Special Education Overview Original by Linda Gulbranson Revised by Eva Pohl BRIC Special Education Coordinator BRIC Sped Coordinator August 29, 2007 September 1, 2009
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Our nation’s special education law IDEA Federal Regulations Minnesota Rules Minnesota Statutes
Acronyms Defined FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education What States must make available to all eligible children with disabilities
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 1.Child is identified as possibly needing special education and related services
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Before a pupil is referred for special education assessment, the district must conduct & document at least two instructional strategies, alternatives, or interventions while the child is in the regular education classroom. The pupil’s teacher must provide the documentation. Minn.Stat. 125A.56(a)
Pre-referral Interventions • Pre-referral interventions are planned, systematic efforts by regular education staff to resolve apparent learning or behavioral problems.
Why Pre-Referral? • Regular education is least restrictive • Every option available should be tried prior to referral • Need strategies in place to deal with at risk students • Students have unmet needs: 25% have unmet academic and behavioral needs; only half will qualify for special education services…This is the “Sea of Ineligibility”
Pre-referral Team: SST, TAT • General education staff should have the support of the pre-referral team often called student support team (SST) or teacher assistance team (TAT). • Besides the general education teacher seeking support, this team may be comprised of other general education teachers, the school-home interventionist, the principal, school psychologist, school social worker, special education teacher, and/or other specialists.
Parent Notification General education staff has the responsibility of informing the parent prior to seeking the assistance of the SST or TAT team. It is critical that parents are involved early in the process so that trust with the staff and school district is developed and nurtured.
The SST or TAT team needs to develop criteria and indicators to determine whether or not an intervention is successful. Data to be collected should include baseline data and the results of any progress made while the intervention was in process.
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 1.Child is identified as possibly needing special education and related services Step 2.Child is evaluated
Special Education Evaluation • Parent Consent for evaluation • Conduct Comprehensive Evaluation • Parent information • Evaluation results • Interpretation of results • Eligibility determination • Educational needs • Must be completed within 30 school days (Minn. R. 3525.2550, subp.2)
Special Education Evaluation Evaluation must provide data to verify that the student: meets eligibility criteria components and demonstrates a need for special education services.
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 3.Eligibility is decided based on the information collected during the evaluation process.
Child has a disability IDEA NO Child is not eligible For special education YES Child’s disability adversely affects his/her educational performance NO Child is not eligible For special education YES Child receives specialized Instruction (Special Education) YES NO Special Education Eligibility Does child need a related service to benefit from Specialized instruction (Special Education) YES How much & what type of Related service does child Need to benefit from Specialized instruction
Minnesota Disability Categories • Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) • Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) • Emotional or Behavioral Disorders (E/BD) • Deaf-Blind • Developmental Cognitive Disability (DCD:MM or DCD:MS) • Specific Learning Disability (SLD) • Other Health Disabilities (OHD) • Severely Multiply Impaired • Speech or Language Impairments (S/L) • Visually Impaired (VI) • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) • Developmental Delay • Three through six • Infant & Toddler Intervention Service • Birth through two • Physically Impaired (PI) • Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE)
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 3.Eligibility is decided Yes Step 4.Child is found eligible for services and is in need of special education services.
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 5.IEP meeting is scheduled
Who must be include on the IEP Team? • The parents of the child. • Regular education teacher (not less than 1) • Team member licensed in a pupil’s disability • Licensed special education provider • District Representative • Student
Excusing a Member from Attending the Meeting Being “excused”—New provisions in IDEA 2004! When a member of the IEP Team’s area is NOT being modified or discussed, the member may be excused from attending the meeting, in whole or in part, under two conditions: • Parents and LEA must agree that the member’s attendance is not necessary • Parents’ agreement (and the LEA’s) must be in writing
Excusing a Member fromAttending the Meeting May a certain member of the IEP Team be excused if his or her subject area is going to be discussed? Yes, if: • Parents and LEA consent to excuse the member • Member submits, in writing to the parent and the IEP Team, input into the development of the IEP before the meeting Parent consent to excuse any member must be in writing
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 6.IEP meeting is held, and the IEP is written
IDEA’s Definition of IEP §300.22 §300.320 — §300.324
Developing the IEP • Strengths of the child • Concerns of parents for enhancing their child’s education • Results of the child’s initial evaluation (or most recent evaluation) • Academic, developmental, and functional needs of the child The IEP Team must consider…
IEP Components • Present Levels of Academic and Functional Performance (PLAFP) • How disability affects involvement & progress in the general curriculum • Annual goals & objectives • Special Education & Related Services • Least Restrictive Environment explanation • Adaptations in general & special education • Supplemental aids & services • Program modifications • Assistive technology • Behavioral Intervention Plans (if needed) • Progress reporting
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 7.Services are provided
Implementing the IEP As soon as possible following development of the IEP… Special education and related services must be made available to the child in accordance with the child’s IEP
Implementing the IEP • All Service Providers Who Will Be Implementing the IEP… • Must have access to the IEP • Must be informed of their specific responsibilities • Must be informed of specific accommodations, modifications, and supports to be provided to the child, in accordance with the IEP
Continuum of Services All children have a right to continuum of services and placements to meet their individual needs. Regular Education Special Classes Special Schools Majority of students are served in the regular classroom for all or part of the school day. Home Instruction Institutions
IEP PLACEMENT Not Based on: School Organization Instructional Methods Disability Service Availability Space Availability Curriculum Content
IN IDEA, OUR BUSINESS IS SPECIALLY DESIGNED INSTRUCTION SPECIALLY DESIGNED INSTRUCTION = SPECIAL EDUCATION
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 8.Progress on IEP goals and objectives is measured and reported to parents at least as often as their mainstream peers receive progress.
