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How did we get here? A quick overview

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0 Special Education A Reference for Law Related Issues
A Dysart Quick Reference for Principals

1 How did we get here? A quick overview
Statutes - legislation created by federal and state legislatures federal law controls IDEA is federal law Regulations - allow a statute to be implemented and are created by administrative agencies (such as the State Department of Education) Arizona’s interpretation of IDEA Case law - is the written court decision that results from a lawsuit. there are both federal and state court decisions driving force of most of our legal decisions Pages 4 and 5 9th circuit court is what we watch - we do not like to be named in court decisions Alaska Washingtion Oregon Idaho Montana Nevada California Hawaii Arizona

2 Education Laws Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
a civil rights law all about accommodations - equal access The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) a civil rights act, enacted after Section 504 act not providing accommodations = discrimination The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) the most recent reauthurization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Teachers of student with special needs must be highly qualified NCLB - special education teacher do NOT have to be certified - they must be highly qualified. In AZ based on state regulations they must be highly qualified in the content area to be listed as teacher of record. Highly qualified for severe and profound = S/P or MIMR HQ Dysart - C/C with content S/P for medically fragile preferred ED for PBS classrooms EC for preschool HQ in content for TOR

3 Education Laws - continued
McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act the education of public school children and youth experiencing homelessness part of NCLB schools must ensure homeless students have access to education McKinney vento - Kathy Hill - expert liason 4 key points 1educational stability 2transportation immediate enrollment 4other support services including SPED

4 Focus on Children with Disabilities
Primary Eligibility In Arizona, the categories of disability for children age 3 through 21 are: Autism (A) Developmental Delay (DD) Emotional Disability (ED) Hearing Impairment (HI) Intellectual Disability (MIID, MOID, SID) Multiple Disabilities (MD) Multiple Disabilities with Severe Sensory Impairment (MDSSI) Orthopedic Impairment (OI) Other Health Impairment (OHI) Preschool Severe Delay (PSD) Specific Learning Disability (SLD) Speech and Language Impairment (SLI) Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Visual Impairment (VI) pg 12

5 The FAPE Mandate Any child found eligible with any of the above disabilities are entitled to a FAPE at the public's expense. FAPE is provided through an IEP developed by a team that includes the Parent. A parent must be given the opportunity to meaningfully participate in the special education process. pg 13 why point this out? Parents must be given the opportunity - not put in the drivers seat. parents must participate as part of the team parents have the right to educate themselves parents have the right to provide input

6 Child Find The IDEA obligates schools to locate, identify and evaluate all children with disabilities. Dysart has 3 primary methods for Child Find preschool screenings 45 day screeners RtI process pg 16 don’t want to spend a lot of time

7 Evaluation - special education
2 types of special education evaluations Initial evaluations follow a Review of Existing Data (RED) 60 day timeline in AZ - can extend 30 days with parental consent timeline begins the date the written request by parents or school Consent initiated by the school or parent Prior Written Notice (PWN) must be given to parent prior to testing if parents refuse consent - process is halted now on to the process. pg 18

8 Evaluation - special education cont.
Re-evaluations required every 3 years for children identified follow a Review of Existing Data (RED) 60 day timeline in AZ - can extend 30 days with parental consent timeline begins following informed consent for testing Consent Prior Written Notice (PWN) must be given to parent prior to testing if parents refuse consent - process continues after reasonable measure to include parents parents can revoke consent for services - if they do they revoke consent for all disability law services

9 Dysart Process for Evaluation - RED
A multidisciplinary (MET) team must conduct a Review of Existing Data (RED) prior to or in conjunction with any request for evaluation. Student may be referred to the (MET) team by: RtI team - child find process Parents written request for testing 504 team DDD IEP team for re-evaluation referral does not mean YES to testing an evaluation begins with a RED and ends with eligibility determination RED team must rule out: Educational disadvantage ELL or language causes Underlying cause such as hearing or vision loss or disability intervention data supports interventions are showing unsuccessful or slower than average progress

10 Dysart Process for Evaluation - RED
Review of existing data must include: Current information provided by the student's parent(s) Current classroom-based assessments Teacher and related service provider observations Formal assessments such as state and district-wide assessments RED team determines if: Additional data are needed Issue PWN Obtain parent’s informed consent Conduct assessments as said in PWN Additional data are NOT needed Inform parents of right to request IEE Proceed to eligibility determination

11 Dysart Process for Evaluation - MET
Met team will report and interpret eligibility considerations: Upon review of all data the team will determine: The present levels PLAAFP The child's educational needs Additions or changes to the special education and related services Are determinant factor is based on educational disadvantage Are determinant factor is based on limited English proficiency

12 Dysart Process for Evaluation - MET
After completing a review of all evaluation data the MET team will determine: Whether the child has a disability Whether the disability adversely affects the child's progress in the general curriculum Whether the child needs special education and related services Following the MET - if found eligible - the child is referred to the IEP team

13 Key Roles in the Evaluation Process
Primary evaluator organizes the MET meeting contacts parents and sends home meeting notice facilitates the RED/MET meeting interprets the results of all evaluations conducted manages timelines Primary evaluators include: school psychologist BCBA speech langauge pathologist psychologist are responsible for all MET/RED meetings All requests for testing go to the psychologist psychologist are responsible to guarantee required participants are at the RED/MET meetings

14 Key Roles in the Evaluation Process
Required participants for RED/MET meeting primary evaluator parent special educator general educator LEA representative - School Administrator SPED lead teacher Psychologist related service provider (if there are areas of concern) we tend to make these meetings parent teacher conferences or RtI meetings only those listed above MUST attend for the entirety of the meeting ONLY parents can excuse and excusals must be in writing prior to the start of the meeting.

