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Special Education 101

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  1. Special Education 101 Maureen Kerne Region V mauker@regionv.org 201 599-0585

  2. Topics SE • Laws • Overview of 504 • Overview of Special Education • Overview of Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) • Speak Special Ed? • Resources

  3. Special Education in New Jersey • The good or bad news: • New Jersey (NJ) has one of the highest classification rates in the US of A. • New Jersey (NJ) continues to have one of the highest number of students who are in separate and self contained settings. • NJ has made some tremendous strides in opening up Public School program to address # 2. • Bergen County has put in place partnerships and collaborations with MH Agencies/ CBH and DYFS to appropriately address the needs of students in Public School Settings.

  4. The Laws-Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) • Confidentiality • Ethical Responsibility • Only persons who have educational responsibilities • Discussion of a student in ANY public area is both illegal and unethical • Records • Access to School Records • Written parental consent for release of information • Rights are transferred to student at age 18

  5. The Laws • Section 504,Rehabilitation Act of 1973 • Civil Rights Law • “Rehabilitation Act of 1973 • Title 29; United States Code Section 504 • “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be: • excluded from participation in; • denied the benefits of; or • subjected to discrimination • . . . under any program or activity receiving Federal Financial assistance.” • More about this later…………..

  6. The Laws • ADA - Americans with Disability Act • Protections in school and work • Accessible public places • Equal Access • Broader scope of protections than any other law • Broader definition of a disability than any other law Not covering this today . . . . .

  7. NCLB-No Child Left Behind

  8. The Laws • No Child Left Behind • Highlights • Highly Qualified Teacher Rules • Testing and Assessment as it relates to Students with Disabilities • School’s Adequate Yearly Progress • Schools in Need of Improvement Not covering this today . . . . .

  9. The Laws • IDEIA (Individuals with Disability Education Improvement Act) 2006- Federal law entitling every student who meets the definition of a “child with a disability” is entitled to a free and appropriate education in the least restrictive environment. • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) • PL 94-142 • 1975 • Special Education • Beetleston Act

  10. In • New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 6A, Chapter 14 • Special Education is Chapter 14 • How New Jersey Implements provisions of IDEAIA • 184 pages of code for just 6A:14…….. http://www.nj.gov/education/specialed/reg/

  11. Special Education • Instruction designed to meet the unique needs of children who have a disability that impacts adversely on educational performance. Not a place . . . A SET OF SERVICES!

  12. The Laws • States receiving Federal money must provide: • Free & Appropriate education (FAPE) to children who are eligible for special education ages 3-21. • Under the age of three children with disabilities are covered by the NJ Early Intervention (EI) System. • EI eligibility does not = SE eligibility SPECIAL EDUCATION WAS ALWAYS MEANT TO BE A SET OF SERVICES THAT FOLLOW A STUDENT NOT A PROGRAM!

  13. Free and Appropriate PUBLIC EducationFAPE • The right to special education services • The right to related services • The right to LRE • The right to participate in school activities including extra curricular activities • The right to be educated using the NJ CCCS and assessed using state assessment • The right to an individualized education based on need not label or classification

  14. Eligibility for Special Education • IDEIA provides definitions for eligibility, disability categories, etc. • IDEIA lists 13 different disability categories, but only TWO eligibility categories. • Disability must affect child’s educational performance.

  15. How can this happen?

  16. Medical Model • Based on a medical diagnosis of a disability as per the DSM and other medical diagnosis, i.e. Cerebral Palsy, etc. • The diagnosis may or may not affect educational performance. • Medical model has many more disability categories than IDEIA • Used more often for 504 and ADA rather than IDEIA

  17. Educational Model The criteria: Based on indications that a disability affects a students ability to progress in school educationally. Disability does not = Special Education

  18. Class Labels May or may not have to match disability categories under IDEAIA Driven by NJ Special Education Code: • # Students in a class • Who can teach the class • Class location (separate self contained, resource or in a general education class.

