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The New IDEA & Transition Planning Scott F. Johnson, Esq. NHEdLaw, LLC Education Law Resource Center

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Presentation on theme: "The New IDEA & Transition Planning Scott F. Johnson, Esq. NHEdLaw, LLC Education Law Resource Center"— Presentation transcript:

1 The New IDEA & Transition Planning Scott F. Johnson, Esq. NHEdLaw, LLC Education Law Resource Center

2 About me Franklin Pierce Law Center and Concord University School of Law. New Hampshire Education Law (NHEdLaw, LLC) Website has resources and the book New Hampshire Special Education Law Manual: A Guide for Parents, Educators, Attorneys & Advocates. Education Law Resource Center, Website has resources mostly on restraints so far and the book Preventing Physical Restraints in Schools: A Guide for Parents Educators &

3 Website This powerpoint is on the website, The site has a section on transition services with resources

4 Laws Federal Statute 20 USC § 1400 et seq. Federal Regulations 34 CFR § 300.1 et seq. Comments to the regulations States have adopted their own statutes and regulations. May exceed federal requirements, but must be consistent and cannot go below. NH Statutes RSA 186-C NH Regulations Ed 1100 et seq.

5 You need to know the laws Obtain them from a variety of sources Book: New Hampshire Special Education Law Manual. Website has the laws to download free NH Dept. of Education United States Department of Education NHIDA and NHLDA sites

6 History Transition requirements were included in the IDEA in 1990 To help improve post secondary results for students with disabilities Many students with disabilities dropped out of school As many as 39 percent of students with LD nationwide – 2003 25 th Annual OSEP Report Many were not receiving the educational and other services they needed to be successful after high school or the end of eligibility

7 2004 IDEIA In the recent reauthorization of the law, one of the congressional findings said: As the graduation rates for children with disabilities continue to climb, providing effective transition services to promote successful post-school employment or education is an important measure of accountability for children with disabilities.

8 Purpose One of the purposes of the IDEIA is: to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living 20 USC § 1401(d)(1)(a)

9 Required Transition is part of the obligation to provide FAPE Transition goals and services are part of the IEP requirements for the student

10 Definition Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that— 1) is designed to be within a results- oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post- school activities 20 USC § 1402(34); 34 CFR § 300.43

11 Definition continued Post school activities includes: post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation 20 USC § 1402(43)

12 Key Terms Results-oriented process vs. outcome Seems to indicate a shift to success for the student as opposed to just an outcome. When the USDOE was asked to define the term, it said:

13 Discussion: The term “results-oriented process,” which appears in the statutory definition of transition services, is generally used to refer to a process that focuses on results. Because we are using the plain meaning of the term (i.e., a process that focuses on results), we do not believe it is necessary to define the term in these regulations.

14 Key Terms Focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability To facilitate the child’s movement to post school activities

15 Terms USDOE says that functional means everything that is not academic or not measured by a statewide assessment test NHDOE has a definition of “functional performance” which it says means how the child demonstrates his/her skills and behaviors in cognition, communication, motor, adaptive, social/emotional, and sensory areas

16 What it means Helping the child develop and improve the skills they need to succeed after high school Both academic and non-academic All parts of the spectrum Independent living, employment, post- secondary education

17 Definition Continued Transition services means a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that: 2) is based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and

18 Definition continued 3) includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. 20 USC § 1402(34); 34 CFR § 300.43

19 What are they? Transition services can be special education services – meaning specially designed instruction Transition services can be related services meaning they help the student benefit from special education services. 34 CFR § 300.43

20 Why does it matter? Important as it helps define and develop the goals and services Special education services and related services must be based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable 34 CFR § 300.320(a)(4).

21 What are they Transition services can be part of the nonacademic services that schools provide including referrals to agencies that provide assistance to individuals with disabilities, employment of students, and assistance in making outside employment available 34 CFR § 300.107(b).

22 How do we do it? Assess Determine needs, strengths, interests, preferences Develop goals and services for the IEP Determine who is going to deliver services All part of the special education process Parents part of the team to make the decisions Child must be invited to attend meetings

23 Assessments The IEP must have appropriate measurable postsecondary goals and services to meet those goals Based on age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment and where appropriate independent living skills The required assessments will depend on the child’s age, needs, interests, strengths, preferences and interests, but need to address the factors listed above. 34 CFR § 300.320(b)

24 Assessments Can include things like interest inventories, aptitude tests, observations, interviews, Functional Vocational Evaluations, and other formal and informal assessments They help identify the student’s strengths, talents, skills, preferences and interests

25 Functional Vocational Evaluation Helps assess the student’s vocational strengths, preferences and interests Helps determine student’s aptitude and skills Can be a formal or commercial assessment, and it can also include interviews, observation, and surveys. Provides information to develop goals in the IEP

26 Good quote The purpose of transition assessments is to establish a student's existing strengths and needs in order to attempt to build a program that will meet his or her needs for the purpose of increasing the likelihood that the transition time and experience will be successful. Not having good data on which to individualize student programs greatly diminishes the likelihood of a successful transition. Mason City Comm. Sch Dist 46 IDELR 148 (2006)

27 Determine Goals & Services Part of the IEP process Outside methods can be incorporated i.e. Person Centered Planning see the NCSET site IEP development rules apply IEP team involved

28 IEP Team Parents Not less than one regular education teacher Not less than one special education teacher Person from the school who is qualified to provide or supervise special education services, is knowledgeable about the curriculum, and school resources Person who can interpret evaluations

