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Special Education: Improving Learning for Students with Special Needs and Following the Rules

Special Education: Improving Learning for Students with Special Needs and Following the Rules

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Special Education: Improving Learning for Students with Special Needs and Following the Rules

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  1. Special Education: Improving Learning for Students with Special Needs and Following the Rules Lori A. Porsch Curriculum/Special Educ. Director Storm Lake Community Schools

  2. Every thing you don’t want to know about special education… But need to hear to survive as a building principal!

  3. Course Objectives • Best practices in problem-solving • Overview of IDEA/State Regs • Concepts of FAPE, LRE, IEP • Procedural safeguards and due process requirements for special education-especially discipline policy • Identify current trends in educational strategies for students with disabilities

  4. A Message From the Bureau Chief for the Child Find Team “Child Find is a serious civil rights issue.” Dr. Marty Ikeda, 2010

  5. Child find is a serious civil rights issue. Our obligation starts with the right to evaluation, identification, and placements when circumstances warrant it. Students with disabilities are a protected class of individuals who have rights that must be protected and their identified needs addressed. Students with disabilities deserve an equal opportunity for life success regardless of disability status. Dr. Marty Ikeda, 2010

  6. Purposes of Child Find • To locate, identify and evaluate individuals with disabilities • To determine the educational needs of individuals with disabilities

  7. Progress Discrepancy Needs ELIGIBILITY IN IOWA

  8. Tells us whether or not interventions require special education resources. Tells if student is different from standards of comparison and unique compared to peers. Tells us how student responds to intervention. Tells us what and how to teach. = ELIGIBILITY DECISION Educational Progress Educational Discrepancy Educational Needs Eligibility Decision = + +

  9. Required Documentation for the PROGRESS Component What is the child’s rate of skill acquisition? What is the expected rate of skill acquisition (standard and/or peers)? Based on the previous two questions what can the team predict about the amount of time it will take for the child to reach the standards and “catch up” with his/her peers? Under what conditions did the child experience the most growth?

  10. IMPLEMENTATION INTEGRITY • Consider implementation integrity in combination with student progress data Was the intervention implemented as designed? Helps distinguish between an ineffective intervention and a poorly implemented intervention

  11. Uniqueness must also be considered when determining discrepancy

  12. What does it mean to be unique? Uniqueness specifically refers to a comparison with local peers AND Comparing the individual to others with similar experiences

  13. Discrepant vs. Unique Discrepant Discrepancy can be determined compared to any standard, including; national standards, benchmarks, etc. Ex. DIBELS score is in the “Well-below Benchmark” range Unique Uniqueness specifically refers to a comparison with local peers and… Comparing the student to others with similar experiences Ex. DIBELS score is below the other 3 students in the group.

  14. ANALYSIS OF EVALUATION DATA Review Interview Observation Test/Tasks Instruction Curriculum Environment Learner Statement of Individual’s Educational Needs Procedures Manual 2010

  15. Exclusionary Factors Princess Pollyanna

  16. The Purpose of Considering Exclusionary Factors Examination of exclusionary factors assures that students are not identified as disabled because: • they have not had access to the curriculum and appropriate instruction as well as the opportunity to learn, or • they have been affected by a circumstance that is clearly not a disabling condition (e.g., limited English proficiency).

  17. Exclusionary Factors:Access and Opportunity • Appropriate Instruction in Math and/or Reading • Limited English Proficiency • Cultural Factors, Environmental or Economic Disadvantage

  18. Eligibility Decision

  19. Tells us whether or not interventions require special education resources. Tells if student is different from standards of comparison and unique compared to peers. Tells us how student responds to intervention. Tells us what and how to teach. = ELIGIBILITY DECISION Educational Progress Educational Discrepancy Educational Needs Eligibility Decision = + +

  20. Does Not Demonstrate a Disability Demonstrates a Disability General Education Services With or Without 504 Accommodations General Education Services Does Not Demonstrate Need Special Education Services and Supports General Education Services with Additional Supports Demonstrates Need

  21. Conclusion: High Stakes Decision “Child Find is a serious civil rights issue.” Dr. Marty Ikeda, 2010

  22. Components of a Response to Intervention Model • Accountability • Multiple tiers of intervention • Evidence based interventions • Progress monitoring with an evaluation process for change and decision-making • Decision-making at all levels driven by the child’s response to an intervention • Problem solving

  23. General Education Intervention • Involves LEA and AEA resources when a concern is identified • Is a process to find interventions and strategies to help all students be successful (may include GT or ELL students) • Utilizes Response to Intervention components • Has a record form

  24. Problem-solving systems in your own school districts Discuss with partner/table how you handle Child Study Process - when, who involved, documentation, parent involvement

  25. Individuals with Disability Education Act • Federal legislation – original law in 1975 with reauthorizations in 1990,1997 and 2004; • Interpretations from federal Department of Education and Office of Special Education (OSEP) • Translated into state regulations from Iowa Department of Education