  19. New Jersey (NJ) 2 Eligibility Categoriesin NJAC (NJ Administrative Code) 6A:14 Eligible for Speech and Language Services (ESLS) NJAC 6A:14-3.6 Eligible for Special Education and Related Services (ESERS) NJAC 6A:14-3.5

  20. Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services How it happensNot yet! • Someone identifies a problem • Parent • Teacher • Other • Intervention and Referral Services (I&RS) Meeting(s) • Each School has an I&RS Team, only required member is an administrator • I&RS Plan Developed • Data collection and time allotment • Interventions and Data Collection started

  21. Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services How it happensNot yet! • Interventions take place (I&RS plan) • Educational • Behavioral • Counseling • Special Education Teacher or LDTC Consultation • Etc. Etc. Etc. • I&RS Team Meets and reviews DATA. • Team decides to 1- Continue with interventions 2- Refer for Special Education Evaluation(s)

  22. Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services How it happensGetting Closer! • If referral for Special Education Evaluation: • Request for an Evaluation (parent, teacher) is made • Planning Meeting is held to determine what if any evaluations are warranted or can send back to I&RS for further interventions. • Team including parent decides on evaluations to be done • Evaluation(s) are completed

  23. Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services How it happensGetting even closer! • After Evaluations are completed • A Meeting is held to review evaluation results and make a determination if the 1- Student is Eligible for Special Education and Related Services or 2- Student is found ineligible.

  24. Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services How it happensBINGO! • If student is found eligible a meeting is held to develop Individual Education Plan (IEP) • No student is eligible for Special Education and Related Services without an IEP.

  25. Eligibility for Special Education and Related Services How it happens • Every step is mandated with time lines and notice requirements • Initial evaluation to determine eligibility – 90 days from date of referral • If student is found eligible, IEP development – 30 days for date of eligibility determination • Annual review of IEP – yearly • Re-evaluation – every three years if warranted Needless to say EVERYTHING IS DOCUMENTED WITH WRITTNE NOTICE………

  26. New Jersey (NJ) 2 Eligibility Categoriesin NJAC (NJ Administrative Code) 6A:14 Eligible for Speech and Language Services (ESLS) NJAC 6A:14-3.6 Eligible for Special Education and Related Services (ESERS) NJAC 6A:14-3.5

  27. Eligible for Special Education and Related Services NJAC 6A:14-3 Special Education Categories • Pre-School Disabled (all 3&4 year old children) • Specific Learning Disability (SLD) • Cognitive Impairment (CI) • Severe • Moderate • Mild • Auditory Impaired (Deaf or HOH) • Visual Impairment • Autism • Communication Impaired • Multiple Disabilities (MD) • Deaf/Blind • Orthopedic Impairment • Other Health Impairment • Emotionally Disturbed Disability(ED) • Traumatic Brain Injury

  28. Class Labels • Based on NJ Special Education Code • Determination of student placement made by the TEAM where the student can best progress and academically, socially, behaviorally, or emotionally or all of the above • Mixed classification categories in one class • Class labels do not = classification • NJAC details the size of class • NJAC details the number of staff in class

  29. Class Labels • Auditory Impairments • Autism • Behavioral Disabilities • Cognitive • Mild • Moderate • Severe See page 83 of NJAC 6A:14 for class size

  30. Class Labels • Learning and or Language Disabilities • Mild to Moderate • Severe • Multiple Disabilities • Pre School Disabilities • Visual Impairments See page 83 of NJAC 6A:14 for class size

  31. Continuum of Placements • GE Class • GE Class with Support – In class support • Pull out support and supplemental instruction • Single subject • Multiple subjects • Replacement Resource Room • Self Contained Class in a public school • Public Special Education Programs (BCSS, SBJ, etc.) • Private Schools for Students with Disabilities (Sage, IEA, etc.) • Day Training (Bergen County Day Training, Bleshman) • Residential

  32. Continuum of Placements • Districts are obligated to consider general education with supports in resident district FIRST. • If students needs cannot be met in the district of residence public school, another public school out of district placement is sought. • If students needs cannot be met in another public school an out of district placement is sought in a private school for students with disabilities. Separate and Segregated. • Sending-receiving relationship- District of residence pays tuition to the receiving school and pays for transportation.

  33. Continuum of Placements • Costs: • Average Bergen County Private School costs for each student sent to an out of district private school placement • Tuition Range from $35,ooo to $120,000 • Transportation costs – $10,000- $20,ooo • .