10 Steps:The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 9.IEP is reviewed annually Step 10.Child is reevaluated every three years
Role of General Education Teacher in IEP Process
Role of the Regular Education Teacher • As member of IEP team, must participate in the development of the child’s IEP including the determination of: • Appropriate positive behavioral interventions and supports and other strategies for the child • Supplementary aids and services, program modifications, and support for school personnel 34 C.F.R. § 300.324(a)(3) Minn. R. 3525.2810.subp.2(D)
Role of the Regular Education Teacher • Development, review, revision of IEP • Present Levels of Performance • K-12: a statement of how the child’s disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in general curriculum • Expertise regarding the general curriculum and general education environment • Determination of adaptations required to ensure access to general curriculum to maximum extent possible
Role of the Regular Education Teacher • Increasing critical role (together with special education and related services personnel) in implementing program of FAPE for most children with disabilities as described in their IEPs.
IEP Meeting Do’s & Don’ts Tips to avoid legal dispute and stay out of hot water!
Avoid predetermination of placement • Do come to the meeting with necessary information • A draft IEP is not prohibited • Consent should be obtained after parent receives a written copy of proposed IEP • Possible Scenarios to avoid: • A teacher indicates during the meeting, “well, we’ve already met on that and decided…” • School personnel arrive at meeting with the IEP completed in full only to be signed by the parent
Avoid recommendations / decisions based upon the availability of services • Must be based upon the individual student’s needs • Possible scenarios to avoid: • “But we always do it that way.” • “My schedule won’t allow for that.” • “But all our students get……” • “I wish we could offer ______ because he really needs it, but we don’t have that here.” • “We’ve never done that before and we’re not starting now.” • “My class doesn’t have those services.”
Avoid recommendations / decisions based upon cost • The provision of special education services can be costly • Cost is generally not a defense for failure to offer services that are required to provide FAPE. • Avoid violations of Confidentiality • Be very careful to avoid releasing confidential information to persons who do not have legitimate educational interest in knowing the information
Avoid diagnosing medical conditions or suggesting medication without the credentials to do so • Avoid Being “Witherish” • IDEA requires that teachers engage in good faith, reasonable efforts to implement the provisions of an IEP • Doe v. Withers – A jury returned a verdict in favor of parents of an LD student against a high school teacher for $5000 in compensatory damages and $10,000 in punitive damages for a teacher’s refusal to provide their son oral testing as required by IEP.
Practical Tips for Helping Teachers Maintain Good Public Relations and Avoid Disputes • Not getting personally involved, remain professional • Maintaining a sense of humor • Maintain patience, patience, patience • Don’t make decisions or take action “as a matter of principle”
ADAPTATIONS Supplementary Aids and Service Program Modifications and Supports for School Personnel
Services & Adaptations on IEP • Linked to disability & educational needs in evaluation • Will be provided to the student to advance appropriately toward attaining annual goals, to be involved and progress in the general curriculum
Modifications / Accommodations • Adaptations made in the curriculum, presentation method, or the environment to provide support for the individual student
Often the terms are used interchangeably but… Accommodation - allows access Modification Adjustment that is significant enough to result in a change in the level of difficulty. conditions which does not alter the validity, reliability, or rigor
Adaptations • Instruction • Class Testing • Materials • Assignment • Grading • Behavior Management • Transportation • Assistive Technology • State assessment participation
7 Key Questions • What is the objective of assignment? • Is the format the best way to teach concept? • What steps are required to complete assignment? • Are the students proficient in these steps? • If not, can materials be modified? • Should objective itself be modified or different task? • Should assignment be deleted for student or entire class?