Presentation on theme: "Families as Partners Training"— Presentation transcript:
1 Families as Partners Training Laws and Processes AffectingSpecial EducationUniversity of Connecticut Center for Excellence in Developmental DisabilitiesFamilies as Partners TrainingThis presentation is designed to provide an overview of the laws that protect individuals with disabilities attending public school. It will highlight the important points of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, an education law. This presentation will also offer a brief overview of the remedies that are available to students and their parents in helping to resolve disagreements with their school districts.Finally, the presentation will provide on overview of the “P.J.” case, a class action lawsuit brought about in the State of CT on behalf of students’ identified with mental retardation (now called intellectual disability) who are not being educated in general education classrooms. This case resulted in a settlement that may be applicable to you as a parent or teacher of a child with an intellectual disability. Additionally, information on the federal law, No Child Left Behind will be highlighted. While this is not a special education law specifically, it does apply to special education students attending schools that receive Title 1 federal grants.Note: this presentation uses the federal terms to refer to the IEP team and IEP meeting. Connecticut currently uses the corresponding terms of Planning and Placement Team (PPT) and PPT meeting.
2 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Laws and Processes Affecting Special Education in the State of ConnecticutIndividuals with Disabilities Education ActP.J. vs. the State of ConnecticutNo Child Left Behind
3 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) U.S. Department of Education ActProvides funding to districts to educate students with disabilitiesProvides special education and related services to students with disabilitiesProtection under IDEA ends permanently when a student turns 21 or graduates from public schoolThe Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a US Department of Education Act. It provides funding to school districts to educate students with disabilities. It requires that districts provide a free and appropriate public education to all students with disabilities and it requires districts to provide related services and supports necessary to educate students in the least restrictive environment. Protection under IDEA ends when a student graduates from public education with a diploma or at age 21, whichever occurs first.
4 The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (P.L ).Signed into law on December 3, 2004.Preserves the basic structure and civil rights guarantees of IDEA.Contains some significant changes to the law.Changes take effect July 1, 2005.Individual states may choose to provide greater protection than the federal law, but not lesser protections.
5 Special Education & Related Services Special education is specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of the student to enable access to the general education curriculumRelated services are services required for a student to benefit from special educationSpecial education is defined as individually designed instruction necessary to meet the unique needs of the student. It provides eligible students with access to the general education curriculum.Related services are those supports necessary for a student to benefit from their individualized educational program. Common related services may include:Speech/language therapyOccupational therapyPhysical therapySocial workCounselingTransportation
6 Six Principles of IDEA Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) Appropriate EvaluationIndividualized Education Program (IEP)Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)Parent InvolvementProcedural SafeguardsIDEA was enacted in 1975 and was originally called “The Education of All Handicapped Children” act. It was most recently amended in At the time of the dissemination of this training (November 2005) the final federal regulations had not yet been released.IDEA has six major principles:All children with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) that meets their individual needs.Children with disabilities have the right to a comprehensive evaluation to determine their specific strengths and needs.Each child with a disability has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) based on their unique needs.Children with disabilities have the right to be educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE) appropriate to their needs (to be explained more fully later).Parents are full members of IEP team and are involved at all points in the special education process.Parents have certain legal safeguards; if they are unable to come to an agreement with the school on an appropriate educational plan for their child, there are steps they can follow to seek a resolution of differences.
7 FAPESpecial education and related services provided at no cost to familiesMust meet state and federal requirementsInclude preschool, elementary school, secondary schoolProvided in accordance with an IEPIDEA guarantees a free, appropriate public education to every student determined to be eligible for special education services. FAPE includes an individualized educational program that is designed to meet the child's unique needs and from which the child receives educational benefit. It is available to students ages 3-21 who meet eligibility requirements and continue to need special education. The right to FAPE ends when a student turns 21 or graduates from high school.
8 FAPE: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA States have the option to adopt policies that would permit parents of children receiving Part C early intervention services to extend those services until they are eligible to enter kindergarten. Connecticut is not opting to add this option as Connecticut currently requires FAPE from birth.Requirements for states utilizing the Part C extension:Informed written consent from parents.Annual notice to parents explaining difference in services and explanation of rights under IDEA.Program must contain school readiness component including pre-literacy, language and numeracy skills.