  34. Continuum of Placements • The district of residence develops the IEP the receiving school implements the IEP • The district of residence assigns a case manager for all out of district students. • The district of residence is responsible for all evaluations and ensuring the IEP is being implemented • Each Year during the IEP meeting, Least Restrictive Environment MUST be discussed. • For students in out of district placements a discussion on what supports are needed to return a student to district of residence is discussed. • The NJ DOE is asking districts to return students from out of district placements.

  35. ….and off we go!What does this mean anyway?

  36. THE IEP TEAM • IEP Team • Case Manager • Parent • Student • School Staff • Agencies • Others The Purpose of the IEP is to develop a program and identify placements. Placements cannot be changed with an IEP meeting

  37. THE IEP • Components • PLAAFP • Goals and Objectives, Benchmarks, etc • Instructional Adaptations and Modifications • FBA and ABA Services • Testing • Related Services • Assistive Technology Needs • Participation in Extra Curricular Activities • Length of School Year and ESY • Graduation Requirements • Decision Making for LRE, Placements! • Residential Placements and Education are NOT necessarily the same!

  38. The IEP • Updated annually, more if needed • Team makes educational decisions • Team consists of student, parent, case manager, at least one GE teacher, and a SE teacher

  39. The IEP • The IEP identifies how a student’s progress will be documented • The IEP identifies language needs • The IEP identifies transition services for students ages 14+ • The IEP documents related services • The IEP documents assistive technology services

  40. The IEP • The IEP gives a student’s PLAAFP- (Present level of academic achievement and functional performance) • Student’s strengths and needs. • The IEP identifies the length of the school day and extended school year (ESY) if needed.

  41. The IEP • The IEP defines graduation requirements • The IEP may include a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) • The IEP identifies communication needs including augmentative devices (AAC). • Decision for removal from general education • Transfer of rights at age of majority - 18+

  42. Can you speak Special Ed ? The CST, is going to review the FBA and the PLAAFP for Jose who is receiving ESL and has ADHD, classified SLD, before discussing LRE for the IEP conference. If you can’t figure this out think how parents/guardians and kids feel!

  43. 504 and IDEIA Special Education 504 General Education

  44. 504 and IDEAIA • 504 • Not Special Education Unlimited Eligibility Categories • No testing by School District • Unfunded • IDEIA • Eligible for Special Education and Related Services • 13 Eligibility Categories • Testing and timelines • Sort of funded

  45. 504 • Eligibility criteria • Definition of “disabled” is CRITICAL • “Disabled” means: • Physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activity; • Has a record of such impairment; or • Is regarded as having such an impairment • Physical or mental impairment, alone, is not enough • Difficulty must impair “major life activity

  46. Major Life Activity • Caring for one’s self • Performing manual tasks • Walking • Seeing • Hearing • Speaking • Breathing • Working; and • Learning • See 34 C.F.R. 104.3(j) • Standard used to determine whether a physical or mental impairment results in a substantial limitation is average performance in the general population

  47. 504 • Referral can be made by ANYONE • Effect of disability MUST be considered outside of academic performance • “good grades” does not mean ineligible • “bad grades” does not mean eligible • “Mistake” regarding disability may require services if mistake affects student

  48. 504 • Disability under Section 504 not always “long term” • Students eligible for Section 504 could have the following “short term” conditions: • Communicable disease sufferers; • Temporary disabilities arising from accidents, etc.; • Allergies/asthma; • Drug-addicted/alcoholic; and • Environmental illnesses.

  49. 504 • Schools must employ identification/eligibility procedures that ensure students are not: • Misclassified; • Unnecessarily labeled as having a disability; or • Incorrectly accommodated. • IDEA procedural safeguard • 504 eligibility does not trigger IDEA classification; • Must test and evaluate a student before classifying/providing special education

  50. 504 Sources of Information • Sources can include: • Parent data • Medical information • Independent evaluation • Aptitude and achievement tests • Teacher data • Observations as to progress/lack • Recommendation • Behaviors? • Accommodations • Physical condition • Social and cultural background • Adaptive behavior