The Unified School District II  (USD II) is a school district established by Connecticut General Statute 17a-37 and which operates within the Department of Children and Families under the supervision of a Superintendent of Schools.  It provides educational services to students who reside in DCF facilities and whose treatment needs require they receive their education within the facility.  It also provides educational services to student who are no-nexus and who have been placed by DCF in a private residential facility, psychiatric hospital or in the residential component of a Regional Education Services Center (RESC).

Does the Unified School District II have to comply with the same educational statutes as public school districts in Connecticut?
Yes, the Unified School District II is subject to the same Connecticut educational Statutes as other public school districts in Connecticut.

Does the No-Nexus Unit of the Unified School District II provide educational services for all no-nexus students in the state?
No, the No-Nexus Unit only provides services to those no-nexus students who have been placed by DCF in a private residential facility, a psychiatric hospital or in the residential component of a RESC.

What is no-nexus status?
No-nexus status exists for a child only if one or more of the following criteria is applicable to each parent or guardian of the child:

  • Parental rights have been terminated
  • The parent or guardian is deceased
  • The whereabouts of the parent or guardian is unknown
  • The parent or guardian does not reside in Connecticut
  • The parent or guardian resides as a patient in a treatment facility and does not maintain a Connecticut residence
  • The parent or guardian resides as an inmate in a correctional facility and does not maintain a Connecticut residence
What is the role of the Educational Consultant assigned to a DCF Area Office or Parole Services?
The educational consultants of the Unified School District II who are assigned to DCF’s Area Offices and Parole Services provide consultation and training to the staff of the Area Offices and Parole Services in order to assist in the assurance each child within the care of DCF receives appropriate educational services.

What is a surrogate parent?
A surrogate parent is a person appointed by the Commissioner of the State Department of Education to serve as the child’s advocate in the educational decision-making process for children ages 3-21.  A child is eligible for a surrogate parent if the child requires or may required special education services and for whom at least one of the following is applicable:
  • The Commissioner of DCF has been appointed as the child’s guardian or statutory parent
  • The child’s parent or guardian cannot be identified
  • The child’s parent or guardian cannot be located
    (For children ages 0-3, surrogate parents are appointed by the Department of Mental Retardation)
What is a Planning and Placement Team (PPT) Meeting?
A Planning and Placement Team (PPT) is a term defined and established by Connecticut’s Special Education Regulations.  It is a group of professionals who represent each of the teaching, administrative, and pupil personnel staff and who participate equally n the decision making process regarding a child’s special education eligibility and programming.  If a PPT determines a child is eligible for special education and related services, the PPT develops the child’s Individual Education Program (IEP) for the child.  (The Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA’97) recently included the parent as a member of what the IDEA calls the IEP team; Connecticut is no obligated to consider the parent a member of the PPT).

What is an Individual Education Program (IEP)?
An Individual Education Program (IEP) is a written plan for each child which is developed by a Planning and Placement Team to meet the needs of each child requiring special education and related services.

What is a Placement Review Team (PRT)?
A DCF Placement Review Team is a non-educational decision-making body whose purpose is to determine whether a child’s treatment needs are such that the child must remain within the facility milieu in order to meet the child’s treatment goals, and, if so, whether on a full-time or part-time basis.  The PRT must convene and make this determination no later than thirty (30) days after the date if the placement.  Prior to the initial determination by the DCF PRT, the child must receive all services within the facility milieu.

What is a 603?
A 603 is a DCF form (DCF-603) which is used to notify each child’s Local Education Agency (LEA) of a DCF child’s placement.  In order to ensure that children within the care of DCF receive suitable educational services, it is essential for DCF to communicate critical information to each child’s LEA in a timely manner.  Connecticut statute requires DCF to notify the child’s responsible LEA of a DCF out-of-home placement in accordance with the following timeline:
  • Oral notification within one business day of the placement
  • Written notification within two business days of the placement