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“To Refer to Special Ed, Or Not to Refer, That IS the Question!” What You need to know, and here it is in a nutshell… Presented by: Susan B. Burns Sp.

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Presentation on theme: "“To Refer to Special Ed, Or Not to Refer, That IS the Question!” What You need to know, and here it is in a nutshell… Presented by: Susan B. Burns Sp."— Presentation transcript:

1 “To Refer to Special Ed, Or Not to Refer, That IS the Question!” What You need to know, and here it is in a nutshell… Presented by: Susan B. Burns Sp. Ed. Coordinator, WSD

2 Understanding the Federal Education Laws: An Overview of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act) which falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act which also includes §504

3 What do you do when you hear from… Parent: “My child is having…Parent: “My child is having… Teacher: “A student is having…Teacher: “A student is having… Student: “I’m having…Student: “I’m having… …difficulty in school?” …difficulty in school?”

4 WSD Critical Questions to Ensure Student Learning What do we want each student to learn?What do we want each student to learn? How will we know when each student has learned it?How will we know when each student has learned it? What experiences and teaching strategies best promote understanding?What experiences and teaching strategies best promote understanding? How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning?How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning? The FOCUS is differentiated instruction and differentiated ways for students to demonstrate mastery. Other parts of the country referred to as “RTI”

5 So, where to start? First: Best Teaching Practices Identify exactly where the student is having the difficulty-Is it “Can’t do?” or “Won’t do?” Look at student history, Core Testing, ACT, UBSCT, other standardized tests Teachers have a variety of methods for individualizing instruction to meet the needs of students Work closely with teacher(s) Set realistic goals Encourage parents to practice good parental involvement Utilize peer tutor or suggest (“If this were my child, I’d hire a private tutor.”)

6 Second: Create an Intervention Plan Here are a few ideas for Interventions: Monitor time on task How many breaks does the student need to take Assignments need to be chunked into smaller sections Have classroom duties that allow for movement as pieces of work are completed Have folders and specific visual cues for turning in homework Set up an e-mail or note system so parent knows homework was received Establish a behavior chart for homework completion. Set up a reward system between teacher and parent.

7 80% of learners can succeed without being taught strategies… The other 20% cannot survive without them!!!

8 KEY: Monitor and track interventions for at least one month Collect DATA, DATA, DATA Track and follow what works, what doesn’t work Work with school student support team for ideas and interventions If there is little or no improvement… Refer to team for an evaluation.

9 Special Education Referral Flow Chart Please refer to Handout

10 The Process The Local School Team Parent, teacher, counselor, administrator, with or without the student review the information/data This team will then determine what is required next: – –More Conventional Interventions – – §504 Referral – – IDEA Referral – – No Action

11 IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) A federal statute governing all special education services in the United States and Puerto Rico Provides federal funding to school districts to support special education and related services

12 IDEA includes Child Find Child Find consistent with federal law, IDEA ensures that all children, birth to 21, are located, identified, evaluated and if eligible for Special Educational Services, receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) This includes all children in all public and private agencies and institutions, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of Special Education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated.

13 FAPE Both IDEA and §504 provide a “FAPE” for children “ F ree A ppropriate P ublic E ducation”

14 LRE Both provide a “LRE” for children “L east R estrictive E nvironment ”

15 ELIGIBILITY UNDER IDEA The child must meet the eligibility criteria in one of the 13 categories 1. Autism 2. Deaf/Blindness 3. Developmental Delay (DD) 4. Emotional Disturbance (ED) 5. Hearing Impairment/Deafness 6. Intellectual Disability (ID) 7. Multiple Disabilities (MD) 8. Orthopedic Impairment (OI) 9. Other Health Impairment (OHI) 10. Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) 11. Speech/Language Impairment 12. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) 13. Visual Impairment ( Including Blindness)

16 ELIGIBILITY UNDER IDEA (continued) If nothing else, remember this… The disabling condition must adversely affect the child’s educational performance creating an “educational need” The child must be in need of special education and related services and would be unsuccessful without them.

17 Educators must understand the differences: Accommodations An accommodation is a change made to the teaching or testing procedures in order to provide a student with access to information and to create an equal opportunity to demonstrate knowledge and skills Accommodations address HOW the student learns— they do NOT change WHAT they learn! Modifications A modification is a change in WHAT the student is expected to learn and/or demonstrate Modifications can change the mastery level for a student and must be appropriate to meet the student’s individual needs

18 EXAMPLES OF SIMPLE CLASSROOM ACCOMMODATIONS Tailoring homework assignments Structuring the learning environment Changing the way a test is given Simplifying instructions about assignments Providing a copy of peer notes Supplementing verbal instructions with visual instructions Using behavioral management techniques Modifying test delivery Using tape recorders Computer-aided instructions Providing nursing services to supervise administration of medication

19 EXAMPLES OF MODIFICATIONS The IEP Team will decide what modifications are necessary to “even the playing field” for the student with disabilities and meet the student’s needs Keep in mind that the findings of the team are not final – –Parents have the right to appeal conclusions – –The school is required by law, to inform parents of the “due process” appeals procedure

20 REMEMBER IDEA or §504 both plans are legal documents that the school must follow… Especially the teacher in the classroom!

21 The “NOT REASONS” to Request Special Education Testing NOT because a student has an obvious or documented disabilityNOT because a student has an obvious or documented disability NOT to determine what level the student is functioning on: in reading, writing, and mathNOT to determine what level the student is functioning on: in reading, writing, and math NOT to find out a student’s IQNOT to find out a student’s IQ NOT because it is something to rule out in the intervention processNOT because it is something to rule out in the intervention process NOT because a student is failingNOT because a student is failing NOT because a student isn’t coming to classNOT because a student isn’t coming to class

22 “THE” REASON (aka criteria) to refer a student for Special Education Testing Only after all steps of the flow chart have been followed with fidelity (especially documented interventions which has data to show why the interventions failed) and the student/parent/guardian, are requesting consideration for qualifying (under one of the 13 categories) for Special Education Services upon the determination of the team decision process. Referral for SpEd testing is the last step, after all other interventions have been exhausted.

23 New Initial Referrals Students rarely qualify for Special Education Services in High School for the first time.Students rarely qualify for Special Education Services in High School for the first time. If they do qualify it is because…If they do qualify it is because… –Served in Special Education previously –Sustained recent severe injury –Very rare, but it does happen, a student has “fallen through the cracks” and does qualify under one of the 13 categories.

24 After all this if you have any questions then… Contact your local Special Education Department (Pat Wright is the Department Head )Contact your local Special Education Department (Pat Wright is the Department Head ) They will contact SpEd CoordinatorThey will contact SpEd Coordinator Coordinator will go to DirectorCoordinator will go to Director Director will go the State Office of EducationDirector will go the State Office of Education State Office of Education will go to the FEDSState Office of Education will go to the FEDS We’ll figure it out from there!We’ll figure it out from there!

25 Special thanks to: Each of you, your time and for allowing me to present this information. Contributors: Rand Eberhard Ed Williams Laura Swenson Ann Miller WSD Student Services WSD Special Education Dept. USOE FEDERAL LAW & anyone else I borrowed stuff from!


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