9 Evaluations: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Adds language that clarifies that either the parent or the Local Education Agency (LEA) may request an initial evaluation.Evaluation must take place within 60 days of parental request or within an alternative time frame established by the state. Connecticut will continue to use the 45 school day timeline.Permits parents and LEA to override 3 year requirement to reevaluate if both agreeProhibits reevaluations more frequently than once a year unless parents and LEA agree.Connecticut will continue to use the 45 school day timeline.
10 Appropriate Evaluation The process used by the IEP team to determine eligibility for special education servicesComprehensive enough to identify full range of needsMust be completed using language or communication form most familiar to studentSchool systems are required to fully evaluate any child who may need special education services in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communicative status, and motor abilities.Appropriate evaluation procedures must be used and those procedures must provide results that are sufficient to make the determination of eligibility for special education services.Evaluations must be completed in the language or form of communication that the student is most comfortable with, unless it is impossible to do so.
11 Appropriate Evaluation: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Rephrases the “native language” requirement as follows: “assessments and other evaluation materials must be provided and administered in the language and form most likely to yield accurate information on what the child knows and can do academically, developmentally and functionally, unless it is not feasible to do so”.
12 Appropriate Evaluation: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Requires coordination between school districts when a child transfers from one LEA to another to ensure prompt completion of full evaluations.In determining whether a child has a specific learning disability the LEA “shall not be required to take into consideration whether a child has a severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual ability.”Under IDEA 2004, data from a Response to Intervention (RTI) approach can be taken into consideration when making a determination of a learning disability. RTI involves the application of effective, research-based instruction and intensive interventions in the general education setting. If a student fails to respond to these research-based instruction and intervention methods, this can be considered as one factor in making a determination of eligibility for special education services.
13 Determining Eligibility Eligibility CategoriesAUTISMDEAF-BLINDNESSDEVELOPMENTALDELAY (ages 3-5 only)EMOTIONAL DISTURBANCEHEARING IMPARIMENTINTELLECTUAL DISABILITYMULTIPLE DISABILITIESORTHOPEDIC IMPAIRMENTOTHER HEALTH IMPAIRMENTVISUAL IMPAIRMENTSPEECH LANGUAGE IMPAIRMENTTRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURYSPECIFIC LEARNING DISABILITYIn the state of CT there are 14 categories under which a student may be determined to be eligible for special education services. In order to be considered eligible, the disability that is identified must belong to one of these categories and must impede a student’s ability to access, participate in and benefit from the regular education curriculum in a manner that is commensurate with non-disabled peers.Effective August 20, 2003, the state of CT special education statutes were amended. As a result, the category “neurological impairment” was eliminated as a disability category in CT in compliance with IDEA
14 Individualized Education Program (IEP) The centerpiece of IDEACreated for each child according to his or her individual needsDetails the special education and related services that the district will provide to meet those needsReviewed/revised at least annuallyThe IEP is based on a thorough evaluation of a student’s special education needs. It is uniquely designed and must contain:The present level of performanceMeasurable goals and objectives (outcomes)Related services and supports (including accommodations and modifications) necessary for implementationLocation where specialized instruction and related services will be providedNumber of hours spent in/out of regular education settingThe IEP must be reviewed and revised annually at a minimum.
15 IEP – Planning Before Placement As you progress through the process of establishing that a student is eligible for special education services, it is important to remember the order of the steps involved in the process.Step 1: Evaluation for determination of need for special education services.Step 2: IEP is developed based upon the unique needs of the student identified through the evaluation process.Step 3: Placement. Once the IEP has been developed, the next step is to determine the least restrictive environment in which the IEP can be implemented.
16 The IEP: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA A major change is the elimination of required “benchmarks and short-term objectives” except for those children with the most severe cognitive disabilities.Connecticut will continue to require short term goals and objectives in every IEP for all students.The federal law only requires short term objectives for children with significant cognitive impairments. This provision presumably refers to those children who may be assessed based on alternative achievement standards for the purposes of determining adequate yearly progress. In general this group is to account for no more than 1% of all students tested.