29 IEP Team - Transition Persons with knowledge or special expertise With the consent of the parents, representatives of participating agencies that are like to provide or pay for any of the services 34 CFR § 300.321(b)

30 IEP Team - Transition The child must be invited to attend whenever the purpose of the meeting is consideration of post-secondary goals and transition services to help child reach those goals. If the child does not attend, the school must take other steps to ensure the child’s interests and preferences are considered. 34 CFR § 300.321

31 IEP Team Meeting Special notice requirements apply Must inform parent that: post-secondary goals and transition services will be discussed Student will be invited Other agency representatives that have been invited per parental consent 34 CFR § 300.322(b)(2)

32 IEP Team Transition The IEP team must determine what instruction, services, and experiences will help prepare the student for a successful transition from secondary education to post-secondary life.

33 IEP Goals in general must be based on involvement and progress in the general educational curriculum. Transition goals can go beyond that. Curriculum that applies to all students IEP must provide FAPE Transition services are part of FAPE FAPE and general curriculum incorporate state standards that apply to all students

34 Standards State content and proficiency standards Curriculum Frameworks Grade-Level Equivalencies Grade Span Equivalencies

35 Standards New Hampshire has a specific curriculum framework for Career Development with goals and proficiency standards to consider at various grade levels New Hampshire also has frameworks, GLEs and GSEs in academic areas like Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Technology, World Languages, etc.

36 IEP - Transition Beginning not later than the first IEP that is in effect when the student turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP Team, the IEP must include: Appropriate measurable postsecondary goals Based on the age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment and, when appropriate, independent living 34 CFR § 320(b)(1)

37 Deadline Age of 16 is a deadline, not a starting point Team can decide to do it earlier Some states are using 14 NH has not yet revised its regulations (or statutes) NH Framework and regulations on career education start the career development and education process earlier for all students

38 IEP – Transition In its comments, the USDOE said the IEP must have goals in the areas of training, education, and employment Goals for independent living skills are only required if appropriate. It is up to the child’s IEP Team to determine whether IEP goals related to the development of independent living skills are appropriate and necessary for the child to receive FAPE.

39 What are they? The USDOE was asked to define “post secondary goals.” It said: Discussion: We do not believe it is necessary to include a definition of “postsecondary goals” in the regulations. The term is generally understood to refer to those goals that a child hopes to achieve after leaving secondary school (i.e., high school).

40 IEP Transition The IEP must also include: The transition services (including the courses of study) needed to assist the child in reaching those goals The goals and services can cover a wide range of topics related to the student’s post-secondary activities Travel training, transportation, health Like other IEP items, the goals and services must be reviewed annually and revised as necessary

41 Remember IEP’s must Define the services that will be provided Identify the individuals or service providers responsible for each service or goal Specify the dates that services will begin Specify the location, frequency, and duration Describe how the goals will be measured and when periodic reports on progress will be provided 34 CFR § 300.320(a); Ed 1109.01

42 Outside Agencies Outside agencies or vendors may provide some of the transition services School is still responsible for ensuring services are provided as required by the IEP If agency or vendor fails to provide the services described in the IEP, the school must reconvene the IEP team to identify alternative strategies to meet the transition objectives set out in the IEP 34 CFR § 300.324(c).

43 End of services Student no longer “child with disability” Student graduates with a regular high school diploma Alternative diplomas and GEDs that are not fully aligned with state academic standards don’t count Student turns 21

44 Performance Summary When eligibility terminates due to diploma or age the school must provide a summary of the child’s academic achievement and functional performance It must include recommendations on how to assist the child in meeting the child’s postsecondary goals 34 CFR § 300.305(e)(3 )

45 Summary USDOE declined to provide a list of required information for this summary (beyond what the regulations state) saying State and local officials should have the flexibility to determine the appropriate content in a child’s summary, based on the child’s individual needs and postsecondary goals.

46 Summary Someone who knows the student should complete it Academic achievement- How the student’s disability has affected the student’s academic achievement. The student’s academic strengths as outlined in her/his IEP. The results of the most recent special education evaluations of the student. Additional academic performance information that maybe essential to postsecondary outcomes like Reading & Math

47 Summary Functional performance- behavior across different environments such as how the youth interacts with peers at school, in the community, at work; self- care, mobility, self- determination, safety, etc.; How the student’s ability has affected the student’s functional performance. A description of any known work experience (paid or unpaid). A description of any other recognition the student earned in high school, any honors or special education awards the student achieved, any vocational or extracurricular accomplishments.

48 Summary May include additional functional performance information that maybe essential to postsecondary outcomes such as: executive functioning personal management communication ADL skills serial skills independent living self advocacy

49 Recommendations Recommendations for assisting the student in attaining postsecondary goals- examples: attend college orientation, meet with agencies, counselor at college, keep a file of current disability documentation, complete employment applications, etc. Include accommodations, modifications, assistive technology, etc. utilized for success in secondary education and needed to be successful in postsecondary environments like in the workplace, post-secondary education setting, and community participation, NH Dept. of Education has a form online for guidance for summary performance. Also has a student perspective form. Wisconsin Dept. of Education

50 Enforcement Since it is part of FAPE the failure to develop appropriate goals and services or provide appropriate goals or services is subject to dispute resolution Also subject to remedies like compensatory education

51 The End Questions? Breakout session More info about state standards

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