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Special Education Overview

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1 Special Education Overview
Original by Linda Gulbranson Revised by Eva Pohl BRIC Special Education Coordinator BRIC Sped Coordinator August 29, September 1, 2009

2 The Top 10 Basics of Special Education

3 IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Our nation’s special education law IDEA Federal Regulations Minnesota Rules Minnesota Statutes

4 Free Appropriate Public Education
Acronyms Defined FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education What States must make available to all eligible children with disabilities

5 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
10 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 1. Child is identified as possibly needing special education and related services

6 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
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)

7 Pre-referral Interventions
Pre-referral interventions are planned, systematic efforts by regular education staff to resolve apparent learning or behavioral problems.

8 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”

9 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.

10 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.

11 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.

12 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
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

13 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 , subp.2)

14 Special Education Evaluation
Evaluation must provide data to verify that the student: meets eligibility criteria components and demonstrates a need for special education services.

15 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
10 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 3. Eligibility is decided based on the information collected during the evaluation process.

16 Special Education Eligibility
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

17 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)

18 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
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.

19 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
10 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 5. IEP meeting is scheduled

20 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

21 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

22 Excusing a Member from Attending 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

23 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
10 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 6. IEP meeting is held, and the IEP is written

24 IDEA’s Definition of IEP
§300.22 § — §

25 The IEP Team must consider…
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…

26 IEP Components Annual goals & objectives
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

27 10 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
Step 7. Services are provided

28 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

29 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

30 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

31 Not Based on: IEP PLACEMENT School Organization Instructional
Methods Disability Service Availability Curriculum Content Space Availability


33 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
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.

34 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA
10 Steps: The Basics of Special Education Process under IDEA Step 9. IEP is reviewed annually Step 10. Child is reevaluated every three years

35 Role of General Education Teacher
in IEP Process

36 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. § (a)(3) Minn. R subp.2(D)

37 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

38 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.

39 IEP Meeting Do’s & Don’ts
Tips to avoid legal dispute and stay out of hot water!

40 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

41 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.”

42 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

43 Avoid Being “Witherish”
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.

44 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”

45 ADAPTATIONS Supplementary Aids and Service
Program Modifications and Supports for School Personnel

46 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

47 Modifications / Accommodations
Adaptations made in the curriculum, presentation method, or the environment to provide support for the individual student

48 Often the terms are used interchangeably but…
Accommodation - allows access Modification conditions which does not alter the validity, reliability, or rigor Adjustment that is significant enough to result in a change in the level of difficulty.

49 Adaptations Instruction Grading Assistive Technology Class Testing
Behavior Management State assessment participation Materials Transportation Assignment

50 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?

51 Accommodations/Modifications
Adapting Materials Layout & Design Directions Content Testing Adapting Objective Must know vs. nice to know

52 Accommodations/Modifications
Instruction Adaptations Grading Adaptations Behavior Adaptations Altered Assignments Delete From Curriculum Educational value or time-filler? Environmental Adaptations

53 Every student can learn,
just not on the same day or the same way. -- George Evans.

54 Confidentiality Mandated Reporting

55 Confidentiality Confidentiality must be maintained and protected
Federal laws, state regulations, and local policies require maintaining confidentiality. Family Education Rights and Privacy Law (FERPA) The rights of students to due process, dignity, privacy, and respect must be promoted Need to respect right to basic dignity for each student

56 Confidentiality Data concerning individual student programs are treated as sensitive and confidential Respect the confidentiality of information you receive about students with whom you work

57 Confidentiality Who may access written or oral information?
Personnel responsible for the design, preparation, and delivery of education and related services Who should not have access? Teachers, therapists or other school personnel and co-workers not responsible for planning or providing services

58 Confidentiality What information do children and their families have the right to expect will be kept confidential? Results of formal and informal assessments Social and behavioral actions Performance and level of progress Program goals and objectives All information about family relationships, financial status, and other personal matters.

59 Confidentiality Can be extremely difficult to maintain because often situations arise that are unexpected and appear harmless if information is shared Before giving information to anyone about a student ask yourself: Is this person directly involved with the student’s education? Will the student benefit if this person has the information?

60 Mandated Reporting Legal mandate for professionals and their delegates who work with children to report maltreatment of minors Teachers, paras, school administrators, support staff (cooks, bus drivers, janitors, others) When to report If you know or have reason to believe that a child is currently being abused or neglected or has been in the preceding three years

61 Mandated Reporting Who to report to:
Recommended procedure is to inform or consult with supervisor and/or administrator prior to making report to appropriate officials directly. Check local county / school district for procedures May include: law enforcement or social services

62 Mandated Reporting You are responsible
You are a mandated reporter 24 hours a day Reporter’s name is confidential Immune from Civil Liability when acting in good faith Failure to report: Misdemeanor

63 there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled…
Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities… …can be translated into benefit for everyone. …because in each of us John F. Kennedy.

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