17 The IEP: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Team members: the new law permits members of the IEP team to be excused from the meeting if the parent and LEA agree. If the topic of the meeting deals with the absent member’s area that person must provide written input to the parent and the team.The parent’s agreement or consent must be obtained in writing for any member of the team to be excused.Connecticut is currently creating a form to be attached to the new IEPs regarding IEP team members being excused from the IEP.
18 The IEP: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Moving?? Within state: the LEA must provide “services comparable to those described in the previous IEP” until it adopts the previous IEP or develops and implements a new one.Moving?? Between states: the new LEA must also continue comparable services until it conducts an evaluation of the child (if the LEA determines it necessary) and develops a new IEP if appropriate.Both old and new schools are required to “take reasonable steps” to ensure prompt transfer of records, etc.
19 The IEP: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Changes to IEP: if parent and LEA agree, changes to the IEP after the annual meeting may be made via written document without holding an IEP meeting.LEA’s are encouraged to consolidate annual and reevaluation meetings when possible.Changes to the IEP may be made by amending it rather than completely redrafting.Connecticut will be attaching forms for amendments procedures to the new IEPsConnecticut is currently creating forms to be attached to the IEPs regarding amendments to an IEP.
20 The IEP: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Demonstration trials: Up to 15 states (does not include CT) may be approved to trial a “multi-year” IEP that may span up to 3 years to coincide with the student’s “natural transition points”.Optional for parents and requires their informed consent.Must contain measurable goals linked to natural transition points.Must be reviewed at each transition point and annually to measure progress.
21 The IEP: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA These “transition points” have been defined to includeFrom preschool to elementary grades.From elementary to middle school.From middle school to high school.From secondary grades to post-secondary activities.Under no circumstances can the period exceed 3 years.
22 Placement – Least Restrictive Environment Regular classroom placement is the first option that must be consideredRegular class placement means 80% of the day or more in a regular education settingBased on the child’s IEPDetermined by the child’s IEP teamDetermined at least annuallyWhen following IDEA’s LRE requirements, the regular education classroom in the school the student would attend if he/she did not have a disability must be the first placement considered.If it is determined that the IEP cannot be implemented in the regular education setting with supplemental services and supports, then other placements can be considered.IDEA considers a student to be in a “regular education placement” if they spend 80% or more of the school day in the same setting as non-disabled peers
23 Least Restrictive Environment “Children can be removed from regular classes only when it has been determined that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”
24 Parental InvolvementParticipation in the IEP process of planning evaluations and reevaluationsParticipation in development, review, revision of IEPHow and when parents are to receive reports of progress towards meeting IEP goals must be specified at IEP team meetingsIDEA recognizes that parents are the best advocates for their children and actively encourages their participation. Parents have the right to participate in the IEP processes of evaluation, development of the IEP, determination of placement and evaluation of program .of planning evaluations, developing the IEP and
25 Procedural Safeguards Contents of NoticeIndependent educational evaluationPrior written noticeParental consentAccess to educational recordsComplaint/dispute resolution informationProcedural safeguards are a written explanation of the rights of you and your child under IDEA. You must be given a copy of Steps to Protect a Child’s Right to Special Education: Procedural Safeguards in Special Education when:Your child is initially referred for evaluationAn IEP meeting is being heldIt is time to reevaluate your childA due process hearing is requestedA change in your child’s program is being made as a result of disciplinary actions (procedural safeguards now only need to be received annually per the 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA)The contents of the procedural safeguard notice informs you of your rights in a variety of situations: Independent educational evaluation; prior written notice; parental consent; accessing educational records; complaint/dispute resolution information.
