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Mississippi Special Education Advisory Panel Annual Report to the State Board of Education July 2009.

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Presentation on theme: "Mississippi Special Education Advisory Panel Annual Report to the State Board of Education July 2009."— Presentation transcript:

1 Mississippi Special Education Advisory Panel Annual Report to the State Board of Education July 2009

2 2 Special Education Advisory Panel Federal Regulations/State Code Sections 300.167, 300.168, and 300.169 Mississippi Code 37-23-145 The State must establish and maintain an advisory panel for the purpose of providing policy guidance with respect to special education and related services for children with disabilities in the State.

3 3 Special Rule -Membership The majority of the members of the panel must be individuals with disabilities or parents of children with disabilities. The Special Education Advisory Panel met in regular session seven (7) times during the 2008-2009 year, with one work session and one orientation meeting for new members.

4 4 Advisory Panel Recommendations For 2009-2010 This self-governed Special Education Advisory Panel has established six standing committees to carry out the responsibilities of the Panel and to accomplish its purpose as stated in the federal law. The six committees are: (a) Continuous Improvement Monitoring Process, (b) Parental Involvement, (c) Professional Development, (d) Legislative, (e) Proposed Policy Implementation, and (f) Transition.

5 5 I. Continuous Monitoring The focused monitoring teams goal is to utilize information to assist the school districts with improving results for children with disabilities. The following are recommendations for the 2009-2010 school year: Recommendation #1: Ensure monitoring efforts around IDEA 2004 compliance include a variety of methods, including on- site visits.

6 6 I. Continuous Monitoring Recommendation # 2: The MDE Office of Special Education should evaluate procedures relating to how parent focus group meetings are conducted and consider improvements such as: ensuring consistency in how focus group meetings are held, and provide opportunities for parents to comment on the topic of the focused monitoring as well as other local concerns relating to Special Education.

7 7 II. Parental Involvement The Parental Involvement Committee is comprised of parents and others on the Special Education Advisory Panel who have a sincere interest in the children of this state. Recommendation: Continue to support new and innovative parental outreach strategies.

8 8 III. Professional Development The Professional Development Committee goal is to ensure that MDE improves pre- service and in-service professional development of all educators in order to identify and address early learning difficulties and to support learners with ongoing exceptional learning needs in both general and special education settings.

9 9 III. Professional Development Recommendation #1: Prioritize existing scholarship funds (including William Winter Teacher Scholar Loans and Critical Needs Scholarship) for Special Educators pursuing traditional routes to licensure. Recommendation#2: Develop standards for alternate route certification programs that parallel content requirements of traditional programs.

10 10 III. Professional Development Recommendation#3: Update Standard 6 of the Process and Performance Review for K- 3, K-6, and Secondary Education to include specific, measurable evidence of content and field experience relating to students with disabilities including providing accommodations and modifications in teaching methodology to meet the unique learning and behavioral needs of this population beyond the 3 hours in Special Education currently required.

11 11 III. Professional Development Recommendation#4: Add specific academic content standards for Special Education to Standard 6 of the Process and Performance Review to include specific, measurable evidence of content relating to subject area preparation (reading, mathematics, science and social studies), behavior management, classroom management, assessment and progress monitoring, as well as disability-specific information.

12 12 III. Professional Development Recommendation#5: The Mississippi Department of Education should ensure that disability experts and advocates are included on all groups working toward setting standards and requirements for teacher licensure, both general and special education; alternate route and traditional routes.

13 13 IV. Legislative Committee Recommendation #1: Reintroduce proposed legislation allowing students with disabilities to be educated through the age of 21. Recommendation #2 : The State Special Education Advisory Panel will continue to ask the State Board of Education to support full funding for all special education teacher units at 100 percent.

14 14 V. Policy Implementation The purpose of this committee is to review and make recommendations regarding the proposed policies. The Special Education Advisory Panel submitted written comments during the public comment period.

15 15 V. Policy Implementation Recommendation #1: Replace the term mental retardation throughout the draft policies with the more acceptable term intellectual disability. Change Approved By SBE: Mental Retardation (MR) (also referred to as Intellectual Disability by some entities) means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period that adversely affects a childs educational performance. Recommendation #2: Training should continue with regard to implementation of procedures aligned with State Board Policy 4300 (TST).

16 16 VI. Transition The purpose of the Transition Committee is to research and recommend strategies that will improve transition for students receiving special education services in the state.

17 17 VI. Transition Recommendation #1: MDE should continue to sponsor interagency transition conferences throughout the state. Recommendation #2: When possible, transition conferences should be regional to assist school district personnel and parents with travel costs.

18 18 VI. Transition Recommendation #3: MDE should provide technical assistance in collaboration with other appropriate agencies to ensure that school districts and agencies have formulated agreements and are implementing agreements relevant to transition. Recommendation #4: MDE should continue to provide funding for training and technical assistance efforts on transition.

19 19 VI. Transition Recommendation #5: MDE should fully fund a transition coordinator for each district. Recommendation #6: MDE/OSE should continue to review effective practice models and provide current relevant information when providing technical assistance and training to school district personnel, early intervention staff, and staff of programs providing employment opportunities and life skills training.

20 20 VI. Transition Recommendation #7: The MDEs Office of Special Education should provide information on effective practices for transition models via a variety of methods and formats (including on the MDE website) and, upon request, provide technical assistance at the local level. Recommendation #8: Continue to monitor disaggregated drop out rates for students with disabilities.

21 21 VI. Transition Recommendation #9: The MDE should meet with the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges to begin the process of developing an Articulation Agreement for admission of students with the MS Occupational Diploma throughout the state. Recommendation #10: MDEs IEP procedures should require that parents and students are notified of post-secondary education entrance requirements during the transition process.

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