15 Independent Education Evaluation (IEE)
Parents have the right to disagree with the MET evaluation results. If parents disagree they are granted the right to an IEE. IEE’s are conducted by an outside independent, qualified evaluator are paid for by the school district are interpreted by the MET team NOT the outside evaluator Pg 22

16 Dysart process for an IEE
IEE requests are handled in the ESS office Parents must request an IEE in writing stating the specific evaluation results they are in disagreement with Parents make select a qualified outside evaluator ESS office issues a purchase order Parents make an appointment with outside evaluator for evaluations Outside evaluator sends all evaluation results to the ESS office ESS office provides a copy to the school MET team Primary evaluator organizes a MET meeting to interpret the results of the IEE MET interpretations are final

17 The Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
The IEP is written by an IEP team to ensure a child receives a FAPE. The IEP is a binding contract that describes the child’s educational plan and must be followed without fail. When an IEP is not followed the school denies a child with a disability a FAPE.

18 The IEP team The IEP team is a group of individuals charged with developing, reviewing, and revising the IEP and is required to consist of the following members: The child - when appropriate (required after age 14) The child’s parent General education teacher Special education teacher LEA representative Qualified person to interpret results Related service providers (when services are outlined on the IEP) The parent can invite outside agencies or persons knowledgeable about the child and/or the IEP process Pg 25

19 Dysart Process for the IEP Team
The following roles must be present at the IEP meeting: The child’s parent General education teacher Special education teacher/Service Coordinator LEA representative Qualified person to interpret results Related service providers (when services are outlined on the IEP) The child - when appropriate (required after age 14) Parents may bring outside agencies or advocates

20 Dysart Process for the IEP Team
If the parents invite an Educational Advocate: The IEP team must have present: the Lead Special Education teacher OR the ESS Coordinator OR the ESS Director If the parents invite Legal Council: the ESS Director AND District Legal Council

21 Key Roles in the IEP Team
Service Coordinator (special education teacher) Contact the parents Coordinate the IEP meeting provide a meeting notice with meeting purpose Facilitate the IEP meeting Facilitate the writing of the IEP ensure that all providers input all relevant components ensure that data is present justifying all supports and services Coordinate training for IEP components Provide copies of the IEP to all relevant parties Has knowledge of specially designed instructional strategies

22 Key Roles in the IEP Team - cont.
General Education teacher Has knowledge of the general curriculum Has knowledge of instructional strategies for all Provides data regarding child’s progress in the general curriculum Provides team with expectation of the general curriculum Provides data on accommodations in the general curriculum LEA representative Is approved by the district to discuss the availability of resources Is knowledgeable of the general curriculum standards Is knowledgeable of specially designed instruction

23 IEP Team Meetings Schools are responsible for initiating and conducting meetings for the purpose of developing, reviewing, and revising the IEPs of children with disabilities. pg 27

24 Dysart Process for IEP Meeting
The following must be completed by the Service Coordinator: Meeting Notice Must be sent to parents at least 10 days prior to the IEP meeting Must contain the meeting purpose Must include the roles of the meeting participants Draft IEP Must be sent to the parents at least 10 days prior to the IEP meeting Must be marked at draft Must have parental input Prior Written Notice Must be given to parents prior to the start of IEP services

25 Dysart Expectation - IEP components
The IEP must have the following components: PLAAFP Data to support child’s strengths and needs in each area PLAAFP data drives measurable goals: Addresses the educational needs described in the PLAAFP Goal data must address how progress data will be collected Goals drive service minutes Statement of specially designed instruction Explanation of the extent of time the child will participate with non disabled peer Clearly defined accommodations Beginning at age 16 - measurable postsecondary goals must be supported by a transition plan pg 29

26 Dysart Expectation - IEP considerations
The following special factors must also be considered: Child’s behavior BIP ELL or Limited English proficient Must consider language needs Children who are hearing impaired Must consider use of sign language or interpreters Children who are visually impaired Must consider use of Braille Assistive technology needs Extended School Year Transportation

27 Dysart Expectation-Transportation STR
The Student Transportation Request (STR) is designed to ensure communication between schools and the transportation department. STR must be completed for: Students who require transportation as a related service on their IEP Students who are eligible under the McKinney-Vento act Students who require transportation as part of their 504 plan Students who may have specialized transportation due to a legal action STR’s must be completed by the IEP team defining the reason for specialized transportation prior to any transportation being routed