26 Procedural Safeguards Notice: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Paperwork Reduction: It is only necessary to give one copy of Procedural Safeguards per year with the exception of giving a copy:Upon initial referral or parent request for evaluationUpon first occurrence of filing of a complaintUpon request of a parent or guardian
27 Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) Available if you disagree with the evaluation conducted by the school districtDistrict must pay for the IEE or initiate a due process hearing to prove its evaluation is appropriateMust be provided without undue delayResults of IEE must be considered by district but they are not required to agree or implement themIf your child has been evaluated by the school district and you do not agree with the findings of the evaluation, you have the right to request an independent evaluation be completed at district expense by a qualified examiner who is not a school district employee.The school system must either agree to the IEE or initiate a due process hearing to prove their evaluation is appropriate.The IEE must be provided at no cost to parents, and must be initiated without undue delay.The results of the IEE must be considered by the district, however the district is not required to agree with or implement the recommendations of the IEE.
28 Re-evaluation Conducted at least every 3 years Determines continued eligibilityCan be based on existing dataParent can request additional assessment(s) to determine continued eligibilityReevaluation is the process by which the planning and placement team determines if a student continues to be eligible to receive special education services. Reevaluation must be completed every 3 years at a minimum. The design of the reevaluation is determined by the IEP team. You must be informed of the manner in which your child will be reevaluated. Your written consent is required to conduct the reevaluation; however, districts may proceed without consent if they can prove that attempts to secure consent resulted in parents failing to respond.The IEP team must inform you of the manner in which the reevaluation will be conducted. If you disagree with that manner or feel additional assessments are necessary to determine continued eligibility, you may request those assessments. The district must provide those assessments or request a due process hearing to demonstrate why those assessments are not necessary.
29 Prior Written NoticeProvided when IEP team makes a decision regarding:IdentificationEvaluationEducational PlacementProvision of FAPEIf the planning and placement team intends to make a decision about the identification, evaluation, educational placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education, it must provide you with written notice a minimum of 5 days prior to implementing that decision. The district must make an attempt to see that you understand the contents of the written notice and must be available to explain it to you and document its effort to do so.
30 Prior Written Notice Must include: What IEP team proposes/refuses Reasons for proposal/refusalOptions considered and why rejectedWhat the district used as basis for decisionStatement of procedural safeguardsHow to seek assistance to understand procedural safeguards
31 Parental Consent Required: Before initial evaluation Before initial placementBefore placing in private placementBefore reevaluationThe consent of the parent or the legal guardian of the child is required prior to an initial evaluation, initial placement, before placing a student in a private placement and before conducting a reevaluation. If parents refuse to provide consent for the initial evaluation or reevaluation, the IEP team may proceed if they can document that attempts to obtain consent were not responded to by parents. If consent to any of the above is refused, a district may attempt to obtain consent through a due process hearing.
32 Access to Educational Records Parent of student under 18 may:Look at records pertaining to child’s disability, evaluation, placement, right to FAPERequest an explanation of recordsGet one free copy of recordsHave their representative review recordsLook at data about their child (only) in records containing data on multiple studentsParents of students under age 18 have the right to review their child’s educational records unless parental rights have been terminated under the law. You must be allowed to view the records within 10 days of your request, or within 3 days if you need to do so to prepare for an IEP meeting or due process hearing.You are entitled to receive one free copy of your child’s records. Your request for records must be made in writing and the district may take up to 5 school days to provide you with a copy of your child’s records. A fee may be required to provide you with more than one set of records.If you find information that you believe to be false or misleading, you may request in writing that the district change the records. If that request is refused, you have a right to hearing under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). If a hearing officer denies your request to change the record, you have the right to place a statement in your child’s record which must remain in there as long as the disputed information remains part of the record. That statement must be provided as part of the records anytime the records are released to an outside party.
33 What Happens at Age 18?IDEA rights transfer to student unless a court appoints legal guardian for the child1 year before turning 18 the district must inform parents and student of the impending changeLEA shall provide prior to graduation or age-out, a plan to assist with post-secondary goalsAfter transfer of rights parents will continue to be notified of processes, but student can withhold consentRight to record review will also expire unless you maintain child as dependent for tax purposesParental rights are transferred to the student at age 18 unless arrangements have been made to seek guardianship ahead of time. One year prior to the student turning 18, the district must inform both the parents and the student of this change. Once rights have been transferred, parents will continue to receive notification of meetings, but your child may grant or withhold consent as appropriate.Your right to inspect and review your child’s records will also disappear at age 18 unless you continue to maintain your child as your dependent for tax purposes.
