Presentation on theme: "So you're the LEA Rep., Now what….. Representing your School District in Special Education Meetings. Dr. Diane P. Lent Dr. MaryKay Berry Habersham County."— Presentation transcript:
So you're the LEA Rep., Now what….. Representing your School District in Special Education Meetings. Dr. Diane P. Lent Dr. MaryKay Berry Habersham County Schools 1
Goals of the Presentation What the Law Says What the Law Means What Needs to be Done What LEA’s Need to Know or Do How LEA’s can facilitate an effective initial staffing or IEP meeting. How LEA’s can survive a difficult meeting. 2
Group Activity 3 Brainstorm an interesting, odd or difficult situations that you have encountered in a initial staffing or an IEP meeting. Summarize an events into 1 or 2 sentences. Write the event on chart paper.
4 Ghost Walk Without talking, walk around the room reading all of the events listed. With a post it mark the top two events that you are most interested in discussing.
What the Law Says 5 A representative of the local educational agency who is qualified to provide, or supervise the provision of, special education, is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum and is knowledgeable about and authorized by the local educational agency to commit the available resources of the local educational agency (1m)(d)
What the Law Says § Condition of assistance. An LEA is eligible for assistance under Part B of the Act for a fiscal year if the agency submits a plan that provides assurances to the SEA that the LEA meets each of the conditions in §§ through (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1413(a)) § Consistency with State policies. The LEA, in providing for the education of children with disabilities within its jurisdiction, must have in effect policies, procedures, and programs that are consistent with the State policies and procedures established under §§ through , and §§ through (Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1413(a)(1)) 6
What the Law Means 7 A principal, special education director, teacher, or anyone who can be sure the services in the IEP are provided to the child. This person must know about the regular education curriculum and the school district’s resources. The LEA representative must have the authority to commit resources.
What Needs to be Done 8 The school chooses the LEA representative. The LEA representative has the knowledge of, and authority to, commit district resources the child needs.
So you're the LEA rep., Now what….. 9
What LEA’s Need to Know or Do When conducting the meeting, note the following ground rules: Remain child-focused and child-centered. Remain “in the moment”: Turn off/mute all devices. Be an active listener and participant. Follow an agenda. However, record any “non-IEP” concerns as they are brought up and return to the agenda. Determine at the end of the meeting to whom the concerns need to be directed. 10
What LEA’s Need to Know or Do Acknowledge all team members as valuable participants. Demonstrate reciprocal respect toward team members and their views. Remember: We determine APPROPRIATE programs, supports, and services. If you are uncomfortable about a topic that is discussed or requested from the IEP team table the meeting and let them know someone from the county office will get back with them. Record their concerns and let someone from the BOE SPED dept know. 11
Facilitating the IEP Meeting Welcome Introductions Explain the purpose of the meeting and the expected outcome(s). Share the time parameters set aside for the meeting and ground rules when necessary. Explain and provide parents a copy of the Parental Rights if they have not received them with the invitation. Inform the parents that you will be taking minutes and that they will be mailed a copy of the minutes along with a copy of the eligibility form. 12
Facilitating the IEP Meeting 13 Ask the General Education Teacher to report the reason for the referral, to discuss the students strengths and weaknesses and to discuss/present and review all of the RtI data. Ask any other team members present information that would add to the reason for referral and/or concerns. ex. EIP, ESOL, Speech, Interventionist, etc. Ask the school psychologist present to review the results of the evaluation. Come to a team decision regarding eligibility and then sign the form. If the student qualifies allow the special education teacher to discuss the IEP process and begin to develop the basic contents of the IEP, including services, accommodations/modifications etc.
Facilitating the IEP Meeting Inform the parents that the IEP will be completed and mailed to them for review, should they have any questions or concerns they can contact the students case manager. Inform the parents of the following: they can call a meeting at anytime should they have questions or concerns about the implementation of the IEP the team will meet yearly at a minimum the students progress on IEP goals will be reported every 9 weeks along with their report cards If the student does not qualify, encourage the team to return the student to the SST/RtI team for academic and or behavioral support. Consider a 504 when appropriate. 14
ENDING THE MEETING Bring proper closure to the decisions made, so every team member understands their responsibilities with the students educational program. Give consideration to all the parent requests; however, make recommendations based on data and professional expertise. Recap the services being offered and any changes that are being recommended. Encourage the parent to review the IEP upon receiving it and call if they have any questions. Thank the parents and team members for coming in and taking the time meet. 15
How LEA’s can survive a difficult meeting. 16 See if you can agree on the issue(s) that must be addressed. Listen actively to understand the other person’s perspective. Communicate your concerns clearly. Use notes to keep you and the meeting on track and focused on the child. Ask questions or restate so you and others are clear in your understanding. Work together to suggest some possible options to resolve the issue(s). Analyze all of the options to see if you can find areas of agreement. Discuss what should happen next.
How LEA’s can survive a difficult meeting. 17 Try to explain your emotions calmly, and describe what your concerns are about the future to the other participants. Ask someone to come with you to the meeting to help you stay focused positively. If, by chance, you make a mistake or cause offense, say you are sorry. An apology can go a long way to resolving the situation. Consider scheduling another informal meeting with different or additional people. Call others for suggestions on possible future action.
How LEA’s can survive a difficult meeting. 18 Parents and the school can use one or more of the formal problem solving methods. Schools must tell parents about these formal ways to solve problems: Independent Educational Evaluations (IEEs) Facilitated IEP Mediation IDEA State Complaints Due process hearings
How LEA’s can survive a difficult meeting. 19 These formal ways to solve problems can help the school and the parent to talk together. Schools and parents should try the informal methods first and should use the formal methods if the informal methods don’t work. Before using any of these formal problem-solving methods, parents should understand how they work and with which types of problems they work best.
Conclusion 20 So, you are the LEP rep, the IEP Team meeting is your party! Be the gracious host and clear eyed leader. Is it worth fighting over? Are we legally defensible? Are we united?