28 Delivery of Services Specially Designed Instruction
Meets the unique needs of the child adapting appropriately Uses specific methodology or delivery of instruction to address said needs MUST ensure access to the general curriculum Related Services Assist the child in benefiting from special education services Transportation Speech, OT, PT Counseling/Psychological services Audiology services interpreting services AdPE Nursing Orientation and Mobility Pg 33- this is why we use STCM PBS S/P CPI

29 Dysart - Specially Designed Instruction
Students will be guaranteed specially designed instruction and research based instructional practices Structured Teaching Classroom Models Discrete Trial Training (DTT) Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) TEAACH/PECS communication systems Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS) Supplemental Materials General Education intervention kits Read 180/System 44 Reading Mastery/Corrective Reading Wilson Reading Just to name a few If you see ed helper, tons of copies - be concernec

30 Delivery of Services - cont.
Accommodations: Ensures the child to access and demonstrate learning Do NOT substantially change the instructional level, the content or the performance criteria Modifications: Substantially change the instructional level, the content and the performance criteria Addresses functional abilities of the child

31 Placement Least Restrictive Environment:
The IDEA’s Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) provision requires that, to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled. Additional rules regarding placement require that children with disabilities be educated as close to home as possible, and in the same school he or she would attend if not disabled, unless the IEP specifies some other arrangement. In a situation where a child will not participate fully with peers without disabilities, the IEP must include an explanation of why and to what extent. pg 34

32 Continuum The law requires schools to ensure that there is a "continuum of alternative placements" available to meet the needs of students with disabilities who cannot be educated in the general education classroom for part or all of the school day. The continuum must be designed to ensure that there is an appropriate setting for each child with a disability, based on the child’s specific needs, and includes general education classes, special education classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals or institutions. pg 34-35 focus on no resource no self contained

33 Dysart - LRE and Continuum
The LRE will be determined by the IEP team with the following: Each child will have his/her day “mapped” to ensure general education considerations to the maximum extent possible Clear explanation of student needs communication needs sensory needs behavioral needs LRE off campus or in private day ESS coordinator must be present LRE is a team decision Location of LRE is determined by the ESS Director

34 Implementing the IEP IEPs should be implemented as soon as possible following the IEP meeting at which the IEP is developed. An IEP must be in effect before a school can provide special education and related services. Schools must ensure that IEPs are accessible to each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related service provider, or other service provider who is responsible for implementing that IEP, and that each of those individuals is informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to the implementation of the IEP. Moreover, all relevant school personnel must be informed of the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided to each child in accordance with his or her IEP. ADE complaint ruling v Dysart The team (although best interest of the child) did not follow the IEP as written. Dysart found out of compliance.

35 Prior Written Notice The IDEA requires school districts to provide parents with a written notice of services or actions that will take place prior to implementation. In Arizona this is called a Prior Written Notice. This is the “legal notepad” for the IEP/MET teams. Pg 40

36 What to Include in the PWN
A PWN must include the following: a description of the action proposed or refused by the school; an explanation of why the school proposes or refuses to take the action; a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the agency used as a basis for the proposed or refused action; a statement that the parents of a child with a disability have protection under the procedural safeguards provided in the IDEA a description of other options considered by the IEP team and the reason why those options were rejected a description of other factors that are relevant to the school’s proposal or refusal.

37 When to Write a PWN The PWN is the “legal notepad” requested by Judges and ADE officials; therefore, PWN must be well written after the following actions: Initial identification Any formal meeting MET IEP RED Progress LRE/Continuum placement meetings Disciplinary actions When in doubt PWN it out!! pg 40-41

38 This is the area where the ESS Director spends all of her time.
Dispute Resolution The IDEA and its implementing regulations mandate that states make available formal processes for families of children with disabilities age 3 through 21 and public schools to resolve special education-related disputes. State Educational Agencies (SEA) are required to offer mediation, a due process hearing system, and a state administrative complaint system. This is the area where the ESS Director spends all of her time.

39 Dispute Resolution Mediation Part of parental safeguards
Informal process Dysart includes Legal Counsel on all mediations Only Parent and Adult students can request mediation Parents can bring Legal Counsel Advocates cannot attend mediation unless agree to by the Director ADE provides trained mediator Successful mediation results in a written agreement

40 Dispute Resolution Due Process Hearing Part of parental safeguards
A formal hearing Dysart includes Legal Counsel in Due Process Hearings Only Parent and Adult students can request mediation Parents can bring Legal Counsel Advocates cannot attend mediation unless agree to by the Judge An Administrative Law Judge decides the outcome of the complaint

41 Dispute Resolution State Administrative Complaint System
NOT part of parents procedural safeguards Part of the state regulations that implement IDEA Has 60 to issue a letter of findings can only determine if the district is in or out of compliance Issues corrective action regarding compliance issues Cannot dictate IEP decisions or change outcomes


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