34 Resolving Differences Request an informal team meetingRequest an IEP meetingContact your special education directorMediationDue Process ProceduresFiling a ComplaintThere are several ways to attempt to resolve differences between parents and school districts. Before moving to the formal process, consider calling a team meeting, request an IEP meeting or call your special education director. Parents may file a complaint with the state board of education, request a mediator or request to have a hearing officer hear their case.
35 Mediation An attempt to resolve issues May address issues of: EligibilityEvaluationPlacementRight to FAPEIDEA 2004 states that if mediation results in an agreement then “ the parties shall execute a legally binding agreement that sets forth such resolution “.Mediation is a way to settle disputes if you do not agree with:Determination of eligibilityEvaluation requests/proceduresEducational placementProvision of FAPEDecision to enter into the process is voluntary and any resolution that results is through mutual consensus. The agreement is put into writing; if no agreement is reached, a statement stating so will be provided by the mediator.Mediators are assigned and provided by the State Department of Education at no cost to parents.You may bring counsel or a representative at your expense to assist in the process. The school district may also do the same.
36 Due Process Procedures A legally binding process to resolvedisagreementsProcedures may include:Advisory OpinionsHearingsExpedited HearingsDue process is a way of reaching a fair determination of issue(s) that school districts and parents cannot agree on. You may request a due process hearing up to two years after the time that a district proposes or refuses to determine your child is eligible to receive special education services, evaluate your child, place your child in a program that meets his need, provide a FAPE.There are 3 options for due process actions:Advisory opinion: a non-binding opinion issued by a hearing officer after consideration of a brief presentation of findings on both partiesHearing: full legal proceedings surrounding the issues in disputeExpedited hearing: a hearing in which a decision is put into writing and mailed within 45 calendar days of the receipt of the request for the hearing.
37 Due Process Procedures Issues may include:EligibilityEvaluationPlacementRight to FAPEYou have up to 2 years from the time of the disagreement to file for a hearing
38 Complaint Resolution Process Filed with the State Bureau of Special Education and Pupil ServicesReports alleged violation of federal or state law concerning special educationAlleged violation reported may not be part of a pending due process actionAlleged violation will not be examined if addressed in previous due process actionA complaint filed at the state level is done through the State Bureau of Special Education and Pupil Services. Valid complaints would be related to alleged violations of federal or state special education laws. Complaints may not be filed for matters that are already part of a due process action. Complaints may not be filed for matters that have already been settled or ruled upon by a due process action.
39 Resolution Session: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Required prior to a due process hearing.A preliminary meeting of parents, relevant team members and LEA representative who has decision making authority.Must be convened within 15 business days when a complaint is received.Opportunity to for parent to discuss possible due process and for LEA to resolve the issue.LEA may not include its attorney unless parents are including their attorney.
40 Resolution Session: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA If the LEA has not resolved the problem within 30 business days from the receipt of the parents’ complaint, the due process hearing may occur and applicable time lines shall commence.If an agreement is reached at the resolution session, the parties must execute a legally binding agreement signed by both parties and legally enforceable in any state or U.S. district court.
41 Resolution Session: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA The resolution session may be waived by the LEA and the parents in writing or if they agree to use the mediation process.
42 Subject Matter of Hearing: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA The new law specifically states that the party requesting the due process hearing is not allowed to raise issues at the due process hearing that were not raised in the due process complaint notice.The decision of the hearing officer must be made on substantive grounds based on a determination of whether the student with a disability received a free appropriate public education.
43 Disciplinary Procedures A special education student may be suspended for up to 10 school days in any school yearThe time of removal must be comparable to the removal of a non-disabled student for the same actionYour consent is not requiredThe district does not have to provide compensatory services if it does not do so for non-disabled studentsIf a student who has been identified with special education needs violates school rules, he/she may be disciplined in the same manner as any other student who breaks the same rules up to a total of 10 consecutive school days. The district is not required to provide services if the removal does not exceed 10 consecutive school days in any school year and if the district does not provide services to a non-disabled child who has been suspended for the same offense.
