaching Out located at 1920 B Columbia Drive, SE.

The proposed amendments provide for the following:

· Expand the process for identification of gifted students to include alternative forms like standardized tests and parent, student and teacher information.
· Reiterate the requirement for a pre-screening/screening and referral process for gifted students.
· Clarify the need for multiple sources of information in each area that is to be assessed for gifted service. The areas are intellectual ability, academic achievement, creativity and critical thinking.

Copies of the proposed amendments, with explanations for each proposed change, are available from the SDE’s Special Education Office, 300 Don Gaspar Avenue, Santa Fe, NM 87501-2786, 505-827-6541. To review or download the amendments click here. Written comments on the proposed changes will be accepted by the SDE until 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 5, 2003. Written comments may be mailed to the Special Education Office at the address above, faxed to 505-827-6791 or e-mailed to spedfeedback@ped.state.nm.us.

Individuals with disabilities who need any form of auxiliary aid or service to attend or participate in one of the public hearings or who require written information in an alternative format should contact the SDE’s Special Education Office as soon as possible.