  26. Key Parts of IDEA • Eligibility- interpreted by state and AEA • Disability areas – no child uneducable • Cedar Rapids CSD vs. Garrett F. (1997) • Ages birth to 21 years old • Determined by multidisciplinary IEP team • Reevaluation every three years- to confirm eligibility and programming • Due process rights for parents

  27. Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) Every child under IDEA and 504 is eligible to receive a free, appropriate public education

  28. Public Education • School where students without disabilities attend • Typically means preschool, elementary, middle or high school environment • Children with disabilities placed by parents in private schools do NOT have a right to FAPE –it suffices that it is offered by public school at one of there facilities

  29. Appropriate Education • Determined on case by case basis • Student to receive “educational benefit” – not the provision of the best possible education • Does not stipulate methodology – parents have a right to advocate that their children be successful – not how to do it. • Funding may not be an issue

  30. Individualized Education Programs • Written document • Developed collaboratively by team including parents • Binding agreement as to delivery of services to students • Must correlate with standards and benchmarks of general curriculum • Year in duration

  31. IEP Considerations • Inclusion of general education perspective • Parental participation • Due process rights to notify and inform parents; initial consent • Determine services needed first, then placement • Specifics of what will be delivered • If you include it—it must be done!

  32. Least Restrictive Environment • LRE is legal mandate that requires that students with disabilities receive their education in the regular classroom environment to the maximum extent appropriate • Targets segregated or special schools and classes • Terms “mainstreaming” and “inclusion” have no legal standing • Instruction needs to have relationship to general education expectations (i.e. Standards/Benchmarks)

  33. When are schools not required to have students in general ed • Student not receiving sufficient education benefit even with provision of supplementary aids and services • Placement would substantially interfere with learning of others – teacher time or disruptive behavior • Require so much curriculum modification that programming altered significantly

  34. Other LRE considerations • Applies to extracurricular activities and nonacademic services • Does not preclude provision of “continuum of services” by district • Does necessitate that districts move to more restrictive placement with parental due process rights and notification

  35. Other IEP considerations • Transportation • Assistive Technology • District-wide Assessment • Transition

  36. Discussion What IEP questions or concerns have come up in your experience?

  37. Due Process • Principal vehicle for resolving disputes between parents and school districts concerning identification, evaluation, placement or provision of FAPE • Complaint filed by parent • May result in mediation or hearing • Includes “stay-put placement”

  38. Special Education Finance Federal responsibility State guidelines

  39. Federal IDEA Funding • Currently about 17% • Part B money – 50/50 split with AEAs • Current plan in Iowa to be spent to curtail budget deficits and utilized for salaries • Based on eligible identified students

  40. State Guidelines • Level of weighting determined by AEA special education director or his/her designee • Based on level of service provision determined by staffing team • Level I – 1.72, Level II – 2.21, Level III – 3.74 • Provisions for high costs students (over $30,000) to apply to state for assistance

  41. Discipline Procedures and Special Education How to stay out of due process and still run your school program

  42. IDEA and Discipline • Disciplinary code may apply if not ruled as result of their disability • Cannot exceed 10 days of in or out of school suspension; Best practice to reconvene IEP team to determine appropriateness of program by day 7 • May not pursue expulsion without safeguards • If serious safety issues involved (weapons, drugs, alcohol) should convene team to complete Manifestation Determination

  43. Should have in place… • When behavior becomes issue for student with disability, complete Functional Behavioral Assessment (FuBA) • Behavioral intervention plans for students with significant behavioral issues in school (BIP) • Consideration for development school-wide of positive behavioral supports for these students as well general education

  44. Zero Tolerance and the Law • Stay put unless concern for safety of others and must be done within IEP staffing process • Conduct Manifestation Determination with IEP team • If not result of their disability, may pursue expulsion • If result of disability, an interim alternative educational setting for up to 45 days • Must consider FAPE for alternative program

  45. Highly Qualified Personnel • Interface of NCLB and IDEA 2004 • Elementary teachers must hold elementary endorsement and special ed. Endorsement • Middle/High School • Must hold spec. ed. Endorsement • Core content endorsement for each subject taught • Provide consultative or co-teaching services

  46. Differentiated Instruction “While we are all in the same room--we are not in the same place.” Bob Garmston

  47. Differentiated teaching and learning is the proactive use of a wide repertoire of curricular and instructional approaches which are consistently used with students with diverse needs, abilities, strengths, experiences, and interests in order to best support their learning.

  48. “Parents are sending us the best kids they have--they aren’t keeping the good kids at home.” Larry Lazotte

  49. “We’ve been shooting water guns in education-a small stream of water down the middle of the class. We’ve got to figure out how to be oscillating sprinklers-and know where to put the soak hoses from time to time.” School Administrator