44 Attorneys’ Fees: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA The new law allows for attorneys fees for a LEA if parents file complaints that are frivolous, unreasonable or without foundation or where the parents’ attorney continues to litigate after the litigation clearly becomes frivolous, unreasonable or without foundation.Attorneys’ fees for the resolution session are prohibited.
45 Disciplinary Procedures Manifestation Determination:IEP meeting to determine if behavior of student is related to his/her disabilityMust be held if student is removed from placement for a total of 10 days and constitutes a change in placementIf a student is removed from an educational placement for more than a total of 10 school days, and that removal is determined by the IEP team to be a change in placement, an IEP meeting must be convened to determine if the misconduct is related to the student’s disability.
46 Disciplinary Procedures Weapons/Drugs:A student can be placed in an interim alternative education setting for up to 45 school days for:Possessing a weapon in school or at a school related functionUsing, possessing, buying, selling drugs in school or at school related functionThe IEP team can decide to place a student in an interim alternative education setting for up to 45 days for weapon possession and any activity related to illegal drugs in the school setting or during a school related function. Parent’s consent is not required, but they may request a due process hearing if they disagree with the school districts decision.
47 Disciplinary Procedures: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA If a student with a disability is removed from current placement, he/she must continue to receive educational services that enable continued participation in the general education curriculum and/or progress toward IEP goals, whether or not the behavior is a manifestation of a disability.Additionally, students with disabilities must receive, as appropriate, a functional behavior assessment, behavioral interventions services and modifications designed to address the behavior.
48 Disciplinary Procedures: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Parents must be included in the meeting to determine if a student’s behavior was a manifestation of the disability. Previously, the manifestation determination review was conducted by the IEP team and other qualified personnel. Now it must include parent and relevant members of the IEP team.If it is determined that the conduct was a result of the disability, a functional behavioral assessment MUST be conducted and a behavior plan implemented. If a behavior plan is already in place, it must be reviewed and modified to address the behavior.
49 Disciplinary Procedures: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Removal to an interim alternative educational setting regardless of whether the behavior is caused by the disability under certain circumstances (i.e. possession of weapons or drugs) has been changed from 45 calendar days to 45 school days.In addition to drugs and weapons, the LEA can change a students placement for up to 45 school days if the student has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function.
50 Assistive Technology IEP team must determine if necessary LEA responsible to provideNeed for AT must be discussed annuallySome student’s require assistive technology to access and/or participate in either their IEP or the general education curriculum. The planning and placement team must discuss the need for AT annually at a minimum. School districts are required to provide assistive technology identified by the IEP team at no cost to the parent.
51 Extended School Year Services 5 criteria for considerationMust be decided on an annual basisESY required IEPSome children require a services beyond the school day or year in order to continue learning and developing skills, and participate in an extended school year program. The IEP team decides whether or not a student requires an extended school year and must consider the following criteria when making the determination:The nature or severity of the student’s disabilityThe loss of critical skills and amount of time to recover them when school resumesThe areas of learning crucial to attaining the goal of self-sufficiency and independence from caregiversThe student’s stereotypic, ritualistic, aggressive or self-injurious interfering behaviors prevent the student from receiving some educational benefit from the program during the school yearOther special circumstances identified by the IEP teamESY services need to be discussed and decided annually. Goals, objectives and related services comprising the extended school year portion of a student’s educational program may be different from the program that is developed for the typical school year.
52 Transition PlanningCoordinated set of services designed to “transition” a student to life after high schoolMust begin by age 15Must be implemented by age 16At the annual IEP meeting following a student’s 13th birthday, the topic of transition planning will be discussed. Student’s must be invited to this IEP meeting and all subsequent IEP meetings until graduation or age 21. A statement of “transition service needs” must be developed at this meeting. This statement will define the long-term goals and help to determine the course of study the student will participate in during high school. This statement must be updated each year at the student’s annual IEP meeting.At the annual IEP meeting following a student’s 15th birthday, more specific transition planning will begin. Goals and objectives will be developed that are intended to prepare the student for life after high school. Agencies will be identified that may be useful to the student after leaving high school, and linkages will be explored.
53 Transition Planning: The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Changes the timing of the requirement to include a statement of “transition service needs” from 15 to “not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the child is 16”.Adds a transition services requirement for postsecondary goals for appropriate education, training, employment and independent living skills.
54 Transition Planning Transition Planning Areas: Post-secondary educationPost-secondary employmentCommunity ParticipationResidential outcomes/independent living skillsTransition services are defined in IDEA. Transition services are part of a student’s IEP and can contain a variety of activities including:InstructionSpecial educationRelated servicesCommunity experiencesDevelopment of employment skillsAdult living objectivesDaily living skillsFunctional vocational evaluation
55 The 2004 Reauthorization of IDEA Rule of Construction: Adds a “rule of construction” that no additional information is required for the IEP beyond that explicitly required in the Section 614 and information in one part of the IEP need not be contained in another part.This has been added to attempt to reduce paperwork
56 Where Can I Look? To get a copy of IDEA ’04: Go to the Dept. of Education websiteTo get a full copy of IDEA 2004, go to the website listed above.
57 P.J. V State of Connecticut A class action lawsuit filed on behalf of students with intellectual disabilities in Connecticut who are not educated in regular classroomsResulted in a settlement agreement in May 2002There is nothing in the settlement agreement that is not required by IDEA.The purpose of increasing student time in the general education setting and their home school is to have access to the general education curriculum and improved academic outcomes for students.In 1991 a class action lawsuit was filed in the State of CT claiming discrimination against the education of students with intellectual disabilities (referred to as mental retardation at the time the suit was filed). The case resulted in a settlement over 10 years later.
58 Settlement Outcomes Terms seek increased: Time spent in regular ed Time spent with non-disabled peersAttendance at neighborhood schoolParticipation in ex-curricular activitiesDecreased:Over identification of minority studentsThe terms of the settlement agreement do not change either state of federal special education laws. Rather, the agreement requires the implementation of the law(s) already in effect that enable students with intellectual disabilities to be educated in regular classes. Children may be removed only when they cannot be educated in the regular education setting satisfactorily with the use of supplementary supports and modifications.Students must also be given the opportunity to participate in extra curricular activities with adequate support.
59 Where Can I Look? Settlement agreement can be found at: Connecticut Parent Advocacy Center:Parent training schedule:You can read the settlement agreement by going to the first website listed. For further information regarding training being offered or how to obtain an advocate contact either of the other organizations. The Connecticut State Department of Education web page has data, reports and a question and answer in spanish and English. This can be accessed from the web page by clicking on Special education and then the P.J. settlement links.
60 No Child Left Behind Federal law covering ALL students Emphasizes accountability and teaching methods that workRaises qualifications for teachers and paraprofessionalsRequires proficiency testing for all studentsAffects schools/districts receiving Title 1 fundingNo Child Left Behind is a federal education law that applies to all students. The law covers all states, school districts and schools that accept Title 1 federal grants. These grants provide funding for remedial education programs.NCLB emphasizes accountability and teaching methods that work, with a concentrated focus on reading achievement specifically.NCLB raises requirements to teachers and applies to all public school teachers in all states. Similarly, paraprofessionals working in Title 1 programs must meet higher standards of proficiency. If your child attends a Title 1 school, you are entitled to information about the teacher’s certification(s) and credentials.Beginning in 2005 schools must test all children in grades 3-8 every year and assess reading and math, science will be added in These scores will be used to determine is schools are making Adequate Yearly Progress (AYO) towards the goal of proficiency for all children by 2013/14. toSchools that repeatedly fail to show AYP will have consequences.
61 Where Can I Look? To find out more about NCLB and view a Listing of schools/districts in CT receivingTitle 1 funding go to:To find out more about NCLB and to see a listing of Title 1 schools/districts in CT, go to the above website.